Using A Personality Assessment Can Be Helpful

Q. Our company is considering using personality or behavioral testing prior to hiring people. What has been your experience with using these?

I’m a strong believer in using some sort of assessment prior to hiring someone, especially for key employees. These assessments can add a lot of valuable insight about the candidate. Not all assessments measure the same thing, so it is important to know what it is you want to assess. There are general assessments, ones specific to functional areas such as sales, ones that measure intelligence, many assess a person’s communication style, and still others target specific aspects of the candidate’s personality and behaviors. Selecting the right assessment for what you want to measure is critical.

It is also important to have enough peer level people take the same assessment to use as a benchmark. An assessment that shows how the candidate stacks up against the others is very useful information. Over time the assessment will reveal the traits of those hires that are successful and those that didn’t work out. Identifying the traits of both is important when assessing the candidate.

Want some tips on attracting top talent? Download the chapter from our book, You're NOT The Person I Hired, on sourcing. CLICK HERE to download this chapter.

Want to assess your hiring process? Download our FREE 8-Point Hiring Methodology Assessment Scorecard. How does your company rank on these critical points? CLICK HERE to download.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback. If you liked this article and found it helpful, please forward it to others.

Brad Remillard

Boost Productivity in Tough Times By Getting Connected to Your People

“Watch your words: they become your thoughts.
Watch your thoughts: they become your actions.
Watch your actions: they become your habits.
Watch your habits: they become your destiny.”

Frank Outlaw

Personality tests not only help when hiring, they just might be a manager’s best tool to connect with employees.

You can manage the hard way or the easy way, the choice is up to you.  The hard way is to be the “my way or the highway” type of boss.  You know the kind, always forcing workers to do things in a way that isn’t natural for them. Wouldn’t it be better to use your understanding of personality traits to tap into the natural flow so you can get the best out of your people? Of course, knowing your employees, understanding their concerns, and developing connected relationships with them should be the normal procedure for all managers.

What is the payoff to a manager for developing connected relationships with employees using personality assessments? Here are three good benefits. First, it enables the manager to better anticipate what roadblocks might occur with a worker, and what to try to reduce this resistance. Second, understanding where employees are coming from will help you plan out how much participation you need from them, and will give some clues as to how change should be communicated to them. Third, building connected relationships builds commitment and loyalty.

Take The Connected Leader Test

How connected are you as a manager?  To find out, we asked our colleague Dr. Bruce Heller, an industrial psychologist with 20 years experience, to help us design a quick connected leader self test.  Once you answer the questions, we will provide you with specific tips and ideas that you can begin to implement immediately.  For most managers, leadership does not come naturally.  The tips we share will help you to become a better listener and a more connected leader.  Employee buy-in comes when a manager is able to listen attentively, understand their needs and concerns, and to lead using your natural style.

To read more about this topic and how to use in-depth work style and personality assessments during your selection process as well as gathering mentoring and coaching ideas, you can order our book, Cracking The Personality Code by visiting www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com.

To begin taking the connected leadership test, please click here.

To sum up, we all want to be understood. Employee buy-in comes when a manager is able to listen attentively, understand them as people and to lead naturally.

Dana Borowka

P.S. Discover the importance of personal style and fit when trying to hire top talent by taking our Hiring Methodology Assessment. After determining that the candidate can achieve the required results, you can then determine how you'll get along with them and whether they'll be a fit in your culture. Style and fit are two important elements to measure for a successful hire. Take the assessment and discover whether you're effectively measuring these two elements.

Making Successful Changes – Part 2

As we mentioned in part one of this article, change is very difficult no matter what we want to change. Now we will look at other components for making successful changes in our lives.

Taking small steps to change

Consider taking one small step that you can take to begin the change process. An old Chinese proverb says, “The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” Change is much easier and less scary when it is done in small steps. For example, to work on shyness, one might begin by saying hi to the neighbors or to the cashier at the supermarket and then work up to small, light conversations with others. They could then possibly build up to joining a club and participating in activities or committees. The key is taking small steps in change, rather than overwhelming, sweeping changes. A good example of small changes is when I wanted to get back into doing artwork, but froze when I sat down in front of the blank canvas. So, I started out with using crayons and letter-sized paper, and just making shapes and using different colors together. I told myself that the end result doesn’t matter (lessening expectations and self-judgment), and what was important was the experience of creation (refocusing on the true need). This made the process less intimidating so I could get back to something I loved so much. From those small steps, I moved on to using different materials and techniques while feeling more confident in my artistic abilities.

Slow change creates significant progress

Once you have discovered a good small step – put it into action. Depending on the severity of the problem, one may need to start out very slowly with the first step and repeat it a few times for significant progress to be made. For example, if one is very shy, the first step might be repeated once or twice a week, and work up to doing it daily until one feels more comfortable to move onto the second step.

