5 min read

A Behavioral Assessment Guide for Hiring Right!

Team Glider

Updated on April 29, 2023

Do you know measuring a candidate’s cognitive abilities is one of the critical candidate assessment tools? A behavioral assessment test is a psychological tool used to observe, describe, explain, and predict behavior. This is done to measure and calculate the various factors of behavior that measure a candidate’s cognitive abilities. Hence, recruiters must never get carried away by a resume alone.

As one of the candidate assessment tools, a behavioral test is done to portray the mindset of the person under study, to depict what he does and why he does it, especially in his work environment.  Mainly, behavioral assessment is conducted through functional analysis. Anomalies related to hyperactivity, aggression, low attention span, peer relationship problems, etc., are all studied through behavioral assessments.

In the words of Kyle Lagunas, Head of Talent Attraction at General Motors, “Behavioral assessment is a systematic evaluation of a candidate’s personality profiles used to gauge the viability of a candidate based on things like culture fit, work style, and potential.”

Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is carried out to evaluate the ‘why’, ‘what’, and ‘how’ of the behavioral changes of individuals. It is a part of the candidate assessment tools, that helps determine the underlying characteristics of behavior. FBA is done to clarify the behavioral changes that remain inaccessible to the normal eye. A specialist conducts a function behavioural assessment test by putting the individual in different situations to study the changes according to the situation. This type of assessment may also include background checks, family interviews, etc.

Steps of Functional Behavioral Assessments

  • Determine the behavior.
  • Gather information about the behavior.
  • Find the reason behind the behavior.
  • Devise an intervention program to eradicate the behavior.

Companies all around the world carry out behavioral assessments to make better hiring processes, especially during the interview phase to weed out the most appropriate candidate. Interviewers estimate the candidate’s problem-solving skills, cultural fitness, strengths, and weaknesses, etc., through different behavioral candidate assessment tools and estimate their influence on the work environment.

Uses of Behavioral Assessments

Behavioral assessments offer valuable insights. Resolving the behavioral issue is the main agenda behind these kinds of candidate assessment tools. Reaching the base of the behavior and rectifying any anomaly that causes the behavior to change is the basic purpose of such an assessment.

Types of Behavioral Assessment Tests

Candidates and their behavior are the two faces of the same coin. That’s why candidate assessment tools evaluate a great deal of behavior types. Broadly, they are divided into 5 types:

  • Direct assessment: This is the study of behavior as it changes during the situation. Also known as ‘Situational Behavioral Assessment.’
  • Analog assessment: This type of behavioral assessment is done to study the changes under simulated or made-up situations. Baseline observations are conducted to record the response frequencies depending on various situations.
  • Indirect Assessment: In this type of assessment, the behavior is not observed but inferred through retrospective analysis.
  • Idiographic assessment: This describes the behavioral characteristics of the individual concerned.
  • Contextual assessment: The stimuli in the environment that cause the change in behavior are in focus in this method of assessment.

Functions of Behavioral Assessment Test 

There are 6 functions of behavior which in turn are used in candidate assessment tools and evaluations. They are :

  • To obtain something.
  • Escape or avoid something.
  • To get attention from someone.
  • To communicate with someone.
  • Self-stimulation.
  • Control or power over anyone or anything.

These functions of behavior are the bases of the behavioral assessment tests. A behavioral specialist identifies each function with the help of the ABC of candidate assessment tools. This theory defines the 3 pivotal parts of behavior and helps identify the phases and changes.

  • Antecedent: The stimulus that creates the behavior.
  • Behavior: The actual behavior that gets created due to the situation.
  • Consequence: The result of the behavior.

5 Factor Model of Behavior

Psychologists have divided a person’s behavior or personality into 5 traits. Popularly called the Big Five, they are abbreviated into OCEAN or CANOE. These 5 traits are:

  • Openness: Openness to experience is the trait that makes people appreciate life and everything that comes with it. According to studies, candidates who are open to experience are more curious, intellectual, and willing to try new things as compared to those who are not.
  • Conscientiousness: This trait showcases self-discipline and self-gratification. Candidates with this trait are considered to be stubborn and result oriented.
  • Extraversion: This personality trait determines engagement with the world. People are of two types: extroverts and introverts. Extroverts are those who like to engage with people as much as possible, whereas, introverts are the opposite. According to Hans Eysenck, most people are a mixture of extroversion and introversion.
  • Agreeableness: This trait displays the different concerns regarding social harmony. Agreeable persons are kind-hearted and soft whereas disagreeable persons are stubborn and hard to work with.
  • Neuroticism: Neuroticism is the tendency of showing anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of negative emotions. People with high levels of neuroticism are more aggressive and tend to have less mental stability as compared to people with less neuroticism.

According to Hans Eysenck’s “Theory of Personality”, neuroticism is interlinked with a low tolerance for stressful situations.

Importance of Behavior Assessment in Candidate Assessment Tools

Hiring a candidate requires a lot of time and dedication. A wrong candidate means a wrong investment for the company. Along with the educational and technical skills, a candidate should have the right set of mind. The candidate should be an ideal person who can shape his character in the working environment of the company and can generate a healthy relationship with his colleagues.

Behavioral assessment helps in determining the personality of the candidates so that the right talent quality can be selected for the company. Thus the benefits of behavioral assessment tests are multifold. That’s why they are an integral part of candidate assessment tools.

Behavioral Assessment & Candidate Evaluation Techniques

Psychologists execute various techniques to evaluate the personality of a person. Some of those common techniques have also made their way into candidate assessment tools: 

  • Case Study Method: This method is used to determine the personality traits of a person who has psychological problems. In a case study interview, the individual’s past life is studied and incidents are funneled out to determine their effects on the person’s behavior.
    It is a long process that takes place over a while. This method is executed on individuals who have prolonged issues with behavioral disturbances.
  • Interview Method: This is the most common form of behavioral assessment where the psychologist interviews the individual to assess the behavioral changes in the candidate.
  • Experience Sampling Method: In this method, the analyst pings the individual at a certain time of the day to study the behavior at that exact moment or critical thinking capability. 
  • Biological Method: Some analysts use Positron Emission Tomography to study the behavioral traits of individuals. They scan the brain of the individual to ascertain the change in behavioral patterns.

To Sum It Up

Behavioral assessment tests help in determining the personality of a person. As an integral part of the candidate assessment tools, it tailors the characteristics of an individual and the range of traits he/she possesses. Can Machine Learning measure a candidate’s cognitive ability? YES!

For a company, behavioral assessment tests are a must as it would help in the selection of suitable candidates. To learn more about Glider AI’s candidate assessment tools and how they help you find the right talent, click here.


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