Unpacking Your Personality: How Do You Address Tasks and Projects

Unpacking Your Personality: How Do You Address Tasks and Projects?

Even if you think that you know a lot about yourself and your personality, it is always good to be open to an unbiased opinion about how you respond to the world around you. This can include how you interact with others in class or during meetings, the way you handle pressure of deadlines or tests, and how you organize projects. Taking a personality or soft skills assessment, like MyPrint, can help to uncover strengths you were unaware of or reinforce what you already knew. 

What are your strengths and how do you use them on a daily basis? Are there any skills that you are missing or want to improve upon? These are just a couple of the questions that you can ask yourself to get the most out of your soft skills assessment results. 

Understand how you approach tasks and projects. 

Personality and soft skill assessments help us understand ourselves better by using basic psychological models, such as the Big Five Model of personality. At Talentoday, we have organized our personality dimensions into four groups, called the personality axes, to show how understanding your different traits will empower you to navigate your day-to-day life using science and technology. The four personality axes in MyPrint help us understand how we interact with other people (“Express” - yellow), our tasks and projects (“Address” - blue), ourselves (“Dare” - red), and our environment (“Adapt” - purple). 

August B2C Article Personality Radar

The Address section of the personality axes is helpful for understanding the way someone approaches issues and undertakes their tasks or projects. This can be beneficial when starting a fresh school year or new job, or if you’re just generally interested in making meaningful improvements in your day-to-day responsibilities.

The four personality dimensions that make up the Address axis are: Structure, Abstract-Thinking, Perspective, and Thoroughness. Being on the high or low end of each of these dimensions does not make you better or worse at planning or conducting your tasks; rather, it helps you to understand your strength in each of those areas so that you can lean into the things you are good at, while pinpointing the areas in which you may want to improve. Remember, you can always leverage an assessment to help understand your personality with an unbiased, scientific approach. 

Structure

The two ends of the structure dimension are Spontaneous and Orderly

Structure Dimension Personality MyPrint

If you are a spontaneous person, then you are naturally intuitive. You like to stay flexible in your schedule by avoiding planning things too far in advance, and you often leave a lot of room for improvisation in your working methods. If you are finding that you need a little bit more structure when organizing your week, start by writing down your most important objectives, and do your best to accomplish those even if other things come your way. 

On the other end of the structure dimension are the orderly people. If you are orderly, then you are very organized and show no tolerance of ambiguity in your work. You always plan your tasks and projects well in advance and rarely deviate from your schedule. Although this may seem like it is the best way to organize and plan, there are certain times when flexibility is beneficial. When creating your to-do list, determine what is an absolute priority and what you can be flexible with; stay open to opportunities that may come your way. 

Abstract-Thinking

The two ends of the abstract-thinking dimension are Practical and Imaginative.

Abstract-Thinking Dimension Personality MyPrint

If you are a practical person, you are realistic and don’t like to waste too much time wondering why things are the way they are. You rely on concrete examples to solve issues. If you find yourself stuck when working on an assignment, try to tap into your imagination a little bit. Think of some out-of-the-box ideas for your projects that you might not normally entertain. 

On the other end of the abstract-thinking dimension are the imaginative people. If you are imaginative, you often conceptualize problems and try different approaches in order to solve them in the most relevant, but not always the most realistic way. Imaginative people are very creative, but if you find yourself unable to solve an issue, try to only look at what resources and solutions that you actually have available. 

Perspective

The two ends of the perspective dimension are Focused and Big Picture

Perspective Dimension Personality MyPrint

If you are a focused person, then you are action-oriented. You probably prefer to concentrate on achieving short-term results, rather than spending time to anticipate their future implications. While it is beneficial to focus on those immediate outcomes, there is also a lot to be learned when looking at the long-term impacts of what you are doing. When learning something new or working on a project, think about the relevance and meaning it will have a few years into the future. 

The other end of the perspective scale is where the big picture thinkers are. If you are big pictured, you are naturally thoughtful in your work. You will anticipate the long-term consequences of what you are doing as much as possible to have a clear vision of the final outcomes. At times it can be exhausting to think about the future when there is so much uncertainty. If you find yourself being overwhelmed by this, try to focus on the pieces of a project that you can immediately impact regardless of their long-term implications. 

Thoroughness

The two ends of the thoroughness dimension are Easy-Going and Precise

Thoroughness Dimension Personality MyPrint

If you are an easy-going person, you are typically tolerant of imperfections. You prefer to value your productivity at work by focusing on the bottom-line, rather than dwelling on every little detail. Having a quantity-centered approach to your work can be beneficial at times, but it is always good to be cognizant of which projects might require a little more attention to detail. When these types of projects come up, schedule some extra review time into the end of your day! 

On the other end of the thoroughness dimension we have the precise folks. If you are a precise person, you are naturally diligent. You set high-quality standards for your work and spend time to refine it. However, sometimes it is hard to turn off the ‘perfectionist’ switch. Determine which areas of your work need the extra attention to details, and try to only spend the necessary time on the rest.

