Rembrandt is so uniquely and scientifically designed that it pierces through surface impressions and gets to the person's "TRUE SELF."

Rembrandt Portrait tells you what you need to know - Who the person is, how they will perform, and whether you should hire the person and/or continue to invest in them. Rembrandt Portrait is a highly valid personality assessment profile that has no adverse impact on protected groups. It can predict success on the job with 85.5% accuracy and can identify top talent with 97% accuracy.

If your job is to hire, retain and develop a superior work force you should be using the Rembrandt Portrait.

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What Does Rembrandt Portrait Measure?

Rembrandt Portrait accurately measures the 14 inherent qualities that make up the human personality and predict job success. After a person completes the Rembrandt Portrait, our trained Talent Advisors and customized reports will provide a comprehensive assessment of the employee or job candidate's inherent qualities and will tell you how well they match the critical competencies required for your position. From administrative, front office and client service representative to sales, leadership, technical and creative positions. The Rembrandt Portrait will allow you to hire and develop only the very best employees.

Examples of what you will learn with The Rembrandt Portrait:

Rembrandt gets to a person's true self allowing you to see who they really are and how they will perform. Just imagine how much more successful your company could be and the employee productivity you would unleash if you knew every employee's true capability?.....You could:

We welcome a conversation with you to see how we can help change your world!

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Organizational Impact of The Rembrandt Portrait

To understand the transformative power of The Rembrandt Portrait and the way it can support organizational achievement and your ability to hire, retain and develop a world class workforce we first must look at workforce competencies and their construct.

By definition, a competency is a person's skill, knowledge and ability for a purpose. Purpose is defined by the job's objectives, knowledge is what the person has learned and knows and, skill is the demonstrated behavior you see and observe. Ability is the innate strengths of the person - what they bring to the equation - their drives, motivations, predilections, core capabilities and limitations. It is who the person is and how they work and perform.

Venn Diagram

As you see in the above graphic, "Ability" is a critical component of every competency, so no complete competency exists if the person lacks the "Ability" or potential to perform. Sometimes an employee can perform satisfactorily because of their technical capability or interpersonal skills alone, but if they lack the "Ability" to perform, the innate potential, the statistical probability is they will not achieve top performance. It’s like a high school student who wants to play pro basketball but is only 5' 6" tall. What are the chances that he or she will possess the extraordinary talent required for them to overcome their lack of height or "Ability?" It's certainly possible, just not probable. And when hiring and developing Top Talent, you must be able to predict an individual's performance and potential with high certainty.

It therefore becomes critical for every person's "Ability" to be measured and quantified (psychometric analytics), whether a job candidate or current employee, if we are expected to make effective decisions regarding the way Top Talent is secured, retained and developed. By measuring "Ability" we will know how the person fits the job, what can be done to support and lead them and where their potential will allow them to grow within the organization. This is where The Rembrandt Portrait plays a strategic role; Helping you hire the very best then developing your people and organization to their greatness.

It starts with The Selection Process

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Hiring & Selection

The Rembrandt Portrait is so powerful it unveils the critical and differentiating abilities of potential job candidates to help you make effective personnel decisions. We help you select the right person for the right position to create a world-class workforce.

Rembrandt Portrait Personality Assessment

Rembrandt Portrait provides such an accurate portrait of the candidate and their capabilities that you no longer need to guess if someone has the competency to performance with excellence. You will pierce through surface impressions of each candidate and with the precision and certainty of our assessment technology, identify the very best person for the job. No more surprises! No more hiring blind.

Targeting Your Interview

While standard interview protocols provide some value by providing consistency in the selection process, the only way to uncover a candidate's true capabilities is to customize your approach and target potentially limiting factors. Rembrandt Portrait guides you through the interview process and provides targeted, valid, probing questions to pin down the person’s strengths and limitations.

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Employee Performance & Development

RembrandtAdvantage will prove invaluable to you, with our ability to provide you with the insightful information needed to develop your employees, increase their productivity and ultimately increase the performance of your organization.

Rembrandt Portrait

Rembrandt Portrait should be used as an integral part of your employee development process, providing the important information you need to make effective personnel decisions.


The Rembrandt CareerNavigator is a multi-rater performance evaluation tool that identifies employee competency, performance trends and learning and development opportunities. It can simplify, shorten, and improve your employee appraisal and career planning process. It also offers key solutions to busy line management by being self-empowering, easily administered, cost-effective, and time efficient.

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Organizational Development

We will uncover your company’s morale issues (positive and negative) and your client’s overall satisfaction thereby increasing the company’s productivity and contributing to the attainment of the company’s goals and objectives.

Morale Survey

Let your employees know their opinions matter and gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your work culture, compensation practices and management effectiveness.

