The most successful organizations periodically audit and amend their business procedures for both compliance and effectiveness. By doing so, firms continuously improve their operations and retain a competitive edge. However, these audits often overlook one critical area: the interview and hiring process.
You might be thinking that your company’s interview and hiring process is perfectly fine -- that if it’s not broke, why fix it? However, best practices have changed over the years. Since your employees are the lifeblood of your organization, it’s a good idea to review what your hiring teams are doing -- and make any needed adjustments.
Let’s start by exploring the potential pitfalls of the traditional interview.
Interviews are a crucial component of the hiring process. However, if they’re not conducted strategically, they’re little more than a rehash of the candidate’s resume, with a few tired, ineffective questions peppered in. Questions like “what’s your greatest strength?” or “what’s your greatest weakness?” result in an answer that the candidate thinks you want to hear, yielding no useful insight into their projected performance.
Research shows that the best interview questions reveal how a prospective hire would handle a given situation based on how they’ve approached similar scenarios in the past. Implementing the behavioral interviewing technique, you ask the interviewee to recount specific stories from their work experience. Then, what they say reveals a lot about their personality and soft skills.
Some examples of behavioral-based interview questions include:
To compare candidates effectively and fairly, you must put all of them through an identical interview and hiring process. That means interviewers need to ask each person the same questions in the initial interview and score their responses according to a predetermined standard. A scoring rubric can help interviewers provide a consistent and fair interview experience for all job candidates.
Further reading: Need a little help refining your interview process? Check out our Resources Page for interview guides, interview question ideas, and more.
Depending on your firm’s procedures, your interview process may be long and tedious, requiring extensive candidate research and interaction. So, even though hiring the right people is a worthwhile pursuit, it can be draining. And, when you’re fatigued, you’re not an effective interviewer. You may rush through interviews, fail to process what candidates tell you, and make hasty hiring decisions -- a disservice to the candidates and your company.
You’re biased. We all are. Your personal experience and upbringing have cultivated long-standing beliefs about people. Unfortunately, your biases could cause you to hire -- or decline -- a candidate based on a hunch. The key is recognizing this fact and actively nipping those biases in the bud when they creep in.
So, how do you reduce fatigue, mitigate bias, and truly know your candidates so you can make informed, fair hiring decisions? That’s where a behavioral assessment comes in. The assessment takes an inventory of each candidate’s traits, compares it to your current high performers' benchmark data, and translates the findings into useful insight about the candidate’s predicted performance. If administered at the beginning of the hiring process, a behavioral assessment can help you:
Omnia offers an easy-to-implement behavioral assessment so you can get started right away. Results are instant, digestible, and actionable. If you want even more insight, our team can provide you with an in-depth analysis of your assessment data. Remember: we’re here to help you improve your hiring and interview process so that your company continues to thrive!
If you haven’t looked at your hiring or interview process in a while, chances are it could use some help. When implemented together, behavioral interviewing techniques and behavioral assessments provide you with more reliable and valid information than the standard interview. And, behavioral assessments reduce interviewer bias and fatigue. That means your hiring and interview process is more efficient, fairer, and results in better quality hire for your organization. Talk about a win-win-win!
As a leader, you’re invested in the growth and development of your team. You know that properly coached employees can achieve your company’s lofty goals and be more engaged while doing so. But -- did you know that your coaching efforts could fall flat if you don’t have the right insight about your team members?
That’s because every person on your team is unique and will respond to being coached differently. So, for the best results, your coaching must be tailored to each individual, taking into account:
Don’t worry, though. You don’t need to spend years piecing together this intel. You can glean all of this critical information quickly through behavioral and cognitive assessments.
Let’s take a closer look to see how.
You’ve heard that leveraging your employee’s strengths is the best way to maximize their performance -- and it’s 100% true. Assessment results reveal what your employees naturally do well and where they tend to struggle. This knowledge enables you to craft a custom coaching program that builds on their strengths while addressing their weaknesses.
When you focus on their current capabilities, you empower them to grow using the tools they have. This lets them achieve quick wins, which boosts their confidence and facilitates continued development. By following the strengths-first approach, you’ll propel them towards greater success in your coaching program as well as their entire career.
