New practical talent applications: The AON ADEPT Indices

Aon Assessments’ award-winning ADEPT-15 workplace behavior measure has already proven to be a groundbreaking, adaptive assessment that is fast becoming one of the most versatile tools at our clients’ disposal.

The ADEPT-15 (Aon’s Adaptive Employee Personality Test) is a scientifically-based assessment designed to accurately uncover the unique aspects of an individual’s personality to hire, promote, and develop the very best talent that fits with an organization’s culture. At its core, the ADEPT-15 measures 15  aspects of workplace personality, which in turn can be used to measure an array of constructs that managers and talent managers are potentially interested in.

Examples of such constructs include digital readiness, safety orientation, and digital leadership (for more on this feature of the ADEPT-15, see our previous articles).

Another powerful value-add that the ADEPT-15 provides for users is the ADEPT Indices, constructs that are of universal application to multiple areas of work and talent assessment.

Introducing the ADEPT-15 Indices

Aon’s ADEPT Indices are competencies of interest to the world of work at large. As organizations look to select and develop diverse talent, maintain an inclusive culture, and prepare their workers for the future of work, ADEPT-15 Indices provide insights into such constructs, especially to the extent that these align with organizational goals and strategy.

The seven Indices measured by the ADEPT-15 are:

  1. Inclusive Mindset
  2. Emotional Intelligence
  3. Trustworthiness
  4. Agile Mindset
  5. Growth Mindset
  6. Learning Agility
  7. Resilience

Research and Development

Aon’s ADEPT-15 Indices were developed by selecting a subset of the ADEPT-15’s aspects that align with the constructs of interest and then creating an overall index score.

The indices were validated by using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk by correlating overall scores with other theoretically similar psychological constructs and work outcomes of interest.

The ADEPT-15 Index reports are standalone compact manager-facing reports that contain construct definitions, overall scores, and the sub-competency scores that make up the overall score. Index reports can be used for selection and insights into candidate characteristics. In the next section, we turn to a more detailed description of each index as well as potential uses.

Inclusive Mindset

The ADEPT index of Inclusive Mindset is defined as the likelihood of an individual building and maintaining supportive and caring relationships. Especially those that facilitate others’ perceptions that different perspectives are valued and respected.

Each ADEPT Index is composed of several behavioral indicators. For the InclusiveMindset index, the behavioral indicators are:

  • Flexibility
  • Cooperativeness
  • Sensitivity
  • Humility

A truly inclusive organization will benefit from an engaged, motivated, and effectively collaborating workforce. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are key values today and in the future for creating a competitive advantage and attracting diverse talent. As a result, this index is of key value to most organizations throughout the world.

The application of the Inclusive Mindset index for both screening and development assessments includes:

  • Screening: Indicates which candidates have behavioral tendencies that align with organizational culture and goals.
  • Development: Identifies areas in which inclusive behaviors may be lacking and allows for a discussion of these development opportunities with the employee and the setting of goals for improvement

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence within the ADEPT Indices is defined as possessing a deep understanding of one’s own emotions, others’ emotions, and how their actions affect others. It is associated with navigating difficult situations well and interacting effectively in a group.

Emotional Intelligence is composed of the following indicators:

  • Self Awareness
  • Social Awareness
  • Emotion Management
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness

This index is particularly important in jobs that require high interpersonal contact (e.g., customers, clients, teamwork), a strong understanding of emotions, and awareness of how behavior impacts others. Such competencies are essential for smooth operations and limited opportunities for internal conflict.

For screening and development assessments, the Emotional Intelligence index can be applied as follows:

  • Screening: Indicates which candidates have behavioral tendencies that align with a sensitivity and understanding of others, as well as having a cooperative attitude.
  • Development: Where individuals are having interpersonal difficulties at work, this index may serve as an opportunity to highlight deficiencies and create a plan for improvement.


Trustworthiness is defined as displaying empathy and honesty and showing caution and ethical awareness in critical situations.

Trustworthiness is composed of:

  • Disciplined
  • Cautious
  • Empathetic
  • Honest

For individuals to act in accordance with organizational goals and values, Trustworthiness ensures that individuals have the empathy, caution, and honesty to do what is right, even when they find themselves in tempting, risky, or distracting situations. Increasingly, organizations need to manage the risks of allowing unchecked or unethical behaviors.

