Category Archives: HR Assessments

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4 Essential Personality Tests for Strategic Recruitment

It’s likely your company will already have screening measures in place when hiring new candidates.

Screening for factors such as work history, educational background, drug use and criminal background are routine recruitment practice across many organizations.

But what about personality? How does your company ensure the candidate your hiring is the best fit the role, your business and the wider company team? By using personality tests during recruitment, you can strategically ensure that you are hiring the best possible candidate for the role.

Benefits of using personality tests for recruitment

There can be many advantages to using personality tests during your hiring process. In today’s competitive market, personality tests can help you narrow down the candidate pool before they even reach the in-person interview stage.

At the interview stage, personality tests can help the interviewer ask questions that delve deeper into the skills and behaviors demonstrated in the personality assessment results. This allows the interview to gauge a deeper understanding of the applicant and whether they would be a suitable fit for the team, role and organization.

When interviewing candidates, it’s important to ensure you don’t get blindsided by their charm or the initial impression they’ve made. Although a candidate may make a great first impression in the interview, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right person for the job. Using personality tests alongside your existing recruitment strategy offers a more rounded and accurate representation of the candidates personality, competencies and working style. All of which will help eliminate any biases created by those first impressions upon meeting the candidate.

Personality tests you need to use in recruitment

There’s an array of personality tests available to choose from. So many in fact that it can be hard knowing which personality test is the right one to use in your recruitment process. To help you get the most out of personality tests for hiring, we’ve evaluated the most popular personality tests for recruitment and devised this list of the four essential personality tests for strategic recruitment. Measuring a variety of candidate metrics, these personality tests can be used together or in isolation to ensure you choose the most suitable candidate. By using these tests to understand the personality and emotional intelligence of your chosen candidate you can help set them up for success in their new career.

Myers Briggs

One of the most widely known and used personality tests is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment. This personality assessment has helped millions of people worldwide gain insights about themselves and how they interact with others. Used by over 88% of Fortune 500 companies, the MBTI assessment can be described as the go-to framework for people development across the world.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator assessment comprises 16 different personality types based upon Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type. The MBTI assessment is a great indicator of cultural fit. Understandings from this personality test can help HR employees to manage personal development, support team and leadership training, diffuse workplace conflicts and evaluate career change, and transitions.

It’s important to note that the Myers Briggs personality test shouldn’t be used as an indicator of performance. Instead, it should be used to inform decisions about whether or not the applicant would be a good cultural fit for the company and the team.

DISC profile

The DISC profile has far fewer personality traits that the Myers Briggs personality test; four to be precise. These 4 personality traits are reflected in the name of the personality test which is an acronym for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. The Everything DISC profile is a shorter and more user friendly version of the DISC personality assessment making it great for use during the interview stage of the hiring process.

The DISC personality test is great for measuring a job applicant’s temperament. However, DISC is ipsative which means it isn’t possible to compare candidate results to one-another. Without the ability to compare test takers’ scores, the test can’t be used to predict future behavior. Instead, DISC should be used to review the potential strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

Profile XT®

If you’re looking for a pre-employment screening test that is multi-purpose, the Profile XT assessment is exactly what you need. Covering pre-employment screening, selection, development, training, managing, and succession planning, this personality test is an all-encompassing assessment for evaluating the suitability of job candidates.

This employee assessment measures how well an individual fits specific jobs in your organization, and the results can be used during the training or succession planning stages. The Profile XT is customizable allowing you to alter the test to suit your company requirements.

Thanks to its extensive nature, including 20 performance indicators, behavioural traits, interests, aptitude, thinking and reasoning, the Profile XT assessment can be used for candidate matching. As a result, you are able to compare candidates, deduce how well suited each of them are to the role, and find the best-matched candidate for that specific job.

California Psychological Inventory

During the hiring process, it can be difficult to determine how a candidate will handle workplace challenges, relationships and tasks. Understanding a candidate’s competencies and, in particular, how they may react under certain circumstances is crucial for confidently evaluating whether they’ll be successful in the role they’re applying for.

The California Psychological Inventory (CPI) can help remove the guesswork around candidate competencies. This personality assessment offers feedback on work-related characteristics such as sociability, conceptual understanding, and independence. By assessing these characteristics, the CPI can forecast how candidates may react under specific circumstances.

Role-specific personality tests

When hiring for a specific role, you may find that there are role-specific personality tests that you can use to determine candidate suitability.

The Profiles Sales Assessment can be used to measure how well an applicant fits a Sales role so that you can optimize your company sales performance. For customer service roles, you can use the Customer Service Profile to see whether an applicant has the right behavioral characteristics to provide outstanding customer service. Moreover, when hiring for a managerial role it’s important that they will fit the company and team dynamic. By using the Profiles Managerial Fit assessment you can evaluate whether an applicant has the correct managerial style to suit the required supervisor-subordinate relationship.

Personality assessments for improving future performance

It’s important to continue with personality assessments after the hiring process. By testing employees frequently throughout their career, you can evaluate performance and help candidates further themselves with their career.

Personality tests can be advantageous for your organization. By integrating personality assessments into your candidate screening process and employee training program, you can leverage employee happiness and productivity and, in turn, boost the success of your organization.


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How to improve dysfunctional team performance with behavioral assessments

A dysfunctional team is one that consistently loses performance by failing to work and collaborate together in a professional or desirable way. Problems arising in teams and between team members are one of the major problems contributing to loss of performance but solving them can be difficult.

This is especially true because team dysfunction can stem from direct leadership (managers, Scrum leaders, etc.), leaders (business direction, business policy), and from individuals.

Stepping back to assess problems and recognize where things are going wrong is one of the first steps to solving those issues, and in many teams, it will often reveal issues with communication, emotional intelligence, and ego. This may be cultural or local to the team, but should be corrected, and quickly.

One study showed that negative behavior in teams is effective for most dysfunction, although negative behavior may stem from poor soft skills, lack of motivation from leadership, poor leadership, or other issues.