Putting it all into action.

Now that you know a little more about the personality traits used to understand how you take on tasks and projects, as part of MyPrint’s Address dimension, it is time for you to take action. If you haven’t taken a MyPrint just yet, you can take it for free in just 25 minutes! There are many other helpful insights besides the ones we discussed here, such as what motivates you, or getting a better understanding of your professional behaviors. Take a look at which soft skill strengths you have and what motivates you, and use that information to help you improve as you take on your next project!


Letting Your Personality Shine in a Remote Work World Talentoday

Letting Your Personality Shine in a Remote Work World

How do you remain unique in a remote work world? In the pre-pandemic workplace, many of us may have taken the casual ways of letting our personalities shine at work for granted. You probably didn’t even think twice about it as it happened! Maybe you were the social butterfly stopping by multiple desks en route to your own. Maybe you were the ‘first in and last to leave’ person who was always striving for the next career opportunity. Whatever style you worked with, there were little moments each day to bring your identity to life.

Now, the expansion of work from home opportunities has changed the ways we interact. How do you show who you truly are through small screens connected by the internet?

Although it requires more work to let your personality shine in a remote environment, technology has made the transition a little less painful. They may not be the same as those face-to-face interactions, but our virtual personalities are just as important!

Make meetings work for you.

Meetings have not disappeared from office culture in the last year, but they certainly have evolved. Video calls underwent an unprecedented expansion during the COVID-19 pandemic, For example, Zoom reported growing from 10 million peak daily meeting participants in 2019 to 300 million by April 2020. While virtual meeting tools may have helped to keep teams connected during this time, the repeated virtual interactions on screen can take a toll even on the most outgoing of people. Is it any shock that ‘Zoom fatigue’ quickly became a part of our vernacular?

These countless virtual meetings present new challenges, including finding ways to you distinguish yourself from the faces staring back at you from the video grid. If you are a social person, try logging in a minute before the meeting starts. This way you can greet people with some small talk as they join in the meeting. For our curious individuals out there who like to learn new things or ask a lot of questions, if the virtual meeting doesn’t allow for your normal cadence, take notes with your thoughts and questions and send them to the meeting host in an email at the end of the call. For our introverted folks, it’s always okay to turn the camera off and stay muted every now and then. 

In other words, make these video meetings work for you!

We are used to adapting to multiple personality types in a conference room, so this adjustment to accommodating multiple personalities in the virtual space is something we are all learning together. If you find yourself in a position where this format is hindering your work performance or wellbeing, talk with your manager or HR department to discuss potential adjustments. 

Email is still essential.

Email may not have ever been the working world's favorite way to communicate, but at least there were opportunities to smooth out unclear communication and tension face-to-face in the office. Now, our virtual communication is often lacking that in-person context or interaction, and we find ourselves communicating complex messages via text alone. 

If you are a straightforward or direct communicator, your emails might come across as being abrasive if you don’t have the ability to smile at the recipients as you pass each other in the hallway later that day. In this situation, you would want to make sure that you include some warm greetings or salutations to your emails. 

Are you or someone you know an "email blackhole?" This phenomenon can be described as an inbox where messages are sent, but no replies ever return. If this sounds like you, it may be time to reconsider your approach to email! In a physical work environment,  a lack of responsiveness could be a minor annoyance. However, when your coworkers are dependent on emails as a main form of communication, you might need to shift your email personality to being quicker with follow-up.

While email has long been the go-to virtual setting for sharing our work personalities, it’s only becoming more essential as teams embrace hybrid and remote settings. Before sending that next message, take a moment to consider how to personalize your text communications. 

Be transparent

The most important aspect of any relationship or work environment is transparency. Although you might need to work a little bit harder to let your personality come through in a virtual space, stay true to your authentic self. Check in with yourself regularly, and communicate with your boss or coworkers if you feel as though your personality strengths or motivations are not being used or met. By doing this, you will allow yourself to not only be fulfilled in your work, but also help to form an environment that you can perform the most effectively in. 

Rethink your office culture.

Historically, office culture has started in the physical environment. We create a ‘second family’ at work by getting to know our coworkers through team building activities or simply chatting over a cup of coffee. As offices continue to embrace hybrid and remote work models, the idea of building culture on the basis of these social interactions alone may be on the way out, 

Now more than ever, the organizational culture you are a part of has the ability to develop and grow in any direction you choose. Take this opportunity to really understand your personality strengths and what motivates you, and curate a culture with your virtual team to ensure you are and finding purpose in your work! 

Want to learn more about your personality strengths and workplace motivators? Click here to take a MyPrint! 


Soft Skills Interview in 4 Easy Steps

How to Conduct a Soft Skills Interview in 4 Easy Steps

Soft Skills Interview in 4 Easy Steps

If you have been following our blog then you know how important we think soft skills are to incorporate into your daily work lives.

