Tag Archive: Personality Fit

  1. The Gig Economy: How to Stay Competitive in Talent Selection

    With the rise of the Gig Economy, it’s more critical than ever to understand the job competencies that lead to success.

    Job competencies are key to putting the right people in the right roles. When you know the traits and behaviors that lead to strong performance in a job, you can create a success profile, or predictive model, to identify your top candidates. That’s why leading companies like American Airlines, 7-Eleven, Panera Bread, and countless others have made job competencies a crucial part of talent selection.

    How do job competencies change when the nature of work changes?

    Job competencies evolve as jobs evolve, and right now, the entire workforce is changing. We’re seeing a momentous shift from traditional employment to ‘gig’ work. Gig workers are a new kind of employee—they’re agile, independent, and their jobs range from ride hailing and service delivery to specialized jobs in IT, engineering, creative fields, and beyond.

    According to a recent webinar, the gig workforce is adding $715 billion annually the economy through freelance work, and researchers project that half of the working U.S. population will move into the gig economy within the next five years.

    The rapid rise of the Gig Economy is a result of low unemployment, an increasing desire for flex work, and technology that makes gig marketplaces easily accessible. But, it takes a certain type of person to thrive in a gig environment. As you can imagine, someone who enjoys structure and stability will struggle with gig work. On the flipside, someone who craves flexibly and autonomy will be drawn to it.

    What makes someone a successful gig worker? Top 5 job competencies

    Whether you’re a traditional employer, a gig employer, or somewhere in between, you need to be sure you’re putting people in positions where they’ll be most successful. That means adjusting your success model for gig-style work (when that’s what your hiring for), or incorporating gig perks into your traditional roles to mimic a gig environment.

    These 5 job competencies will tell you if someone is a strong candidate for gig, freelance, or contract work:

    1. Adaptability. Gig workers live in ambiguity. They’re often thrown into different situations, and to be successful, they have to continuously adapt to different companies, different jobs, and different managers.

    2. Planning & Organizing. Time management is critical for gig workers, who must balance various projects at once, manage competing timelines, and carefully consider their bandwidth before taking on additional work.

    3. Relationship Management. Gig workers aren’t always brought ‘into the fold’ like traditional employees, so their ability to build relationships quickly and efficiently will have a big impact on their success.

    4.  Communicating Effectively. Being able to communicate the expectations of the job, ask the right questions, and check in on a regular basis will boost a gig worker’s productivity, which in turn will help them secure more work.

    5. Learning Agility. In gig work, you need someone who has an agile mindset and a desire for continuous learning. High learning agility will boost a gig worker’s self-reliance and empower them to figure things out on their own.

    Also, keep an eye out for these competencies in your traditional employee population. If you have employees who would thrive in a gig environment, consider offering flex time or greater work autonomy to keep them engaged.

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    To learn more about the changing nature of work, and what to expect from the Gig Economy in the next 10 years, watch our on-demand webinar: How to Stay Competitive in the Gig Economy.

    The Gig Economy

  2. Job Competencies: Why They’re More Important than Industry Knowledge

    Sports distributor unlocks the secret to sales success when they begin hiring based on candidates’ personality, rather than background

    Imagine you’re a large-scale distributor of sports equipment and apparel. You hire salespeople from coast to coast to connect with local schools, community organizations, athletic programs – anyone who might be in need of uniforms, spirit wear, practice equipment, or game-day gear.

    What makes a great sales hire in the sports retail world? Someone with the right job competencies, or someone with deep industry knowledge?

    Well, you can probably guess that most of your job applications will come from people with a coaching or sports related background. Which makes sense. Former coaches and players have industry knowledge and a special love of the game that will draw them to your type of business. It may even fuel their sales energy. But will it help them close deals?

    Not exactly. While this type of person likely has experience using the products you sell, and can probably make personal suggestions as to which cleat is best for the community’s youth baseball league (molded? metal? turf?), being a sports fan is not the only requirement for sales success.

    This is what a leading sports distributor discovered when they took a close look at their 800+ person sales team. The company had seen a recent uptick in turnover, and wanted to address it before it became a bigger problem. Also, they knew that their sales managers, who were in charge of all the hiring on the sales team, could use some help vetting talent from outside the industry. The company’s Talent Acquisition Manager said they needed a tool to “tip the odds in their favor.” That’s when they came to Outmatch.

