It is a widely accepted business practice to use a personality assessment during the hiring and selection process. Assessments uncover aspects of the candidate’s personality that may be hard to identify during the job interview. By using a personality assessment, the hiring manager is taking that extra step to ensure that the candidate is truly matched to the job. It can be integral in developing behavioral-based interview questions that uncover a person’s motivation, potential, and overall suitability.

However, while using a personality assessment during the hiring process is widely accepted, using assessments for other aspects of employee development has been far less common. This whitepaper  explores other areas of talent management—team development, succession planning, employee selection and development, and performance management—where the integration of personality assessments is highly beneficial and can provide organizations with more opportunities to develop the potential of their people.

Team Development

Although it may not seem obvious, team development sessions offer the opportunity for the effective use of personality assessments. Team development is the process of enabling a group of people to reach its common goal, and many issues arise when trying move a team forward. Complicating the issue of teamwork is the fact that many teams today are virtual, with many people working off-site.

Often, team members do not work in the same office and may not even be from the same country. This places even more emphasis on team communications and the personality style of each team member.

A team development facilitator can analyze the personality assessments of each individual team member and use this information to encourage stronger communication between members and create better working relationships. Assessments are used to inform the team about the overall strengths and weaknesses of the group and also to compare differences that could cause conflict. By targeting each individual’s specific work style and identifying how it may agree or clash with those of other team members, a greater understanding of the overall team emerges. The assessment results can also be discussed in a group setting with some analysis of the specific roles of each team member. Facilitators can often illustrate how different people bring different qualities to the team and how that can used to everyone’s advantage.

In addition to team development programs, many managers use personality assessments when planning for projects and assigning specific tasks. They are able to do so according to the personality style of individual team members. This is referred to as a talent audit or team analysis process. It helps managers maximize the potential of their teams and individual members.

By using team development combined with assessments, companies can create high-performing teams that exceed everyone’s expectations. Those organizations that employ these types of talent-management strategies see a relationship between team development sessions and powerful business results, e.g., new products created, revenue growth achieved, or project management milestones met.

Assessments used in team development and team analysis are often different than those used for hiring or other talent management solutions. Many of these assessments are not validated for selection and hiring. There is a tremendous amount of information that can be utilized if the assessment used for hiring is the same assessment used for team development. First, many individuals within the team are already familiar with the terminology of the personality assessment used for hiring and have some level of skill in interpreting the data. Second, the team development process often utilizes a similar methodology to the hiring process, in that there is discussion about role clarification and the goal of linking roles to personality attributes.

Using the same instrument for both purposes eliminates the additional cost and time involved in re-assessing people, not to mention confusion if the two assessments do not “agree.” Using a different assessment for team development fails to capitalize on the knowledge and experience that team members may already have related to the assessment used for hiring.