Client Survey

The Client Survey is a tool designed to help you understand how your customers feel about your company, what they value and what they would like to know more about.

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How to Develop and Nurture Self-Directed Business Teams, by Michael Santo, Ph.D

Selected Articles

But they looked so good in the interview...

Recruiting from Your Competitors – A Formula for Disaster - Council of Public Relations White Paper

Interviewing the chameleon - Agency Sales

Achieving Excellence, Virtually Organizing, Leading, and Energizing High Performing Virtual Teams

Business Travelers Gone Wild: Does Business Travel Lead to Divorce and Alcoholism? - Forbes

Partnership Opportunities

As a RembrandtAdvantage partner, you will be able to become a true Human Resources solutions firm to your customers. We offer our partners the opportunity to secure the right to represent, sell and distribute our selection system into their customer base. Here is what is included in RembrandtAdvantage partnership:

Unlimited use of and distribution rights to Rembrandt Portrait personality profile. While other firms say they have proprietary personality testing, as a RembrandtAdvantage partner you can compete with a profile validated over 30 years.

Structured Interview Processes for four core positions built on valid and reliable questions proven to uncover the skill or attribute to be identified.

Psychometric hiring models - models proven to identify top performers - for almost any position and the ability to access RembrandtAdvantage to custom create hiring models for your customer’s specific positions.

Protected territory - no other firm will have the right to sell RembrandtAdvantage services into the territory licensed to you.


But they looked so good in the interview . . .

Michael Santo, Ph.D.

Are you aware of the many interview misconceptions that can sabotage even the most experienced manager or HR professional? A mistake during the employee selection process can turn into a financial nightmare. Empowerment Concept’s extensive experience in human resources consulting has proven that the most common error made by managers and HR professionals is hiring based on a candidate’s past industry experience. Our research, despite the common misconception, shows that experience is not the best indicator of future success. Sales professionals with years of industry experience often don't live up to expectations. Of all the myths of the selection process, this hiring practice is the most difficult for us to change in our customers.

Regardless of a firm’s size or industry, managers continually rely upon the candidate’s experience to make hiring decisions. It is obviously easier to hire someone with past industry experience and relevant knowledge of products, services, and competition. The premise being that someone with substantial work experience will require less training and direction than a person lacking previous experience.

If this criteria is truly a predictor of future success, why do we consistently hear, "But they looked so good in the interview! What happened?" The price of basing hiring decisions on experience can be enormous, both in terms of lost opportunities and money wasted on recruiting and training a new employee. When consulting our clients, we encourage them to critically evaluate an "experienced" candidate who is currently working for a competitor. What is it your firm offers that is not offered by his current employer? Why is this candidate willing to sacrifice the perks that come with seniority and experience in exchange for beginning his career all over again?

A decade of research has shown Empowerment Concepts that more often than not, the experienced candidate is a marginal performer in his current position. He is often seeking a new home where his mediocrity won’t be noticed for years. This candidate may have seven years experience working for one of your competitors, but could these seven years of experience really be one bad year repeated seven times? Unfortunately for corporate America, this tends to be the rule rather than the exception. A large majority of hires based on experience result in nothing more than re-circulating mediocrity.

Put yourself in the shoes of a college football coach and pretend you are recruiting a new Linebacker. There are two candidates seeking the position. One has extensive high school playing experience. The other has none. The experienced candidate weighs 150 pounds and stands 5’9’’ yet possesses impeccable credentials for the sport. He knows the sport well and understands how particular strategies are used to help win the game. The second, nonexperienced candidate weighs 275 pounds of pure muscle and stands 6’4’’. He has the strength of an Olympic weight lifter and can run the 40yard dash in just four seconds. He knows football, but he hasn’t played the game since he was in grade school.

Being the coach, which player would you recruit? The lightweight with years of experience or the mass of muscle with lighting fast reflexes? Do you really believe that the lightweight’s experience can give him the edge over the physically superior candidate? No coach with sound mind would be confused about which candidate to recruit.

The problem with changing this ill-conceived approach to hiring based on experience is that it is exceedingly difficult to make this same physical comparison for non-sports positions. The contrast between applicants in today’s business interview arena is equal to this hypothetical scenario. However, rather than this contrast being visible as physical characteristics it is imbedded deep in the candidate’s inner workings: their minds and personalities.

The ability to sell, manage, or provide superior customer service is not conveyed in physical form as in the 6’4’’, 275 pound linebacker, nor is the lack of sales capability visible. And yet, a sales person, manager, or customer service representative who possesses experience but lacks the fundamental personal attributes required for top performance is just as ill suited to those jobs as our 5’8’’, 150 pound weakling is suited to the position of linebacker.