Understanding Teams and Their Leaders

Dysfunctional teams are reflections of a whole. It’s difficult to have healthy leaders or team members if either is unhealthy. But it’s critical to review both independently to look for the source of dysfunction. Chances are, you will find issues with both, but they might both be different and unrelated.

Personality Mapping

Understanding individual personalities that make up a team is important for ensuring teams align in terms of communication style, emotional intelligence, work ethic, work method, and social needs. MBTI shows there are 16 basic personality types and not all of them get along. Team conflicts may stem from simple issues relating to different methods of communication.

For example, a team lead might be communicating in strict, pragmatic instructions to a team made up of mostly creative people who need freedom to do things in their own way, resulting in stifled creativity and dropping morale. In some cases, direct personality clashes can also result in constant or regular conflict, sparking issues throughout the team.

In addition, understanding the personalities of the people on your teams can help with improving performance across the organization. Team composition based on personality is increasingly regarded as important to performance and individual happiness, because a mix of personalities functions better, is more creative, and can collaborate in ways that a silo of similar personalities will not.

Most team frameworks are based on personality assessments like MBTI or The Big 5 but will help you to see where different people complement or clash with each other.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, emotional quotient or EQ is increasingly seen as crucial to how people function together. Emotional intelligence can be defined as a measure of how people recognize their own emotions and those of others, use that information to guide behavior and thoughts, and manage or adjust emotions and thoughts to other people and to achieve goals. EQ dates back to the 1960s, but was popularized by David Goleman, who argues that 67% of leadership and team goals can be met with EQ rather than IQ.

Measuring EQ with assessments like EQ-I 2.0 can help you to understand how well people are communicating. This can be important, especially in instances where some people are emotionally intelligent and others are not.

People who are not emotionally intelligent can come off as rude, impolite, and hurtful. Leaders lacking emotional intelligence can deeply damage morale. Like other soft skills, EQ is a learnable skill and there are workshops, courses, and books on the market to help teams develop those behaviors.

Asking Questions

Sometimes, dysfunctional behavior builds up over time, typically in relation to a few incidents that slowly get worse. What started out as a single toxic person can result in an incredibly dysfunctional team, despite the team otherwise being functional. This type of behavior is difficult to assess without actually going in, asking questions, and seeing how the team works first-hand. Swapping leaders, implementing behavior coaches, and implementing workshops can be a good way to assess this behavior.

Solving Dysfunctional Behavior

It’s difficult to assess a team and immediately recognize where problems are from and why. In some cases, problems stem from processes and bureaucracy. In others, it’s simply teams not working together. And, in others, it’s poor leadership. It’s important to be open minded and unbiased, which potentially means having assessments completed by a third-party.

Problem: Disagreements are not addressed but are problematic

Team members frequently disagree but feel unable to discuss problems or resolve them. This can lead to unhealthy interpersonal conflict and dropping morale. This lack of trust will result in lack of team collaboration because individuals won’t ask for help or feedback, won’t utilize the skills or strengths of others, and, in short, won’t be part of a team.

Solution – Review why teams fail to discuss problems and implement solutions to fix those issues. For example, if teams feel they aren’t listened to, implementing EQ workshops may be a good solution.

Healthy debates should be encouraged, even if encouragement involves creating team-building exercises and working to solve negative behavior such as others calling out individuals in unhealthy ways. Getting over this type of issue may require acknowledging and working on specific instances in personal history.

Problem – People talk about each other behind their backs

This can lead to silos, “cliques” and “us versus them” behavior, and often ripples out from leadership.

Solution – Assess root problems, implement workplace ethics workshops, and stage workshops on having healthy upfront discussions where people feel free to share criticism to each other.

This may also stem from leaders feeling unable to offer criticism to someone who is “emotional”, which likely means the leader needs communication or emotional intelligence training. Feedback should always be given directly to the person, not to anyone else on the team.

Problem – Not everyone contributes

Healthy teams discuss things together. Dysfunctional teams typically rely on one or two people who take up all the time, space, and air. This can stem from people not being listened to, from the leader feeling like they have the only voice, and people simply not feeling as though they can speak up. In a worst-case scenario, people will either pretend to be on board with ideas they don’t agree with or will remain silent, but will end up working on solutions they don’t agree with or like.

Solution – Implement team-building exercises such as role-swapping, create mandatory speaking roles for everyone in the team, and have leaders specifically call out individuals to ensure everyone contributes. Discussion and debate lead to productive creativity and collaboration. Teams have to acknowledge that a certain amount of conflict is productive.

Problem – Teams work aimlessly

Often, this means that communication style doesn’t line up between how projects are communicated and how teams prefer to work. This can result in teams over analyzing and wasting energy or lacking confidence or feeling stifled by too much structure.

Solution – Assess how people communicate and work to match leadership, project, and team styles up as much as possible. Most organizations have space for every type of leader, assessing team types and matching leadership to that team is the best way to solve this issue.

Dysfunctional teams are everywhere, but the causes of dysfunction are often multifaceted. It’s important to assess the full culture including leadership, individual interaction, individuals, and company culture to determine what might be wrong and why. Only then can you implement the right solutions to create teams that stay healthy for the long-term.


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Choosing the Right Assessment for Your HR Needs

Personality and behavior assessments help organizations streamline screening and selection processes using validated and predictive data. This can give insight into not only what makes individuals successful in the organization and in their roles, but also into how people fit together, communicate, complement each other, and contradict each other. Highly effective assessments afford near-seamless options for HR to get a deeper look at candidates, driving better decisions and reducing turnover.

But, with dozens of assessment options on the market, choosing one can be difficult. HR and recruitment professionals are left with the task of narrowing options with the need to show immediate results and return on value to finance. Doing so can be difficult. It can also be a mistake.

Good assessments are made up of multiple assessment tools, typically using frameworks built on multiple assessment types and combining personality, behavioral, competency, and other assessments. In many cases, the same assessments are not valuable across every role or for every individual. So, HR professionals are recommended to create selection criteria and use that to choose a range of tools that will create a better picture of the individual.

