Chapter 8How to Assess

IN THE UNITED STATES, MILLIONS OF PEOPLE—10.5 million in March 2014—are looking for work. At the same time, a multitude of businesses struggle to operate with incomplete staffs. Vacancies in certain organizations and in certain fields are rampant, because management simply can't find the right candidates to fill the positions. Manpower confirms this with a recent study in which almost half of the 1,361 American employers it polled said they were suffering because they couldn't find staffers with the appropriate skills. This deprives the country of the productivity it needs to compete with emerging powerhouses like China. In his compelling book, Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning, Thomas H. Davenport writes that mismatched personality is the most frequent cause of productivity drains in North American business.

And so it's not enough to have a populous workforce. It needs to be a workforce whose makeup is an accurate reflection of the needs it purports to serve. But how do we see this through? Exactly how does one calibrate its human assets in the most effective manner? The answer: behavioral assessments.

Because, while qualified expertise in certain technical areas is a part of the puzzle, the kind of data uncovered by behavior analyses and other predictive efforts—data that reveal some of the softer attributes of a workforce's members—are just as important.

Behavior assessments give leaders real information for determining the right button ...

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