PI Behavioural Assessment Test for Employment: Strategies and Benefits!

Industrial parlance including the startups in India have begun to witness an increasing application of human analytics tools. This emerging trend reflects a growing recognition of the importance of leveraging human analytics to drive decision-making and optimise workforce performance. With the rise of data-driven approaches in industries across the globe, including the dynamic startup ecosystem, organisations have begun to embrace human analytics tools to gain an insight into employee behavior, engagement, and productivity.  Some of the real-life examples are worth-mentioning in the given context. An organisation faced issues in getting the right candidates who were more adaptable and open to take risks. They looked for candidates who could possibly work in a fast-paced aggressive environment for their organisation simply because standard interviewing methods and other tests did not yield the desired results they looked for. The organisation reposed their faith on PI analytics tools that gave interesting insights incomparable to any other conventional tests. Another organisation used talent analytics in the following ways mentioned as under: 

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  • Understanding Workforce Demographics and the Unique Dynamics
  • Predicting Employee Retention
  • Talent Profiling
  • For Ensuring Motivation and Fulfillment of the Aspirations of their Talent Pool
  • To Enhance Performance
  • Predicting the Return on Investment (RoI) of programmes
  • Ascertain the Policy Outcomes and Practices with Higher Degree of Accuracy

Another case in point and learning for all of us take from the experience of a top-level manager at a services sector company who faced tremendous work-related stress. The management of the company till then failed to assess the magnitude and gravity of the problem. Use of predictive analytics accurately revealed that the manager and his team were indeed facing several issues that remained unresolved. PI revealed that the manager was on the verge of a breakdown with stress brought about by the recent appointment of an immediate manager. PI analysis helped identify the issues at hand and take preventive measures. 

This is predictive Index (PI) analytics for all of us to understand and take advantage of. Several companies have now extensively begun the application of an assessment tool called Predictive Index (PI), that generates a behavioural profile while accurately depicting the pattern of core drives and work preferences of job seekers.

In a dynamic environment, the journey of finding a suitably matched career path needs precise evaluation of skills and competencies, behavioural traits required for a specific role. Depending on your career objectives and the industry you have chosen, employers may utilise the Predictive Index (PI) assessment as one of the emerging analytic tools to assess and evaluate personality and cognitive abilities of a potential applicant.

Employing managers and recruiters have now begun to assess cognitive skills, personality, and behavioural patterns of candidates using Predictive Index (PI) test. When you’re looking for a new job, the recruiters can use PI tools to examine your behavioural aspects, predilections and personality in harmony with the requirements of the position. By learning more about the Predictive Index (PI) tests, you will be able to develop confidence and get the results that truly reflect your qualities. There are strategies that help you get ready for the PI test and achieve a desired outcome.

In this article, we’ll look at the rationale behind why hiring practices at the organisations worldwide use personality evaluations. We’ll also dwell on the strategies required to prepare for PI behavioural assessment. This will extend a helping hand in improving your chances of getting hired.

A Brief History of Predictive Index (PI) Assessment!

The Predictive Index was developed in the 1950s by Arnold S. Daniels, a navigator and bombardier in the U.S. Army Air Corps. His commanders were interested in learning more about the composition and characteristics of effective bombing squads. To facilitate this comprehension, Daniels became interested in psychometric testing with the collaboration of a psychologist leading to the birth of PI. Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment (PIBA) has been around for more than 60 years now, and thousands of organisations have utilised its benefits in order to find the best candidates for several positions. Since 1955, the PI and PIBA have been used extensively in the commercial domain.

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Minor adjustments were made from 1960 to 1990 to enhance the psychometric qualities of the Predictive Index and ensure that every single item on the examination adhered to relevant and current linguistic norms. The test was originally known as the Professional Learning Indicator (PLI). We now know more and more about the psychological qualities that are desirable or anticipated for particular types of workers. It has begun to be used on a bigger scale now  while scientifically validating the indicators of workplace behavioural drivers. 

What is a Predictive Index Test?

The Predictive Index test is a psychometric assessment tool designed to measure key personality traits and cognitive abilities that are crucial for success in a specific role. In other words, it is a science-based applicant assessment tool that helps predict on-the-job performance. Unlike traditional assessments that focus solely on skills and qualifications, the PI test provides insight into an individual’s workplace behaviour, motivation, and work preferences. PI assessments reveal much more than what a resume can do. PI helps recruiters hire ideal candidates in alignment of the positions and intrinsic motivation, strength, and cognitive abilities of the potential applicants. It sheds light on character and mental faculties of the applicants, assisting employers in making data-driven, impartial recruiting decisions. This goes beyond what they can infer from a CV or resume that emphasises experience and skills.