Set Goals for Recruitment

Recruitment goals should align with long-term business goals, short-term business changes, and meeting team and culture needs. Chances are, these goals are already defined inside your organization and you can simply adopt them.

Most recruitment professionals also have secondary goals such as:

  • Creating a better recruitment experience for candidates
  • Reducing the cost versus quality of hiring
  • Reducing turnover
  • Improving employee happiness and therefore reducing churn
  • Making unbiased but quality hires

Each of these goals can help you target which assessments you might need depending on selection criteria.

Set Goals for Assessments

What should your assessment do? In most cases, a good assessment will fulfill at least the following goals:

  • Deliver objective and legally defensible information into the hiring process
  • Create a cost-effective and efficient interview process by integrating behavioral and personality testing to highlight desirable or undesirable traits
  • Reduce the need to use hunches and impressions in the hiring process
  • Increase understanding of the candidate’s skills, behavior, preferences, and personality
  • Equip HR with the tools to develop employees and teams and make selections based on that goal

Most assessments fall into a few categories including:

  • Technical skills test (e.g., Excel test)
  • Cognitive ability test (OPM or Harver)
  • Situational judgment test
  • Communication skills test
  • Job simulation test
  • Competency assessment (typically soft skills rather than hard)
  • Behavioral assessment (may overlap with competency)
  • Personality assessment (MBTI)

You can then choose which of these are most relevant to your organization. Here, many organizations can drop technical skills tests (technical skills are easy to train, except where advancement in those skills is crucial to success), to focus on factors such as behavior that influence actual performance. For example, it’s a lot easier to teach a candidate Excel than it is to teach an affinity for numbers and pattern recognition, or a high sense of personal motivation.

Reliability and Validity

Reliability and validity are two incredibly important factors to consider when choosing HR assessments. Here, most are scored based on data on how often individuals score the same on a test.

However, most assessments are scored by their manufacturers or by companies selling those services, so you may want to invest in personal research if you doubt results.

For example, the MBTI foundation publishes that test-takers receive the same results on assessments 75-90% of the time.

Validity is also incredibly crucial. Validity refers to whether an assessment can be validated or not. Most HR assessments will have validity data published online. Most organizations should also continue to collect data to validate the assessment and its results inside their own organization.

This can be difficult and expensive but is necessary to ensure continued budget and the long-term use of an assessment, based on an understanding that it works. You cannot say, “Candidates who score high on X show higher performance, so we will prioritize these candidates in the hiring process”, without validating that data.

Reliable Results

It’s crucial that any test have anti-faking measures and have measures with which to measure that candidates are lying, giving the answers they think you want to hear, and quite simply, panicking. Any test that relies on questions like “I am a hard worker” without using alternative measures to test those results in more subtle ways to validate those answers probably won’t function very well.

Once you have a test, it’s important that any HR or recruitment professionals using it actually take the assessment themselves, and hopefully multiple times. Understanding the assessment, what answering it is like, and what candidates are likely to see in relation to their role is critical to assessing whether results are reliable or not.

Customization

Many HR assessments cannot be implemented off-the-shelf. While some out-of-the-box solutions exist, most behavioral and competency assessments will have to be tweaked and updated to meet individual organization’s and should align with a behavioral or competency framework, if one is in place.

For larger organizations, this may mean adjusting assessments, assessment type, and assessment questions based on role, development tract, and whether the intended candidate is intended for eventual leadership development or not. Therefore, it may be crucial that any HR assessment framework you adopt be customizable, or that the provider offers internal analysis and setup to ensure implemented solutions meet your organization’s needs.

No matter what your organization is intending to measure, it’s critical that your assessments be up for the job. This often means choosing assessments that are scientifically validated, reliable, resistant to gaming (cheating), customizable, and able to provide diverse needs based on the candidate, the role, and the hiring manager in question.

For many organizations, this does mean choosing multiple assessments, optimizing each for their own hiring process, and creating a process to improve and further optimize those assessment over time as you begin to collect your own data.


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When to Use Personality Tests in Hiring

Pre-Employment personality tests or assessments are used by some 13% of all organizations, including 89% of Fortune 100 companies. These assessments include MBTI, Caliper Profile, OPQ32, Hogan Personality Inventory, DiSC, and others, but all work to assess and define a candidate’s personality traits based on predetermined profiles.

While pre-employment personality testing is rampant, it’s also come under heavy criticism in recent years, with organizations using personality testing for very specific and sometimes unethical hiring goals (like looking for a specific MBTI type to fill a role). Unfortunately, most personality tests and assessments don’t actually fill those hyper-specific hiring profiles.

At the same time, personality testing can provide valuable insight into the pre-employment screening process. It can guide recruitment and HR professionals as they search for specific people to fill roles, can help to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate based on existing teams and company culture, and can make it easier for those professionals to create success tracts for those individuals after hire. The following guide outlines some of the occasions when personality testing aids hiring.

When Assessing Culture Fit

Culture-fit, or lack of it, is a key factor behind employee loyalty, employee happiness, and turnover. The high cost of replacing employees is one of the key reasons behind the high adoption of pre-employment personality tests, because it can help to reduce poor culture-fit issues. Personality tests can help you to determine how and where an individual fits into your current culture, where they came from, and whether they could add something or will simply clash with existing culture.

Here, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • Culture clashes may be a good thing if you want to “Shake things up”. But, the culture-clash employee needs to have enough power to drive change or they will simply be ostracized
  • Complementary does not mean the same. If personality testing shows compatible but different styles, this is likely an ideal candidate for the culture
  • Assessing personality aspects such as adaptability, learning style, etc., which can help when determining culture fit and when planning to integrate someone into a culture

To Better Understand the Candidate (And Their Answers)

Personality tests have historically been used in ways that are unsuitable to the personality test. For example, retail stores have long used personality and integrity tests to attempt to gauge the integrity of candidates.