“Hard skills will get you the job, but soft skills will make you successful.” -Me, at least 3 times per week

However, sometimes this can seem overwhelming. Where should you, as a manager, start? In this blog article we will take a step-by-step look at how to use soft skills from the very beginning of the employee lifecycle: the interview process.

Step 1: The Job Requirements

At first glance, you might think you know what goes into a position. Maybe you have been hiring for this position for quite some time, or you have worked with individuals in this role before. Although you might think you know all of the important requirements for a role, it is still important to take the proper steps to evaluate a job description in order to make a more informed decision on what the role entails.

Once you have determined what hard skills and qualifications are necessary for a position, it is time to determine what soft skills will help someone be successful in this role. There are many ways to find this information. Here are a few of the common ones:

How to determine necessary soft skills for a position

It is very important that you are using a scientifically reliable and valid method to assess your teams’ soft skills. For the purpose of this article, we recommend using the MyPrint® assessment to assess your current workforce and using some of our tools available through Talentoday Manager to determine what to look for during the interview process.

An important note here: although you are looking for commonalities among your top performers, that does not mean that you want a cookie cutter of those individuals. One of the most important things for a team’s success is having diversity among group members to help fill in skills gaps and increase creativity and innovation¹.

Step 2: Preparation

Now that you have determined what the important soft skills are for the position, you need to prepare for the interview. Having a set interview process helps to ensure that you are making more informed decisions for your company and not using personal judgments or unconscious biases when hiring. Topgrading² is one example of an interview methodology that is intended to help identify top talent, and incorporating soft skills into this methodology is seamless.

Prior to the interview starting, you will also want your candidates to complete a MyPrint® assessment (check that their results are from the past 6 months to ensure accuracy). Make sure that the hiring manager and anyone involved in the interview process have taken the time to review the candidate’s MyPrint® One Pager (soft skills summary) and are familiar with the soft skills that have been determined important for the role.

To prepare for the soft skills portion of the interview, we recommend that you have the Premium Report version of the candidate’s results handy and review their top 3 personality strengths, motivators, and behaviors (as shown on the One Pager report). Then ask yourself the following questions:

Questions to ask yourself about a candidates' MyPrint

Lastly, take a look at the candidate’s behaviors. The MyPrint® Premium Report has two interview questions tailored to each behavioral style to help gain a better understanding of how that individual showcases those styles. Make a note of any behaviors that you would like to dig deeper on, and have those interview questions ready to go!

Step 3: Conducting the Interview

When conducting a soft skills interview, it is important to stay open minded. If someone’s top three MyPrint® traits aren’t the exact three that you are looking for that does not mean they are not going to be a good candidate. Instead, look at their Premium Report to see where they fall on the scale for each of those traits. Take the time to ask questions around those topics, and make sure that you are being clear about the role expectations and see if that matches what they are looking for.

Step 4: Scoring the Interview

Once the interview is completed and the candidate has left, it is not time to make a decision quite yet! Take the time to review your interview notes and apply some quantitative metrics to what you were looking at.

Questions to ask yourself while scoring an interview

To ensure fairness between candidates, use a standardized method of scoring the interviews. Grading methods can include ranking responses or finding the difference between ideal scores and actual scores in their MyPrint® scales.

To Sum It All Up…

Using soft skills in the interview process can help you make more informed hiring decisions, and help you find candidates who will be more successful in their role. The interview process is an investment for everyone involved, so it is not something that should be done without careful evaluation and purpose.

Remember to be open-minded when it comes to soft skills; you won’t have all of the answers right away. As you gather more information over time you will learn more about what personality traits, motivations, and behavioral styles can be attributed to success in a role and sometimes, what you find might surprise you!

Want more information about soft skill interviewing, or to receive a copy of our template? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!

Sources

¹https://www.managers.org.uk/knowledge-and-insights/listicle/the-five-business-benefits-of-a-diverse-team/
²https://topgrading.com/


COVID-19 Impact on Motivations in the Workforce

It’s been one year since COVID-19 took the world by storm. Countries started to close their borders and government safety regulations were enforced. As a result of unpredictable lockdown and safety measures, each person’s environment has changed in some way. For millions of typical “office workers” this meant working from home, while those deemed essential continued to go into work with increased risk. With all of this change happening externally, there is internal change that comes with it. How has the move to a remote workspace, social distancing, new health measures, and other pandemic outcomes impacted the things that motivate your employees? Let’s learn more about how motivations work first.