Every member of your team processes and implements information differently. Assessment results will help you understand how each employee learns best. You’ll instantly know:
With this insight, you can tailor your coaching approach to each employee. For instance, you may need to slow your pace when coaching an employee who processes information methodically. Or, if you’re working with an especially analytical team member, you may want to base your coaching on facts and figures instead of personal anecdotes. Finally, if your employee needs a firm structure to thrive, you might want to ensure that your coaching sessions don't deviate from the scheduled topics.
Of course, the reverse of these scenarios can also be true. You may be able to move through information faster if your team member can handle it. Or, you could tell more personal stories when coaching people-oriented employees. When working with team members who prefer less structure, you can make coaching sessions more adaptive to their changing needs. The bottom line: one size doesn’t fit all, so meet your employees where they are for optimal results.
Your coaching will be most effective when it aligns with your coachee’s long-term goals. That’s because your team member’s personal and professional plans drive everything that they do. So, to unlock their true potential, you must uncover what really motivates them. By tapping into their motivation, you can compel them to work harder and continue to grow.
Behavioral assessments yield this critical insight, allowing you to create a coaching program that’s a true win-win for both your employees and your company. Your team members will be motivated to excel in their roles because you’re helping them fulfill their career aspirations. And your firm will benefit from a knowledgeable, skilled, and engaged workforce.
Omnia offers both cognitive and behavioral assessments. Reliable and valid, when implemented together, you’ll learn everything you need to know to coach your team members effectively. You’ll understand how they solve problems, process information, apply new knowledge, adapt to change, and so much more. You’ll also become acutely familiar with their personality, allowing you to connect with them on a deeper level and foster trust.
The Omnia assessment results include more than just the data. The assessment reports show you what that data actually means -- and how you can use it to increase performance and engagement. In short, you’ll instantly become a more effective coach because your coaching program will truly cater to each member of your team.
A well-developed and committed workforce is your company’s single best asset. By becoming a better coach, you strengthen that asset, positioning your firm for future success. The first step to upping your coaching game is to create a tailor-made development program for each team member based on employee assessment results. Then, leverage the assessment insight in conjunction with employee strengths, and watch your team flourish.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could change our personalities at will? We could reduce conflict, increase communication, and improve productivity with little effort in this magical scene.
As employers, in addition to the above, wouldn’t it be grand if we could seamlessly coach our employees to achieve greater career success by changing their styles of behavior?
Of course, it would. The good news is there's a way to enable and coach different personality styles that actually work. It requires a quick and easy assessment to get started and a willingness to modify coaching and leadership techniques based on personality styles.
Employee behavioral assessments are helpful to understand the personality traits of job applicants and current employees. This behavioral / personality assessment makes it possible to uncover an individual's deeper motivators, preferences, and behaviors, plus how those traits will affect their performance in a particular role.
Sometimes individuals naturally evolve over the years to become more effective in their work and personal lives. And sometimes, we can help individuals consciously develop the characteristics they need in a given job. However, certain traits are easier to change than others.
With insights gleaned from a behavioral assessment, you can better predict job compatibility by gauging an individual's similarity or dissimilarity to the duties and personality patterns required to be successful in the job, your work culture, and with their peers and supervisor. Behavioral often is a bigger factor in fit than skill sets. Skills can be developed and improved. Some personality characteristics cannot.
Researchers have identified five characteristics that largely govern how our personalities function. These “big five” factors are generally believed to be fairly constant throughout our lives and may be attributed to genetics and the environment.
In concert with this finding, researchers at Stanford University propose that change is possible over our lifetimes. Even more encouraging is a finding that change tends to be for the better. But note that scientists disagree with this proposition. Some observe that while change may occur, it is likely to be nuanced.
Each of the five personality traits tends to develop in different ways through our lives:
1. Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. extravagant/careless). People are likely to improve in this area throughout their lives; with maturity comes greater conscientiousness. We develop this trait most strikingly in our twenties as we take on adulthood's work and family responsibilities.
2. Extroversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved). Extroversion is the trait of being energized by interacting with people; introverts are energized, in contrast, through thought and other solitary activities. However, extroverts may perform quite competently and even excel when working alone, and introverts may socialize effectively.
It has been observed that women may need somewhat less social support as they age, but men stay more constant in their extroversion orientation. Both genders may improve their social skills through experience and practice.
3. Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. challenging/callous). Our abilities to get along and emotionally support others may improve as we age. The thirties and forties are the life decades most apt to show development in this aspect of personality.
4. Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious). Openness is defined as a willingness to try new ideas and experiences. This trait may decline somewhat with age. As we grow older, we may become more set in our ways. Still, there is a great deal of variation among people at all stages of life, and we are not doomed to become inflexible over time.
5. Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. resilient/confident). Neuroticism is our tendency to worry and sense instability. Women are more likely to somewhat overcome this trait over the years relative to men.
What you can change. . . and what you may not be able to change.
While these five personality traits are the cornerstones of personality development, many other specific competencies are amenable to measurement via behavioral assessments, which can be changed. The extent of change that is possible varies by trait.
What Does a Behavioral Assessment Actually Measure?
Assertiveness: The need to make things happen.
Communication Style: The need to work with people versus the need for proof.
Pace: The speed at which a person operates.
Structure: The degree of dependence on rules.
The Omnia behavioral assessment is known for its easy-to-read, easy-to-interpret eight-column bar graph that displays these four behaviors as pairs of columns because every trait has the opposite. Just one assessment and eight columns will give you all the information you need to make your next hire successful!
The competencies that are the easiest to alter are generally those that are primarily relevant to the work environment. Coaching and training can help willing student progress in oral and written communications, political savvy, chairing effective meetings, planning, goal setting, and customer service.
At the other end of the “changeability” spectrum are those characteristics that are most resistant to change. Intrinsic intelligence is difficult to improve, though book learning is, of course, possible. Creativity, analytical skills, integrity, energy, assertiveness, and even ambition remain unyielding to training and coaching.
In the middle are certain behaviors that may be susceptible to change, but the process is not easy. These competencies include listening, negotiation, change leadership, being a team leader, and conflict management.
All in all, it is important to understand our own personality traits and associated competencies as well as these characteristics in those we employ. Acknowledging how traits vary in their amenability to change helps us determine how to help employees contribute most effectively to the workplace and select (and achieve) appropriate career goals.
Let's face it; sometimes people end up in a management position who might not belong in one. It happens for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, not all is lost. There are some things you can do to help a non-leader lead!
In fact, it happens all the time: You thought you had the perfect person to take charge of a team: they had enthusiastic references; they used to do the job, and they rocked at it; they managed a different department and had amazing success. All signs indicate they should be doing great, but for some reason, things just aren’t working out. You have unmotivated employees, deadlines are being missed, production is falling. What do you do?
Well, you don't have a time machine, so you'd better make the best of the situation now. It was possibly just a bad-fit hire, or maybe it was a promotion that should not have happened. Too often, top performers are rewarded for their successes with promotions to management. This may seem like the perfect prize for their contributions, but unfortunately, the qualities that make them a top performer in their current role may not be the same qualities that make a successful leader.
Let's look at some scenarios. Take Cal, a friendly, helpful, conscientious customer service rep., a top performer. As a manager, his best traits could work against him. He could be too cautious, too uncomfortable with conflict, and too uneasy dealing with situations that are not outlined by written procedures. Now take a look at Martha, a top producing salesperson who closes deals quickly and innovates frequently. In a leadership role, she could set overly aggressive goals, she may not enforce important rules, and she might not want to mentor or coach employees. While these are top performers in their fields, it does not translate seamlessly to ideal leadership.
That’s not to say top employees can never lead, or that a struggling manager can't be coached; some may need more guidance than others.
1. First off, make sure the person still wants to manage (or see if they ever did). The promotion might have seemed like a wonderful thing at first, but if the individual is experiencing daily, soul-crushing anxiety, maybe it’s time to let them step back. Make it clear that a reduction in management duties would not be a punishment, just an adjustment. And mean it.