Celebrate and record your progress

After each step, celebrate your small step even if you feel the result was not as you expected. Remember that when you first started learning something new, like riding a bike, you probably didn’t do it perfectly. It took patience, practice and perseverance. Celebrate your courage, the experience of change, and your desire to take care of yourself. It is important to celebrate and appreciate yourself when you are in the change process. Record your progress and achievements. This can instill a sense of accomplishment as well as help to identify any further trouble spots in your progress.

Support is a necessity

Most of all, support is crucial during change. Seek support and feedback from understanding friends and others. Find a friend who shares your goals so you can help each other in making changes. Recognize that change is very hard and scary. As I said previously, we are very demanding on ourselves. We expect ourselves to be perfect and handle everything with ease. In actuality, we are human. It is OK to struggle and to be afraid, as long as we don’t allow the fear or obstacles to block our progress. Give yourself support by challenging self-criticism, and telling yourself nurturing statements daily. Some examples of a nurturing statement are, “I appreciate myself for who I am” and “It’s OK to be imperfect.”

Fear of failure

Finally, a big obstacle for change is our natural fear of failure. There are two quotes that can give us perspective on failure. The first is, “Failure is never final! The only time you can’t afford to fail is the very last time you try. Failure does not mean we should give up; it just means we have a reason to start over.” (Don Shelby) The second, by Samuel Johnson, “Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” We may get frustrated or disappointed, and yet, we need to venture on in spite of these obstacles. Change comes through with patience and determination to overcome the challenge that has confronted us.

Check to see if  your hiring methodology is in the zone of attracting top performers. Download our FREE Hiring Methodology Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE to get yours.

When was the last time you and your team assessed your culture? Take our Culture Quiz and see if all of your team describes your culture the same way. CLICK HERE to download the quiz.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for hiring top talent. Join our Hire and Retain Top Talent Group. There is a wealth of articles and discussions for you there. CLICK HERE to join.

 

Have you ever assessed the full and true costs of a bad hire? Few companies take the time to conduct this assessment. I think it could be that they are afraid of the results. If you can handle it, download our Cost Of A Bad Hire Worksheet. CLICK HERE and be sitting down when you complete the worksheet.  Having a respirator nearby is recommended.

 

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2010 The information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Author's Bio:

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO and Ellen Borowka, MA, COO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC have over 25 years experience in the area of business and human behavioral consulting. They have been helping organizations both nationally and internationally in raising the hiring bar through using in-depth work style assessments.  They are nationally renowned speakers and radio personalities on this topic. They have built a well recognized organization that provides expert interpretation of in-depth work style assessments during the hiring process, providing a variety of workshops and assisting those with communication challenges. They are authors of the book, “Cracking the Personality Code”. To order the book, please go to www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA  90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.

Is Your Organization Going To Make It To 2010 and Beyond? Part 2

We focused on the question above in part one of this article. If this is keeping you up at night, we have some additional ideas for you to consider and implement so your organization will not only make it through the current storm but will thrive well into the future!   You’ll know by reading this article if your ship is heading towards the rocks, towards the open sea or on a clear course to your destination.

A Checklist for Success

  • When selecting the crew – have a clear understanding of the ideal crew member and have a system and process to assure you have selected the correct crew members. This can be done through interviewing and asking questions for specific examples and compare those answers to what an ideal crew member would do. Gather as much data as possible from reference and background checks as well as provide an in-depth work style and personality assessment with Lighthouse Consulting Services.  The information should be used to validate the interview responses, background and reference checks.
  • Ask each current crew member for feedback on where they see the team and themselves could be more efficient in the market place within the next 30-60-90 days. This means that everyone on your ship needs to have their eyes and ears open to seeing where it might be possible to improve and enhance processes, structure, services, customer service, etc.
  • Captains and officers need to listen to everyone and create a truly open environment. Come up with three things that you can do that will make that happen.
  • Define what the ideal crew member would possess in skills, work style and personality and make it measurable.
  • Assist the current crew to fulfill that role. Make sure you have an in-depth work style and personality assessment of your crew members so you’ll have the insight to help everyone thrive and to get the best performance from every member of the team.  You’ll want to know how someone problem-solves, deals with stress, makes decisions, processes information, creates and follows up on leads, etc.  This will help to ensure that you have the right person in the correct position so they can perform to the best of their ability.  Contact us at reception@lighthouseconsulting.com to get started.

If you have the right team in place, your organization will be able to deal with the many challenges that will come along during the voyage. The key is to hire right the first time and to assist those on board to be the best that they can be.  This will lead to happy customers, happy employees, innovation for the future, efficiency for delivery of the product or service and of course, a profitable bottom line.

To take a leadership assessment to see if you have what it takes to help your organization sail well into the future, please click on this link:

http://www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com/LeadershipTest.php

You can gather additional ideas for working with your current and future crew members by reading Cracking The Personality Code. To order this book, go to: www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com.

Is your culture one of team work and does everyone in your company agree? Have them take our Company Cultural Assessment. CLICK HERE to download your assessment.