How Motivations Work

One of the most widely accepted motivation theories is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. You may recognize the motivation pyramid that has found its way into most every psychology, marketing, and ethics textbook, and it is the foundation for the Talentoday MyPrint motivation dimensions as well! There are five stages of motivation included in the pyramid: physiological needs, safety needs, love and belongingness needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. The basis of Maslow’s theory is that everyone starts at the bottom stage of the pyramid with their most basic physiological needs: food, water, clothing, and shelter. Once those needs are met, we are able to work our way up to safety, and so on.

https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html#gsc.tab=0

Our environment plays a huge role in our motivations and where we’re at on the pyramid. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a lot of people focus on addressing their basic safety needs, like employment and financial stability. Other factors that can impact our motivations include, but are not limited to, changes to our work environment, major family events such as births or deaths, changes in our relationship status, living situations, or unforeseen financial events.

Motivations and MyPrint®

Since we know that motivations are so dependent on our environment, we decided to take a look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the motivations found in MyPrint®. To do this, we calculated the motivations that saw the biggest increase amongst assessment takers before and after March 2020. We observed three dimensions that had a larger increase than the others: Recognition, Responsibility, and Excitement.

Recognition: Need for External Recognition

People who have a need for external recognition are driven to work harder when they receive positive feedback and praise from coworkers. When working in an office environment, this will naturally happen more frequently; you tell an employee they did great on a presentation while passing their desk, or congratulate a coworker on hitting a milestone while you’re getting your morning coffee. However, in a remote environment, we need to be more intentional about giving that recognition. Since March 2020, a total of 81% of the global workforce has had their workplace fully or partly closed. Whether this impacts someone directly, or if they are seeing this happen with their friends and loved ones, receiving that external recognition can help to reassure individuals that they are doing a good job and motivate them to continue the good work.

Responsibility: Need for Taking Personal Responsibility

People who have a need for taking personal responsibility are comfortable being held accountable for others’ actions, regardless of error or failure, and are more comfortable being accountable for their own work as well. Moving into a remote work environment means that individuals need to take on more personal responsibilities than they did before: from managing all of their time to taking on pieces of projects that they might not have needed to before. For some people, having more control over their work environment can create that drive to keep them motivated at work.

Excitement: Need for Adventure

People with a need for adventure are driven by situations that offer thrill, seek to take risks and are very tolerant of unpredictable situations. A lot of people have experienced a more stagnant environment since March of 2020. Whether it is due to stay at home orders, travel restrictions, or lack of a commute, we are all going through it. Because of this, it is not surprising that people are craving more adventure in their lives. Work can be a great place to create excitement — from new opportunities to new roles or training, providing an environment where employees can take more risks and try new things can lead to a more engaged workforce.

Check In With Your Workforce

Your workforce is going to evolve over time, and it is important to keep up with those changes! Whether it’s a global pandemic to impact the shift in motivations, or if it’s typical life events taking place, you want to make sure that you are evolving alongside your employees. Changes to an employee’s motivations means adjusting your management style, and by keeping up with these changes, you can create the most engaging environment for your workforce as possible.

We recommend employees take the MyPrint assessment every 6–12 months. Interested in learning more about MyPrint and how our solutions can help you better understand your workforce? Contact Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Technology

Using Technology to Further Your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Technology

Workplace managers and teams are prioritizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) more now than ever before, and for good reason. DEI helps improve the presence of people of different races, genders, religions, sexual orientations, etc. (diversity); the fair and respectful treatment of all people (equity); and the extent to which all individuals feel respected, accepted and valued (inclusion). DEI also delivers a multitude of benefits that come from having a diverse population in your organization, including: profitability and value creation, innovation, and better decision making.

While business leaders have committed to diversifying their workforce, HR professionals and recruiters are still tasked with hiring the right people. Thankfully, science and technology can help organizations make the right hiring decisions while supporting DEI goals. Digital solutions and tools can help with everything from removing implicit bias from the selection process to predicting how someone will contribute to a team, and understanding how they will behave in a professional setting.

Opportunities and pitfalls associated with diverse hiring efforts

Research shows that bias is present in the hiring process and can start before a candidate walks in the door. For example, certain verbiage can attract more men than women, and people with white sounding names receive more callbacks on average than those with stereotypically black-sounding names. Implementing tools, such as a behavioral assessment, in your selection process can help you to proactively remove implicit biases. You can see a person for their strengths and not lean towards someone who is similar to you.

A common term that is used in the selection process is “culture fit.” However, when maintaining organizational culture becomes the sole focus of this process, it can have the unintentional consequence of hiring different versions of the same person. Allow your core purpose and values to guide you, while being cautious of how you equate those to your “culture” and how you assess a candidate’s ability to uphold your purpose and values. By making room for diversity to be a part of your culture, you will be empowered to celebrate and appreciate the value that each person is adding to your organization.

Diversity beyond what the eye can see

Before blindly jumping into diverse recruiting initiatives, decide what diversity means for your organization. Is it women in leadership? Recruiting and hiring people of color? Creating a comfortable environment that supports various stages of life? All of the above?