But, data increasingly shows that employees with no integrity are very likely to simply lie on the test. In addition, many employees will simply fill out whatever they think the employer wants to hear, which can be intensely problematic for collecting the right data. Others can give wrong answers because they are panicking, which can also skew data.

What’s the best answer? Retesting, asking employees to take tests multiple times, and ensuring that a portion of any testing includes questions designed to assess the mental state (nervousness, anxiety) and honesty of the candidate. This often involves asking personalized questions which can be verified using other means, re-testing, and slipping the same questions in in multiple formats to assess continuity and intent behind answers.

Candidate answers can help you determine what the employee needs to fit into the organization, their potential development tract, what their onboarding should include, how they should be motivated (fiscally, with development opportunities, with perks, etc.) and much more.

Ensuring Team Fit

Team fit is as if not more important than culture fit. This pertains to how an individual’s personality fits into their team, how they communicate with that team, and what they bring to that team. Here, diversity and complementary personalities are often the best fit. More types of people result in more creativity, more options and solutions, and a broader perspective on problem solving. But, it can result in clashes when personality types don’t get along.

  • Where is your current team weak? What are their flaws? Can other personality traits compensate?
  • What personality types get along with but aren’t the same as existing personality types?
  • Will the individual get along with their new team without fitting into a silo or echo chamber?

In most cases, you get more value from personality tests when you use them to compare the candidate with the team they will fit into, because it allows you to look at long-term potential. It can also help you avoid adding someone who completely does not fit into a team simply because they have a “desirable” personality.

Of course, you always want to follow up with having the candidate actually meet the team, because personality tests can be faulty, but testing can be a good way to narrow candidates down based on potential fit.

Complementing Communication Styles

People communicate in different ways. The more you understand the communication styles of your managers and leaders, the easier it is to choose individuals who fit into those communication styles. Here, you don’t have to choose exact matches. MBTI suggests there are two major types of communicators, NF and SP.

NF communicators use abstraction and mostly want people under them to create their own solutions inside that. SP communicators share exacts and typically want to give or follow instructions. There is a place for both in most organizations, because both fill very valuable roles.

Understanding that upfront will help you to determine placement, so you don’t, for example, put a highly creative and independent person on a maintenance team, or someone who likes to complete tasks on an innovation team.

Assessing Behavior

Behavior is the number one cause of turnover, faulty C-suite hires and promotions, and poor team fit. Personality tests can be excellent assessors of behavior in the pre-hiring phase, because they allow you to assess not only what the individual is answering, but also how they behave in a high-stress environment, how they respond to questioning, and how answers might change across repeat testing. This can give you a significantly better picture of what the candidates real behavior is over simply assessing their prepared answers to questions.

Personality testing isn’t always valuable in hiring. For example, you should never use it to make hiring decisions. It can help you to make smarter decisions regarding placement, onboarding, development, and much more. And, you can use it to follow up on employees after the hire to ensure you continue to understand and support them in the workplace.


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Behavioral approaches to improving net promoter score

Net Promoter Score or NPS has become the gold standard by which companies judge their interactions with customers. NPS was first designed by Fred Reichheld in 2003 and published in an article in the Harvard Business Review. It uses a single question, “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague” with a 1-10 scale. Most importantly, that number gives organizations a simple way to track customer loyalty and behavior.

While the NPS system has come under criticism, it remains true that customers who are willing to recommend your organization to others will grow your business. An NPS score increase of 7% typically tracks to a business growth of 1%. At the same time, initiatives to improve NPS only work if you actually understand what impacts NPS.

In most cases, a high NPS score tracks to high customer satisfaction, quality customer service, accessibility of information, and ease of service or product use. A surprisingly large number of these factors are impacted by internal company culture, or employee behavior. Why? Behavior impacts how people treat employees, how the product or service is created and delivered, and how the organization presents itself.

Encouraging Empathy (EQ)

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quota, is important in changing how people react and respond to each other. A highly emotionally intelligent person is able to recognize their own and the emotions of others, respond to those emotions, and keep those emotions in mind when making decisions that relate to other people. Encouraging EQ normally means testing for it and then implementing workshops and training to develop EQ where it’s lacking.

For most teams, customer service and customer assistance are the most important for this behavior. However, emotional intelligence improves productivity and collaboration across the organization, which will eventually improve performance and results, which also impact customer satisfaction and NPS.

How much does emotional intelligence impact NPS? Cowry Consulting worked with Aegon B.V. to improve NPS through customer contact center interactions. Cowry identified issues relating to lack of human depth, lack of advisor understanding of how and why customers make decisions.

Cowry implemented training to help assistants understand why people make decisions, rewrote scripts to make them more human, and redesigned how information was presented to ensure it appealed on an emotional level.

Aegon also shifted internal policy to assigning a lifetime contact to a customer, so they always connected with the same person when calling. The result was an over 36-point increase in NPS, with a 68.5% increase in sales conversions.

Build Teams that Work Together

Your teams ultimately impact everything the customer is able to get out of your organization. Building smoothly functional, productive, and collaborative teams is essential to providing a good experience and a good product.

Healthy teams communicate, work together, aren’t afraid of disagreement, let each other be heard, and consistently work to improve. Achieving this can involve a set of behavioral training, matching personalities, and changing policies to allow people to work in efficient and healthy ways. Let’s look at some examples:

Marketing and Sales

Are teams setting the right expectations during lead generation or are they simply generating as many leads as possible? Is marketing following up with sales? Is sales closing with information connected to development? Are customers pushed through the sales process as quickly as possible to raise sales numbers? Most of these problems relate to expectations set around maximum sales and maximum lead generation. They don’t result in happy customers. It’s often a result of:

  • Poor performance and compensation systems (linked to quotas, not behavior and score)
  • Competition
  • Lack of empathy or concern for the customer

Product and Design

Are people focused on how the product or service offers value? Or simply on putting out new features? Is UX a concern? Are problems checked for and removed before they reach the customer? Is quality assurance involved in every stage of the process>

  • Assess how teams are connected to customers
  • Assess how teams are put together and how communication, management, and interpersonal styles line up

Customer Service and Support

Does customer service put the customer first? Are they looking at how and why customers are making decisions? Are hold times long? How does customer service treat customers? Does support make customers happy or just fix issues and move on? What are responses when there’s no clear solution?

