Whether you're assessing a job candidate's potential or want to optimize the performance of your existing staff, the next step (after assigning psychometric tests and reviewing test results) is to conduct a Gap Analysis. Essentially, this means:
Measuring the difference between the person's skills and the requirements of the position
Identifying significant gaps where training (or changes in behavior and/or personality) are required to close the gap
Determining the resources needed to make these changes
Managing the Gap
The onus of bridging the gap between a job candidate's skills and what's needed for the job position falls on both the new employee and management. The employee needs to be willing to learn and open to training. The company needs to be able to provide the tools to help this person reach his or her full potential.
Here's how you can bridge the gap:
Assign tasks, at least initially, according to an employee's preferences, or let them the person volunteer for assignments. This will build confidence and help ease a person into the dynamics of a new team and new way of completing tasks.
Team up the employee with colleagues who have complementary skills and personality traits. Assigning a mentor, or someone to shadow, can provide essential knowledge and experience.
Adjust your managerial style to the employee's personality, not the other way around. Managers need to be able to modify their approach according to what works for individual employees. For example, some workers dislike being "micromanaged," while others prefer having their role and duties clearly outlined in detail.
Adapt how information is communicated (like training information, specifications for projects) according to an individualâ€™s learning style or intelligence type. For example, some employees with a logical learning style prefer step-by-step instructions. Creative individuals often prefer to work at their own pace and have their own style of coming up with ideas or completing projects, and thus, would benefit from a less hands-on approach.
Concluding points about finding diamonds in the rough
If you want to reduce turnover and find the right person for a job the first time around, keep these key points in mind:
Know what you want. What skills, traits, attitudes, and values does your ideal employee need to possess?
Assess candidates using psychological tests to ensure great job fit
Evaluate trade-offs. Can the lack of a skill or trait be compensated by other strengths? Can training make a difference for an otherwise ideal candidate?