Think of the product or service that you’re selling. Can you confidently say that your team is reflective of the people you serve? Having people who can relate to your customer base is vital to the success of your organization. In fact, a team member who shares a client’s ethnicity is 152% more likely to understand the client. In this case, the diversity that we are striving for is easy to identify, and sometimes it goes beyond what we are able to outwardly see.

Understanding the importance of diversity of thought is an important step for your team to reach their highest potential. When team members are able to bring in different perspectives, it helps to create a culture of challenging the norms to allow for new and creative ideas and solutions. These various perspectives are the result of distinct life experiences or work backgrounds and can guide your team to greater successes.

How to leverage science and technology within your DEI efforts

As with any strategic change, diversity within an organization doesn’t happen overnight. It will take months of ongoing planning and years of commitment to become a part of the fabric of your organization. Luckily, there are things you can do immediately to promote equity and inclusion .

Create a culture of openness. Allow for ideas to be heard and create a safe environment for people to propose ideas. Give power to all members of your team to make decisions, and provide actionable feedback to their ideas rather than criticism.

Assess your team to see what areas you are lacking in. Confront skill gaps and then solicit teammates with diverse opinions to help you make business decisions and aid in brainstorming solutions.

Leveraging science and technology is a great way to ensure you are taking implicit biases out of the equation and being efficient in your efforts. Tools such as the MyPrint Collaboration Report are helpful for understanding how differences between two people can be beneficial, and visualizing group data through the Group DNA feature can help to find where your gaps are in your team.

Although change doesn’t happen overnight, there is nothing stopping you from starting the momentum today. Start by fostering inclusion on your team today by telling someone how their work matters. Then, take our complementary MyPrint assessment to start understanding how science and technology can support your goals!

Looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!


Show your traits, not your type

Show Your Traits, Not Your Type

Show your traits, not your type

“What’s your type?” In the world of dating, this is the first thing people want to know. An easy answer, right? Intellectual, athletic, artistic — as humans, we typically begin with broad categories to describe ourselves and others. However, once you actually start describing what you’re looking for, you find yourself being more specific. “Likes to have philosophical conversations,” “enjoys outdoor activities in warm climates,” “likes to cook new recipes,” — in reality we are much more complex than those one word generalizations. The same philosophy should apply to soft skill assessments in the workplace. Instead of being bucketed into a generalized type, your traits are the best indicators of your unique strengths. Let’s break down the difference between types and traits.

Type Theory

Type theory is based around the idea that personality is a combination of qualities or dimensions that can be grouped together into a certain number of categories (or types). All people fall within one type based on which group they share the most specific attributes with. Think Myers Briggs or Enneagram, where you are one of 16 combinations of letters (ie, ESFJ) or one of 9 number types.

Yes, type theory is helpful for an organization to get a generalized idea of a person, but does that mean that a company really understands who you are, and more importantly, if you will be successful in the role? For example, if an assessment identifies you as an introvert, the assumption may be that that you are quiet, would prefer to work alone, and you need time to reflect on your thoughts before speaking. It’s a generalization, and while some of those assumptions may be true, chances are not all describe you.

The concern with using types in personality assessments is that humans are much more complex. Instead of Introversion and Extroversion being a dichotomy, it is better understood as a spectrum. That is where trait theory comes into play.

Trait theory

Rather than using broad categories to define human behaviors, trait theory focuses on the individual differences between people and eliminates the ‘boxes’ that type theory tries to fit people into. Going back to the introverted/extroverted example: trait theorists will say that a large majority of people actually fall somewhere in the middle and show qualities of both introverts and extroverts.

Graph showing Probability vs. Extraversion Score

Research over the years has shown that there is enough of a variation in human personality for most of the scientific community to favor trait theory. Additionally, the most widely accepted theory of personality, the Big Five Theory, is part of trait theory. The Big Five is a theory in which five broad categories are the building blocks of personality, which most people have heard of using the acronym OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Everyone falls on a spectrum in each of these categories, and sometimes these are broken down into smaller and more specific scales. This personality theory is the backbone of many of the personality assessments that are used today, like MyPrint® or the Big Five Inventory.

You are Unique!

Personality Radar example

Now that you understand the differences between Types and Traits, which theory do you prefer when it comes to showcasing your soft skills? The one that generalizes you in a standard box, or the one that lets you expand outside those walls to showcase your unique qualities? If you want to discover more about your soft skill strengths, take a free MyPrint® assessment today! Once you have completed the questionnaire, you can begin using your traits to be more productive, improve your interpersonal skills, and set your personal and professional goals specific to your individual attributes. Additionally, you can see how your personality radar and motivation scales show the special qualities that make you YOU!

Looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!


Harnessing the Full Power of People Analytics

We all know that recruiting has inherent risk. A CareerBuilder survey found that nearly three in four employers have hired the wrong person for a position. Bad hires not only have a negative financial impact, but can reduce productivity and be a blow to company morale. Even if your initial hire is spot-on, keeping talented employees on board can be extremely challenging. That’s where people analytics comes in. It’s likely you’ve heard or read this phrase before — but what does it really mean?

