Before You Use Another Assessment, Read This.

HR leaders who integrate pre-employment assessments often use one tool to help identify the best candidates and a different resource to develop them once on board. However, using multiple solutions often comes at a substantial cost and lacks consistency. So you may be thinking, “Why can’t there be one reliable assessment I can use for selection, coaching, and development that makes sense and won’t break the bank?”

A New Way Forward

Assessments of the past typically measured individual traits without meaningful context. Today’s best assessments can predict with a much higher degree of certainty how someone is likely to perform in a given role, whether that individual is a new hire or an existing employee.

Using scientific validation studies to identify performance competencies, companies can gain a deep understanding of what success looks like in a particular job and identify which competencies top performers have in common. With these competencies as building blocks, data scientists are able to construct precise, accurate job models that lay the foundation for measuring success.

Making it Meaningful

At Caliper, we’ve been collecting, validating, and measuring performance data for over 60 years. We’ve developed a single assessment that can be used for selection, coaching, and individual development based on criterion validity, not just construct validity. In other words, we predict performance.

To put validated data to good use, it’s important to consider its application across the employee lifecycle. Caliper recently introduced Caliper Essentials™, a robust report suite that is built on Caliper’s scientifically validated assessment. The data provided in Caliper Essentials™ has been thoroughly researched and tested for accuracy. It tells HR leaders everything they need and want to know about job applicants and existing employees—what motivates them, what stresses them, how they are likely to behave in response to different work-related stimuli, and how best to coach them for success.

But before you decide to integrate an assessment into your process, there are four critical questions you should ask:

#1: Can the assessment be used across the employee lifecycle – selection through development?

Caliper has used the latest in assessment science to create a single assessment that generates a suite of reports that addresses each stage of the employee cycle. Why pay one vendor to assess for hiring and another for development? The Essentials Report Suite is a holistic talent alignment solution, from employee selection to coaching to development to succession.

After all, successful hiring isn’t over after your applicant accepts the offer. It continues through training, onboarding, and career pathing.

#2: Does the assessment have practical application?

Have you ever looked at an assessment report and wondered if you missed some management class about which employee is a bird and which one is a fish? Have you ever looked at an underperforming department and thought, “Ok, the manager is a yellow-orange and I’m a purple-green, but what about this underperforming sales territory?”

If you can’t stand weird jargon, we have good news: Caliper Essentials™ gives you meaningful data, not zoo animals. It uses words and phrases like communication, persistence, decisiveness, problem solving, quality focus, accountability, and time management. Essentials outlines an applicant’s or employee’s motivators and stressors, and it provides practical coaching suggestions, followup interview questions, and tips for managers based on the scores. By placing the emphasis on actual on-the-job behaviors, the report offers guidance on how to maximize each new hire’s and newly promoted employee’s strengths while compensating for limitations.

#3: Has the assessment been validated using advanced statistical science?

Anyone with access to software development tools can make a “personality test.” If you see one that’s free or costs $15, remember…you get what you pay for.

When legitimate assessment companies talk about scientific validation, they mean the tool has been researched and tested to make sure the assessment measures what it claims to measure. Validity varies greatly among instruments, so it’s up to you to investigate quality.

Caliper Essentials takes validation two steps further:

  • Essentials is scientifically validated for Selection. All those other pre-employment assessments that simply measure personality traits have no predictive power regarding job performance. They may only tell what someone is “like” but not how well that individual fits the job you need to fill.


  • Essentials is designed for criterion validity. Criterion validity is how well a criterion (traits) predicts an outcome (job performance). In other words, instead of measuring traits in a vacuum, Caliper Essentials shows you traits in relation to job performance. The benefit is practical simplicity that provides at-a-glance answers to critical question around selection, coaching, and succession.

#4: Is the assessment scalable?

Are you the talent management director of a major corporation looking for an all-purpose selection and development tool that will provide scientifically validated, EEOC compliant, and consistent results that can serve as a foundation for competency modeling, people analytics, and succession planning? Caliper Essentials may be right for you.

Are you the owner of a three-person insurance agency looking for access to assessment tools that you only need to use once or twice a year and that must fit within a tight budget? Caliper Essentials may be right for you.

Whatever your organizational size or talent management needs, the Essentials reporting suite has the scalability and flexibility to meet your requirements. You might have five employees or fifty thousand, but you will benefit from the same assessment built on the same extensive data-collection platform. How deeply you want to delve is up to you.

For more information about Caliper or its report suite, visit

Caliper is a human capital assessment company leveraging decades of data and validated assessment results to help companies select high-quality candidates; predict workplace performance; build high-performing teams; and engage, develop, and retain employees. Caliper partners with all types of organizations – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and from government agencies to non-profits. Whether your business needs to hire for an important position or develop current and future leaders, Caliper can help you make the best talent management decisions.