    After taking part in a research study that included 250 of their sales professionals, the company realized that sales productivity was driven primarily by the salesperson’s personality, not by their background or love for sports.

    Six months earlier, the company began using a predictive talent assessment with two goals in mind: (1) streamline the selection process for busy sales managers, and (2) identify sales candidates who were best fit for the role and least likely to turn over. Rather than measuring product-specific skills or industry knowledge, this assessment measured candidates’ personality, including Accommodation, Assertiveness, Sociability, Frustration Tolerance, and other job competencies that are critical to success in a sales role.

    As part of the research study that followed, Outmatch collected supervisor ratings and objective metrics on newly hired salespeople, and compared them to the recommendations made by the assessment. Such analysis would reveal just how well the assessment was predicting success in this company’s sales environment.

    Results showed that salespeople who were identified as a strong match by the assessment were 9X more likely to achieve above-average sales productivity, compared to those who were identified as a poor match.

    Without an assessment in place, the company would have likely hired a mix of strong and poor matches, based on their previous selection process. With an assessment in place, they can focus all their hiring efforts on strong matches, who have proven to be more productive in the role.

    Not only was the company able to address their turnover problem, they’re now equipped to boost performance and productivity across their entire sales team. The company still considers a candidate’s coaching or sports background in the selection process, but it’s not the most important consideration. As it turns out, job competencies for sales success can cut across industries.

    It’s not so much what you sell, but how you sell it, and people with a natural strength for sales will often thrive, even if they’re not selling something that’s deeply personal or nostalgic to them.

  3. Integrate a Pre-Hire Assessment with Your ATS

    3 Reasons Why You Should Integrate a Pre-Hire Assessment with Your ATS

    Pre-hire assessments deliver predictive analytics on job and culture fit, providing a crucial layer of insight into your applicant pool. When you you integrate an assessment with your applicant tracking system, your talent acquisition teams can access these analytics directly within your ATS platform.

    Speed to useful information is the key gain. An integration allowed our team to move faster. Without it, our tools were not going to be as effective.”

    Clay Stallings, VP of Talent Acquisition and Development at Acceptance Auto Insurance

    About 90% of the companies we talk to already have an applicant tracking system in place, and more small and medium sized business are adopting pre-hire assessments after seeing how valuable they have been for enterprise organizations.

    Whether you’re using an assessment for the first time, or considering a new vendor, integration is going to be a key concern. Many companies require that all tools and technologies integrate with their core HR systems, but if you’re on the fence, here are the top three reasons to integrate an assessment with your ATS:

    1. Seamless candidate experience. Having an integrated assessment keeps candidates engaged, and makes the application and assessment one simple, seamless process. Candidates stay plugged into your ATS, and you reduce the risk of drop-off as you’re not requiring them to jump from one system to another.

    2. Greater recruiter efficiency. With an integrated assessment, recruiters will see a shortlist of top candidates for the job, along with job match scores, candidate rankings, and more—right within your ATS. The ease-of-use, plus the tremendous time savings in early screening results in a highly efficient recruiting process.

    3. Competitive edge in recruiting. Outmatch Assessment provides recruiters and hiring managers with critical data on culture fit, as well as a candidate’s likelihood of success in the role. By integrating the assessment into your process, you greatly sharpen your team’s decision making capabilities, and give your organization a competitive edge in identifying and selecting top talent.

    To learn more about ATS integration, check out our 1-pager: 5 Reasons to Integrate Outmatch with your ATS. Or, to learn more about adding predictive analytics to your selection process, download our eBook: The Essential Guide to Predictive Talent Analytics.


  4. Is Myers Briggs the Right Assessment for Talent Selection?

    The Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) is one of the most widely used and well-respected personality instruments in the world. About two million people in the U.S. take the MBTI each year, and it’s been translated into over 30 languages.

    The MBTI provides fascinating insight into what drives an individual, how they interact with others, and how they might react in certain situations. But is it the right tool for talent selection?

    Despite its popularity, and the fact that the MBTI provides gratifying narratives that describe what type of person you are, this test doesn’t have much utility beyond self-understanding. People find it interesting to learn about themselves. The MBTI might help someone decide on a general career path (“INTJs make good scientists”), but it’s not meant for employers to evaluate a candidate’s fit for a particular job.

    Why not? Unlike assessments that are designed for talent selection, the MBTI doesn’t measure work-related aspects of an individual’s personality, and it doesn’t compare the results to specific job requirements, or a job success model.

