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Business Beat: The Use of Assessment Tools in Human Resource Management

Every leader in business faces the ongoing challenge of maximizing the potential of their team. The goal is to hire great people, develop great people and, ultimately, to keep great people. As author Jim C. Collins has famously explained, we want to get the right people on the bus and get them in the right seats.

There are many variables that go into hiring the right people. Certainly having the right skillset, or the ability to develop the right skillset is critical. Chemistry is often a critical part of choosing the right people to join your team. Applicants vary widely in their skills, abilities, work styles and other characteristics. These differences can and do affect the way people behave or perform in their job.

Perhaps you have a team of talented, experienced people but you are struggling to get them to perform to their fullest potential.

Or maybe you have a team that is not working well together.

If you could understand how certain individuals work, you could produce a more productive and cohesive team.

As HR professionals are struggling to find and retain the best talent, there are tools often used to help increase communication and performance on a team. In this column I will highlight three popular assessment tools that you can access online:

1. DISC is a personal assessment tool. By answering a series of questions, a detailed report will be produced that defines your personality and behaviour. The tool allows an individual to better understand themselves and adapt to others who for example, work in a team.

How to access the tool: DISC can be accessed at

2. The CliftonStrengths assessment tool helps you to discover your complete and unique talent profile.

How to access the tool: CliftonStrengths assessment can be accessed at

3. The Myers-Briggs Personality Test (MBTI)  assessment tool helps to improve interactions and to promote effectiveness in work and personal lives. Organizations can use it to improve communication, teamwork, and leadership.

How to access the tool:

These tools can provide a leader with a level of insight into the communication style, relational needs and personal drivers of an individual being considered for a position or for those already on your team. When used constructively, these can also help team members understand one another more effectively and improve communication and co-operation.

Assessment tools have been around for many years. The DISC profile assessment dates all the way back to the 1920s. As insightful as they may be, they should be utilized with a clear understanding of what it is that you want to measure. These tools should not be used as a way to disqualify people but rather as a way to look at areas of strength and areas for improvement.

Community Futures Entre-Corp has been supporting small business since 1988. We provide the tools and guidance you need to run your business. For more information about our programs and how we can connect you with helpful resources, please call Community Futures at 403-528-2824.

Elizabeth Blair is the regional innovation network coordinator for APEX Alberta. APEX Alberta has programs to help support the growth of innovative and technologically-oriented businesses in Southeast Alberta.  APEX Alberta is a collaborative initiative between three core service providers: Community Futures Entre-Corp, Medicine Hat College and Alberta Innovates.

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