2. Find out where the problem is. Are employees not being held accountable, is morale lagging, are people lacking direction? Observe the situation, talk to the leader, and consider having them take a behavioral assessment to identify strengths and challenge areas. Interview the staff if necessary.
3. Be prepared to mentor and coach, focusing on the biggest problem area first. For example:
4. Once you figure out the problem, create a plan to correct it based on the biggest challenge areas. Check-in regularly to make sure progress is being made.
5. Since you don’t have a time machine: Hire right the first time. Make sure you do your due diligence when selecting people to lead your teams, and offer coaching from the outset. Even natural leaders will need some time to get up to speed.
6. Find other ways to reward your best performers if they are not necessarily interested in or suited to become leaders. Offer more responsibility, chances to cross-train, or opportunities to contribute in a natural and appealing way.
As a leader, you’re expected to achieve company goals by effectively utilizing your most valuable resource - your team. So, how do you unlock their potential and guide them towards success? Honestly, you need to know your team to lead your team.
Getting to know your team on a deep level can take years of discussion and observation. But, it doesn’t have to work that way. You can learn all you need to know quickly by using a behavioral assessment.
A behavioral assessment is a tool used to measure an employee’s personality traits related to expected job performance. This form of assessment will give you critical insight into what makes each employee tick. The knowledge gained will enable you to form and leverage highly effective teams that achieve great results.
While data from a behavioral assessment can help you handle every part of the employee life cycle, let’s look specifically at how the results can impact how you train, communicate and lead.
The behavioral assessment results will reveal both your employees’ strengths and potential challenge areas. While you should always cater to their strengths, knowing where they can improve facilitates personalized development plans.
You’ll also learn how they process and adapt to new information, which informs the method and pace you should use to train them effectively. Incrementally, you can help each employee grow professionally and add more value to your team.
When your team isn’t in the office, and training needs to be conducted virtually, the behavioral assessment data will help you make decisions such as:
The behavioral assessment results will tell you exactly how you should tailor your communication style to each employee. You’ll know if they respond better to facts and figures, or if they’re more captivated by personal stories and emotional appeals. You’ll also have a sense of how much information they can handle at one time and what support they’ll need to process it.
Besides, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll understand how they handle stress. That means you can craft your message so that it provides the necessary information and avoids overwhelming them.
You need to communicate with your remote employees as much as you would if they were in the office, perhaps more so. The results from their behavioral assessments will help you determine:
The behavioral assessment results will help you get the most out of your team. You’ll have a clear understanding of what drives each employee, how fast they work, and if they’re a rule follower or a rule stretcher.
You’ll also understand how much recognition to give them and how much oversight they require to get the job done. You’ll also know how they interact with people, making it easier to facilitate collaboration with other employees with complementary work styles.
Your remote employees need an effective leader that encourages and empowers them to accomplish the company’s objectives. The behavioral assessment results will help you:
If you want to be the best leader possible, you need to understand your own personality traits. When you think about yourself, you’ll naturally have some blindspots. Using an objective measure like a behavioral assessment will give you a clear and true picture of your leadership strengths, opportunities for improvement, and general tendencies. The bottom line: by really tuning in to who you are, you’ll be better able to understand and guide others.
What we’ve covered here is just the tip of the iceberg. An Omnia behavioral assessment will provide you with a full understanding of each employee’s personality -- including your own! That understanding is the key that unlocks your team’s potential, driving your workforce to higher levels of success.
The Omnia behavioral assessment is easy to implement. Employees take an inventory of themselves by using an adjective checklist. Next, our analysts will create a detailed report discussing each employee’s results and what they mean for you as a leader. Then, all you’ll need to do is act on the insight and watch your team become stronger than ever.
Whether your workforce is remote, in the office, or a mix, you need to truly know each employee to effectively lead them. An Omnia behavioral assessment will give you the knowledge that you need quickly and easily. That way, you can connect with your team on a deep level and successfully fulfill the company’s mission together.
During times of crisis or uncertainty, your employees count on your empathy and ability to help them cope with current events and ultimately get through to a brighter tomorrow. Unsupported team members are at high-risk for being unmotivated, withdrawn, on edge, or even physically absent. On the flip side, a well-guided team will unify, adapt, rise to the occasion, and put the company in the best possible future position.
