At PRADCO, our team is your partner in developing a stronger organization. Staffed by management consultants and licensed psychologists, PRADCO offers smart, targeted solutions built around driving your organization’s goals forward. We combine research-based practices with cutting-edge technology to support organizations in all areas of talent development.
A certified WBENC woman-owned organization, PRADCO is built around an internal practice of following our core values — Integrity, Quality, and Service (IQS). We learn our clients’ businesses and their needs so we can provide insight, accountability, and objectivity in their talent development decisions.
In fact, many of our clients’ and their employees proudly brag about being “PRADCO-ed,” mentioning how our programs have changed their careers and their lives for the better.
We’ve seen a lot — and a lot of changes — in our 60+ years of operation. We know our industry, and we work tirelessly to understand yours. If you’re interested in developing a stronger organization, we can help.
Here’s a look at the evolution of our organization, and how we got to where we are today.
In the Beginning
Personnel Research and Development Corp. was founded in 1955 by research psychologist Erwin Taylor, along with Erwin Nevis and Richard Barrett. Early clients were organizations such as Republic Steel, Diebold, Timken, and National City Bank. In the beginning, the company focused on research studies and developing companies through training and team building.
In 1971, I joined the organization as a consultant. At the time, all of the assessments were done via pen and paper.
During their lengthy evaluation, people would complete the Biographical Information Form (a detailed, six-page account of their work, education, and personal life), the Autobiographical Episodes Survey (which asked questions like, “How are you similar to or different than your parents?”), sentence completion exercises, and problem-solving tests.
After the exhaustive process was complete, the PRADCO team would compile the results and create a four- to six-page assessment report.
The ’80s and ’90s brought about a lot of changes at PRADCO. I became the president of the organization in 1981 and bought the organization in 1989. The organization was growing — new clients included Goodyear, The Limited, Nationwide, Sterling Jewelers, and Progressive — but evaluations were still done with pencil and paper methods the founders started with.
In 1991, current PRADCO President Kristin T. Tull, Ph.D., joined the organization and immediately began work on the first online, automated test called the Sales Index. The new test eventually used pairs of statements to describe a person’s behavior. Since the person had to select which positive statement was most descriptive, the results could not be easily faked.
Once we built the sales test and saw how well it performed, we started building other tests. A leadership and competency test joined the lineup, as well as assessments that were specific to various positions in different industries. Soon, PRADCO had tests crafted for firefighters, law enforcement, bank tellers, and more.
The next step was to completely ditch the paper assessments and put all of the tests online. This meant that the tests could be taken from anywhere in the world. In addition to being accessible via computer or smartphone, PRADCO’s assessments were translated into a variety of different languages.
A Focus on Women in Leadership
During the economic downturn in 2008, PRADCO’s assessment business dropped while its leadership consulting business boomed. During this time, Kristin noticed that the majority of the leadership candidates coming our way were male. PRADCO decided to launch a study of successful women in leadership.
During the study, the organization gathered over 100 women — local business leaders, as well as women that had already tested for PRADCO clients. With a combination of tests, we assessed the women to determine what qualities were necessary for successful female leadership. Using these scores, we built a benchmark for successful women.
Out of this, the Striving for Excellence: Women in Leadership Program was born. The year-long training program exposes women to coaching, exercises, and training specifically designed to help them become better leaders and move upward in their organization. Many women who have come through the Striving for Excellence: Women in Leadership Program credit it with changing their lives for the better.
PRADCO doesn’t just value female leadership among its clients; it also practices it from within. In 2011, PRADCO became a certified woman-owned organization, with Kristin and Edda Owen as majority owners.
Currently, PRADCO continues to conduct assessments and evaluations, but the organization also helps with team-building and organizational development activities. The addition of new staff has enabled the organization to do more than simply point out growth potential. Now, they can train clients’ employees and help affect that change. Kristin, Edda, and I are pleased with the results we have seen so far.
For PRADCO clients — most of whom see the organization as a true partner — our assessments and coaching have made all the difference in the world.
At PRADCO, we have the experience, drive, and tools to be your partner in hiring and developing talent. We’ll take the time to learn about your organization and customize solutions for you. We’re ready to help you hire and promote with confidence. If you’re ready to get started, let’s talk.