Step 2 of 3 steps to hire and retain leaders who fit your culture: Assess

Assessments guide you in determining whether and how a leader candidate may match your needs.

In our last post, we covered Step 1 of hiring and retaining best-fit leaders: clarifying job requirements and expectations. Using assessments to uncover which candidates may be a good match for the job—and to help prevent hiring the wrong person—is the next step. Step 1 of 3 steps to hire and retain leaders who fit your culture: Clarify.
Step 2: Assess
What temperament does the job require?

Many, many types of assessments are on the market, with different roots, different objectives, different strengths—and different price points. Generally, assessments categorize people in four areas—pay attention to each assessment’s categories because the same letter used to designate a category can vary from assessment to assessment. For example, DISC uses Dominant, Inspiring, Supportive and Cautious; Keirsey uses Artisan, Guardian, Idealist, and Rational.

Before choosing any assessment, start by understanding what you want to get from the assessment—if you’re looking for candidates who are a good fit for the job and culture, you want to make sure you identify the objectives you have for that leader and the temperament required. There are no right or wrong answers or one “best” temperament. Whether someone is a concrete thinker or an abstract thinker, people-oriented or process-oriented—any of these can be successful in the right position.

For example, if your position calls for a leader skilled in abstract, outside-the-box thinking, a concrete, logistical thinker would not be the right fit. However, if you’re building a management team, it would likely be to your advantage to have both types of leaders on the team to complement each other.

What personality does the job require? In addition to temperament traits, assessments can also highlight personality traits. We use five-factor psychology assessments (we prefer The Birkman Method) to define leaders’ tendencies, preferences, stress needs, and stress reactions. The five factors of personality are represented by the acronym OCEAN:

  • Openness—openness to trying new things, creativity, abstract thinking
  • Conscientiousness—detail and schedule orientation
  • Extraversion—outgoingness, assertiveness, talkativeness
  • Agreeableness—cooperation, caring, empathy
  • Neuroticism—stability, emotional resilience, anxiousness

Assessing these personality traits gives insight on a candidate’s natural tendencies and whether those are suited to the leadership position you’re hiring for. It helps eliminate the guesswork in hiring, and filter people who are simply not wired to be a good fit for a particular position.

Next time, we’ll look at Step 3 of hiring and retaining leaders who fit: Prove.

How can we help your leaders and business excel?