  • Create policies that ensure teams have room to make empathetic decisions
  • Train support professionals in communication styles, EQ, and recognizing different types of personalities
  • Implement customer personas to help support professionals learn to recognize different communication styles and needs

You also want to look at how personalities link together in each team, ensure that teams actually collaborate, and that communication styles line up.

Building Internal Motivation and Buy-In

It’s difficult or even impossible to improve Net Promoter Score without encouraging employee buy-in. This broad term encapsulates motivating employees to engage with their work as well as with the customer, because, eventually, they mean the same thing. Teams have to fully engage with their work and believe in what they are doing. While many issues here are operational (management, work processes, lack of communication relating to short and long-term goals), many also relate to behavior.

Here, it’s important to understand employees. Using personality tests, EQ assessments, and behavioral frameworks can help you to map how individuals communicate, how leadership communicates, and how you can best fit that together or improve what you have through training and communication. Healthy teams engage with work, communicate better, and eventually produce better work – resulting in happier customers and a higher Net Promoter Score.

While there are many aspects to improving NPS, behavior and behavior management is important. The more you understand how people work and work together, the more you can ensure internal and external teams behave and collaborate in ways that add value for the customer.


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How Personality Types Contribute to High Performance Teams

Good team design is critical to ensuring the productivity and collaborative creativity of those teams. “High performance” in a team is often tracked to output in numbers, but often it links to how well people get along, communicate, and collaborate. Factors encouraging this include good leadership, policies and work processes, and emotional intelligence, but personality type is always a consideration.

People must fit into a team in such a way as to complement without copying the rest, so that they can work in a fast, efficient, and creative way. Most importantly, teams should be balanced mixes of different personality types and cultures, allowing for diverse opinions, different points of view, and a range of solutions, or a truly “high performance” team.

While eventually only team leads will have true insight into how individuals work together, high performance teams rely on having structure that purposely fits people together. Eventually, this kind of structure must be implemented into the hiring process, into team design, and into HR, so that everyone has the tools to hire and place people in ways that make sense.

Understanding Personality Types

Different organizations utilize different ways to categorize and define how people fit together. In some cases, you may want to use several. For example, Belbin Team Roles maps personalities and then asks 3-5 people to fill out roles that make up a high-performance team.

The most popular personality type indicator is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) which uses 16 personalities loosely mapped to Carl Jung’s Big 5 Personality Framework. MBTI uses four dichotomies, or 8 personality factors to split people into 16 personality types based on how they interact, communicate, and handle themselves and situations. This method is the most common in that 89% of Fortune 500 companies utilize it during the hiring process.

Most organizations eventually utilize a personality indicator alongside a core competency or behavioral model for teams. This allows you to map skills and personality traits to what is already in the team, enabling better decisions and better team matches.

One of the easiest examples is creativity. If you were to take a single 5-person team and form it entirely out of people who excel at creating new things, you’d have a very creative team on your hand. They could collaborate to innovate processes, work, and tools across your organization.

If you make that same team out of people who excel at improving existing work, you have a team that would excel at maintenance, overhead, and day-to-day work. But, if you were to go half and half, you’d have a divided team that would be disadvantageous to itself.

Major Types of Communication

Communication is one of the most important factors of teamwork, and there are many types of communicators. MBTI groups people into four types, which can be further condensed into two types (SP and NF). The four types are:

Thinking – Thinking persons are decisive, systematic, and logical. They are critical, analytical, and judgmental, but communicate in straightforward, and clear-cut fashions. While this makes communication easy and can be very valuable on a team that wants to communicate and move forward quickly, it can be perceived as arrogant, condescending, and aggressive to more emotional thinkers.

Feeling – This group is sympathetic, warm, sociable, and supportive. Feeling types are warm, will go out of their way to be diplomatic and tactful, and will consider the emotions of most people in a room. On the flip side, they can be dramatic, emotional, sentimental, and fussy. Balancing these types with more decisive types is important.

Sensing – Sensing types are realistic and practical with a focus on concise and efficient communication, often at the expense of emotions. This can cause clashes with feeling types, because they can appear to be cold, demanding, and harsh.

Intuitive – Intuitive types often bridge Thinking and Sensing types with Feeling types, but bring their own adaptable and versatile approach. They communicate perceptively but with emotion, make changes based on facts and emotions, and are resourceful. They may also be impulsive, be easily bored, and may have unrealistic expectations.

Other frameworks utilize different types of communication, but it’s important that your communication types complement and get along. In most cases, you want to pay the most attention to abstract versus concrete thinkers, Feeling and Intuitive people tend to prefer to communicate in abstracts and guidelines, Sensing and Thinking people tend to prefer to communicate in precise words and exacts.

Creating a Balance of Personalities

Any team dynamic should be composed of balance, cognitive diversity, and variety. Individuals should be able to challenge each other to drive creativity and to build new things. If you simply fit like-minded people with like-minded people, you create silos, echo chambers where everyone simply agrees with a few louder thought leaders. The team becomes static and rarely creative.

HR should introduce and manage cognitive diversity as part of team structure. This means looking for different types of complementary personalities. It also means looking at culture, information processing styles, education, and work experience, but personality will play a huge role. Importantly, if you do introduce diverse personalities into a team, it’s critical to follow up, ensure that everyone is communicating well and with empathy, and that leaders are able to recognize and work with the different communication and personality styles present in the team.

It’s also important to look for balance. Diversity for the sake of diversity can be a mistake if it creates clashes or communication styles that are completely opposite.

There’s No Wrong Personality Type

While personality types can be valuable for helping you to build a diverse team, it’s important to keep in mind that no personality type makes someone uniquely suited for something. There’s no wrong personality type. Consider using your personality framework as a loose matrix of what is wanted or required rather than a die-hard rule. People can and will sometimes fit all the requirements and more, while not showing those requirements on a test, especially if that test is taken under pressure.

