Personality Data Capture is a Process, Not a Transaction

Rachel Stewart Johnson

Psychologist | Driven by communications about human behavior in Work

 Integrating technology into Human Resources operations is fast becoming an essential step. But technology for technology’s sake isn’t the answer. Lasting digital transformation is not merely the introduction of tech tools, but seamlessly incorporating capabilities throughout a business.

 Digital transformation should be considered a wholesale change. As McKinsey and Company analysts explain, “We believe that digital should be seen less as a thing and more a way of doing things.”

A Better Mickey Mouse

True digital transformation produces benefits for customers and the organization alike. But what does it look like?

Let’s look at Disneyland. Visitors spend considerable time waiting in lines. This causes fatigue, especially for young and old visitors, and reduces satisfaction. Limiting entrance numbers, while potentially enhancing visitor experience, dampens revenue and creates customer uncertainty.

In early 2017, Disney introduced the MaxPass system, a feature integrated into the Disneyland app. For $15 per person per day, users can schedule a time to arrive at an attraction within a designated window and enjoy a reduced wait time. The long, winding queue is a decidedly analog experience now streamlined and sped up with a revenue-enhancing digital reorganization. Digital transformation benefits both the customer and the business.


But what about HR?

 Now consider what this might look like in HR. Historically, companies have used personality assessments with both job applicants and the existing workforce. The most “old school” approach involves pencil and paper. One might think that having individuals instead take these assessments on a website and/or using cloud-based software represents a “digital transformation.” But this falls far short.

To truly be transformative, the assessment must meet modern demands by being mobile, intuitive, and fast. It must engage users in a way that produces high satisfaction and accessible results. It must have the capability to support advanced data analytics by collecting data in high volume.

Beyond that, an assessment needs to be nimble. To be most effective, personality data collection must be integrated into a company’s primary HR software platform -- most likely an Applicant Tracking System. Without this integration, professionals can implement only a discrete set of functions with the data, separate from other HR operations.

When siloed like this, the collection of personality data is a series of single transactions that are only useful in evaluating a small number of applicants or employees. By integrating a personality data API across channels and combining it with other sources of data and accompanying functions, personality data acquisition instead becomes an ongoing process.

With that, HR’s reach is extended. Specifically, data can then be captured widely, not merely from a company’s existing workforce but from the earliest to the latest points of the employment life cycle. With the multi-purpose value of data analytics, HR can gain influence beyond its traditional sphere and become an important player in long-term business development and strategy.


More Bang for your Buck

 The digital transformation of personality data collection makes its value self-perpetuating. For example, individual and aggregate data allow HR teams to improve candidate experience. This enhancement earns goodwill among prospective employees and builds more for the future.

Additionally, career development is integrated into routine daily schedules as workers utilize and implement personality information for themselves and others. Performance evaluation goes from a periodic, formal recording to a seamless, self-sustaining exercise. If employees now have the tools to understand their strengths and weaknesses and the ways in which they sync or clash with colleagues, they can improve their reactions and evaluate their own recent performance.


A New Approach to Personality Data

This is the end of assessments as we’ve known them, just as the emergence of cloud computing has hastened the end of software as a boxed, over-the-counter commodity. The digital transformation of personality data places it throughout the employment life cycle, allowing HR teams to engage with personality insights broadly to anticipate teamwork challenges, identify retention risks, and maximize the utilization of talent.

In all, leaders must think in innovative ways about the role of technology in recruiting, developing and retaining talent. More than applying technology bells and whistles, digital transformation represents a new way of building solutions. The potential to use these transformative practices to meet goals and bring HR’s value to the entirety of an organization is considerable - for individuals and the company alike.



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