By Kailey Bowser

Forbes (Why Executives Fail) shared research from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) and they estimate that 50% to 70% of executives fail within 18 months of taking on a role. This includes external hires and promotions from within the organization. Oooof. That is a lot of wasted time, resources and dollars. The question is what can we do to prevent this? 

There are a handful of reasons that top positions fail, but one thing to consider is how you are leading out your selection process. One tool that can be used as a part of your hiring and selection process is the Hogan Assessment. This is a personality assessment that is a predictive approach in how leaders will show up on a daily basis. The Hogan Assessment data is based on consistent observations across a wide range of jobs, individuals and industries.

There are three sections in the Hogan Assessment- first, the HPI or “the bright side” and this is how people tend to show up on a daily basis. Second, the HDS or strengths but also elevated scores show strengths that tend to be overused in times of stress or insecurity. Lastly, the MVPI, or motives, values, and preferences is going to show what motivates and drives the person and how this person’s values or motives can shape the culture of an organization.  

Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)

The HPI, measures normal personality, a component of reputation that describes day to day strengths and weaknesses. The HPI is based on the Five Factor Model: emotional stability, extraversion, agreeableness, dependability, and openness to experience. Consider a sales director in a realty company compared to the role of a controller. We may have expectations that the sale’s person be very ambitious, able to drive results, socially skilled, and is a creative problem solver. One might expect a CFO to be focused, direct in communication style, big picture, inquisitive, and able to present and maintain unpopular decisions. 

How best to use HPI scores?  

  1. Selection. The ideal way to use the HPI would be to screen the candidates for job performance and qualifications, then administer the Hogan Assessment to the top finalists, and then finally interview these people using the Hogan Assessment as a resource. Work with a leadership coach to identify any potential conflicts and prepare questions so that the candidates can bring forward strengths and areas for opportunity. 
  2. Promotion and succession planning. The HPI helps identify individuals who may be considered for advancement in the organization. This will give some insight into individuals who are more likely to succeed in a particular role. 


Hogan Development Survey (HDS)

The HDS measures characteristics outside of the Five Factor Model. The HDS describes strengths that can become performance risks when people are under stress or feeling insecure. 

How best to use HDS scores?

  1. Use the HDS for high level position selection. Traditional interviews don’t always show the risks or watchouts in individuals. The HDS can bring forward themes such as if the person tends to move away from people when stressed (flight), move against others when stressed (fight) or move towards others in times of stress (do it right.) 
  2. Once these elevated scores are debriefed, the hiring panel can ask more directed questions and ask for real examples from the individuals that are being considered for the open position.
  3. It is always helpful to have a full Hogan Assessment done by an individual as interpreting individual HDS scores will not provide the full picture. Most people have one to two elevated scores. Many will have a handful of elevated scores.


Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI)

The MVPI illuminates the values and drivers for individuals. This portion of the assessment is broken into five components: beliefs, lifestyle, occupational preferences, aversions, and preferred associates. Consider interviewing a candidate for a CEO role in an innovative, fast growing marketing company that seems to be in the limelight a lot of the time. If your candidate shows a low score in recognition, aesthetics, and affiliation, they may need to be vetted a bit more with some direct questions. 

How best to use MVPI scores?

  1. It’s important to understand there are no good or bad scores with the MVPI. This is more of an awareness tool.
  2. Ensuring alignment of the culture of the company with the selected candidate is going to be in the best interest of both parties. The MVPI can give us a glimpse into the values that this individual will bring and surely help or hinder the culture of the team and the company.

Using the Hogan Assessment is only one tool to ensure that you are hiring or promoting the best person for a position. Having a strong recruiting and hiring selection process is just the first piece of building a great team. From there, you want to retain your team members, drive results, shape your culture and continue to grow. 

We would love to partner with you to create an employee experience that touches all parts of the employee life cycle to ensure you have a highly talented, motivated workforce who will stay with your organization for the long-term. Please contact us for a complimentary consultation at or call us at 970-279-3330.

Our mission is to give voice and action to an emerging future. As a partner in your success, we would love to come alongside you to help you find your voice, see your vision, and imagine what the right action could be for you, your team, and your organization.