COVID-19 and the Virtual Workspace: How personality assessments can help you manage talents during unstable times

With the spread of COVID-19, local and global regulations, decisions and recommendations are interrupting business. More companies choose to cancel physical meetings and limit employee travel while they let employees work remotely and transform in-person meetings and interviews into virtual meetings. That way organisations can continue to bring together groups of employees, interview and assess their candidates the best possible way.

Originally authored by Krista Pedersen, director of Asia Pacific business development at Hogan, Garreth Shaffer, account manager at Hogan Assessments. 

Remote work and virtual meetings are not new concepts – with the growth in demand for a flexible workplace and the technology development, many organisations choose to offer employees the option to work remote and also virtually. Communication apps such as Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams make remote work feasible and just as easy to manage as working in an office.

Face the challenges

Having a policy and a plan for HR, talent and development leaders in place will allow organisations to act, but in a way that is not impulsively. That way they can adapt to external threats more efficiently and minimize the impact on the hiring plan and talent management and development. Without such plans, organisations can find themselves unprepared and struggling to react when faced with a crisis – and postponing everything would not always be the most beneficial solution.

However, figuring out how to best manage a workforce with limited mobility can be difficult. For example, some employees might not work as well without direct supervision; how can we know which employees need greater support and which ones can be more independent? When team members are remote, how can they learn to play off one another’s strengths and weaknesses to work more efficiently, both as a team and with other departments? And while many organisations are considering ways to cut costs during this time, hiring is still inevitable for many organisations. Typically, in-person interviews are part of any organisation’s hiring process. How can an organization hire the right talent without meeting in person? How an organisation handles these challenges could determine its success or failure, especially during a time when the Covid-19 will have potentially serious implications for the global economy.

At Hogan Assessments and A&D Resources, we often say that there are two elements that make a business successful: people and money. We specialise in helping companies know people. We study the science of personality and know that personality predicts performance, so we also know that understanding personality is central to resolving the challenges of working remotely mentioned previously. Using a valid and reliable personality assessment can tell you everything you need to know about a person’s work style, and it can help you determine the best course for managing a person or team, or decide whether to proceed in hiring someone.

When building and managing a team, consider that a large body of research has shown that selecting team members by functional skills does not guarantee effectiveness. While you might have a team full of people with world-class skills or degrees, the team can still fail to perform as a cohesive unit. Personality and values are essential for developing that social cohesion and enhancing performance, especially when the team works remotely.

A great foundation for the entire hiring process

Finally, when considering hiring talent via remote processes, assessments can be your biggest asset. As Darin Nei, director of product and international distributors at Hogan, outlined: Personality assessments add structure to the interview process, are difficult to fake, and are a cost-effective way of gathering equal and fair interview information about all candidates. Personality assessments for remote employees are a great initial step in the entire hiring process because it doesn’t discriminate, so it is an easy way to help promote diversity and inclusion in your organisation as part of the hiring process. Additionally, when combined with other assessments, such as reasoning or ability assessments, it can provide a complete, objective, overall picture of a candidate. While interviews with some candidates will still be necessary, using a personality assessment is a great foundation for the entire hiring process and will help any interview, including those that are remote, be much more effective.

While we cannot control many things during the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we should look for the areas we can understand and develop to give our companies the best competitive advantage. A&D Resources and Hogan Assessments can work with your company to help it gain a huge competitive advantage by helping you understand your talent, ensuring your company is as successful as possible during unstable times.


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