    Ipsative vs. Normative: What’s the Difference?

    Myers Briggs and other ipsative tests like DISC (which measures Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness, and Steadiness) are type-based tools. In the MBTI, test takers fall into one of sixteen personality types, indicated by four letters, such as INTJ, ESFJ, ENFP, etc.

    An ipsative test compares traits within an individual and identifies which traits are stronger than others. For example, someone might be more assertive than they are energetic. But this type of test won’t tell you how that person compares to other candidates in your applicant pool.

    When you break down the scoring on a personality test used for talent selection, you need to know two things:

    1. Where does a candidate fall on a particular trait (like assertiveness) compared to others? For this, you need to use a normative test, which measures an individual’s traits against a norm of standard performance. On an ipsative test, candidate A may show high assertiveness, but on normative test, you might see that candidate A is actually 2X less assertive than candidate B.
    2. How will a trait like assertiveness effect job performance? For customer service jobs, assertiveness isn’t as important as a trait like energy or accommodation or sociability. Measuring assertiveness for a store associate position might be interesting, but it won’t help you choose the candidate who will perform best on the job.

    When to Use an Ipsative Assessment, and When Not To

    As you can see, it’s essential to choose an assessment that fits your purpose. Myers Briggs and other ipsative tests work well for personal development, coaching, and vocational counseling. These tests can also be used for team building, as learning about coworkers’ personalities and work styles can help manage interactions within a team or department.

    But when it comes to making hiring or promotion decisions, where you must compare and rank people against each other, an ipsative test is not the way to go.

    For talent selection, you need a normative test, like Outmatch Assessment, which identifies candidates as a strong, good, fair, or poor match for the job, and provides a ranking that compares candidates to others applying for the same job. Outmatch Assessment also identifies areas where candidates are likely to struggle, and provides a development guide to help them become more effective in the role.

    Want to learn more about using assessments for talent selection and employee development? Tour the Outmatch Platform today.

  5. Street Smarts as a Leadership Style

    What does it mean to have street smarts in business? It’s about thinking on your feet and making quick decisions in high-stress situations. It’s about having the foresight to see all possible outcomes in front of you, and using your experience to guide your judgement.

    Streets smarts is an asset in leadership. According to Julie Nelson, CEO of Meeting Muse, a meeting and event planning company, street smarts is essential, especially in her line of work:

    Street smart is knowing the appropriate fix for the situation, and knowing the consequence connected to the choice you’re about to make. In event planning, the most important part of our role is on site [where a meeting or event is taking place]. That’s when all the plans can go wrong. You’ve got to be really quick on your feet to make sure you can deliver a great program, even if it’s not to the script you wrote for it.” 

    Streets smarts came into play at an event when a keynote speaker that Nelson had hired had an anxiety attack on stage. Nelson immediately jumped into action and approached an attendee in the audience she knew was trying to perfect his public speaking skills. She told him he was on in five, and he took the stage for a great presentation. Crisis averted!

    Street smarts also has to do with knowing who you can trust with important tasks in your business. Nelson says she’s selective when it comes to her staff of contractors. She doesn’t just hire able bodies. She has a deep understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of her regular contractors, and she knows who will shine in certain situations.

    From her 15 years in the business, Nelson has an arsenal of people in her talent pool that she can pull in as needed. When working with someone new, she provides support but also gives them space to learn and and grow and test themselves on non-critical parts of a project.

    I have internal red flags built in. I like to manage people who are good at what they do, but still perfecting their skills. I like to be able to oversee what they’re doing and collaborate with them. I can tell when people feel not-so-confident about what they’re doing. I can hear it in their voice. My intuition tells me when to step in.”

    Where does street smarts come from? Certain qualities, like realistic thinking, self-reliance, and assertiveness, are built into your personality. For Nelson, she says she’s always been very curious and has always enjoyed figuring things out. One summer day as a kid, she taught herself to ride a bike. “I wanted to learn,” she says, “and my parents were at work.”

    Street smarts is also something you sharpen over time. Nelson says now that she’s put in her 10,000 hours in meeting and event planning, she has strong instincts and a clear understanding of “choice and consequence” in her craft.

    To learn more about street smarts, relationship building, and becoming an expert, listen to our podcast episode with Julie Nelson here on iHeartRadio.

