Watterson & Associates BLOG

Information, musings, and brain bites from an I/O consulting firm

Personality Assessment Fundamentals

By Mark Kogelnik


Finding and retaining quality talent continues to be a top priority for organizations, regardless of size or industry. Properly motivated people, aligned with a company’s values and strategy, are crucial to achieving organizational excellence. But finding the “right” person, takes an incredible amount of time, effort and money. The stakes are high: the cost of a bad hire is staggering. However, the value of an engaged associate is priceless. Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire way to guarantee success of a new hire. However, there are opportunities to gather and utilize more self-reported data during the interview process to lower the risk and increase the likelihood of success.

One strategy is to utilize a valid personality assessment. While there are many off-the-shelf options available, some of the most commonly known assessments include Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), the DiSC® and Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) ® Each of these assessments are intended to provide a closer look at a candidate’s personality within the context of ideal work performance. 
The best organizations are using personality assessment to take a more proactive approach to hiring and development. Typically, personality assessment becomes part of the hiring process. Doing so offers a more long-term and calculated approach to an organization’s most valuable resource: human capital.

As an Industrial-Organizational Consultant, I help companies make more informed decisions about the hiring process through the use of the Watterson Personality Instrument (WPI) ®, a proprietary assessment created by Dr. David G. Watterson, Founder of our company. From large multi-national companies to small, privately held organizations, we administer the WPI to more effectively measure a candidate’s personality and ability in key areas relative to a particular job. We can also supplement the assessment with in-depth interviews, customized reports, employee development plans and on-going, individualized coaching.


Simply put: any hiring manager can use a quick, inexpensive personality assessment. But engaging a consultant, trained in both administering and evaluating assessment results, provides a greater ROI. Although there are many benefits of the powerful selection and development tools available, it’s important to question how tests are created, as well understand the accompanying methodology used to validate them. The reality is, there are many assessments available today that did not exist years ago. In fact, a keyword search on ‘personality assessments’ results in all sorts of options ranging from anger management, assertiveness, adventurousness, arguing style, and on and on!


Provided there has been care placed into the design and use of an assessment within a work setting, organizations are well positioned to make a strong business case for the use of objective tests - specifically, those that created with a degree of rigor helping them to be consistent, reliable, and legally defensible. Today’s leading companies are making use of assessment data to attract top talent and develop winning, profitable cultures.

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