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What Are Psychometric Assessments? By Mark Cunningham

What Are Psychometric Assessments? By Mark Cunningham

Psychometric assessments can give managers and organisations objective, in-depth and consistent information about their employees. To manage effectively, one needs to measure effectively. Many factors inhibit managers from acquiring enough of the right information about their employees to make the best possible decisions for both the individual and the organisation.

There are 4 main reasons for this:

 

  1. People are difficult to read.
  2. Future employees have a tendency to embellish their c.v.’s and qualifications
  3. Managers tend to filter employee performance reviews
  4. We have biases that unconsciously influence our decisions such as race, gender, etc.

Valid psychometric assessments can uncover truthful information about the employee in a very cost and time effective manner.

When buying a R50 000 computer for a business, great care is taken in ensuring that a sound investment is made. The “right people” is said to be a companies greatest asset….do we spend enough time, effort and money in researching whether we make a wise investment in hiring and selecting the right people?

Here are some essential questions for selecting the right assessments for you and your organization:

  1. What is the purpose of the specific assessment tool and how will it help us accomplish the objectives of our assessment program?
  2. How does the assessment help us understand the whole-person to give us a more solid basis to make important career and employment-related decisions?
  3. Is the assessment instrument unbiased and fair to all groups who will be assessed?
  4. Is the assessment procedure and instrument adequately reliable for our use?
  5. Is the assessment procedure and instrument valid for our specific purpose?
  6. Is the assessment tool appropriate for our target population?
  7. Is there understandable and comprehensive documentation available for the assessment instrument?
  8. Is training and support provided for assessment administrators?
  9. Is the data from the assessment instrument secure?
  10. Is training and support available to ensure that scores are interpreted properly?
  11. Is the outcome of the assessment simple enough to enable managers to interpret the results or is a certified professional required?

Over 75% of the Times Top 100 companies in the UK and over 80% of the fortune 500 companies in the USA use psychometric assessments. If you or your organisation are not using assessments to assist in your people decisions have a look at the benefits thereof:

  1. Selecting people most likely to succeed in a job
  2. Accelerating time for people to become fully productive in a new role
  3. Improving alignment and communication between managers and employees
  4. Reducing workforce conflict and improving employee satisfaction
  5. Maximizing each employee’s contribution to the organization
  6. Reducing employee absenteeism and turnover
  7. Increasing sales performance and customer loyalty
  8. Enabling strategic workforce management and succession planning
  9. Increasing overall workforce capability, productivity, and agility

It has been said that to get to know people, you can either observe them, which takes time and is costly, or you can assess….Good luck on your assessment journey and remember to make informed decisions regarding your greatest asset…”the right people”.

 By Mark Cunningham

Leadership: The New Scarcity by Nathan Austin

Leadership: The New Scarcity by Nathan Austin

When the bell rings, line up in a straight line. No talking. Follow the rules. Don’t question, just obey. Colour inside the lines. Raise your hand. Speak only when spoken to.

The system has indoctrinated our thinking and our behaviour.

We’ve been programmed to fit in, to follow the rules and not to question. We were taught that obedience, compliance and conformity were expected at school and work (you were probably even promoted or rewarded because of them).

But, the world has changed.

In fact, it continues to change faster than many of us realise or anticipate.

In the new world of work obedience, compliance and fitting in just won’t cut it anymore.

So, what is the alternative?

Leadership!

Many of us might be tempted into thinking that leadership is a title or a position. This is not the case. Leadership is less about the title, designation or rank that we hold, and it has more to do with our attitude, behaviour and our ability to add value and make a difference.

Leadership is how we influence and connect with those around us. It is not always easy. Sometimes it’s hard and that’s why it is so scarce, but it is available to all of us.

 

By Nathan Austin

 

The Interview Process Only Gives You a 14% Chance of Hiring the Right Person by Chrystal Austin

The Interview Process Only Gives You a 14% Chance of Hiring the Right Person by Chrystal Austin

So, you hired that individual who seemed full of promise. They had an amazing CV, the looks, the perfect interview, signed contract and good to go…

Then, a few months down the line, the settling-in period has ended and you’re still waiting for the results that a few months ago, seemed guaranteed. You are waiting for the “STAR” performance to kick in, but somehow feel like you were fooled by a sparkler.

In the competitive employment market, with so many people competing for positions out of desperation rather than passion, we are easily deceived by the “professional interviewees”.  Here are some suggestions, based on research, to increase the chances of hiring the right person by inserting the following processes in your hiring process:

  1. The Interview process: This includes the CV which identifies Skills-Fit/Experience and followed by ”The Interview”. By utilising this process you only have 14% chance of hiring the right person.  That is a 1 in 7 chance of hitting the mark.
  2. Reference Checking: Following up on references increases your hiring hit to 26% chance
  3. Personality Testing: By adding personality testing you increase your chances to 38%.
  4. Abilities Testing: Job-Related skills and abilities tests increase your chances to 54%.
  5. Interest Testing: Assessing an individual’s interests and comparing them to the job-interests increases your odds to 66%.  Interests are an individual’s natural motivators to do the job.
  6. Job-Match: Assess candidates using a reliable Job-Match assessment (like the PXT which includes Interest Testing) to increase your chances to a staggering 75%.

We have years of experience and multiple tools at our disposal for testing and job match. Let us help you increase your chances of hiring right.

