The Inside Track on Personality Testing

Livingston James Group Head of Research, Kirsty Sim recently took LJG graduate trainee, Rachel Sim, through Saville Wave personality testing to allow Rachel to better understand the process Livingston James Group candidates may undertake. Here, Rachel shares her experiences of the assessment and reveals what clients and candidates can expect from the process.

Personality tests have increasingly become a popular method of evaluating a candidate’s suitability for employment. By understanding an individual’s personality traits and interactive styles, an organisation can analyse whether the individual will be a good fit for the role and company culture. Personality tests focus on identifying long-term traits rather than short term emotional states to ensure that careful hiring decisions are made for long term success.

At Livingston James Group, our preferred method of personality testing is Saville Wave. With the highest validity of all personality assessments and third highest of all assessment methods**, it has been proven as an impactful and reliable predictor of individuals’ workplace performance and potential. It is also the only test to identify an alignment between work motives and talents by using work-relevant language to ask candidates what they enjoy doing (motive) and what they think they are good at (talent).

There are a variety of questionnaires to choose from in the Wave suite, depending on your selection or development requirements. All questionnaires are driven by the Wave model which has been extensively researched and measures the key characteristics that underpin successful workplace performance. The model is hierarchical, built around four clusters – solving problems, influencing people, adapting approaches and delivering results, 12 sections, 36 dimensions and 108 facets.

The most widely used questionnaire within Livingston James Group is Professional Styles which provides an in-depth report that lends itself to high-stakes and senior level recruitment or development – the most typical areas that the Livingston James Group operates in.

Undertaking the Assessment

As a new employee of Livingston James Group, I was given the opportunity to undertake the Saville Wave Professional Styles assessment to gain a deeper insight into my workplace preferences and to get a feel for the activities Livingston James Group candidates may go through in one of our recruitment processes. Being invited to complete the assessment as though I were a candidate enabled me to understand the types of emotions such as self-reflection, anticipation, and anxiousness that candidates may experience.

The questionnaire prompts candidates to reflect on their current performance and working style before answering the questions. This prepares candidates for the assessment effectively, encouraging them to reflect on their current situation as they progress through the questionnaire, rather than being distracted by previous roles or situations outside of a work environment.

Completion of the questionnaire involves the answering of two types of questions: rating – where candidates are presented with statements about their workplace behaviours that they must rate on a scale ranging from Very Strongly Disagree to Very Strongly Agree; and ranking – where they are presented with fewer statements, of which they must rank which is most like them and least like them. The assessment was straightforward and took around 40 minutes to complete.

Upon completion of the assessment, a report was automatically generated and sent to Kirsty Sim, Livingston James Group’s Head of Research and trained, in-house Saville assessor. Although the reports are presented in a user-friendly format, candidates are given the opportunity to sit down with Kirsty to discuss their results in depth.


Responding to the Results

Prior and during assessment, candidates may already be aware of some of their strongest traits, however, additional traits may be unveiled, some of which may be more surprising.

By analysing the results of the assessment, the candidate can understand their strengths in much more detail and for any traits that scored lower than expected, t line managers can put plans in place to help them to improve these areas.  In both selection and development settings, this identification of areas for development and subsequent formation of personal development strategies would be of significant value to line managers and of course the individuals themselves.

Psychometric testing ensures valid and unbiased results, reducing risk of discrimination in hiring procedures and creating a fairer process. As businesses strive to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace, this tool could be utilised to ensure these goals are met, and that candidates are chosen for their compatibility for a role rather than for physical attributes or demographic factors.

Personally, undertaking the Saville Assessment has increased my understanding of the importance of personality assessments, whilst also providing me with a new level of self-awareness and some practical personal development strategies which I can implement to further develop my workplace performance and enhance my career prospects.

As either a potential candidate or client, Saville Assessment is an invaluable tool as both parties are provided with the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the candidates’ workplace performance and potential.

Livingston James Group’s Head of Research, Kirsty Sim, acts as our in-house qualified Saville assessor. Should you have any queries regarding Saville Assessment or to explore implementing personality testing as part of your hiring or personal development strategies, please get in touch with Kirsty at [email protected].


Can we help?

If you are looking for leadership advisory or recruitment support, please get in touch with our team of experts.

More Articles...