Making Sense Of Employee Compatibility Tests And Assessments

With the setting of benchmarks, assessments have enabled employers to determine employee compatibility and potential over various metrics. On top of having to contend with three generations with different motivations, recruiters face the problem of job-hopping millennials. Identifying the right talent with the requisite personality traits for a perfect job fit is a daunting task that has become increasingly difficult to achieve by merely conducting multiple rounds of interviews. This gap in recruiting and retaining is being increasingly addressed through assessment tools.

How profiling meets immediate and strategic goals

Human capital is an inalienable part of business, contributing significantly to the success of the venture.  Of paramount importance is the need to hire candidates who exhibit all-weather characteristics. Identification of leadership qualities in candidates helps in channelizing talent towards a suitable role, apart from effective crisis management during eventualities.  Strong leaders help in building formidable teams.  They bring value to the table that continues even during the absence of the leader.

How structured assessment works

Broadly speaking, there are five indices that form part of any structured assessment: Personality, Dark Triad, Motivation plus Values, Cognition and Decision Making.  Through these five indices, potential employees are sized up in terms of various parameters that give a near 3600 view of what could be inside and how the inside would function or react under given circumstances. Efficiency under duress is the hallmark of quality, and structured assessments have become a kind of gold standard during recruiting to predict possible outcomes in given situations. Some of the popular assessment tools like MBTI, Kiersy, Hogan, Birkman etc., include some or all of the above indices. Different tools are utilised for different processes. For instance, assessment could be for determining right career, hiring, team building, identification of leadership qualities etc. Depending upon the need for assessment, the mix of indices would differ.

Personality – This maps the routine characteristics exhibited by an individual, the happy side, including interpersonal relations. This is used by employers to know how a potential employee will gel with the others in the organisation.

Dark triad – Basically a progression of the “nature vs nurture” debate, this tool will determine the possible reaction of the candidate to stressful situations, to understand if situations will become intractable.

Motivation plus values – This throws light on the motives and ambitions of the candidate. The driving force behind a candidate’s commitment or the lack of it will help in positioning the right person for the right job.

Cognition – The subject’s ability to analyse data and solve problems is evaluated. This helps in determining if jobs of a certain nature are suitable to be assigned to the subject.

Decision making – While no human is infallible, the objective of this assessment is to measure the candidate’s ability to arrive at an appropriate decision. This module assesses the subject’s reaction to adverse feedback on the decisions and also the candidate’s self-analysis after the decision has been taken.

Case Study

One of the above mentioned assessment tools were utilised to find the right fit for six categories of employees in a Food/Warehousing Company, viz., Clerical, Customer Service, Sales, Operations & Trades, Managerial and Professional. The prospects were assessed using two of the indices – (1) Personality (2) Motivation plus values.

Two of the findings are showcased here :

General – Individuals needed to possess two characteristics, immaterial of the position they were in, that is remaining calm while under pressure and having a positive attitude to work.  Those in sales were identified to be more outgoing with extensive social interactions, whereas managers were ambitious, aspiring to excel.

Specific – Individuals with high fits were expected to perform better than others as indicated below.

Nature of jobs Employee performance metrics
High Fit Moderate Fit / Poor Fit
Clerical Expected to perform 07 times better Moderate performance
Customer service, sales, operations & trades, managerial Expected to perform 02 times better Moderate performance
Professional workers Expected to perform 03 times better Moderate performance

These assessment tools help in placing the right candidate in the right job and to ensure that the ambitions of the candidate are aligned with the strategic goals of the company.

With due apologies to Hippocrates, his quote is tweaked here

It is far more important to know what sort of person the job requires, than to know what sort of job the person wants.

Sample an assessment report popularly known as 16PF or The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, which will shed more light on assessment. See Basic Comprehensive Summary Report here.

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