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Validating the Hogan HPI – high-risk safety positions

25 October 2017

± minute read

    Validating the Hogan HPI – high-risk safety positions
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Research illustrates the value of personality for predicting work-related outcomes. To enhance the selection of its high-risk safety workers, Company C sought to include a personality assessment, the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), when screening and selecting candidates. JvR Psychometrics had the task of evaluating the validity of the HPI and developing a personality profile for high–risk safety workers. If the inventory scales demonstrated validity, Company C planned to include this assessment when screening high-risk safety candidates.


Solution/ study

The HPI was the first measure of normal personality developed explicitly to assess personality in occupational performance and predict real-world outcomes. In order to evaluate the validity of the HPI, an evaluation was made between the HPI and performance data (i.e.safety data provided by the company). A matched sample of HPI data and Company C’s employee ratings of safety performance was complied. Safety performanceoutcomes included involvement in a vehicle accident, whether the individual was at fault for the vehicle accident, and involvement in a workplace accident. HPI scales that demonstrated the most predictive validity were identified.These wereused in developing a successfulpersonality profile for high-risk safety workers.



The research findings demonstrated that the HPI is capable of accurately predicting safety performance, and the findings supported the predictive validity of the HPI Adjustment, Ambition, and Prudence scales. Since combinations of personality variables are more predictive of many work-related outcomes than are single personality scales, personality profiles should combine multiple personality scales to maximize the prediction of job performance. It was therefore recommended that Company C use the HPI Adjustment, Ambition, and Prudence scales as a first-level screen for candidates applying for the high-risk safety positions. Individuals that perform well on these scales are achievement oriented; persistent; steady in the face of pressure; dependable and have self-control. They are also less likely to be involved in an accident, and if in an accident, less likely to be at fault, than those who do not meet this recommended profile.


On each scale for which validity evidence was established, it was recommended that a minimum cutoff score should be implemented. These screening guidelines would help identify candidates who possess at least a minimal degree of the personal characteristics associated with successful high-risk safety workers. Company C would be able to screen out candidates who are likely to overreact or react negatively in response to setback and inconveniences (Adjustment); lack self-assurance, initiative, or persistence (Ambition); and lack appropriate reverence for standard protocol and are prone to taking inadvisable risks (Prudence). In addition, candidate-screening guidelines comprised of more stringent HPI requirements with the elevation of cutoff scores can also be implemented in order to select strong potential candidates into these positions. This will enable the company to distinguish between multiple qualified candidates, for example, those who meet minimal requirements on both personality and other selection instruments.

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