One size does not fit all

Senior Psychologist Nikita Mikhailov blogs about the practicality and wisdom of using multiple assessment tools.

Working in the world of psychometrics sometimes makes me feel like a kid in a candy store - so many tools, measurements, colours, etc... In my opinion, psychometric assessments are tools that can be used to add value to selection and development processes. I personally enjoy discovering what tools are out there, new and old, and getting to know them and trained in them where possible. At the same time, I appreciate how easy it is to become comfortable with one assessment tool - after all, if you already use a tool that you consider to be great, and you are comfortable and familiar with it, why would you need to know or get trained to use a second one? Or even a third? Actually, there may be plenty of reasons.

For me, being trained to use several tools gives me freedom - freedom of choice - and I enjoy opening my 'tool box' and choosing the one I think will bring the most value to the project and the client. Some clients and consultancies have their preferences; however, by being versed in many tools I can better understand why someone would want to use a particular tool, and therefore not only propose the 'best' tool for the job, but also explain why this is so.

I do not believe that assessments are mutually exclusive: sometimes using several assessments that are quite similar, such as the NEO and Lumina Spark, can be very productive and informative. I also know that I am not alone in that opinion: for example, my respected peer and friend David Lurie recently announced via Twitter that he is formulating a report based on assessments from 7 tools.

I personally find that due to the very personal nature of our work (personal approaches to coaching, feedback, etc.), the training session itself provides me with a great opportunity to learn from my peers: not only from the ones performing the training, but also fellow trainees.

Working at Hogrefe, I have the opportunity to use the NEO PI-R extensively and it is a great, diverse tool (and not just because I work for its publisher!). Even so, despite my admiration for NEO's many benefits, I do enjoy using other tools. I have recently trained in the Hogan Suite and am looking forward to using the NEO with HDS (thank you PCL for a wonderful training course!).

I see NEO as an extensively-validated tool that offers a very clear output profile and in-depth reports if needed, which can add value by being used on its own but also pairs easily with other tools - such as the LJI, HDS, or both.

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