Skip the Data Analysis in Hiring

Data analysis. In today’s digital society, data is prevalent. Marketers are better informed and have more information to make decisions than ever before in the history of marketing.

I have been called an “analytical marketer” and to an extent, that title is probably deserved. I believe in looking at data that relates to how your target audience is interacting and engaging with your company. When it comes to marketing decisions, I believe including data analysis can help management make better decisions.

However, there is one area where I am not a fan of data analysis and that is when it comes to hiring personnel. One of our services offerings at Strategic Tactics Consulting Group, LCC (STCG), focuses on team and organizational hierarchy. We do this by reorganizing teams and creating hierarchical structures in marketing departments based on previous experience in this arena as client-side marketers.

Has this happened to you? You apply to a job and as part of the hiring process, you are asked to take a personality test supposedly, to help the powers that be determine whether or not you are a good “fit” for the company. Myers-Briggs and DISC testing are the go-to standards for HR professionals seeking to weed out candidates.

Over the course of my career, I have taken both tests (multiple times). Learning about your personality can be a beneficial exercise in that it forces you to become self-aware about how you perceive the world and can steer you towards a career path in which you have an aptitude to excel. (On the other hand, I still haven’t figured out the benefit of repeatedly learning that I have a personality type only found in 2 percent of women.)

It’s when companies start using these test results to make excuses for their employees or weaponize them to arbitrarily rule out good candidates, that we here at STCG start to get cranky. 

“Oh, Joe only acts like that because he’s an INTJ.” “Amelia is the textbook definition of an ESTP.” “Sue scores very high in D and very low in S.” Who cares!

We liken this approach to hiring as less to data analysis and more to a messed-up version of matchmaking. When you tell your best friend, you want to set her up with a great guy you know, you don’t start the conversation by telling her that you know a lovely man who is an ESTJ and a perfect complement to her ESTP, do you?

When you eliminate a candidate from working at your non-profit because a DISC test result indicated the candidate is highly analytical and focused on knowledge and the hiring manager assumes this person has a low interest in philanthropy, it is misleading. The test doesn’t reveal the analytical thinker gives away 10 percent of his annual income in charitable giving, volunteers weekends at a nursing home and fosters rescue dogs! People are multifaceted, boxing them into a test is not the best way to discover what will make them a unique asset to your organization. 

When you are hiring a team, you should be focused on the person in front of you, not some arbitrary personality test. A couple of months ago, a company that focuses on predictive analytics reached out to us about a partnership they wanted to explore. We weren’t interested. Imagine their shock when we told them that our approach to building highly effective teams is to talk to people.

We look at internal job descriptions, we talk to the managers, and then we talk to the people performing the jobs. Our recommendations for team restructure are based on the results of all those conversations. 

Our internal protocol for building teams is the “Seven Dwarfs Model” and you can learn more about that model here. The basic principle: If you can build a team where each person exhibits characteristics of one or two of the Seven Dwarfs, then you are on the path to creating a team of diverse thought (we are anti-group think), with the ability to be highly successful.

Want to learn more about creating effective marketing teams? Visit us today at www.stcgllc.com.

© 2019, Angela M. Insalaco. All rights reserved.