People Analytics — The Short Version

HR Technologist defines people analytics as “the deeply data-driven and goal-focused method of studying all people processes, functions, challenges and opportunities at work to elevate these systems and achieve sustainable business success.” Simply put, people analytics is:

  • Data driven — you need to gather data and use it
  • Goal-focused — you need to know how the data will be used and what you want to improve

For human resource and staffing professionals, people analytics has the ability to transform the entire talent lifecycle, from recruitment, assessment and hiring to team building and development. McKinsey data shows that people analytics can lead to an 80% increase in recruiting efficiency and a 50% decrease in attrition. It can also help reduce bias in hiring by bringing in a diverse slate of candidates and create more inclusive workplaces by identifying discrimination.

It’s Only as Good as the Data

As with all science-driven solutions, people analytics is only as good as the data it’s being fed. While certain hard skills and experiences are easy to quantify, understanding soft skills and behavioral factors that determine lasting success requires sophisticated technology.

To get good data, you first need to identify your priorities and objectives. Are you trying to reduce the cost of candidate screenings? Improve the quality of your hires? Create a more diverse workforce? Upfront planning allows you to develop a rigorous candidate assessment, including customized interview questions, that gets to the root of each individual’s personality traits and behavioral and motivational factors. Some data points you may want to consider include:

Once the data is gathered and analyzed, it needs to be compiled in such a way that is accessible to the people that use it. For most of us, visual data representation provides a clear and concise picture that captures our attention and allows us to process the information more quickly.

How Can it Help Your Organization?

People analytics is critical for making better, more informed hiring decisions. While intuition is a valuable tool during recruiting, it shouldn’t be used in a vacuum. Instead, combining your gut instinct with science that uses algorithms and predictive analytics to develop a more accurate and complete talent profile will yield greater success.

Beyond hiring, people analytics is valuable for any area where people are involved in your business, including how you can leverage employee strengths for both the organization’s advantage and the individual’s career growth. Here are a few common examples of areas that businesses can benefit from gathering and using data throughout the employee life cycle:

It’s also important to note that people analytics should never be static. It needs to be a dynamic activity that evolves with individuals and teams as they move through the employment life cycle. The more employees and talent leaders use it, the more value and insights it delivers.

Where do I start?

If you’re looking to make better placement, team building and development decisions for employees and teams, assessing soft skills using people analytics is a great place to start. To learn more about our scientifically-backed assessments, including MyPrint® and Talentoday Manager, email us at customer@talentoday.com. We believe that once you have more information about the personality and motivations of your employees, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions grounded in science.


Personal Growth Using Soft Skills

It’s human nature to hit a ‘reset button’ when time gives us a new beginning. That’s why gyms are the busiest on Mondays¹ and personal motivation skyrockets around birthdays². I can’t be the only person who has put off a personal goal for a couple of weeks because it’s the middle of December and January 1st is just around the corner.

Having those reset points are great for helping people set certain milestones and goals for themselves! However, self-improvement and professional development should be ongoing and not dependent on the start of a week, month, or year. There are many ways to go about continuous development: reading books or articles, finding a mentor, or watching videos and webinars are a few great places to start. Although you can take a guess at what areas you should focus on, today we are going to use science to help determine your strengths and improvement areas!

First Thing’s First: Take MyPrint®

If you haven’t taken MyPrint® already then stop reading this and take that first — it’s FREE! All you have to do is go to talentoday.com to create your free account. The assessment itself will only take about 30 minutes to complete. If you are reading this and your MyPrint® is over 6 months old we would recommend spending 30 minutes on a retake.

If you have previously taken MyPrint®, compare your two results and see what you find. Look for the areas where there is the most difference and see if you can determine what the reasons for areas of growth have been. Maybe you have had a life change, a new position, or even relate it back to the global pandemic that took over 2020 — try to pinpoint why those scores have changed.

Discover Your Strengths

Now that you have taken MyPrint®, download your One Pager (soft-skills summary). We are going to be focusing on the personality and motivations section first and then we’ll look at the personality radar in the app later on.

Take a look at your top 3 strengths in the green Personality Summary section of your One Pager. Write down unique ways that those can be useful in your current position at work or in your personal life.

Next take a look at the Top Motivators on your One Pager. Your top three motivators are listed out in orange. Determine if those needs are currently being met in your work life and if they are not, then write down some examples of how you can incorporate those into your daily work environment.

Find Your Improvement Areas

Now that we’ve looked at your strengths from the One Pager a little bit more, we’re going to go back into the app to spend some time looking at the personality radar! If you aren’t sure how to read your radar you can get an in depth overview by clicking the ‘About personality’ button in your profile.

