Making the most of the talent that exists within your company is a must for any business that wants to not only survive but to thrive. Uncovering talent and assessing suitability for certain positions and career paths should be a part of that.
If an employee is in the position they are best suited for, they are likely to not only do a far better job for the company – but be far more satisfied and happy themselves. And we all know a happy employee is a healthier, more productive one.
One way employers of all sizes are achieving this balance is via formal career assessments. But are they really a good thing?
Career Assessments Definition
Career assessments are tools to help guide an individual towards the right career field for them. They can:
- Take into account personality traits, intellectual capacities and personal preferences to determine what fields an individual might be best suited to.
- Be useful to everyone from high school students to seasoned professionals unhappy in their current career.
- Be an excellent tool for employers who are trying to determine just where an employer can best be utilized within their organization.
Many employees do tend to respond positively to this kind of testing because there are no right or wrong answers. There is no 'Test Pressure'. And the benefits to them – getting a better understanding of where they might be best heading in career terms – can be as helpful to them personally, as they are to their employers.
There are many different career assessments available, so many in fact it can be hard to know which to choose. The following information is about the two most commonly utilized, highly reputable career assessment types.
The Myers-Briggs personality tests are possibly the best known such tests in the world and were first developed during World War II by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs-Myers, using the theories of famed turned of the century psychiatrist Carl Jung.
The Myers-Briggs test can be useful in helping determine how an individual’s patterns of behavior affect their attitudes to work in general and once a personality type is determined it can become easier for someone to determine what career environments they will be based suited to.
Everyone who takes the Myers-Briggs tests is assigned a 4 letter “code” upon completion consisting of one letter from each row of the chart below:
Once a score is determined the testing provider can offer employers – and employees – a full insight into how their MB score applies to their current and future career paths.
The Strong Interest Inventory
The Strong Interest Inventory is another well-known personality test that is actually most often used by university and college counselors with students but it can also be useful to employers and even career changers. The tests was developed by three psychologists, E. K. Strong, Jo-Ida Hansen, and David Campbell based on the work of John Holland an MIT psychologist.
This test is based around six Holland codes and is actually far more career specific that the Briggs-Meyers test. Each of the codes refers to a “work personality” and suggests careers based upon which of the codes applies to the individual talking the test.
The Holland Codes are:
- Realistic: practical, physical, concrete, hands-on, machine, and tool-oriented
- Investigative: analytical, intellectual, scientific, explorative, thinker
- Artistic: creative, original, independent, chaotic, inventive, media, graphics, and text
- Social: cooperative, supporting, helping, healing/nurturing, teaching
- Enterprising: competitive environments, leadership, persuading, status
- Conventional: detail-oriented, organizing, clerical
Once an individual has their Holland Score in hand to get the most out the assessment employers can discuss the results with a trainer from the chosen testing company as a part of the basic process.