Predicting Job Performance
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Predicting Job Performance Blog Series


In our first post in this series, we explored the popularity of the personality assessment in the workplace over the past 50 years, as well as the growing body of research that proves that while the information they provide is useful, it has never been proven effective as a predictor of individual fit nor on the job performance.

Likely, in your own personal experience you’ve also recognized that each job requires something different for success.  We simply have not had the assessment methodology to be able to identify the precise range of personal characteristics needed in each specific job. All to say that attempts to use “big five” personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism) to predict on-the-job success has had, at best, a very checkered past. Essentially it has promised much and consistently, through the decades, has delivered wholly inadequate success at the realistic level that human capital management has sought.

With the tremendous speed of change and agility required in today’s global business environment, HR and business leaders alike need a much more precise tool to look at the present and future value of its people to its performance. Only when psychometrics has a taxonomic structure of personality as comprehensive and deep as chemistry’s Periodic Table will we be able to truly be a science of predicting human behavior.

What does work?  

To date, personality tests have been broad in scope, whereas job performance characteristics are narrow and behaviorally specific for each job. Researchers suggest that predictors (e.g. an assessment measure) should specifically match the propensities for work behaviors and outcomes. This insight would be superior to a test designed to reveal a general and broad sense of an individual’s personality.

This is where the behavioral assessment is different. SuccessFinder has developed a complex human metric capable of predicting job performance in any specific job role. It is all represented in ONE test specifically designed to measure:

  • 26 workplace competencies
  • 85 behavioral traits
  • 35 career themes
  • 600+ roles

Leading and fast-growth businesses including:  Maple Leaf Foods, McGill University, McKesson Canada, New Brunswick Power, Sanimax, Sun Life Financial and Yamana Gold are among the early users of SuccessFinder and benefitting from this advanced predictive approach.

One success story, from engineering and management firm, Morrison Hershfield, uses SuccessFinder behavioral assessments to inform and enhance recruiting, development, succession and has even built learning programs around the unique behavioral factors it surfaced with SuccessFinder, that are driving its business performance.

Companies hire for skills and experience but fire for behavior,” says Pelly Shafto, HR Leader at Morrison Hershfield. “In my experience, assessment tools have been too broad to be useful. However, Pathfinder is different. With a single, robust assessment focused on behavior, it is the secret sauce that can help change company culture and drive performance.”

Indeed, science bears this out as well. This criterion-related validation approach (coupled with a sophisticated actuarial mathematical modeling for predicting complex human behaviors, e.g., quotient for predicting job success) works. It is the statistical demonstration of the relationship between scores on a behavioral assessment and the job performance of high, average and marginal workers. Coupling both complex human behavior with actual job success through Job Component Validity (JCV) is at the core of the SuccessFinder difference.

Using the job component validity (JCV) model, could revolutionize hiring,” said David Knudson, President of HRI of Alberta in Science Canada. “Essentially it is a single standardized system that could select almost anybody for anything in one-thousandth the time and cost.”

Sure, there’s absolutely a place for understanding personality fit: both to better understand ourselves and to appreciate how others are constitutionally different so that we can approach collaboration with a different perspective. But personality can’t predict performance.

Want to learn more about how SuccessFinder can help your business predict performance with 85% accuracy for more successful staff selection, development and succession? Click here.

About the Author:

At the age of 9, Larry Cash’s life was almost destroyed by a test that concluded he was mentally challenged. In fact, Larry was dyslexic. A member of the Ontario Psychological Association and an International Affiliate of the American Psychological Association, he’s dedicated his life to understanding the intricacies of human behavior, working to develop training and testing that accurately looks at unique individuality and potential. Larry is the founder of SuccessFinder, a talent assessment and career prediction platform that benchmarks behaviors from more than 40,000 highly successful professionals worldwide, across more than 500 roles.