Your best option is always to ensure that your recruiter is cognizant, aware of how people work, and able to make judgement calls using perception as well as direct test results.

Personality frameworks are an extremely useful way to improve team design and team structure, simply because they give you factors to look for that help teams communicate and collaborate more efficiently.


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How MBTI Can Help You Hire Smarter

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, frequently shorted to MBTI, is the most common and most popular personality test in the world. With some estimations suggesting 89 of the Fortune 100 companies use MBTI during or after hiring, and somewhere between 2 and 3.5 million assessments administered each year, it would be difficult to refute the cultural significance of the test.

While the validity of using MBTI in hiring is often discussed, much of this discussion revolves around making hiring decisions based on MBTI, “pigeonholing” candidates based on test results, and determining that a candidate might not be suitable for a role based on assessment results. The MBTI foundation maintains these practices are unethical and outside the reach of what MBTI can or should do.

At the same time, MBTI can still provide valuable insight into hiring, people, and their choices. Modern assessments typically use multiple personality tests, IQ tests, and capacity tests to attempt to get a full picture of a candidate before hiring, and MBTI can definitely add value.

What the MBTI Does Not Do

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessments are based on scientific research by Carl Jung and closely align with concepts such as the Big 5 Personality types. However, these assessments are delivered in work settings, without validation, and are sometimes biased because of the intent or perceptions of the persons administering them. Therefore, MBTI is not a foolproof, scientific personality assessment. In fact, such a thing does not really exist because personalities are constantly changing.

MBTI is not fool-proof – People change, candidates can answer based on what they think employers want to hear, and candidates can test multiple times and receive different results. Don’t use the MBTI as a definitive personality map, but rather as a personal reporting tool.

MBTI doesn’t predict performance – While many organizations are prone to using MBTI to determine job performance, MBTI cannot be used in this way. The Myers-Briggs Foundation maintains that all types are equal, and most will excel in the same ways. Motivational and capacity tests looking into knowledge, skill, training, character, interpersonal dynamics, personal life, and company culture are much more adequate for determining performance.

Myers-Briggs should not be used to make hiring decisions. It can be used to inform hiring decisions and to help you in a variety of ways when evaluating and considering candidates.

Understanding Success for the Candidate

While each of the types are equal, they are also different. You shouldn’t use MBTI to decide not to hire someone for a role, for example, not hiring a person for sales because they rank high on introversion, but you can use it to determine what they might need for success in their role.

MBTI can help you determine factors such as:

  • Motivators – Is the candidate motivated by career opportunities? Financial incentives? Social recognition? Personal development? Opportunities?
  • Culture-Fit – Will the candidate fit neatly into the existing culture? Will they bring dynamic and change? Will they clash?
  • Autonomy – How much autonomy does the candidate want or need? Will they excel with a manager who works with everything they do? Will they excel in flat structures? Are they a potential candidate for leadership?
  • Change – Will the candidate adapt well to upcoming change? How much preparation do they need?

Answering these kinds of questions can help you get a better picture of the person you’re hiring, fit them into a better team, and ensure that management and HR have the tools needed to work with them.

Improve Team Placement

Teams should be made up of diverse personalities and therefore diverse MBTI types. Unfortunately, people tend to flock to others of the same type. Myers-Briggs assessments can aid in team placement in two ways:

1) Leadership Fit

What MBTI type is the team manager or scrum leader? Does it work with the candidate’s communication style? NF types communicate in abstracts and make decisions with groups. SP types communicate pragmatic decisions and concrete ideas. While you want some diversity in teams, it’s important that your candidate be able to work with leadership, understand them, and communicate well with them.

2) Team Diversification

Diversity breeds creativity and culture. People tend to flock together and create silos. Purposely hiring to build teams of different personality types can greatly aid in changing that by putting different types of people together, forcing that creativity, and creating balance. Here, team composition frameworks can be of use, and Myers-Briggs will simply complement that.

Making Hiring Decisions

Myers-Briggs is one tool out of dozens and should be just a tiny fraction of your hiring decision. While there are stories of people hiring based on specific personality type or excluding personality types such as those showing introversion, this is likely a mistake. Instead, Myers-Briggs should be combined with data from other hiring assessments to determine personality, to assess how honest the individual likely is on assessments including the MBTI, and to diversify personality types being hired.

This can extend to:

  • Ensuring personality types don’t clash
  • Complimenting strengths and weaknesses across teams
  • Ensuring communication types match up as much as is practical or feasible
  • Developing guidelines for personal motivation and development
  • Creating development guidelines for the individual as they onboard

MBTI assessments are popular, and for good reason. They can make a difference in your hiring processes, most notably by giving you a larger and more informed picture of the candidate. While they won’t make hiring decisions for you, understanding a candidates MBTI can help you to place them, fit them into the right team, and make the right decisions during hiring to ensure everyone benefits.


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How Knowing Your MBTI Can Help You Nail Your Next Interview

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI is one of the most respected and used personality tests in the world. With estimates showing that between 2 and 3 million people take the test every year, and 89 Fortune 100 companies use it, MBTI is undoubtedly the standard when it comes to personality tests. While any veteran interviewer is likely accustomed to taking MBTI and other assessments. But most never take what they learn home, and certainly never bring it to new interviews.

The thing is, MBTI assessments are used to help recruiters determine who you are. They help recruiters identify strengths and weaknesses, figure out your communication style, and figure out how you like to work. Understanding what recruiters are looking at, what they see when you go through an assessment, and how they are likely to respond that can help you nail interviews, and in more ways than you might think.

How Personality Types Influence Your Interview Performance

Myers-Briggs uses 16 personality types to explain if you are extroverted, introverted, and how you outwardly communicate. Depending on your results, your interview performance could be viewed in different lights.

For example, extroverted persons are expected to be more outgoing, more comfortable in social settings, and have a broader social comfort range. So, taking an MBTI assessment can positively impact your interviewer’s perception of your communication because they understand it.