Essentially each of the bars in the radar represents a different personality dimension. You are either towards the inside of the radar, or the outside. Although your first impression might be that the areas towards the inside of the radar are the areas that you need to grow — that is not always the case! For example, someone who needs to be providing concrete solutions to a team might struggle if they are extremely high on the ‘Abstract-Thinking’ dimension.

After you have taken some time to read your radar for a little bit, find those areas that you want to move either up or down on that radar. For example, when I look at my radar I see that my Critical-Thinking scale is a little bit lower than I would like. I am a Conventional Thinker — which isn’t bad at all! However, there are a lot of aspects in my role where I am called upon as a subject matter expert, so I want to ensure that I am not going to just go along with things because that’s what the majority wants. So this year I am going to make a conscious effort to ask more questions about the things that are presented to me so that I can get into a more naturally critical mindset.

Now it’s your turn! I can find about 4 other improvement areas when I look at my radar, but they are all based on my current work situation. Again, this doesn’t mean that I think my current soft skills are bad, it just means that I am aware that in order to grow professionally, I need to be continuously working on my development!

Put Together A Plan

Now that you know your improvement areas, focus on them! Find some books, TED Talks, or articles that you can spend time on each week to help you grow and develop. The second step here is to put together some concrete examples of how you can grow. For example, if you are a Focused individual but want to be more Big Picture — the next time you are planning out a project make a note to specifically think of that Big Picture outcome as you plan and go about your work.

Make a note of people that you work with or know who you think have those traits you are looking for. Does your manager seem to have those Critical Thinking skills that you desire? Make a note to pay attention to how she gives feedback or responds to new ideas in meetings. Maybe your coworker seems to be the most relaxed person on the planet. Take note of how he handles those times of stress and busy times.

Watch Your Growth!

Take MyPrint® again in 6 months. See how much you have grown and developed in those areas, and think of some concrete examples of how your soft skill strengths have helped you succeed in your professional life. The goal here is not to be perfect or ever be done, it is to get yourself into the mindset of continuously growing and developing your strengths.

Looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!

Sources

¹ https://www.techtimes.com/articles/18867/20141028/monday-worst-day-go-gym.htm#:~:text=The%20report%20found%20that%20Monday,to%20grab%20a%20dreadmill%20treadmill

² https://everydaypsych.com/birthday-psychology/#:~:text=The%20researchers%20attest%20that%20birthdays,our%20future%20selves%20will%20have.


How to Conduct a Soft Skills Interview in 4 Easy Steps

If you have been following our blog then you know how important we think soft skills are to incorporate into your daily work lives.

“Hard skills will get you the job, but soft skills will make you successful.” -Me, at least 3 times per week

However, sometimes this can seem overwhelming. Where should you, as a manager, start? In this blog article we will take a step-by-step look at how to use soft skills from the very beginning of the employee lifecycle: the interview process.

Step 1: The Job Requirements

At first glance, you might think you know what goes into a position. Maybe you have been hiring for this position for quite some time, or you have worked with individuals in this role before. Although you might think you know all of the important requirements for a role, it is still important to take the proper steps to evaluate a job description in order to make a more informed decision on what the role entails.

Once you have determined what hard skills and qualifications are necessary for a position, it is time to determine what soft skills will help someone be successful in this role. There are many ways to find this information. Here are a few of the common ones:

It is very important that you are using a scientifically reliable and valid method to assess your teams’ soft skills. For the purpose of this article, we recommend using the MyPrint® assessment to assess your current workforce and using some of our tools available through Talentoday Manager to determine what to look for during the interview process.

An important note here: although you are looking for commonalities among your top performers, that does not mean that you want a cookie cutter of those individuals. One of the most important things for a team’s success is having diversity among group members to help fill in skills gaps and increase creativity and innovation¹.

Step 2: Preparation

Now that you have determined what the important soft skills are for the position, you need to prepare for the interview. Having a set interview process helps to ensure that you are making more informed decisions for your company and not using personal judgments or unconscious biases when hiring. Topgrading² is one example of an interview methodology that is intended to help identify top talent, and incorporating soft skills into this methodology is seamless.

Prior to the interview starting, you will also want your candidates to complete a MyPrint® assessment (check that their results are from the past 6 months to ensure accuracy). Make sure that the hiring manager and anyone involved in the interview process have taken the time to review the candidate’s MyPrint® One Pager (soft skills summary) and are familiar with the soft skills that have been determined important for the role.

To prepare for the soft skills portion of the interview, we recommend that you have the Premium Report version of the candidate’s results handy and review their top 3 personality strengths, motivators, and behaviors (as shown on the One Pager report). Then ask yourself the following questions:

Lastly, take a look at the candidate’s behaviors. The MyPrint® Premium Report has two interview questions tailored to each behavioral style to help gain a better understanding of how that individual showcases those styles. Make a note of any behaviors that you would like to dig deeper on, and have those interview questions ready to go!

