Psychometric Assessments and Personality Tests for Leadership, Team Building and Recruitment


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By: Corry Robertson, PCC

Personality tests for leadership

Psychometric Assessments and Personality Tests for Leadership, Team Building and Recruitment


Have you ever wondered…

  • What are my strengths?
  • How can I better influence outcomes?
  • How can I improve collaboration and reduce conflict?
  • How do I build an effective team?
  • How can I see beyond my blind spots?
  • How can I stay calm when things are getting out of hand?

To answer those questions and others about personality, character strengths, qualities and potential, most executive coaches and HR or OD professionals use a psychometric assessment test when recruiting or starting a journey with a new client.

What is a psychometric assessment?

Psychometric assessments, also sometimes known as personality tests, are a measure of specific personality traits usually given in a standardized testing format. These assessments can be used as a standard means to analyze the behavioural aspects of people. 

Psychometrics is a field of study in psychology and education that is devoted to studying the theory and technique of psychological measurement. 

Why use a psychometric assessment?

A good psychometric assessment tool can help accelerate emotional, relational and leadership development. They help leaders, managers and employees figure out who they are, raise their self-awareness and learn how to change their behaviour when necessary.

Psychometric assessment tests also help HR professionals assess strengths for recruitment and identify high potential employees for leadership development training.  They are often used to match employees with the best occupation and working environment.

Starting with an accurate, reliable, and valid assessment provides a jumping off point, a place to start the conversation around how the leader or employee shows up and how others experience their personality.

employees working on an assessment

Personality Test vs. Psychometric Assessment

Psychometric assessments are often called personality tests, but professionals avoid that term because it implies that there is a pass/fail, good/bad and a right/wrong outcome.

Because of that implication, people will often try to adapt their responses to influence the result – especially if they believe their results will affect their career.

But professional assessments are accurate and very difficult to trick so answering based on trying to project a certain personality will not work. A good psychometric assessment for leadership roles will look at strengths and provide insight on how to develop those.

What psychometric assessment should you choose?

I have licenses and have practiced with several of the most popular assessments such as DISC.  Each type of psychometric assessment or personality test represents a great deal of time to learn how to use the tool and interpret the results, not to mention the licensing fees in the thousands of dollars.

A warning here – most professional coaches have made large financial and time investments in their psychometric test of choice so if you are considering working with a coach, make sure they can offer you an assessment. If they can’t they are very likely not qualified to practice coaching, not fully invested in their practice or both.

Over the years having used and assessed many psychometric assessments, my tool of choice is the Lumina Spark.


Lumina Splash App

The Lumina Spark Psychometric Assessment

I discovered Lumina when I attended a breakfast meeting for coaches where my esteemed colleague was demonstrating it.

It was love at first sight.

Although I was using another tool at the time, I was feeling boxed in by the limitations of the assessment.  Some people feel that psychometric assessment tests like DISC or Myers-Briggs impose limiting labels to stamp on people, and try to fit every person into a predefined type.

But Lumina avoids stereotyping – there are no boxes, no grids, no cells to fit into. There is no labeling – you are not labeled as any one type, colour, aspect or quality.

Lumina Spark embraces paradox – we can embody seemingly opposite personality traits at the same time!

For example, it shows us how we can be both extraverted and introverted in different contexts and how to leverage that truth.

In Lumina Spark there are no forced choice questions. Using a Likert scale, you have flexibility in your responses, and it measures both ends of personality traits simultaneously.

And Lumina is memorable; with colourful and practical language for easy and long term use.

When I made the decision to evolve from my previous assessment tool to Lumina, it was like trading in my bus pass for car keys. Bye bye mass transport, hello sports car!

The bus got me to where I wanted to go but it took longer, it was tedious and only took me part of the way. Driving my own car was faster, more efficient, and I was able to go exactly where I needed to get to.