  6. 3 Types of Employee Turnover – Which One Matters Most?

    If the constant battle to reduce employee turnover makes your head hurt, you’re not alone. Business leaders are looking to HR to deliver big results, but sweeping statements from the boardroom, like “REDUCE TURNOVER OR ELSE,” leave your team with an enormous task ahead of them.

    The first thing to understand is that not all turnover is bad. By focusing on one facet of turnover, rather than all turnover, you can have a much greater impact on your organization’s turnover rate—and more importantly—on the quality of your workforce.

    3 Types of Turnover

    • Desirable: When you lose a bottom performer, or even a toxic employee.
    • Okay: When you lose an employee in an easy-to-fill job, a short-term contract job, or a job with a short learning curve.
    • Regrettable: When you lose a top performer or a high-potential employee, especially to a competitor.

    How to Stop Regrettable Turnover

    Most regrettable turnover can be traced back to poor job fit and poor culture fit. Fortunately, job fit and culture fit are HR’s wheel house, and there are several things you can do to improve the way you match people to jobs.

    • Define what it means to be successful in your company. What do top performers have in common? Which aspects of your culture are essential for success? Look for these qualities in new hires to ensure a strong fit.
    • Encourage strong employee/manager relationships. A top reason people leave a job is because of poor managerial relationships. When you have the right managers in place, and use analytics to improve team dynamics, you’ll see less turnover across your workforce.
    • Ease the transition from one job to the next. Job transitions are danger zones. Make sure your employees are equipped with the skills and competencies they need before moving into their new role.
    • Foster employee growth and development. Top performers are most at risk of turning over when there’s a lack of development opportunities. And this is a widespread problem—according to an engagement survey, only 25% of workers feel they have ample opportunities for career growth.
    • Be transparent about employee development. Oftentimes, companies keep their list of high-potential employees confidential. But if you never tell a high potential they’ve been identified, how will they know what to focus on? Communicating your development plans shows that you’re invested in employee growth, and that you have long-term plans for keeping people challenged and engaged.

    So while there are several types of turnover, regrettable turnover is the one you should be focused on. This is where you’ll have the most impact. To learn more about measuring turnover and building an strategy to reduce turnover, watch our webinar: Why Turnover is the Most Misunderstood Metric in HR.

  7. Top Competencies for Career Success

    Do you know which competencies are most critical for success at your organization? Your competencies for success will depend on several things: company culture, strategic vision, the size of your organization, and the type of business you’re in.

    For example, when Amazon hires leaders, they look for people who have backbone and aren’t afraid to disagree and commit. At Google, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Alphabet, Inc. (Google’s parent company) will tell you that persistence and curiosity are key. Top performers who thrive at Amazon won’t necessarily thrive at Google, and vice versa. Both companies are industry leaders, but they achieve success in very different ways.

    The best way to capitalize on workforce success is to tease out those “secret ingredients,” or the competencies for success that set your employees apart. When you’re ready to define those competencies, align your organization around those competencies, or support an organizational change, success modeling is the way to go. You’ll get a set of core competencies, including definitions and key behaviors for success, that are specific to your organization and leveled across different departments and job types.

    We know, based on our research and experience with clients, which competencies are most likely to drive success in different types of companies. For example, when a restaurant client hires their front or back of house staff, the standard success profile will include traits like sociability, resilience, and multitasking. But if your particular restaurant is focused on promotions and upselling, the ability to influence guests will be more important for bottom line performance.

    Hiring people who align with your competencies for success is a crucial first step, and you’ll begin see an impressive shift in business performance as you get more of the right people in the door. Then what? What makes those new hires want to stay with your organization? What makes them want to climb the ranks into leadership roles? Using pre-hire assessments to measure your key competencies, you can assess a candidate’s fit for your company, and also see how likely they are to grow and be successful in the future.

    To learn more about competencies and culture fit, see our success profiles for restaurant, retail, sales, leadership and more, or watch our webinar on hiring for quality, consistency, and culture.

  8. Look for these 4 Traits in Your Coaches and Mentors

    A culture of continuous growth and development is an ideal that all companies strive for. To make it a reality, you need coaches and mentors in place at all levels of the business, from the front lines all the way up to the boardroom.

    Strong coaches and mentors guide their charges when and where they need it. They must be sincere and provide fair and constructive feedback so that each individual—and by extension, the entire company—can grow and succeed.

