Dennis Beermann & Kristine Heilmann

In view of the fact that competency models and simulation-based assessment are well established in practice and that researchers are once again directing their focus towards trait-based assessment, an integration of the two approaches is desirable. In this article, we first highlight the differences between competencies and traits and introduce a framework for linking the two concepts. In the second part, we present an example of a personality test based on competencies. Finally, we compare a competency-based personality test – the ITB Personality Structure Assessment (ITB-PESA) – with a general personality test – the HEXACO personality inventory (HEXACO-PI-R) – in terms of their measurement range and their validity for task and contextual performance. The breadth of the two instruments’ measurement range is quite similar – both cover the six HEXACO dimensions. The two instruments moreover have a facetted structure in common. Nevertheless, they differ in the focus of their facets: the ITB-PESA addresses a larger number of job¬relevant trait facets which have higher validity for self-reported performance criteria. It also has incremental validity beyond the HEXACO-PI-R, while the HEXACO-PI-R, for its parts, does not explain variance of criteria that is not included in the ITB-PESA. Results show that it might be worthwhile to combine competency and trait approaches. Job requirements could thus be adequately taken into account and job performance more accurately predicted.

Themenheft 01-2014