There are, of course, some people who possess the attributes needed for success in sales, management, and service who also have experience in these positions. This person is a perfect fit, representing the best of all worlds. Occasionally you will encounter a person who has legitimate reasons for leaving their employer to work for you. In reality, however, this ideal person rarely exists.

A manager should be willing to sacrifice experience in exchange for ability. The personal attributes known to support top performance over the long haul are the qualities managers should be searching for during their hiring process. If a person possesses the ability for a job, teaching him your product and service can be easily achieved. However, the opposite is not true: If the person lacks the fundamental attributes or competencies required for a position, all the coaching in the world will not help him perform at a top level. It is the ability of the person that hiring managers must focus on if they are to select, develop, and retain a superior workforce.

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Recruiting from Your Competitors – A Formula for Disaster

Michael Santo, Ph.D.

When companies look to bring on a new employee, historical myths and misconceptions can lead even the most experienced manager to the wrong decision. Many hiring mangers believe the number one criteria for selecting new employees is experience. These managers are seeking candidates who are looking for new positions in the industry or occupation in which they are currently employed. Regardless of industry, many managers feel an experienced person has a better chance of success and will require little or no training. However, basing your selection decision on experience alone can come with a hefty price tag.

Recruiting from your competition often leads to re-circulating mediocrity within an industry. The only person who benefits from this is the current employer who is quietly hoping his marginal performer will leave on his own. It doesn’t help the new employer, the employee, or the industry as a whole. Hiring a candidate with past experience will often not lead to success. This has been proven in every industry. Newly emerging industries have been forced to create a new and highly successful approach to hiring. High-tech, biotech, and advanced engineering firms are often faced with a pool of candidates who have no proof of experience. Within these industries, a person’s experience becomes obsolete in less than three years. Rather than looking for experience firms in America’s "new economy" use ability and personal attributes as the criteria for basing their hiring decisions. They look for people with intrinsic ability and then they train them as required.

Because experience in these industries is hard to come by, our clients in these industries are evaluating candidates on their inner drives, motivations, and psychology. Our clients have discovered that a person with the potential ability to perform a job will often outperform candidates hired based on a "proven" track record and past experience. This approach of hiring for ability and training for skills has consistently led these companies to strong market valuations and high profits during a period when the prices of products and services in these new industries are dropping at an unprecedented rate.

The success of this new approach to hiring is no surprise to us at RembrandtAdvantage®, an Empowerment Concepts company. A few years ago we partnered with a staffing firm in North Carolina to help them place terminally unemployed people in the hotel and hospital industry. These people where long term welfare recipients with little or no past experience. As a result, the only criterion used to place these people was an assessment of their inherent ability and potential. Using our personality profile, the Rembrandt Portrait©, our client was able to place long term unemployed candidates with an incredible rate of success. During an employee review, these people were rated nine out of ten times as either meeting or exceeding requirements! Ninety percent of the people placed in positions that matched their ability were solid to excellent workers. This is just one of many success stories related to hiring for ability.

Shifting your selection criteria from education to ability can be tricky and somewhat complex even for the most seasoned HR professional. But if you really want to hire top performing people who are well aligned to the job and who can be retained, abilities based selection is the only way to go. In the long run, what is really more challenging: Revamping the way you select and evaluate candidates or managing turnover and related performance issues?

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Interviewing the Chameleon

Michael Santo, Ph.D.

Ever hired a highly experienced, smart dressing, charming "Dr. Jekyll" only to have "Mr. Hyde" show up for work on the first day? Ever say to yourself "but he looked so good in the interview, what happened?"

Some job candidates today are excellent interviewers and in many cases, too good. These candidates have an uncanny ability to mirror the behaviors of the interviewer. They are able to understand exactly what the interviewer is looking for and then they mirror this image, making the interviewer feel as though they have found the perfect person. The challenge here is that these “interview chameleons” are usually much better stage actors than they are employees.

One customer’s story in particular tells of a job candidate who was able to exhibit every behavior that each of 4 interviewers wanted to see, let’s call this candidate “Mr. Image.” The Sales Director saw “Mr. Image” as a powerful persuader with keen interpersonal skills. The Office Manager/HR Manager was delighted to hear “Mr. Image’s” stories of diversity and how he was able to use diversity to compete in the marketplace. And the Engineering Manager was very pleased to see that “Mr. Image” was detail-oriented and would fully document customer orders and requirements, something this manager has rarely seen in a sales person.

As this perfect candidate moved further and further into the selection process, no one seemed to notice the conflicting images he was sending to everyone. In fact, the Sales Director was quite impressed with his Brooks Brothers wardrobe. The Office Manager reflected on how nice he looked in his casual attire, tan suit with a bright sky blue shirt. And his ultimate peers were all talking about how cool the new guy was daring to come to an interview in dress down clothes, Polo shirt with jeans.