    Many leaders are natural-born coaches, and possess traits that help them inspire others to reach their full potential. Such traits can be measured using job-fit assessments, so you can see which leadership candidates have knack for coaching, or how much development a leader will need in order to become a great coach. Here are four key traits to look for in your current and future leaders:

    1. Sociability. Communication is key to a strong coaching relationship. Leaders who are highly social have an easier time expressing their thoughts and explaining what they need from their employees. They’re more likely to seek out conversations and feel comfortable in group settings. People who prefer to work alone may accomplish a great deal, but you want your coaches to have robust social skills and be able to quickly build rapport with others.

    2. Accommodation. Leaders who are accommodating are seen as cooperative and helpful, showing concern for others’ growth and performance. While leaders who are less accommodating may be willing to disagree or take an unpopular stance for the good of the company, they tend to be competitive and motivated by personal goals. Being accommodating helps coaches focus on the greater good, and give their time to benefit others.

    3. Positive view of people. Underlying the coaching competency is the belief that people are capable of growth and willing to improve themselves. Good coaches need to see the positive in people and provide positive reinforcement. Leaders who are skeptical or overly cautious tend to micromanage rather than trust their team, while leaders who are more positive can easily build trust and lay the groundwork for strong coaching relationships.

    4. Multitasking. Because coaching is an ongoing effort, good coaches must be able to step into the coaching role at any moment. That often means pausing the immediate task at hand in order to support others through their development journey. Those who struggle to multitask will struggle to coach. Good coaches are those who can drive results, and at the same time, instill lessons that will serve others for the long haul.

    Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and best-selling author says that great leaders innately understand this critical concept when it comes to empowering people around them:

    The most meaningful way to succeed is to help other people succeed, to advance a vision or an idea or a project that is bigger than me, that’s going to affect a lot of people.”

    If that’s the kind of mentality you want in your leaders, then make sure you’re hiring for and developing strong coaching behaviors. To learn more, watch our webinar: 5 Keys to Coaching in the Moment.

  9. Primanti Bro’s.: Finding Best-Fit Candidates for Grand Openings in 2017

    The assessment results help me decide if a candidate is the right fit for the position they applied for. The candidate receives a score from 1-5 on the assessment, and depending on the results, I know immediately whether to proceed or release the candidate from the interview process.

    Samantha Willing, Talent Acquisition Specialist
    Biggest challenge: Helping managers staff up for new restaurant openings

    About Primanti Bros.

    This sandwich shop, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, began as a food cart in 1933 and now has a cult following. With 37 current locations and several openings planned for 2017, the Primanti Bro’s. growth plan is aggressive and will launch the brand into new areas across the U.S.

    Company Quick Facts

    • 37 locations and growing
    • 55 employees per store, on average
    • Working with Outmatch since 2016
    • Using assessments for hourly and management
    • Integrated assessments with talentReef ATS

    Hiring Challenges

    • Establishing an employment brand in new cities
    • Attracting talent outside their “hometown” fan base
    • Being fully staffed in time for grand openings
    • Tracking and managing turnover

    Assessments to Help Staff New Stores

    As a unique restaurant concept, Primanti Bro’s. seeks people who are passionate about the brand and fit the culture. With rapid expansion as a key initiative, recruiters and hiring managers must quickly fill front of house (FOH), back of house (BOH), and management positions for new locations with no existing staff. That’s why Primanti Bro’s. began using Outmatch assessments in 2016—to speed up the hiring process by targeting best-fit candidates.

    Results—Better Recruiting, Hiring, and Talent Management

    I’ve gotten great feedback from hiring managers. They say that the assessment scores cut way down on the time they spend deciding if a candidate meets our company’s expectations.

    Samantha Willing, Talent Acquisition Specialist
    Biggest challenge: Helping managers staff up for new restaurant openings

    Outmatch helps me find the right people to hire. I print out the interview questions that come with the assessment results, and it really helps keep my questions relevant to that particular candidate.

    Josh Garrity, GM “Head Coach” at Erie, PA location
    Biggest challenge: Getting quality candidates for FOH and BOH positions

    We have a high percentage of internal promotions, which speaks to our ability to grow talent. The assessment results help us understand an individual’s potential and strengths and weaknesses so that we can align succession and development plans accordingly.

    Cheryl Domitrovic, Director of Human Resources
    Biggest Challenge: Winning talent in competitive markets