Is  your hiring methodology designed to attract top talent and weed out those candidates that embellish? You can download our 8 Point Hiring Methodology Assessment Scorecard and find out. CLICK HERE to download.

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC has over 25 years experience in the area of business consulting and helping organizations both nationally and internationally in raising the hiring bar through using in-depth work style assessments.  Dana is a nationally recognized speaker on this topic and has built a well recognized organization that provides expert interpretation of in-depth work style assessments during the hiring process, providing a variety of workshops and assisting those with communication challenges. He is the co-author of the book, “Cracking the Personality Code”.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA  90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our Website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth personality assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, conflict management, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.

Is Your Organization Going To Make It To 2010 and Beyond? Part 1

If the question above is keeping you up at night, we have some ideas for you to consider and implement so that your organization will not only make it through the current storm but will thrive well into the future!  You’ll know by reading this article if your ship is heading towards the rocks, towards the open sea, or on a clear course to your destination.

Think for a moment about the various components of a boat that are needed in order to keep it afloat and heading in the intended direction.  Observe how they compare to your organization.

Components of a Seafaring Vessel

Hull – Need to have a structure that can endure and thrive in the elements.

Fuel – The energy needed to move the vessel forward and towards its destination.

Crew – The crew will either make sure the ship reaches its destination in a timely manner or cause it to go off course or cause an incident that could result in loss of resources.

The Changing Environment

Water is the most unstable surface on our planet.  No matter how much planning a business does, a rogue wave can come along and cause havoc. This might be changes in the market, unhappy clients, distribution channels, technology, financial, etc.  Preparation can only go so far, yet if your organization has one key ingredient you’ll be able to survive and thrive beyond your wildest dreams.

Key Ingredient to Thrive

The answer always comes back to having the right crew on board.  It all begins with the selection process, mentoring and staff development.  If this is done correctly, or you have the right people with potential for growth, you’ll not only make it through to 2010… you’ll also be ready to ride the wave of 2011 and beyond!  Let’s take a look at how this works.

By having the right crew on board, you’ll have:

  • Contributors – That will help the ship reach its course through innovation, ingenuity, timely fulfillment of tasks, follow through, etc.
  • Happy customers – They’ll keep coming back due to the outstanding service and quality of the product.
  • Happy employees – They’ll go the extra mile for the organization and its customers.  This also leads to positive word of mouth that can attract top talent.
  • Open Minded Culture – Problem solving is the key to anticipate needs, deal with weather changes, being open to adapting to the environment.
  • Profitability – You’ll meet your organization’s goal and objective where everyone is rewarded for doing a great job and your organization will be able to continue to provide services and products with the opportunity to visit other destinations in the future.

An organization can build a sturdy ship, but without the right people behind the scenes it won’t leave port. All of this starts with the captain of the ship and with its officers.  If they select the correct crew up front, they know the job will get done correctly, in a timely manner and the work can be trusted.  Can you trust that your crew will do their job not only correctly but in a timely manner? Do they also contribute ideas for further improvement so you can get the maximum value from each individual?

If the answer is “I’m not sure” then your answer may be reflective of the future survival of your vessel.  Every organization must have all hands on deck with crew members that are excited and grateful to be aboard and have the ability to perform the best they can.

A Whale of a Tale for Teamwork

A manager once had an outstanding team but always told everyone what to do.  This person didn’t listen, didn’t ask questions, demanded a higher level of volume without asking if the organization could handle it and created a closed environment. Over time things started to slip through the cracks, customers were not getting the attention they needed, sales slipped,  people started to leave and the organization began to develop a bad reputation where recruitment became a problem.  Upper management stepped in and started to ask the team members for their feedback.  It turned out that the manager was not a good fit for that position and was transitioned into another department.  When the new manager was selected, it was based not only on experience but also the ability to work with others.  They learned that it is vital to understand a person’s work style and how they interact with others in order to have a high performing team.  If just one person isn’t “playing well in the sandbox” the effects can ruin a brand and effect sales and future growth of an organization. You can gather additional ideas for working with your current and future crew members by reading Cracking The Personality Code. To order this book, go to: www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com.

Is your culture one of team work and does everyone in your company agree? Have them take our Company Cultural Assessment. CLICK HERE to download your assessment.

Is  your hiring methodology designed to attract top talent and weed out those candidates that embellish? You can download our 8 Point Hiring Methodology Assessment Scorecard and find out. CLICK HERE to download.

Author's Bio

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC has over 25 years experience in the area of business consulting and helping organizations both nationally and internationally in raising the hiring bar through using in-depth work style assessments.  Dana is a nationally recognized speaker on this topic and has built a well recognized organization that provides expert interpretation of in-depth work style assessments during the hiring process, providing a variety of workshops and assisting those with communication challenges. He is the co-author of the book, “Cracking the Personality Code”.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA  90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our Website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com. Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth personality assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, conflict management, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.