Comprehensive Personality Assessments: Leading Groups as Individuals

08 May, 2020

By Pia Paavilainen, HRS Advisors Oy (Finland)

A thorough personality assessment shows the working and leadership style of a candidate. It also shows the decision-making, communication, and influencing style, as well as the candidate’s motivation factors and other aspects essential for success in the position. Furthermore, a comprehensive personal assessment gives the hiring manager clues about guiding and motivating the candidate. The better the hiring manager knows the candidate, the easier it will be to provide the employee with support.

It is common for job interviewers to ask candidates what they value about supervision and how they like to be guided. In this regard, the needs and expectations of the candidates depend on their personalities, although things like the nature of the job, the work environment, and the career stage affect the needs and expectations as well.

For example, some people think it is crucial to work independently. They will say they do not need any supervision after being shown their goals. Because they want to make their own decisions on how to achieve the targets, owning their responsibilities bring them the greatest satisfaction. They may even perceive the supervisor’s interest as unnecessary intervention. Agreeing on the practical aspects of cooperation at the beginning of the employment relationship should allow this kind of employee to provide the supervisor with updates on how things are progressing.

Then again, there are people who prefer to wait for close guidance. They will succeed only when they know exactly how to proceed with their tasks, and they need reassurance in order to move in the right direction. These people appreciate regular sparring discussions and brainstorming together with the supervisor.

People also differ in how they respond to change. While some people constantly draw attention to new possibilities, seeking ideas and needing variation, others value routines that bring stability and security. Change seekers are happy with reorganization and want to be involved in development work. Some others appreciate more predictability and need good arguments for changes. For these people, accepting changes may be easier if new things are brought in little by little.

What about goals? Some people need to see goals as part of a larger whole. Others want to make progress at a fast pace, but are impatient when faced with distant goals, becoming easily frustrated if things do not seem to be moving forward. It may help to agree on the milestones together. On the other hand, there are people who tend to be busy all the time and have over-optimistic schedules. They need help with prioritizing their tasks.

During job interviews, many candidates say that they need feedback from the supervisor, including corrective feedback. However, there are differences in how people respond to such. Receiving corrective or critical feedback is not always easy for everyone. For some, it may be difficult to see things from the other person’s point of view while development-oriented people will value almost any kind of feedback to support their personal development.

Furthermore, some people need to have continuous encouragement and recognition. They may well enjoy public attention and acknowledgement for their success, but other types of people are simply embarrassed by such recognition.

All of these differences are reflected in the expectations with regard to how people like to be led. So a comprehensive personal assessment makes it easier to lead groups of people, as individuals.

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