Like the bus, other psychometric assessments are general and designed to serve many without any kind of personalization or customization. The Lumina Spark car is personalized and designed for each individual.


Lumina Spark Assessment

Psychometric Assessments and Leadership

Lumina is an innovative psychometric which combines cutting-edge technology with years of research into personality and performance.

It allows us to open up conversations about seeing blindspots and correcting them – adaptability, agility, a growth mind-set, partnering, authenticity and the ability to lead oneself and others.

It provides three lenses so leaders can see what qualities come most naturally, how their personality shows up on a day to day basis, and how their personality changes when they are under stress.

Even more importantly, they can use the information in the assessment to manage the strength and the stress so they can regain composure before stress escalates and unnecessary conflict erupts.

Lumina honours inclusion, diversity and removing bias, key features for leadership development.

And Lumina is accurate! The approach is scientifically validated so the assessments save time and significantly accelerate learning for leaders, individuals and teams.

That’s a deal breaker for individuals and organizations who place high value on scientific approaches.

How does a psychometric assessment work?

The easy to use online assessment tool takes about 35 to 45 minutes to complete, and involves 144 questions. The results of the assessment include:

  • The Lumina Portrait – a 42 page colour PDF and Workbook with your personal portrait and assessment explained in depth 
  • A 1 hour personal debrief with a trained practitioner to better understand your portrait, gain insights and set personal goals

The Lumina suite of tools also offers a fun, powerful and practical App to use on the go. The App gives an instantly memorable representation of who you are which you can carry on your phone or tablet and share with others.

When used as a team, this App can be used to assist with interpersonal communication, collaboration group dynamics.

The report and the app help individuals and teams to

  • Build rapport
  • Understand multiple communication styles
  • Build awareness of other people’s qualities
  • Overcome differences with others
  • ‘Speed read’ others and refine communication with them
  • Transform relationships

Lumina offers experiential and memorable learning experiences using practical language to create a set of ideas that people remember, put to work right away and apply for years.


Organizations using psychometric assessments

Psychometric Assessments for Organizations

More and more organizations are adopting psychometric assessments and those who do may now be the majority; in a 2014 global survey of HR professionals, 62% of respondents said that they utilize some form of assessment.

Why? Character traits influence how people use their talents. Personality is a significant factor in success so it’s critical for leaders to understand their personalities, how to use their strengths, when to emphasize which strengths and which ones to rein in.

Developing self-awareness is the only way to achieve this level of self-control. It is the very essence of personal power.

Lumina helps leaders of all levels to improve their performance at work, by identifying advantageous and not-so-advantageous character traits. Psychometric assessment is powerful and can objectively provide a wealth of insight about a person easily and in a very short time.

Accurate psychometric assessment tests look at a person’s potential for leadership, how a person responds to pressure and how they show up as a team member and by doing so they can help individuals be more successful in their role.


Self-awareness is arguably the most important capability for professionals and one of the most difficult to master. Successful leaders understand the major role our emotions and behaviours play in how effectively we build relationships and drive productivity.

HR and OD professionals understand the need to co-create strength-based performance plans, enhance recruiting, and balance the gaps in team cohesion with improved communication and respecting diversity.

A reliable, accurate and valid psychometric assessment plays a key role in creating these outcomes and is one of the first steps in a successful leadership training program or coaching engagement

By identifying who we are and how we are showing up, we can gain the clarity we need to make healthy choices and take effective actions creating all kinds of success for ourselves and others.

We can save time, save money, create harmony, and transform potential into performance.

The Lumina Spark assessment is simple to understand, yet contains great depth by directly measuring many personality qualities simultaneously.

That is why Lumina Spark is not only my choice but also that of a growing number of organizations that are investing in leadership development programs.

Interested in learning more? Schedule a call to discuss a psychometric assessment for yourself, your team, or your organization.


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Corry Robertson

Sought-after coaching culture expert, Corry Robertson has been helping leaders uplevel employee retention and performance for over 20 years.

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