On your end, understanding your MBTI can help you to notice and account for blind spots. Are you extroverted and outgoing? You might find yourself saying too much and over sharing. Introverted? You might be coming off as shy, cold, or unlikeable.

Data shows that likeability factors track to extroversion and emotional stability, meaning you can work to be extroverted, calm, and stable during interviews to increase likeability and first impressions. While your interviewer is expected to look beyond those first impressions, knowing what those first impressions are will help you immensely.

Understanding Your Strengths

Your MBTI will tell you what your strengths and weaknesses likely are. This can give you much-needed insight into your own personality traits, and from the perspective of HR. Most people don’t think of themselves as “Confident, analytical, and ambitious”, but if you happen to be an INTJ, that’s what MBTI describes your personality type as.

  • How do you recognize these strengths in yourself?
  • How do these strengths benefit the role? The recruiter is aware of how strengths benefit their roles, but it’s always a good idea to discuss it with them. “I’m analytical, which means I’m good at X and Y, demonstrated by my experience in …”
  • Where have you demonstrated those strengths?

MBTI gives an overview of average personality traits, it doesn’t go “Every person of this type has these traits”. This means you can review traits, highlight strengths you do have, discuss them in ways that make sense for the role, and back them up with evidence. Why? You’ll reinforce the positive traits the recruiter is looking at in your assessment results, without really making bold claims that you can’t back up. This will make you look very good for HR.

Discussing Your Weaknesses

Every personality type has its own weaknesses. It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with those weaknesses, especially in terms of how they connect to your role. If you’re introverted, most people will assume you’re not a good fit for a sales role. Poor communication skills stand out. Review the “weaknesses” in your MBTI results and learn to talk about them. Figure out how and if they apply to you. Discuss how you account for those weaknesses, what you do to improve, and why those weaknesses might not be “weaknesses”.

What’s a good example of that? If you were to go back to INTJ, you’d see weaknesses like “Judgmental”, “Critical”, “highly independent”, “overly analytical”, “Dislikes rules”, etc. Most of these can be discussed in a positive light, while acknowledging that they are weaknesses and you have to compensate. That conversation might look like:

“I have a tendency to be a perfectionist and that can work against me in teams, because nothing ever feels good enough. Mostly I make that work by getting to know my teammates so that I trust their work, quality of work, and that they’ll deliver. Viewing projects as a collaborative project, even if I get to work by myself sometimes, can help me to excel as well, so it’s something that I’ve tried to embrace more and more since I became aware of it.”

Discussing your weaknesses shows that you’re self-aware, cognizant of how you fit into teams, and willing to take steps to compensate or to improve.

Understanding Why MBTI Says You Might Fit into a Role

Most recruiters will be impressed if you walk into an interview with a strong understanding of your MBTI. This might backfire if you take the assessment and get a different result (MBTI assessments yield the same results 75-90% of the time) but will give you grounds to openly discuss points like:

  • “How does my communication style fit into that of the team”
  • What are the leaders like? Do they compliment my work and communication style? Or clash?
  • These personality traits might not seem like they fit into this role, but actually they do, here’s how I’ve succeeded in the past
  • These personality traits have caused me trouble in the past, how will those fit into this role?

The Myers-Briggs Foundation states that no Type is intrinsically suited or unsuited for a particular role or job. It does offer recommendations for “best-fit” roles for personality types but shares that these are loose structures. No one should ever be denied or given a role because of their MBTI type, and if you feel your recruiter is planning to use it for decision-making, you should discuss that.

At the same time, MBTI can be a valuable way to gauge personality, individual approach, and work or communication personality, which you can discuss and communicate to directly talk about anything your recruiter might be thinking or going over when they look at your Myers-Briggs type.


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Career Guidance and Assessments in the Philippines

The Philippines have been developing at an incredibly fast pace in recent years, scoring well in the Human Development Index and uncovering new and exciting job opportunities for its residents. The country has a high employment rate of 95.5% and has a very well-developed Information Technology sector.

With this in mind, it is logical to assume that young people (i.e. students) and unemployed people have access to a wide variety of possible jobs. At the same time, when presented with such a choice, it might be hard to reasonably assess oneself and choose a position that corresponds to their certain set of interests, skills, and personal traits.

This is where career guidance and assessment services step in to help people navigate through possible options and choose the most suitable one.

The role and benefits of career guidance and assessment

One should not underestimate the benefits that career guidance services bring:

  • Evaluation of strengths and weaknesses
  • Identification of interests
  • Matching of interests and possible career options
  • Identification of the most suitable careers
  • Analysis of one’s personality and advice on career choice

Career guidance is especially relevant for young people who do not have real-life working experience and often have absolutely no idea about what they will do in the future.

Thus, it is important to provide assessment services in order to help people find the best career options and strengthen both the community and the country’s economy.

The Secondary School Career Guidance and Counseling Act

In 2019, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Secondary School Career Guidance and Counseling Act that is valid for public and private high schools across the country.

The act is aimed at helping students make wiser and more accurate decisions regarding their future careers. To achieve that, the career guidance and counseling program was institutionalized in schools.

The act also imposed the establishment of a National Secondary Schools Career Guidance and Counseling Program (CGCP) to providing high-quality guidance and counseling services to students.

Such a decision standardizes and organizes the career guidance process and places emphasis on its significance. The recognition of the role of such services is great as it proves the government cares about the country residents and is ready to help them make a balanced decision that will lead to satisfaction with the future career.

Assessment Options

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is one of the world’s most popular methods to assess one’s personality and identify how exactly one makes decisions and perceives the surroundings and people. It analyses whether a person is an introvert or extrovert, thinking or feeling, judging or perceiving, and more to help students understand themselves and their strengths better.

The Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation instruments help people improve their personal relationships by understanding their needs and how those influence their communication and behaviors. It focuses on how you behave around others and how you want others to behave around you in order to provide students a clear emotionally intelligent roadmap for collaboration.

