Friday, 6 January 2012

Is Myers Briggs a valid psychological assessment tool?

Personality assessment tools are widely used by organisations these days for recruitment and selection or to help employees understand themselves or their co-workers. Myers Briggs type indicator (MBTI), based on Carl Jung's work is a favourite for many. MBTI classifies people into types based on 4 bi-polar dimensions - Extroversion-Introversion (E-I), Sensing-Intuition (S-N), Thinking-Feeling (T-F), Judging-Perceiving (J-P).

But how reliable is this test?

Having reviewed data from MBTI research centres back in the 90’s, The National Academy of Sciences committee concluded that only the MBTI Introversion-Extroversion scale has adequate validity. Overall, it concluded that the MBTI has not demonstrated adequate validity and that there is insufficient research to justify the use of the MBTI in career counselling programs. 

I quite like the tool as a general guideline although I do find results often vary for people taking subsequent tests, which tends to diminish confidence in the results we see. I do think people should be very careful about placing the right amount of emphasis on MBTI and other similar tools output.  

What are your views and experiences with MBTI?

Thursday, 5 January 2012

3 ways to get a job with a small company

Most of the job losses in recent years has been from the biggest organisations. These days, your best chance of getting hired is often to target the small guys. When pitching your case to smaller companies, often you'll be dealing with the business owners (rather than HR Managers in larger organisations), which requires an all together different strategy to get you noticed.

Small businesses are extremely risk adverse and that's your opportunity to step in. Here's a few good ideas that will significantly increase your employment odds:
  1. Contribute to sales & marketing - small companies need people who can sell & spread the word. Whatever your primary skill set, offer to make sales calls, produce newsletters or write website content no cost. Everyone has sold something inside or outside of work. You can contribute to this essential function.  
  2. Forget the 9-5 - come in early/leave late and demonstrate that you will readily work extra hours to consistently deliver quality work ahead of time.
  3. Try me out - in a difficult market, people are risk adverse. Offer to work a week trial at no cost, to prove your value to the business.
Demonstrate that you contribute more than you cost!