Isn’t This Just Another Assessment?

When it comes to assessment tests for hiring, there are a number of choices that measure cognitive abilities and personality traits. Examples of these include the Myers-Briggs, DiSC, StrengthsFinder, SAT, GRE, IQ tests, etc. However, unlike the other assessments, the Kolbe A assessment is the only one that measures conation, an indicator of how your employee will take action.

What is conation and how is it assessed?

Conation /kōˈnāSH(ə)n/ noun. the mental faculty of purpose, desire, or will to perform an action; volition.

The Kolbe assessment, which was developed 40 years ago by Kathy Kolbe and refined several times since asks a series of questions about how the respondent would handle simple work scenarios. The result of the test shows a person’s placement in 4 areas: Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start, and Implementor which relate to how they gather and share information, arrange and design, deal with risk and uncertainty, and handle space and tangibles, respectively.

Is it legal to use the Kolbe testing suite to assess conation during the hiring process?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) determines what hiring practices are appropriate to avoid prejudice based on age, disability, genetic information, national origin, pregnancy, race/color, religion, and sex/gender. The EEOC allows pre-employment testing for skills related to job performance meaning it is ok to give a typing test to an office worker but not to a truck driver. Unlike the assessments listed previously, the Kolbe assessment has been EEOC validated. Assessments that are not EEOC validated are considered preferential and could bring severe legal ramifications if a candidate were to sue over your hiring practices (hopefully, you will never have to deal with this, but it’s better to remain EEOC safe than EEOC sorry).

Kolbe assessment of existing employees

All conation traits can be beneficial to you and your team if they are correctly utilized. Using the Kolbe assessment to learn about your team can help you determine if you have gaps that you need to fill.

Everyone approaches their work in a different way. Some people are detail-oriented, and others work well in a less structured environment. Some need to do a lot of research before beginning a project, and others may feel comfortable jumping into a task with little to no preparation. A person that isn’t very intrinsically organized would likely be terrible at filing but could be a customer service rock star. Your detail-oriented researcher might get cold feet when it comes to spontaneous customer service interactions but excel at making reports for your prospective business partners.

The Kolbe assessment can help you learn about your existing team of employees to help you delegate tasks appropriately. When your team is engaged in their work, their performance is better which leads to higher retention and increased customer satisfaction.

Can’t my employees just tell me what they like and dislike? Why should I do the Kolbe assessment?

You could try to ask your employees about their preferences and likely you would get responses mirroring what they think you want to hear because they think that “Work is work and it just sucks.” They don’t understand the truth that there is a very real part of their brain that intrinsically likes or dislikes certain tasks. When most people see their Kolbe assessment results, it often sparks a moment of personal understanding. This is why the Kolbe is not just another assessment.

To learn more about the Kolbe A assessment and how we can help you build the right team, contact us here.