The EQ-i analyzes emotional intelligence. This comprehensive assessment tests five distinct aspects of emotional and social functioning, and then breaks those down further into 15 subscales. Students and career counselors can use these results to learn about leadership potential, team building, and student development, among other things.

The importance of career guidance services in the Philippines

As stated above, career guidance and counseling services bring immense benefits to students. However, if we speak about the Philippines, there are other factors that double the importance of such services in the country.

Lack of involvement from the parents’ side

It is common that parents are the biggest influences when it comes to the career choices made by their children. And this problem is relevant to the Philippines as well.

As the Development Asia outlined, it is necessary to enhance the involvement of parents in the career counseling process and involve them as early as possible so they have enough time to discuss the possible career options with the children.

An important note here: career guidance services should not provide over-complicated information but rather speak in a clear manner that can be understood by anyone. As well, it would be a good idea to provide relevant role models to the students as this can facilitate their decision.

Lack of knowledge about the possible governmental aid

One of the biggest constraints that prevent students from choosing the desired university and hence, occupation, is a poor financial situation. There are many events in the Philippines that might impact one’s financial status: failure of a family business, socioeconomic issues, even extreme and unprecedented weather conditions. All that may seriously affect whether one can afford the desired college.

The financial issue is closely interlinked with another one – a lack of knowledge about the possible governmental financial aid. In the recent survey, only 14% of the respondents were aware of the financial aid program and that means, 86% of the people do not even know the government can help them. Hence, career guidance and counseling services should also inform both the students and their parents about the possible financial aid options, thus, eliminating the bottlenecks in the career selection process.

Summary

The availability of career counseling and guidance services in the Philippines is a great indicator of the country’s development process. It showcases that the government is genuinely interested in providing young people with all the tools and information necessary to make a wise and data-driven choice regarding the career that will bring tangible benefits in the future.


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5 Reasons all students should take career assessments

In today’s world, there is an incredible variety of occupations to choose from that needs a certain set of skills and knowledge. At the same time, such diversity can also cause confusion as people and especially students simply do not know where to start and what to choose.

As the famous jam experiment states, the overload of choice leads to confusion, and someone is less likely to choose something if presented with too many options.

So how do students narrow down the possible career options to make a wise choice that will correspond to their strengths and personality? The answer is career assessments.

Not only do they help match skills to a certain job, they bring other valuable benefits – read about them below.

Identification of one’s strengths and weaknesses

It is rather challenging to assess oneself as we tend to perceive ourselves in a certain manner, not objectively. Assessment tests solve this issue and provide an unbiased analysis of one’s strengths and weaknesses.

With the help of such tests, students can identify their strengths and weaknesses and better understand their own personality. As a result, they can start thinking about the most suitable career, work on the desired skills in accordance with the test results and estimate whether their personality matches their career of choice.

An assessment test can also reveal surprising facts about the student’s personality that can motivate them to try something completely new.

A starting point in the career search

Today, students have access to a tremendous variety of possible career options to choose from. The choice of a future career is stressful enough, and if there are too many options, the students can easily get frustrated or make the wrong choice.

Career assessment tools serve as a great starting point. They narrow down the possible options and provide a few occupations to choose from or, at least, take into consideration. As well, some of the career tests eliminate certain job options which also narrows down the possible options and facilitates the decision-making process.

Evaluation of marketable skills

Career assessment tests not only reveal strengths and weaknesses, but also help evaluate marketable skills in an unbiased manner.

By marketable skills, we mean the ones that are valuable for a future employee such as quick decision-making, ability to work independently or in a team, stress tolerance, etc.

Such tests reveal what kind of skills may be valuable for future employees and what kind of skills need to be worked on. In this way, students can better understand what is their competitive advantage comparing to other candidates. In addition, they can include these marketable skills into the resume and mention them during a job interview which will contribute to the employer’s decision.

An option to learn more about oneself

Students are young people who are willing to learn and are open to new ideas and feedback. Personality tests give them a chance to have a different view on their personality and better understand themselves.

The biggest assessment tests like Myers-Briggs or EQ-i provide students with a detailed report on their emotional intelligence and describe their strengths and areas for improvement in a conversational and friendly manner. In this way, a student does not feel pressed about own weaknesses and can gain more confidence upon learning about the strengths.

The indicator of the EQ

Career assessment tests are used not only to identify skills for a future job. These tests also provide a report on emotional intelligence and soft skills, which is really important in the modern world.

These tests assess skills like leadership, opportunity to work in a team, empathy, negotiation skills and much more. In this way, a student can not only improve the practical skills but better understand what soft skills are critical and which ones demand improvement.

Career assessment tools: the most efficient ones

There is a variety of available tools online that can within a few minutes give you a report on your personality, traits, strengths, and weaknesses. But to get a really informative report with deep insights, we recommend looking at some of the most popular and efficient tools.

The Myers-Briggs type indicator

This assessment tool is very personality-focused and gives users an insight into whether they are more of an extravert or an introvert, how they communicate with people and what kind of soft skills are their headmost.

This test evaluates the users by four indicators:

  1. Introvert vs Extravert
  2. Sensing vs Intuitive
  3. Thinking vs Feeling
  4. Judging vs Perceiving

The tool describes the results in an easy and understandable language and provides a great amount of useful information.

EQ-i

This tool is focused on the assessment of emotional intelligence and helps the users improve their skills in such areas as leadership, management, and coaching.

The EQ-i test analyzes the user by five composite scores and thus, gives a 360-degree view on one’s social skills. This tool is great not only for the students but for anyone who wishes to progress at work and improve communication with peers and colleagues.

FIRO

FIRO stands for Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation™ and is also focused on helping the users determine how they interact with people and what can be improved. This is a great tool for a better understanding of oneself and identifying the possible issues that prevent you from building efficient relationships with people around you.

Summing up

Career assessment tools are something any student should use. They reveal hidden talents and possible ambitions, help build confidence and better understand one’s own “self”. With the help of such tests, students can not only choose the most suitable career option but also get a deep insight into their soft skills, get a direction of how to improve them and understand their importance.


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