Sit back…..close your eyes……and imagine everyday you come into work you’re given a new task to do with very little explanation on how to get it done. It involves a great deal of risk to the company and has to be done in a highly disorganized environment. However, if you complete it you’ll be rewarded far beyond what you’re normally paid and if you don’t you’ll be verbally chastised by a higher authority.
How productive would you be with that amount of disorganization and risk? How would you feel after being verbally chastized when you failed? Believe it or not, some people would relish the opportunity. Not only that, it would satisfy primary needs they have for risk, independence, urgency, and influence to name a few. The disorganized environment wouldn’t bother them because they their ability to function isn’t based on keeping things organized. Rather, it’s based on their need to accomplish and assert themselves in a broad and uninhibited way. We call them entrepreneurs.
So I contend the fallacy that underlies this entire discussion and hence the reason for it is the traditional paradigm of most businesses. It’s a paradigm that is exclusively predicated upon hiring based on the needs of the company. When is the last time any one in this discussion based a hiring decision on what the needs of the individual in question where? Well, why would you? You don’t work for the individual. You work for the company you’re hiring for.
Although most understand that happy employees are productive employees, employees that aren’t often involved in conflict, and employees that have a significant positive impact on the bottom line, it is not understood by most, nor is the effort given to understand what makes people happy. It is simple! It is the satisfaction of their behavioral needs.
Unfortunately, there has not yet been enough exposure to this “radical” concept within the business world. This concept of employees who are happy are also productive is often generalized as “what works for one will work for all”, as well as undoubtedly the most detrimental “the paycheck should suffice”. However, this distorted perception couldn’t be further from the truth and the companies that view their people as their most monetarily invested resource so critical to their success are coming around to this realization.
The data presented by psychometric assessments, if used properly, tell an employer what the specific behavioral needs (a.k.a. motivations) of the individual are relative……AND THIS IS KEY…….relative to “The Job They Are Hiring For”. In other words, will the primary demands of the job satisfy and work harmoniously with the primary behavioral needs of the individual in question?
If the individual’s behavioral needs, as identified by the assessment, are in line with the primary demands of the job, as identified by a separate assessment taken by the company, the individual is called for an interview. The interviewer now has the ability to further investigate via questions centered on the strengths and weaknesses of the individual identified by comparing the two aforementioned assessments. If the applicant’s behavioral pattern does not fit the outlined job pattern then the applicant is not called for an interview.
Using the assessment by itself as part of the hiring process without knowing the objective criteria with respect to what a particular job and its environment demands is grossly insufficient. I suspect the results of doing so is more than likely a very large contributor to the distorted perceptions many in this discussion have with respect to the overwhelming amount of benefits these assessments offer companies.
As we venture forth in this highly competitive age of economic globalization and emergence of new economies it has become so critical that companies not only have the highly validated data on their most important assets and resources but also, that they know how to use it.