The PI test consists of two major components:

  • Behavioural Assessment: This part of the test evaluates an individual’s natural tendencies and behavioral preferences. It assesses factors such as assertiveness, sociability, patience, attention to detail, and decisiveness. By understanding these traits, employers can gauge how well a candidate may fit into a particular work environment and interact with colleagues and clients.
  • Cognitive Assessment: The cognitive assessment measures a candidate’s cognitive abilities, such as problem-solving skills, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and critical thinking. This component helps employers determine an individual’s capacity to handle the intellectual demands of the role and make informed decisions under pressure.

Candidates are allowed to take the Predictive Index test online, either before or during the recruitment process. The test consists of a series of questions or statements to which candidates must respond. These responses are then analysed by proprietary algorithms to generate a comprehensive report outlining the personality traits, cognitive abilities of the applicants, and potential suitability for the role.

The results of the Predictive Index test are often used in conjunction with other assessment methods, such as interviews, resumes, and reference checks, to gain a holistic understanding of a candidate’s suitability for a position.

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Applications and Benefits of Predictive Index Tests!

Among the many applications of the Predictive Index (PI) in human resource management are as follows:

  • Performance Coaching
  • Team Building
  • Organisational Cultural Transformation
  • Executive Onboarding
  • Leadership Development
  • Succession Planning
  • Staff Selection

Benefits for Employers

For employers, Predictive Index tests offer several valuable benefits:

  • Improved Decisions Making for Hiring: By using objective data to assess candidates’ suitability for a role, employers can make more informed hiring decisions, reducing the risk of costly recruitment mistakes.
  • Enhanced Team Dynamics: Understanding the behavioural preferences of both individual team members and potential hires can help employers build more cohesive and productive teams. By leveraging the insights provided by the Predictive Index test, employers can create teams with complementary skills and work styles.
  • Increased Employee Engagement and Retention: Matching candidates to roles that align with their natural strengths and motivations can lead to higher job satisfaction and lower turnover rates. Employees who feel well-suited to their roles are more likely to be engaged, productive, and committed to their organization.

Benefits for Job Seekers

Job seekers can equally reap benefits from Predictive Index tests. They are as follows:

  • Enhanced Job Fitness: By participating in a Predictive Index test, candidates gain insight into their own strengths, weaknesses, and work preferences. This self-awareness can help them identify roles that align with their personality and cognitive abilities, leading to a better overall job fit.
  • Preparation for Interview: Armed with knowledge about their behavioral traits and cognitive abilities, candidates can augment their preparation for job interviews. They can tailor their response to highlight relevant skills and experiences, increasing their chances of success in the selection process.
  • Opportunity for Personal Development: The feedback provided through Predictive Index tests can serve as a valuable tool for personal and professional development. Candidates can use this insight to identify areas for growth and development, ultimately enhancing their long-term career prospects.

Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment

The Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment or PICA evaluates the abstract intelligence and cognitive capacity of a candidate.  Examinees are given a set amount of time (12 minutes) to answer 50 questions. The test assesses:

  • Nonverbal Abilities: Questions based on sequences, odd one out, and analogies.
  • Numerical Abilities: Lowest value, number problems, and series based questions
  • Verbal Abilities: Problems based on evaluation, synonyms, and comparatives

PICA test participants typically receive a score of 20. A score of more than 20 will make you stand out from the rest of the assessment takers. There is no pass or fail score in this assessment. Instead, you are matched with a reference profile that fits your answers.

Employers seek workers with a diverse skill set, not just a strong one. Strong cognitive talents are the qualities they look for in candidates. They are aware that individuals with the ability to think abstractly will probably be better able to adjust to changes as the business develops and evolves. You and your prospective employer can determine whether you’d be a good fit for the work by taking this assessment, as your cognitive ability can reflect your future effectiveness as an employee. By evaluating your capacity to pick up new skills and adjust to shifting work environments, the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment seeks to eradicate unconscious prejudice in the hiring process.

Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment (PIBA)

The Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment or PIBA is an untimed, free-choice, stimulus-response assessment that gathers important information about participants. In this test, candidates have to assemble two lists of words that describe themselves. It generally takes around 10 minutes to complete the test. Upon submission, an applicant obtains one of 17 reference profiles. The assessment generates these representations to explain an individual’s actions and functioning.

