Thad Peterson is the director of content and community at The Predictive Index.

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Community Family Guidance Center (CFGC) is a non-profit children’s mental health agency with about 65 employees. Most of its employees are therapists and case managers and administrators. Joan Smock is their director of human resources. The Predictive Index (PI) did a question and answer with Joan to learn more about how they use PI at the Community Family Guidance Center.

CFGC is a client of PI MIdlantic.

PI: Joan, tell us a bit about why you started searching for an assessment tool at Community Family Guidance Center.

Joan: We had made some bad clinical hires and were looking for a tool that could give us better insight into the candidates’ personalities and work styles. The problem hires were Master’s level candidates, who had the education, experience, and qualifications for the position they were hired for. But they were not necessarily a good fit for our organization, nor the specific position and potential supervisor.

The candidates seemed to say all the right words but then once hired, they became nightmares. They worked too slowly and could not meet our productivity standards, or they worked too fast and missed critical details, and so on.

new hire nightmares.jpg

PI: There are quite a few assessment companies out there. What was it about PI that appealed to you?

Joan: PI provides easily understandable reports, sample interview questions to dive deeper in certain areas—especially in areas where the candidate may not be a “perfect match”, and coaching and development guides to use with longer-term staff for ongoing development.

We were truly impressed with the accuracy of our own PI reports when we first were introduced to PI. It was as if PI knew us. We looked at each other and asked how could that brief survey possibly come up with such an accurate picture of who we were. It was amazing!

PI: Ha, thanks. We actually hear that pretty frequently, and it’s great to know you had that experience. So tell us a bit about how you use the Behavioral Assessments with new employees?

Joan: After recruitment, we conduct a 30-, 60-, and 90-day new hire survey meeting. At the first meeting, we do a read back of the new hire’s results, explain a little bit about the history of the PI, and discuss their impressions of the results. We encourage the employee to share the results with his/her supervisor so the supervisor can get to know the employee better, his/her work style, what motivates him/her, etc. At the 60-day survey meeting, we follow up to see if the employee has shared this information with his/her supervisor and what the results of that conversation are. We have had very positive feedback about how much this has helped the new hire and the supervisor in working well together.

In 6 minutes or less, Try PIPI: Aside from hiring, what kind of impact has knowing everyone’s patterns had within the organization?

Enhanced communication between the various types has been one of the most impactful aspects of the PI. For instance, I was sure that one of my fellow directors did not trust my expertise in human resources as she would ask me multiple questions, want articles, etc. What I learned through her PI results was that she is an analyzer and must have all the information possible before making a decision. It’s just the way she thinks, learns, and processes information. It had nothing to do with her trust or lack of trust in me. This understanding has helped in our relationship and communication greatly.

We are better able to make promotional decisions using PI results. We have a better idea of who might be do well in a leadership role and who might do better remaining in an individual contributor role. Before PI, we would promote “good” therapists to supervisory roles just because they were “good” in the therapist role. Now we realize that the skills set and work style may be different between these two roles.

getting teams to work with eachother.jpgPI: Yeah, that’s a great point! Not to use a dumb sports analogy, but just because someone can dunk a ball doesn’t mean they’ll be a great coach. It’s a similar concept. OK, final question: What advice would you have for someone considering using behavioral assessments in their organization?

My advice is to sign up for PI as a recruitment, team building, coaching, and communication enhancement tool. It is worth every penny!  

Be sure to have at least one person on staff, preferably at least two, go through the training.  This is an essential part of using PI effectively.