Step 3: Conducting the Interview

When conducting a soft skills interview, it is important to stay open minded. If someone’s top three MyPrint® traits aren’t the exact three that you are looking for that does not mean they are not going to be a good candidate. Instead, look at their Premium Report to see where they fall on the scale for each of those traits. Take the time to ask questions around those topics, and make sure that you are being clear about the role expectations and see if that matches what they are looking for.

Step 4: Scoring the Interview

Once the interview is completed and the candidate has left, it is not time to make a decision quite yet! Take the time to review your interview notes and apply some quantitative metrics to what you were looking at.

To ensure fairness between candidates, use a standardized method of scoring the interviews. Grading methods can include ranking responses or finding the difference between ideal scores and actual scores in their MyPrint® scales.

To Sum It All Up…

Using soft skills in the interview process can help you make more informed hiring decisions, and help you find candidates who will be more successful in their role. The interview process is an investment for everyone involved, so it is not something that should be done without careful evaluation and purpose.

Remember to be open-minded when it comes to soft skills; you won’t have all of the answers right away. As you gather more information over time you will learn more about what personality traits, motivations, and behavioral styles can be attributed to success in a role and sometimes, what you find might surprise you!

Want more information about soft skill interviewing, or to receive a copy of our template? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!

Sources

¹https://www.managers.org.uk/knowledge-and-insights/listicle/the-five-business-benefits-of-a-diverse-team/

²https://topgrading.com/


Better Assess Your Workforce Using Group DNA

Every living organism is made up of a unique genetic code of DNA. Although the same organic components are used the outcomes can be vastly different from one another. The same thing goes with teams. Think of your work team as a strand of DNA. Some team members might share certain common traits with one another, and those become a prominent part of your overall team behavior. Similarly, having variety in your strengths can also increase team synergy. Losing parts of your team, rearranging responsibilities, or adding more members to your group can all impact the outcomes, and being able to effectively measure and assess your workforce enables you to understand and guide your team to reach their full potential.

Assessing for hiring

There are multiple things to consider when assessing a new hire for your team. Having a thorough understanding of their background and skills, for example, are important for making sure that the individual has the ability to do the job. These things can be assessed using various methods such as Structured Interviews, reference checks, and based on education or previous experience.

Another important aspect to consider when hiring for your team are the soft skills that an individual possesses. Finding the strengths that they will bring to your team and seeing how they will fit in with your team’s current soft skill DNA are important to maximize each person’s potential and help your team to stay engaged and successful in their work.

When assessing individuals’ soft skills be sure to use a valid and reliable tool rather than going off a gut feeling. The MyPrint® is a scientifically backed tool that is both valid and reliable for use in the workplace. The 155 item questionnaire provides detailed insight into an individual’s personality traits and motivations as well as their professional behaviors. This information can be used when hiring a candidate to see if their strengths fit in with what the role requires, as well as to get a better understanding of environmental or culture fit.

Assessing your current workforce

Assessing your current workforce helps to ensure that employees are receiving the proper guidance and support they need to do their jobs well. This can be done through performance reviews, measuring key metrics, or frequent 1:1 check ins with your employees.

In addition to goals and performance, understanding your team from a soft-skill point of view is beneficial for working as a group and engaging your employees. Once your entire team has been assessed using the MyPrint®, you can view their results via their individual reports, or by using the new Group DNA feature that is coming soon to the Talentoday Manager platform. Being able to see where your team as a whole falls in terms of their soft skills can help you to ensure that your team is using their strengths as well as figuring out where the gaps are that you need to fill. In addition, being able to see the common motivators among your team helps to come up with ways to motivate and engage your workforce from a global perspective which is helpful in certain situations where you can’t tailor the work environment for each individual.

First look at the Group DNA feature

Below is a sneak peak of what the Group DNA feature looks like! This example was made using 10 members from our very own Talentoday family. You can see that our team is made up of individuals who are Extroverted and Positive, which is always fun when we have team celebrations! We are also Confident, meaning we are self-assured in our abilities (rightfully so, we have very talented people on our team!) and we are Big Picture thinkers, always keeping those long-term solutions in mind as we continue to innovate and create new features.

Group DNA sample of Talentoday team using MyPrint data: Green (left) displays Personality; Orange (right) displays Motivations.

When it comes to motivating our team, the most important things are that we have Personal Responsibility for our work, but still have a Need for Affiliation and to share common interests with our peers. We also like to be kept on our toes with a Need for Adventure and Diversity — we like to spice things up around here!

Why this is important

The purpose of the Group DNA feature, and assessing your team’s soft skills, is to help visualize the data. The information provided is not necessarily indicative of work performance, but it can be used to understand the work culture of a population.

By understanding this data and keeping up to date with the DNA of your team, you can work to create an ideal work environment by setting relevant goals and rewards, as well as by solving conflicts the right way!

Are you interested in learning more about the upcoming Group DNA feature, or are you looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!