For selection and development assessments, this index can be useful in a number of ways:

  • Screening: Indicates which candidates have behavioral tendencies that align with an ability to handle sensitive resources and act in a risk-averse manner that protects organizational reputation.
  • Development: Can show how to help individuals develop greater sensitivity towards risk and the adverse impact of their behaviors on the organization and others.

Agile Mindset

Having an Agile Mindset is defined as being able to handle changing circumstances as well as seeking ways to improve while remaining open to change.

Behavioral indicators for Agile Mindset include:

  • Learnability
  • Agility
  • Curiosity

In the ever-changing world of work, workers are expected to acquire, maintain, and improve knowledge and skills at a fast pace.

The Agile Mindset, as a behavioral tendency to handle changing circumstances with curiosity and ease, ensures that individuals can navigate quickly shifting work environments and remain productive.

To apply this index to practical assessments may allow for the following:

  • Screening: Indicates which candidates have behavioral tendencies that align with an ability to handle changing circumstances and can pick up new things easily.
  • Development: This can show how different behaviors may be cultivated to enhance agility in the face of change.

Growth Mindset

This index is defined as the belief that one can learn and improve; has self-awareness as well as a propensity for continuous learning, and a desire to be better.

Growth Mindset composed of:

  • Mastery
  • Positivity
  • Awareness
  • Ambition

Workers are expected to acquire, maintain, and improve their skills over time to keep pace with industry trends and competitors. Growth Mindset helps with this because it indicates a tendency to seek out learning and challenging opportunities, thus ensuring that individuals approach knowledge and skill development with genuine curiosity and a desire to be better.

For assessment projects, this index has several applications:

  • Screening: Indicates which candidates have behavioral tendencies that align with a genuine desire to learn and improve, as well as the belief that they are capable of doing so.
  • Development: Identifies areas in which current employees can improve their mindset, such as encouraging the seeking and implementing of feedback from others.

Learning Agility

Learning Agility is defined as the propensity to reflect, seek learning opportunities, and adapt to changing demands and circumstances.

In addition, it references the willingness to go outside of one’s own comfort zone.

Behavioral indicators for Learning Agility include:

  • Seeks Challenge & Novelty
  • Gains Insights from Self & Others
  • Lives to Learn

Workers are expected to acquire, maintain, and improve their skills over time to keep pace with industry trends and competitors, and may be expected to do so rather quickly.

Learning Agility, like a Growth Mindset, is a behavioral tendency to seek learning opportunities and venture outside of comfort zones, which ensures that individuals continually seek the challenges necessary to develop these skills.

Given the anticipated skills gap in the next decade, Learning Agility is a key competency for most organizations across multiple industries.

In this regard, applying Learning Agility to assessment projects have the following implications:

  • Screening: Indicates which candidates have behavioral tendencies that align with a genuine desire to learn and improve, as well as a comfort with the unknown.
  • Development: Identifies areas in which current employees can improve their learning agility, such as helping them engage in reflection and introspection.


Resilience, the final index, is defined as the capacity to adapt to change; regulate emotions and maintain composure amid challenges, setbacks, and demanding circumstances.

Resilience is composed of several behavioral indicators:

  • Drive
  • Flexibility
  • Composure
  • Positivity
  • Awareness

Today’s work environment is fast-paced and quickly changing, often bringing unforeseen challenges and obstacles that employees must navigate. It is becoming increasingly important to find and develop talent who can maintain composure when facing setbacks as well as displaying drive and optimism to push through and forge ahead.

In assessments, Resilience is important for both screening and development:

  • Screening: Indicates which candidates have the behavioral tendencies that align with performance in high-stress, frequently changing situations
  • Development: Shows how employees can bolster their resilience and ability to drive through challenges.

Final thoughts

The ADEPT-15 is an extremely effective and versatile measure. Apart from its contribution to our unfolding understanding of workplace behavior, it also provides end-users with a powerful measure of competencies that have critical implications for the future of work.

The ADEPT Indices are such examples, and we look forward to seeing how our clients will apply the understanding afforded by this enhancement to their businesses.

At TTS, we have also developed ways that the ADEPT Indices can be integrated into our existing integrated reporting as well as group analytic reporting.

If you are interested in using the ADEPT Indices in your talent assessments, why not reach out to us at and a consultant will be in touch with you soon.