 

By Chrystal Austin

 

 

(Source: Professor Mike Smith, University of Manchester, USA, August 1994, Professors John E. Hunter & Ronda R. Hunter, Validity and Utility of Alternative Predictors of Job Performance, Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 96)

The Perfect Leader by Mark Cunningham

The Perfect Leader by Mark Cunningham

I have been involved in Personal and Leadership training and development for the past 26 years as a facilitator, trainer and coach. What a marvelous and dynamic journey it has been.

Alvin Tolfer said “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those that cannot read or write, but those that cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”. Nowhere else does this apply more than to leadership and the ability to guide and influence others. Leadership in a word is “influence”, according to John Maxwell, and the more skilled a person becomes at one-on-one and one-on-many communication, the greater the capacity to lead.

In the book “The Work of Leaders”, the authors, after much research, determined that all leaders need to be able to 1) Craft a Vision, 2) Build Alignment and 3) Champion Execution.(I recommend this book). Joel Barker, many years before, stated that to create a Vision Culture within an organisation, it had to be 1) Leadership Initiated 2) Shared and Supported 3) Positive and Inspiring 4) Detailed and Specific. Words of wisdom from both sources. What is interesting is that the number 2 in both studies were the most neglected, namely the points dealing with people and getting their buy in. To be learned and skilled in an area of focus and to have a title to go along with it does not guarantee that you will be a person of influence.

Many descriptions and titles for the modern leader come to mind as authorities have described the attributes of leaders….the Principle Centered Leader, the Servant Leader, the Mindful Leader, the Emotionally Intelligent Leader, the Situational Leader, the Relevant Leader, the Charismatic Leader, the Level Five Leader, the Leader without a Title and so on…all great titles with excellent research and facts to enhance our understanding of what it takes to be a better leader.

Here are a few things I have learned on my journey to recognize the Perfect Leader:

  • Leadership is not for “softies”…if you see a man on top of a mountain, he did not fall there.
  • Leadership is a process not an event. It takes time and effort, success and failure.
  • Leadership in the 21st Century is a journey that requires constant learning both theoretically and practically.
  • Leadership requires developing a burning desire to succeed and the discipline to put your beliefs into action.
  • Leadership is more than mere words of encouragement to others, but a sincere and genuine interest and understanding of what they want to achieve.
  • Leadership is not for everyone. Self Leadership is, but not ‘others’ Leadership.
  • Leadership is trusting others enough to “let go.”

This might be a long list…so let me conclude by saying that there are no Perfect leaders, they will always have challenges however, successful Leaders have different challenges year after year, not the same ones over and over again. If you are growing and moving forward, there can be no one more successful than you. Failure is manifest when you quit and forego the opportunities that lie before you.

 By Mark Cunningham

Crucial Strategies for Enhancing Organisational Talent – Part I

Crucial Strategies for Enhancing Organisational Talent – Part I

The state of the economy is unfortunate, with yet another of the three rating agencies downgrading South Africa to junk status and investors pulling out of the JSE and government bonds. Now more than ever companies have to optimise and enhance their organisational talent. While cost cutting may be unavoidable; it’s important not to fall into some of the common traps that will put you at a disadvantage when the economy turns around.

The bottom line is that you need to know your human capital inventory well enough to make the best decision, and have the courage to take calculated risks to upgrade when the opportunity presents itself.

Our researchers have identified four crucial strategies to optimise and enhance your organisational talent. These are:

  1. “Re move” your chronic under-performers
  2. Remove your dead wood
  3. Uncover your diamonds in the rough
  4. Never stop your hunt for high quality outside hires.

 

This blog post series will elaborates on these four crucial strategies.

1.” Re move” your chronic under-performers

How often have you seen organisations keep staff just because they are nice people that don’t cause a lot of waves even though they aren’t very good at their job? They’ve moved around and had a lot of chances, but just don’t have what it takes to be effective. This is especially important for people in the higher pay scales.

The first step is to identify the organisations least effective employees. Then determine if they are chronic low performers or just a bad fit for a particular job, or have a bad manager, insufficient training or lack of resources.

However, you need to be honest with yourself. They may be nice people, but if they can’t or won’t add enough worth, then you need to make the tough decision and let them go. If you tolerate them, then your mid to top performers lose the motivation to go above and beyond average job performance; they see poorness is both endured and accepted.

Do you have the data to support your decisions?

These decisions are best made when supported by facts as opposed to opinion. There are many assessment tools that give you objective data to determine if an employee is a chronic under-performer or the victim of other circumstances that can be overcome. Without valid measurement tools management becomes very difficult.

 

Personal Leadership by Nathan Austin

Personal Leadership by Nathan Austin

Something mysterious happens on the 1st January, every year. As the clock strikes midnight and as the fireworks explode, we get caught up in the frenzy and excitement of a New Year. A new beginning. A clean slate.

In that moment, we suddenly feel the urge to commit.

We commit to becoming better versions of ourselves. We commit to going to the gym. We commit to being better partners. We tell ourselves that we will be more positive this year. We even commit to starting that diet that we have been promising ourselves (this probably happens every Monday morning!).

We commit. We promise. We pledge. Then sadly, we forget.

For the majority, come mid-January, those promises and commitments become a distant memory and we allow ourselves to slip back into our old habits, old behaviours and the same old, familiar routines.

Wow, that’s depressing!

If you are tired of feeling the same way (probably the same way that you have felt for several years), learn to make and keep promises to yourself on a daily basis!

Something powerful happens to us when we commit and then act on that commitment. We start the process of growing our self-image which ultimately becomes the human thermostat- it regulates our performance as individuals.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait until the 1st January. Commit. Act. Do it now!

By Nathan Austin

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