To effectively lead under these circumstances, you need a communication plan tailored to your team’s communication style and preferences.
Let’s dig into that.
When the world has been upended, some of your employees may panic. Unfortunately, panic is contagious, and its spread can spark rumors, kill productivity, and lead to low team morale. Fortunately, you can keep everyone calm and the situation under control by implementing a communication plan that does these four things:
Let’s look at each in turn.
To prevent rumors from flying, you need to provide timely and honest information to your employees. In the absence of information, people form their own conclusions, and stress multiplies. Sharing information continually helps build trust and diminishes their fear of the unknown. It’s okay to express the situation's seriousness and admit when you’re not sure about something. Even letting your team know you’re not sure of a decision yet is perfectly fine. Your team will appreciate your transparency.
For best results, make sure that crisis-related messaging is consistent across the entire firm -- and not different from team to team. This is a great time to use collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, and video conferencing to vary how you distribute messages and encourage input. At Omnia, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in cross-company communication through the use of channels and polls on Teams. It’s also been a great way to keep a constant pulse on engagement across the teams while everyone is currently so distributed.
While open communication at a company-wide level goes a long way to build trust, you should also reach out to team members individually. Allow individuals to express their emotions, frustrations, and fears in a safe, judgment-free environment.
Don’t be afraid to share your emotions, too. Being warm, personable, and vulnerable shows the employee that you “get it” and builds a sense of camaraderie. While time constraints are understandable, try to reach out multiple times -- especially during prolonged periods of uncertainty.
A crisis often causes confusion, so your employees may not know what they should be doing. To guide them, give them clear instructions on how to support your customers -- and each other.
Remember, since the future is full of question marks, your guidance needs to be concrete and focused on the short-term. Finally, your team needs a continuous source of support to navigate these tough times. So, make sure you follow up often and are easily accessible to answer their questions.
During times of crisis, team unity is critical. A tight-knit group will be more committed to each other -- and the company. To promote unity, speak to the collective talent and strength of your organization. While you shouldn’t make any promises about how the firm will ultimately fare, tell stories about how it has adapted and overcome in the past.
To keep spirits high, remain ever hopeful, and assure your team that you’re in it with them for the long haul. You should also empower your group. Ask them to tap into their strengths. Encourage them to do their best work, given the circumstances. And remind them that they play an important role during these challenging times. Find ways to share what people are doing to learn and apply new skills, and spotlight the impact these are having on your customers and the business.
Your employees have different communication styles and preferences. To ensure that they get the information and support they need, it’s important to be aware of them. Then, you can tailor your approach to each team member.
For example, some of your employees may be extremely analytical. They’re more focused on facts, processes, and numbers than interpersonal relationships. In these cases, you should paint the picture of the situation in a linear manner with supporting statistics, if possible. They will value timetables, and firm commitments of when actions will occur or additional communication will come. Conversely, your more relationship-oriented employees will care more about the impacts of those statistics on actual human lives and may appreciate a video conference over an email or phone call. This group will also value being able to verbally process the messages they are hearing with their colleagues. In the end, you’re providing the same information, just presented differently.
Further, some of your employees thrive in a fast-paced, swiftly changing setting and can handle getting the whole story all at once. Yet, other team members process information more methodically and need to focus on each detail separately. What’s important is that you factor in these varieties of styles and adjust your delivery depending on who you’re speaking with to ensure they get the information they need.
If you’re not sure about your employees’ communication styles, an Omnia behavioral assessment can help! Assessments are short and simple to take yet can reveal behavioral insights you might not have known, even after working with someone for weeks and months. Assessment results will enable you to communicate with and manage each team member more effectively. You’ll unlock how they work best so you can fully utilize their strengths. It’s quick and easy to get started!
When circumstances are difficult or ambiguous, strong leadership and effective communication are even more critical. Your employees will rely on you to support, encourage, and guide them. If you provide consistent, tailored communication with empathy woven throughout, your team will come together, support each other more, and can bravely face what’s to come.