PI sorts each assessment taker into one of 17 personality types  or reference profiles. These profiles are Venturer, Strategist, Specialist, Controller, Analyser, Scholar, Individualist, Promoter, Persuader, Maverick, Collaborator, Captain, Altruist, Operator, Guardian, Artisan, and Adapter. They are grouped into four categories. They are as under:

Analytical Profiles 

Analytical Profiles indicate that the candidate is more task-oriented than people-oriented. They are  more dominant than extraverted, and tend to work quickly. They have the attributes for the following roles:

  • Controller
  • Analyser
  • Strategist
  • Specialist
  • Venturer 

They are more appropriate for the following roles:

Consultants, Project Managers, Logistical Positions, Analysts, Researchers etc.

Social Profiles

Social Profiles indicate that the candidate is more extroverted and relationship-centric. They have the attributes for the following roles:

  • Captain
  • Maverick
  • Collaborator
  • Altruist
  • Promoter 

They are more appropriate for the following roles:

Healthcare Professional, Social Worker, Educator,  Actor, Sales and Service Representative etc. Researchers etc.

Persistent Profiles

Individuals with persistent profiles have task-orientation. They are purposeful and perform well with greater control over their work. They have the attributes for the following roles:

  • Scholars
  • Individualist
  • Knowledge-driven

They are more appropriate as an entrepreneur and business owners etc.

Stabilising Profiles

Individuals with a stabilising profile are good with the structure and processes.They reveal and demonstrate a consistent, detailed approach to work. They have the attributes for the following roles:

  • Guardian
  • Operator
  • Artisan
  • Adapter

They are more appropriate for the following roles:

Human Resources, Customer Service, Data Science, Administration, Arts Profession etc.

Let us understand the four critical drives, the Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment is based on. They are as under:

  • Formality
  • Extraversion
  • Dominance
  • Patience

Formality: This drive shows a person’s capacity for following guidelines and following the system. Strong discipline is exhibited by high persons with a high formality drive. To reduce the possibility of errors for the organisation they work for, they make sure that expectations are clear. Individuals with low formality drive want freedom and flexibility and accept ambiguity and spontaneity. 

Extraversion: This drive is indicative of intense social engagement. Individuals with high extraversion drive are highly social, seek connection, and value recognition, whereas individuals with lower extraversion prefer privacy, self-reflection, and analysis.

Dominance: This drive shows a person’s capability to influence other individuals or situations. High-dominance people are autonomous, forceful, and skilled at handling conflict, whereas low-dominance people have a more cooperative and collaborative mindset.

Patient: Stability and consistency are important for people with this drive. Persons with high-patience seek steady pace and are typically stable and devoted to their organisation, whereas one with a low-patience drive thrive on variety. They work fast, and can do multitasking.

For more than 60 years, thousands of companies worldwide have used this test to identify the personality qualities that motivate their candidates and staff, while assisting them make well-informed decisions about project management, hiring prospects, and overall strategy. More than 350 research investigations substantiate the validity of the Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment (PIBA), assuring its dependability in predicting conduct at the workplace.

Strategies and Preparation Tips for Predictive Index Tests

  • Research the Company: Organisations using these analytics have distinct objectives. It is therefore prudent to customise your response in order to get the desired outcomes. Applicants need to learn as much as they can about the culture and vision of the organisation they wish to join. They should look for any core beliefs that they may have in common with the company when they visit its website and apprise themselves about the marketing initiatives. They should make an effort to learn more about the kind of people they hire. Enriched with this knowledge, potential applicants should consider honing their skills, attributes, and character suited to the needs of the organisation.
  • Research the Job Description: A candidate should be able to identify the greatest qualities for the work by carefully reading the job description. They should select adjectives that best fit the needs of the organisation. The goal is to respond to the questions based on the predictive index that will aid in the creation of the personality profile most appropriate for a certain role. For instance, in PIBA, one can start by looking for any terms that describe personality qualities or work routines. Words like proactive, self-motivated, team-oriented, strategic, logical, and adaptive are a few examples of these. These adjectives might not be the exact equivalents, but one should be able to find replacements that are sufficiently similar in meaning to meet the requirements of the business.
  • Take Practice Tests: After an interested applicant has determined the adjectives that are appropriate for the position he or she is applying for, they must take few practice tests to develop a better grasp of how different combinations of answers can affect the resultant personality description. There are numerous example tests available online. In case your results don’t seem to match what you think the organisation should be looking for in a candidate, try modifying your responses to highlight your abilities in a way that is consistent with the requirements of the employing organisation. Eliminate some of the adjectives to observe how they impact the final score if choosing them appears to have a detrimental effect on your profile results.
  • Be Comfortable with Imperfection: It’s a difficult challenge to answer 50 questions measuring your cognitive abilities in 12 minutes, and not everyone will receive a perfect score according to the PICA. A candidate might have a higher chance of answering more questions correctly if they move on from a question they are unsure of. Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment does not penalise candidates for incorrect answers. For instance, respond to the verbal questions first if your verbal abilities are stronger than your numerical ones.
  • Avoid Overemphasising: Be careful not to exaggerate any qualities as you practice with the sample test for PIBA. These tests frequently have several synonyms for related personality traits. Try to limit your selection to one or two of those, and avoid the urge to pick them all. Choosing every one of those adjectives could provide biased outcomes.
  • Consistency is the Key: Pay close attention to consistency as you complete each section of the Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment Test (PIBA). You will be choosing terms that characterise what you believe others anticipate from you at work when you choose adjectives for the first section. Remember those adjectives so that you can select comparable terms to describe yourself in the second section of the test. Employers may be concerned if there is too much discrepancy between those two responses.
  • Be Honest: Provide sincere responses that accurately express your opinions. In this manner, an employer can assess your suitability for the business. Your results might also be used to assess which department or function you would be most effective in. To ensure that you are a good fit for the organisation, keep in mind that you are also interviewing it. In the end, it can be to your advantage if the evaluation results indicate that you might not be a suitable fit. This makes it possible for you to stay away from a workplace that doesn’t suit your skill, competencies and your preferential requirements.
  • Read the Instructions: Instructions are part of the assessment and they will have differences based on their provider. So make it a point to read it thoroughly and understand them before starting the test to avoid any misunderstandings.

