For some time already, employers have been assessing more than just the professional skills of existing or potential employees. The type of personality and character traits of an employee play an increasingly important role in recruitment, and subsequently in the team itself. HR professionals learn to get to know their colleagues’ personalities, and how to build teams in a way that allows each member of the team to perform to the best of his or her abilities.
Agnė Anaitė, HR Manager at Venipak, an international parcel company, says that she has recently been certified as an accredited practitioner of the FACET5 personality profiling methodology. The logistics company with more than 1,000 employees in the Baltics and Poland aims to apply this approach primarily in the recruitment process, while also strengthening existing teams.
“The need for personality tests first arose when thinking about recruitment. It’s easy to test knowledge and understand professional experience. The hard part is getting to know someone as a personality as best as possible in a short space of time. How to make the right choice of a new colleague, how to know whether the person will feel comfortable in the organisation, deliver results, fit in and strengthen the existing team? This was the basis for the search of a reliable methodology to find answers to these questions”, says Agnė Anaitė.
Five personality factors to test
FACET5 measures key personality factors based on the Big Five personality trait theory. It goes on to look at the thirteen sub-factors that they consist of: determination, confrontation, independence, vitality, sociability, adaptability, altruism, support, trust, discipline, responsibility, tension and apprehension. The result is a numerical picture of a personality, based on an individual balance of factors and sub-factors. It allows you to identify a person’s strengths, origin of motivation, attitudes and work preferences. It can also predict potential risks related to teamwork, decision-making, etc.
“For example, a person with a high control score will tend to plan, to follow structures and processes, but will find it much harder to accept change and new things. In contrast, a person with a low control score will have creativity, freedom and adaptability to change. Add in higher energy scores and you have an active, enthusiastic change-taker who is likely to find it difficult, or simply uninteresting, to finish the job. As in everything, there is a need for balance: if you have people in your team who create, you also need to remember those who will take care of the systematic completion of the work and the daily routine of the organisation,” explains the expert.
Applicants take the test remotely and on average it lasts 15 minutes. The test results are discussed and feedback is given upon request of the recruited candidates. According to A. Anaitė, such a discussion takes up to an hour and a half. “Interestingly, when analysing the responses, it is also possible to select a comparison group. As an international organisation, we are aligned with international norms, but we also see a picture of a country’s population. It also helps to better understand the cultural nuances of the teams,” says Venipak’s HR Manager.
Started with the management team
“To better understand the FACET5 methodology and to make the right decisions when recruiting new team members, we started by testing and providing feedback to the current management team. Later, we laughed that we had finally realised that the success of an organisation does not come from superheroes working on their own, but from different people complementing each other properly. Say an active, energetic and creative manager who loves innovation is involved in many different projects. How does he or she guarantee that all projects are carried out to completion? They have reliable professionals in their team who like to work in a systematic way, and when properly introduced into a project, they can easily turn a plan into a functioning daily routine of the organisation,” summarises A. Anaitė.
The opposite can also be true, she says: out-of-the-box solutions can come from the team, and the manager can coach colleagues or the team to ensure consistent implementation. A genuinely positive and caring person can provide additional insights and arguments for a rational person who puts practical benefits first. When you know that your colleague tends to think first and then speak, you can give them more time and come back with your question later. When there is a person in the team who is not willing to be confrontational, the manager can notice it and encourage them to voice their doubts.
As A. Anaitė tells us, other teams of staff soon rushed to take the test. Knowing your differences and strengths, as well as potential risks, has also become a key objective. The tests help to identify each person’s personal priorities, so that if we know and respect our colleagues’ aspirations, we can not only communicate more honestly and openly within the team, but also achieve the organisation’s goals more effectively. The added value that comes with these tests is an understanding of employees’ individual motivation – an “instruction manual for managers” on how to keep each team member motivated and productive.
“Certainly, there are challenges. The most common question is, what if I expect different behaviour from a colleague? In this case, we say that the first step towards change is awareness. Next, the right environment and intrinsic motivation can bring about the expected change. Naturally, we won’t always have the favourable textbook conditions, but if we can organically motivate our colleagues and deliberately avoid frustrating events, we’ll get a better result,” says the HR manager.