How does this candidate do it? How does he change his image in such a way to give each interviewer a sense that they have found nirvana? It is his chameleon nature; pure and simple. And here are some hints to help you determine if you are interviewing Mr. Right or Mr. Image, the Chameleon candidate.

Use open-ended interview questions to get the candidate talking about prior work experiences. Ask questions like: “ I see you were with ABC company for the past 5 years. Explain for me your role within the firm, your primary duties, successes and typical customer base.” This type of question gets the candidate talking, giving the interviewer fuel for probing questions that will follow.

Then use several proven, valid Behavioral Event interview questions to evaluate past experiences. Follow up on the open-ended questions with behavioral questions like: “I see you have had considerable experience selling to large corporate buyers. Tell me about a specific sales event with a large buyer that failed to close. What did you do to position yourself and the firm to make the sale? How did you attempt to resolve the customer’s concerns and challenges? What technique did you use to demonstrate your firm’s superiority to the competition? What did you do when you learned that you did not gain the sale?”

These behavioral questions are based on the theory that a person’s past behavior on the job is the best predictor of their future job behavior. If in the past the candidate was unable to position the firm against the competition, it will be unlikely that he or she will succeed at this in the future. If this candidate showed a poor ability to recover from past rejections it is likely that he/she will struggle to rebound from future rejection.

When using behavioral questions, you need to be diligent when documenting the candidate’s responses. You need to document the Situation the candidate was in; the Objective to be accomplished in that situation; the Action the candidate took; and the Results of the action. In other words, you will want to document S.O.A.R. By documenting these aspects of the candidate’s responses, you will have a complete story of the candidate’s past experience to help you to rate the candidate’s capabilities in key areas for the position for which you are hiring.

Further, collectively develop a focus for the Behavioral Based interview questions that you will be asking the candidate. For example, in a sales manager role it would be recommended to think about probing in the areas of Persuasiveness, Negotiation, Teamwork, Resilience, Detail Ability, and the like. Then, prior to the interview, write the questions down that you would like to ask. This will help to give you focus and keep you on track during the interview.

When conducting the interview, utilize as many sets of ears as possible. Use a team interview to help catch the true response of the candidate. The team interview has an added benefit of keeping the interview focused on the more critical areas, as it is less likely that the all members of the interview will be drawn into conversations that are not insightful and could cross into areas that may have legal ramifications.

But this still may not be enough to ensure that “Mr. Right” is being selected. We recommend to all customers, large and small, to incorporate psychological profiling into the selection process. A valid, non-discriminatory profile can help pierce the surface impressions of the candidate to reveal their true inner drives, motivations, strengths and weaknesses. A valid profile can make the difference between a winning selection decision and simply the addition of one more Chameleon to the collection.

But what do you do if your interview findings are in direct conflict with the profile results? First, before using a profile, make sure it is valid, both in terms of its impact on protected classes and its predictive ability. Any firm selling a valid profile will happily provide you with this validation information. Second, use the profile results to arm yourself for your next interview with the candidate and to prepare you for reference checking. Whatever you do, don’t let the profile results make the selection decision for you. Profiles should guide you to the best hiring decision, not usurp your responsibilities to properly evaluate the candidate.

If the profile suggests that the person is a weak sales negotiator, make sure in your follow up interview that you probe for an answer to this issue: “Does the candidate have enough ability to negotiate to perform at a superior level in this position? And in your firm?” Also probe these areas when conducting reference checks. And another point here, get multi- level references, including past managers, subordinates and peers. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that just because you and the candidate know many of the same people that his/her references will be glowing. Do diligence here.

The last technique many firms use when they just aren’t one hundred percent sure that the candidate is the absolute best person for the job, is offering the position on a contingency basis. Many firms find that hiring on a 3-month contingency basis gives them a better foundation on which to make the final hiring decision. And should the candidate turn out to be “Mr. Image”, contingency hiring places you in a much better legal position to terminate the person.

“You have very little to risk when hiring on a contingency basis,” says Maria Angelini, Employment Manager for Quest Diagnostics, “It gives both you and the candidate a chance to get to know each other and it actually provides each party with many options as you approach the end of the contingency period.”

Interview Chameleons are out there in droves, and as the information economy continues to require things like emotional intelligence and refined problem solving skills to succeed, those with older, outdated skills will be more inclined than ever to act like a Chameleon.

So remember, ask open-ended questions to get the candidate talking and then probe in depth with Behavioral Event questions. If the candidate succeeds to this point, take advantage of today’s technology and use a psychological profile to help you gain insights into the candidate’s real drives and weaknesses. If you are still unsure at this point, but need to quickly employ someone, make the offer contingent on an initial introductory period.