In conclusion, it can be stated that Predictive Index tests have emerged as a valuable tool for employers seeking to make more informed hiring decisions and for job seekers looking to find roles that align with their strengths and preferences. Tools of predictive analytics involve a quick and simple psychometric test to assess the natural behaviour of an employee followed with review and assessment of results by the trained analysts and the report gives a summary of the strong behaviour. It reveals how a person is likely to display along with an elaboration of the management and influencing style. We all know that it is data-driven and therefore predictive human analytics makes the process objective by providing greater insights into personality traits and cognitive abilities of a candidate.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is the Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment (PIBA)?

A: The Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment tests your cultural fit in the workplace by discovering your motivations and needs. It helps employers select employees with the personality traits that can help them experience greater success in their positions and the workplace environment.

Q2. What are the characteristics of the Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment?

A: The PIBA is characterised by the following attributes:

  • It is a free-choice, stimulus-response assessment tool that can be taken in the language of choice.
  • It is an untimed assessment that can be finished in an average of six minutes.
  • Assessment takers receive two sets of adjectives to describe themselves.
  • The four behavioural drives that are measured are: Formality, Extraversion, Dominance, and Patience.
  • Upon completion, an individual’s distinct behavioural pattern related to their workplace is identified.
  • Assessment takers are also assigned one of 17 reference profiles.
  • It is utilised in conjunction with the PI Job Assessment when it comes to hiring.

Q3. What does the PIBA assess?

A: Four primary behavioural drives are assessed by the PI Behavioural Assessment:

  • Dominance, or the desire to have an impact on other people or situations.
  • Extraversion, or the need for social connection with other individuals.
  • Patience, or the desire for stability and constancy.
  • Formality, or the desire to adhere to structure and norms.

These four motivational factors offer a potent foundation for comprehending how employees behave at work.

Q4. What is the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment?

A:  The Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment is a test that evaluates a candidate’s verbal and numerical thinking abilities objectively by having them respond to a series of questions in a predetermined amount of time.

Q5. What are the characteristics of Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment?

A: The PICA is characterised by the following attributes:

  • Each assessment taker receives a unique set comprising 50 questions.
  • It is a timed assessment.
  • There are three types of questions: verbal, abstract, and numerical.
  • The objective is to complete as many accurate answers as you can within 12 minutes.
  • The assessment is designed to minimise unfair means.
  • It is utilised in conjunction with the PI Job Assessment when it comes to hiring.

Q6. What are the 17 reference profiles in PIBA?

A: Upon completion of the PIBA, you will receive one of 17 reference profiles that characterise your incentives and behavioural demands. These profiles are Venturer, Strategist, Specialist, Controller, Analyzer, Scholar, Individualist, Promoter, Persuader, Maverick, Collaborator, Captain, Altruist, Operator, Guardian, Artisan, and Adapter.

Q7. Are PIBA results reliable?

A: The PIBA results are quite reliable as the assessment is put through extensive testing to make sure it is scientifically valid. In a 2019 survey, most participants thought their PIBA scores correctly reflected who they were. 3,535 survey participants gave their results and profile an accurate representation, on average scoring 4.4 out of 5.0.

Q8. Why do organisations use the Predictive Index?

A: Predictive Index is one of the global industry’s leading assessment tests, with years of proven experience in tests that offer in-depth insights. Because of their reputation, hiring managers use them in their recruitment process and many of the world’s top businesses trust them.


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