What is a behavioural assessment?
A behavioural assessment does what it says on the tin – it measures a candidate’s natural, work-relevant behaviours, to help make great hiring easier.
Historically, these would be in paper format – effectively questionnaires asking people to describe how they’d behave in certain scenarios. These are called ‘self-report’ tests – because you’re literally ‘reporting’ on yourself.
But now, creators of behavioural assessments are increasingly using digital technology to pioneer new online formats. These don’t ask candidates to tell anyone about their behaviour. Instead, they simply let them show it in real time, using interactive online tasks rather than questions.
Why are behavioural assessments important?
New, clear insight
Behavioural insight speaks directly to how candidates will fit employers’ roles, culture, or both. This new data point can help paint a picture of candidates’ potential to succeed, making it easier to pick the right people to progress. This is especially useful for early careers hiring, where CVs tend to give little indication of how a candidate will actually perform in the role.
A fairer approach
Assessments that measure behaviour and natural strengths, like ours, give every candidate an equal opportunity to show their potential.
This is because traditional early-stage hiring tools, like CVs or application forms, are fertile ground for our natural biases to come out. Everything, from our names to our schools to our work experience, can be interpreted in different ways by different people. But assessments like ours give employers a truly objective data point, based solely on how their natural strengths stack up to what you’re looking for.
Assessments like ours have proven to help employers create more diverse, dynamic teams, by giving a fair shot to everyone – no matter their age, gender, ethnicity or background.
A better experience
Question-based assessments can be stressful for candidates. That’s because each question comes with all sorts of considerations, each firing simultaneously around a candidate’s brain. These include:
- “What’s the answer they’re looking for?”
- “What’s that question measuring?”
- “Which response will make me look like the best candidate?”
When there’s a job on the line, these questions are often unavoidable. But, by removing the questions, you create a more relaxed environment where candidates can respond authentically. Over 80% of the candidates that complete our assessment, for example, find this to be the case.
How our behavioural assessment works:
Our assessment works by presenting your candidates with a series of engaging, intuitive tasks. These are based on decades of neuroscience, and have been adapted to be completed online in under 40 minutes.
These tasks give candidates an opportunity to showcase their natural behaviour in action. We capture this data, and map it to what’s called a ‘fit profile’. This is really just a weighted list of behavioural traits that, alongside the employer, we’ve determined are vital to succeed in the role and/or company culture.
This means that you’ll get a clear ‘fit score’ for every candidate – just one number indicating how well they match your profile. This makes it easier than ever to screen quickly, accurately and objectively.
Which traits can these assessments measure?
The most advanced behavioural assessments measure dozens of traits, many of which you’ll never see in a CV. These traits can generally be grouped around the core elements of the OCEAN model of personality, which are:
Openness to experience
This largely means what it says. Is a person curious about new things? Are they comfortable with uncertainty, or do they prefer quite a rigid structure? With the right assessment, it can also give you a window into creativity.
This is closely linked to so-called impulse control. Does a person show self-discipline? Do they take ownership of their work, and plan it methodically? Low conscientiousness can often lead to procrastination.
This is a spectrum with two poles at either end – introversion on one side, and extroversion in the other. But few people will ever really be completely introverted, or vice versa. Traits within this group include optimism and sociability.
This group of traits pretty much adds up to how well a person gets along with others in a group. The best behavioural assessments will look at traits like authenticity, politeness and altruism under this umbrella.
While this might sound harsh, we’re all neurotic to some degree. It’s just a matter of how much. A big part of this group is emotional stability, but it also spans other elements like self-belief, and resilience.
But, speaking for ourselves, there’s also one other group that’s worth measuring:
Okay, so this isn’t strictly an aspect of personality. But it does give you a much more rounded view of how a person will perform at work – which is why we measure it!
Cognition is an umbrella term covering all sorts of traits we’d usually associate with intelligence. That includes processing speed, capacity and consistency, as well a person’s learning agility. It also covers how well someone concentrates.
Time to learn a bit more about behavioural assessments?
The world of assessments can seem like a pretty complicated place. That’s why it’s always a good idea to chat through your options before taking the plunge!
So, if you’d like to take a closer look at Arctic Shores’ behaviour-based assessment, or you’ve got any questions at all, we’d love to talk to you. Just get in touch here.