If you are serious about investing in your people, you know that uncovering what makes them tick will have a direct, positive impact on their workplace interactions, their professional development, and their satisfaction. Enhancements in these areas can lead to long-lasting improvements in the recruitment and retention of key personnel.
Personality assessments provide the most efficient and effective path for understanding personality at work, but once you start looking at the various options in the marketplace, you’ll quickly see a big variance between the different offerings. To clear up any confusion, we’ve outlined the various alternatives, their associated cost ranges, and what you can expect from each category of personality assessment.
When thinking about personality assessments, it’s helpful to think of the industry as being shaped like a pyramid, with assessment solutions coming from one of three categories.
Effective – Check the Box
At the base of the pyramid is the Effective level where you’ll find the greatest number of tools. These assessment products often use a number, color, or letter-based code to assign people to a particular personality category or type.
These do-it-yourself tools can range from $10 to $75 per assessment, with participants receiving some form of summary PDF that offers a snapshot in time of how they might be wired and perhaps a label, color, or letter to show others their personality type. These tools are not comprehensive, but they do give participants some insight into their own tendencies and they can support enhanced awareness of how they might interact with others.
If you want to check the box and say that you’ve implemented some type of personality assessment, these tools meet those criteria.
The next level up in the pyramid is the Enhanced level. These solutions are typically more comprehensive with a stronger, well-established research foundation. Organizations using tools at this level can be more confident in the quality of their assessment results and make good use of the standardized insights based on broad score ranges contained in the reports.
This template-driven approach can help drive personality-based insights into decision-making and development efforts. They generally focus on a narrower set of personality attributes and can offer a solid view of the big picture, although these tools can overlook the nuance and context needed for maximum impact.
Tools at the Enhanced level also provide more structure and rigor than the “check the box” personality typing tools found at the Effective level in the pyramid. These types of assessments can be helpful during the hiring process or for organizational development to improve interactions with those inside or outside our organization.
Often these tools report on “potential problems”, highlighting challenges but without giving guidance on how to address those challenges. Some users can feel judged or that they “didn’t score well.” However, with the right training and guidance, participants can discover how to pivot these reports into productive action.
These Enhanced assessment tools range between $50 and $250 per assessment. Keep in mind that the Enhanced solutions provide a more detailed summary report and guidance. It’s not uncommon to need additional training and consulting to apply these systems to your organization. Certification and consulting could start at as little as $20,000 and could increase 10–fold and beyond depending on your goals and the size of your organization.
Engaged – Streamline Hiring and Professional Development
Whereas the Enhanced level is often focused on addressing a discrete set of behaviors and “fixes,” the Engaged level focuses on a strategic transformation that provides a path from the current culture to the envisioned culture of the highly engaged organization. This is where you are really seeking to understand where individuals are most likely to thrive. For example, you might want to discover which candidates could be the best fit for a specific role or how they might work with other colleagues on an established team.
At the Engaged level, you get behavioral insights that shape personal and professional development, engender high levels of job satisfaction and engagement, and go beyond hiring to support an individual’s career. Here, employees see that the company is truly invested in their personal and professional development. This can lead to better recruitment and retention of key personnel.
Solutions at the Engaged level also focus on measurable results, typically providing an ecosystem of committed, high-caliber professionals that partner with your organization. This allows you to hit the ground running while members of your team go through certification and training to empower your organization to make the greatest, long-term positive impact on recruiting and hiring, employee engagement, team dynamics, and leadership development. Clients of these Engaged Assessment systems often describe them as high-touch, tailored, targeted, organization-specific, and dynamic with a clear goal of positively impacting work culture, not just a single challenge with one individual or behavior.
Most importantly, these engaged solutions deliver clear and concise insights into competencies that provide actionable development plans to realize rapid results. Embrace the Engaged level if you seek to improve recruitment, streamline confident hiring decisions, enrich team dynamics, supercharge engagement, avoid turnover, and develop the next generation of leaders within your organization.
As with any enterprise implementation, the costs of training, certification, pilot, and rollout can vary greatly. Top performing organizations engage experienced professionals who define the ROI up front to help justify these investments. It’s not unusual for an organization to invest in excess of $15k or even $150k in pilots to leverage expert guidance and customized solutions throughout the process to ensure a smooth start and sustained success.
The Engaged level is probably the right fit if you are focused on recruiting, retaining, and developing top talent and building an intentional culture. The investment these organizations make is trivial compared to the cost of losing one key candidate or team member.
A recent survey conducted by Paradigm Personality showed that 80% of new hires don’t work out because of a lack of “Culture fit or personality traits.” An additional 9% claimed that the interview process overlooked nuances in the candidate. Implementing the right personality assessment can pay for itself many times over. Take the time to ensure that the tool you select is the one best aligned with your goals, and you’ll quickly get the insights you need to take your organization to the next level of excellence.