Which personality assessment should you use in hiring?

by MPA23 Jul 2014
By David Lykken
Special to MPA

When you're hiring new people for your team, you'll probably use some kind of personality assessment tool. Of course, until you interview people and get a feel for them, you can't really know whether they're right for your culture. But, first, you've got to screen some of them out because you've only got so much time in the day.
So, which assessment should you use? There are dozens of them out there. In a recent radio show, I had a guest who highly recommended the Birkman Method. As my co-hosts and I tried to understand whether or not the method should work based on what it measures, something interesting occurred to me. It does work, whether or not I think it should.
In the end, use the system that works. The Birkman Method does apparently have a strong track record but, whatever you use, examine the data. Does it work? Use it. Does it not work? Throw it out. That's the only standard that really matters.

David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who has been an owner operator of three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As co-founder and Managing Partner of Mortgage Banking Solutions, David consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking with special emphasis executive leadership development, corporate strategic direction and implementation as well as mergers & acquisitions. A regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News, David also hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” (www.LykkenOnLending.com) that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. Recently he started producing a 1-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper websites daily across America.


  • by Nancy Viejo | 7/23/2014 12:05:49 PM

    I have been using the DISC assessment tool for years. I like it so much that I acquired a certification in it about 10 years ago so that I could properly assess the results. However the tool seems to be ancient in origination. Doer's, Thinkers, Counters, and Talkers is from Aristotle.

  • by Richard Colwell, CPC, MSc | 8/4/2014 8:20:32 AM

    I use a combination of Wave and Hogan Development Survey. That way I find I get a thorough general picture from Wave, that is difficult to 'fudge' due to the built in checks and with the HDS I get the 'warts and all' darker side of their personality that candidates try to hide from the assessor. I think it's worth mentioning that if you hire a consultancy to do the psychometric assessment then you should make sure they are not being paid in any way dependent upon placement of the candidate, as this can lead to the client sometimes getting a less than full picture.

    All tools are only as good as the person using them and you need to trust they give you honest feedback and results. However, when these well validated tools (see this validation study here http://bit.ly/1mfhTU2 ) are used properly then you, as a client, know that what sort of candidate you are getting and how to manage them to ensure they deliver their best.

    Best regards,
    Richard Colwell
    CPC, MSc


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