QUESTION: In regards to assessments, I have used several in hiring recruiters.  I have used Wonderlic and it is horrendous.  I know that the assessment is not the hire or do not hire tool, but an evaluation of skills and capabilities as well as training and development identifiers.  I have heard you talk about two different assessments, PEAC and Drake.  You have spoken positively about both of them.  So which one should we use and why? – David, Plano, TX

ANSWER:  If you have never used an assessment, I would start with PEAC. They have been around forever and the reason is they give you personal coaching.  Given all the support that comes with the tool, it is a slightly higher investment.  However,  PEAK and Drake P3, measure very similar qualities.

What they are looking for is 4 distinctive traits, Dominance, Extroversion, Conformance, and Patience.  I will go through them real quick.  All of these are + numbers or (-) numbers.  So if you are positive in dominance, +4, +5, +6, +7 that means you will probably be assertive and able to overcome objections.  When you are very, very low dominance your incredibly non confrontative and you will probably buy whatever the prospect says, candidate or client.  Extroversion is the other one and that is the ability to communicate.  Generally, I have found when I have given these tests I never submit somebody that is low extroversion because I probably would not have liked them and would not have bonded with them in the interview process.

Then conformance tells you if is somebody is very, very high in conformity, if you give them 4 steps A, B, C, D and B is not clear or absent, they will stop at A and wait until you tell them what B is before moving on to C and D.  Someone low in conformity looks at A, C, D and tries to figure out what B is, also a little bit creative and maybe a little bit of a rule bender.  So you do not want someone too low in conformance because then they will kind of write their own job description.  On the flip side you do not want somebody too high.

The other one is patience.  If you have somebody very high in patience it is the type of where you ask, “What is going on with Joe Client”, and they say, “I left Joe Client a message 2 weeks ago.  I’m waiting to hear back from him.”  You need more urgency.

Drake and PEAC both measure those qualities.  When I used these assessment I would only give it to people after I determined I liked them.  I would not use the assessments to determine in or out as a hire.  This is my opinion, which not right or wrong, but I think people are missing out when they use an assessment tool as an in or out tool.

I would give these assessment tools to my recruiters before I hired them as coaching tools.  If I know someone is a little lighter in dominance or extroversion than I would like them to be, one of the things I can do is coach them how to be more assertive.  If they are a little more patient, not off the scale patient, but if they are a little more patient than I would like them to be, I can express to them why in each situation urgency is a little bit more important than maybe they believe it is and exactly some phraseology or process steps that they can take.  I have talked to some owners who say we give them the test and if they do not hit these certain minimum bars we do not even interview them.  I do not know if it is legal or not, but regardless.

Drake P3 if you buy them in bundles, they are less expensive.  PEAC will more expensive.  The reason I recommend, using PEAC a little bit more on the front end is they coach you through how to deal with people in each one of these traits if you choose to bring them on.  Once you go through a series of those, maybe a half a dozen, you are going to see very similar traits on the Drake P3 and you are going to tend to hear the same thing over and over again and you can save some money.  I would start with a PEAC and if you like PEAC stay with them.  Then probably evolve over to Drake P3.  Regardless of the tool you choose, please do not use them as in or out tools.