How can you ensure you have the right candidate for the position?

Can you differentiate clichés from real characteristics and strengths? Assessments of risk and potential safeguard your recruitment process. Does psychological assessment work as a tool for safer recruitment? And how can these tests provide a clear picture of the candidate? To find out, contacted Persona, one of the oldest companies currently working with personal assessment in Sweden.

Persona offer risk assessment based on scientific principles

Risk and potential assessments, whether recruiting internally or externally, are effective means of isolating the strengths and limitations of candidates. This is the considered opinion of Rebecka Zimdahl, who together with Lisa Brodin Ferraro runs a company that has worked with personal assessment for over 30 years.

Why has this type of assessment proved so effective in the recruitment process?

“Employing a person who doesn’t match the job description for the position, or who doesn’t fit into the company culture, is costly in terms of time, money and energy. When a person doesn’t function in their role, it affects everybody involved,” says Rebecka, chartered psychologist and partner in Persona.

Persona was one of the first companies to establish themselves in the field of personal assessment in Sweden. They provide specialist psychological expertise to businesses. With extensive experience and a great many long-standing clients, Persona receives candidates for assessment from around the world.

“Some of our clients have been with us since the 1980s! It’s a source of great enjoyment to follow a candidate’s career from their first position in middle management until they one day take up a highly responsible position as CEO of a large organisation,” says Rebecka.

Tailor-made personal assessment procedures for safe recruitment

We humans want to believe that we act rationally. However, when under stress or faced with making a decision under pressure we react more on instinct. Risk assessments take into account how a candidate will react and look for assurance that she or he will retain their good judgement in a stressful situation.

Persona evaluates and takes into consideration what is required over and above practical competence, such as analytical capacity and personality in relation to the job description and company culture. The process of risk and potential assessment begins with a discussion with the client in order to gain a deeper understanding of their organisation and the expectations they have for their new recruit. Together with the client, Persona creates a personality profile for the position.

“It is an extensive process, for example it’s not enough to simply say that they are looking for someone who is collaborative – we also need to go into how the company sees collaboration,” explains Rebecka.

What form does your work with the candidate themselves take?

“The candidate takes a number of test to assess their ability and personality. We then meet the candidate for a competence-based interview and validation of the test results. We take pains to ensure that the candidate has the opportunity to develop throughout the process, always providing extensive feedback on the results,” says Lisa.

Prerequisites for success in the new role

Persona also helps to form organisations by providing development, leadership and training services. In addition, Persona offers courses in competence-based interview techniques and programmes for improving group efficiency, management team development and individual development – in all industries.

“We help to create increased productivity and job satisfaction in working groups,” says Rebecka and goes on to explain that they can help to develop the necessary skills for carrying out professional, objective and accurate job interviews.

Persona has a broad spectrum of clients, everything from retail companies to forestry businesses and banks, assisting companies with recruitments both large and small. The importance of the decisions candidates will be required to make also affects the test methods used. Irrespective of the position, the test results are useful both in the recruitment process itself and during any future employment.

“The client and the person responsible for recruitmentare provided with an index of the candidates competencies and personality traits. In this way it is easier to utilise the person’s strengths, no matter the role involved. This makes it easier for the manager to lead the candidate and increase their potential,” says Rebecka.

What does the future hold for Persona?

“We listen to our clients, refine our current methods and implement new research brought to us by our methodology advisory panel who provide input from the academia. This summer we have taken the exciting step of opening a London office!” says Lisa.

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