Who We Are
Personality psychologists Drs. Joyce and Robert Hogan knew that well-validated measures of personality in pre-employment screening could be a powerful force for good: equal employment opportunity, social justice, and increased productivity.
Their research began during a time of significant cultural change. In the years leading up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the subsequent formation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), many employers used workplace assessments and other selection processes in ways that disproportionately and unfairly skewed job opportunities in favor of white men. This misuse of these tools allowed some employers to quietly avoid hiring women, people of color, and other now-protected groups. In other words, it provided cover for what was presumably intentional discrimination.
In these circumstances, the mission of Hogan Assessments Inc. was born: to create workplace personality assessments that would predict occupational performance as well as or better than traditional methods (such as IQ testing) without discriminating. The Drs. Hogan pioneered the use of workplace personality assessment as a force for fairness and equity in hiring. In the words of Hogan’s CEO, Scott Gregory, in a recent companywide email, “Social justice is not just our history. It is alive, critical, and a calling in which we all can find meaning.”
Today, Hogan is driven by the core purpose of helping people and organizations succeed using data-driven talent insights. Implicit in this purpose is the idea that success should be accessible to all rather than a select few.
Through unparalleled research and development, we make the world a better place to work. Over the years, we’ve assessed nearly 10 million people to provide insights about individual strengths and challenges to help people find the right job, grow professionally, and lead happier, more productive careers.
We also make employment opportunities fairer and more equitable for all candidates and employees who complete our personality assessments. Using job analysis and psychometric tools based on decades’ worth of global personality research, we help our clients target indicators of success that might not otherwise be apparent in interviews or on resumes. Used properly, our assessments provide clients with unbiased evaluations of potential by focusing on true predictors of success in the workplace and offer organizations the means to cultivate healthier, more inclusive workplaces.
What We Do
Although discrimination is illegal in most places, many commonly used selection measures, such as interviews and cognitive assessments, may still discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, and disability. Personality, on the other hand, does not discriminate: scores do not differ meaningfully across genders, racial groups, or other types of protected classes. Personality also predicts performance better than any other alternative indicator, including IQ. This means that being a strong performer, high potential, or effective leader is independent of one’s demographics. At Hogan, we work to ensure our assessments perform as effectively as possible while reducing discrimination.
With that said, it is insufficient to simply claim that our assessments reduce bias and discrimination. Therefore, we strive to be as transparent as possible in our work to demonstrate our commitment to quality and ethical research. For example, each assessment manual that we publish contains detailed information on the development, reliability, validation, and norms for each assessment; we use the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Principles, and the American Psychological Association (APA) Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing to guide the development of our manuals and technical reports.
In addition to ensuring our products are predicting job performance, we regularly monitor the assessments for potential to cause a discriminatory effect in personnel decisions. This due diligence allows us to state with confidence that the assessments are predictive of performance and do not discriminate based on EEOC criteria. Additionally, our assessments are not intended to diagnose any disorders or disabilities and should never be used for such.
Although the data show that assessment scores do not differ in any meaningful way across demographics, we recognize that individual differences in personality are complex. It is important to acknowledge that the cultural context in which personality is expressed can vary greatly. For example, we know that some qualities, such as ambition or directness, are valued in different ways across different cultural contexts.
Our Social Initiatives
Hogan Assessments has always worked to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through a multitude of projects:
- Before the company’s founding, Dr. Robert Hogan proposed and performed research to improve police officer selection and eliminate brutality during the 1960s protests in Berkeley, California.
- Dr. Joyce Hogan worked with the U.S. Department of Justice on many high-profile discrimination cases to create more equitable opportunities for women in traditionally male-dominated fields, such as heavy industry and police and fire departments.
These initiatives continue today through client projects and our social responsibility efforts. Here are just a few examples:
- Within our organization, we have increased efforts for equal opportunity recruitment and hiring practices.
- We are coordinating internal education on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- We have conducted research to connect personality scale scores to several of our major clients’ inclusion competency models for talent development.
- We recently offered law enforcement departments around the United States our expertise to improve their selection efforts for police officer positions. Because of the sensitive nature of these projects, this work is done pro bono.
- We collect voluntary demographic information on gender identity and sexual orientation to ensure our assessments are fair for all assessment takers. This information is always kept separate from any personal identifying information and never required of the assessment taker.
- We have partnered with Spectrum Fusion and Fast Forward Analytics to identify the strengths and skills of adults with autism and create innovative solutions to bring their talents to the workplace.
- Hogan employees adopt an elementary school that serves a predominantly Black and Latinx student body to provide funding and supplies that were diminished by budget restrictions in the school district. We also have a current effort underway to support local food pantries wherever Hogan employees live.
What We Strive For
We are limited in our abilities to collect information that identifies a candidate as belonging to a protected class due to policies such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and various other laws regarding data collection. When possible, we do collect voluntary data from candidates for research purposes, which allows us to proactively prevent discrimination, but this data is not shared with employers with matched identifying information.
We also fully acknowledge the limitations of the legal definitions of adverse impact and discrimination for job candidates. We are working to expand our research to account for more comprehensive demographic data, which will serve to improve our ability to reduce discrimination. Beyond that, we have made increased efforts to make our personality data more neurodiverse with the goal of providing more equitable solutions for underserved populations.
Despite these limitations, we commit to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of our initiatives:
- We continuously review our measurements to identify possible bias, the potential for discrimination, and other unintended effects.
- We make proactive efforts to go beyond the data to better understand the complex interplay of personality, culture, and experience.
- We engage with external organizations to collect data responsibly to expand our understanding of neurodiversity and personality.
A Shared Understanding
With the goal of establishing a shared understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion, we define these terms in the following ways:
Diversity concerns the presence of individual differences, such as gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, disability, age, and religion. Diversity also encompasses differences in ideas, perspectives, and values.
Equity regards justice, fairness, access, and opportunity for all people. Equity is also about working to identify and eliminate barriers within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.
Inclusion is an outcome of diversity and equity that ensures a working environment in which everyone feels respected and supported. This requires accountability and commitment throughout the organization. Inclusion is about fostering a sense of belonging for everyone and upholding efforts to sustain it. It is the degree to which high value is placed on people’s differences (across backgrounds, value systems, abilities, and lifestyles), everyone is able to participate fully in decision-making processes, and everyone is able to access development opportunities and resources.
Definitions adapted from dei.extension.org.