How to get the most out of a multigenerational team

Talent experts are looking at how teams work best and why a good mix of generations can be just what employers need. We spoke to Becca Guinchard of AssessFirst which has developed a talent platform which aims to do just that.

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Becca Guinchard is UK Head of Strategy at AssessFirst which has developed a Talent Mapper platform which aims to get the best mix in a team, including a good generational mix, and avoid bias in the recruitment process. She spoke to about how it works. Why did you devise Talent Mapper?

Becca Guinchard: As a business, we realised that the way in which we assessed the potential of candidates and individuals gave us a library of information that was useful to determine likelihood of success on a role by role basis but, equally, could be used to determine the potential success of teams. It could help establish the level of productivity and behavioural fit of individual team members that could help in creating high performing teams. The success of a business is rarely due to one individual’s contribution – everybody works with and alongside at least one other individual and therefore the way in which people work together is crucial to success. Talent Mapper helps us to understand who we have in our teams today and how we can help them to be high performing on both a team and individual level. How does it work, and does it only apply to internal job moves?

BG: Our platform assesses the overall potential of an individual. In order to do that, we have developed three quick 10-minute assessments that assess somebody’s a) personality – the way in which they behave in certain situations, their motivations – what drives them on a day to day basis and their level of mental agility – and the way in which they think and process information.

For our Talent Mapper, we use the 20 key personality traits and 12 key behaviours that we assess in our personality assessment (that we call ‘Shape’) and plot individuals’ levels of these traits and behaviors through their natural behaviour on a map that provides a blueprint of the team. This can be used for any type of team – a potential team you wish to form, an existing team that new recruits will join or an existing team that may well not be performing at 100%. Who rates individuals for their ability to perform well at certain tasks?

BG: Our Talent Mapper functionality doesn’t require any ‘human input’ outside of the individual completing our assessment. Is the Talent Mapper mainly useful for project- or task-based jobs?

BG: It is mostly useful for analysing and understanding teams (of any sort). How would it help promote multigenerational teams?

BG: Understanding the differences or potential similarities between generations can help when considering their personality and behaviours – helping businesses to anticipate where would be best to place people so that each team member can thrive and produce their best work. How would it get around bias?

BG: It is a data driven method of establishing the blueprint of your team. There are no external factors or elements that need to be inputted by people (therefore there is limited bias). The results are quite simply based upon the plotting of the results from the three assessments that individuals within the team have taken. How can you be sure that what is being assessed is not itself biased against certain types of experience and certain groups?

BG: We can ensure that what we assess isn’t biased against certain types of experience and certain groups because we conduct regular validity tests that ensure that we eliminate bias. What we assess is the potential of individuals – their natural talents. Therefore, there is no bias, there is no right or wrong answer – we simply provide our clients with neutral information about the personality, motivation and mental agility of an individual in the hope that they will use this information to ensure that they make less biased decisions. Do you find that employers are increasingly bypassing the cv?

BG: We are seeing more and more appetite from businesses of all sizes and industry to reconsider the important and dominant roles that the CV tends to have in recruitment processes. Why? Because they are not data driven, are often biased and do not necessarily provide you with the information to determine true success within a role.

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