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New innovative models for assessing talent aptitude were featured at a recent Classified Post breakfast seminar

Which is more important – hiring for a middle-management position someone who perfectly fits the job description or hiring someone with engagement skills and the potential for talent growth? That was a question raised at who was speaking at the first SCMP Classified Post breakfast seminar, designed to provide recruitment and human resources professionals and the organisations they work for with practical talent recruitment, retention and management insights and suggestions.

Cecilia Kwok, business director, recruitment and education business at the South China Morning Post, told those gathered that engagement and talent are both requisites for success and are important skills that grow a business and deliver memorable client experiences. But she also added that the difference between highly talented and highly engaged middle-management employees and engaged employees with lower levels of talent, can have a significant impact on business performance.

Citing the example of a research project conducted by performance-management consulting company Gallup, for women’s clothing retailer ANN INC, Kwok said managers that were highly talented and highly engaged outperformed managers with low talent and low engagement by more than 23 per cent. Store performance dropped by almost 6 per cent when managers with low talent but high engagement were in charge of operations.

 Kwok clarified that highly engaged employees are usually capable of quickly expanding their skill sets and improving. “Selection and engagement are essential to maximising performance, but of the two, getting the right person in the manager role seems to makes the biggest difference,” said Kwok.

To help HR professionals and their companies conduct their talent recruitment and management more effectively, Kwok said Classified Post had launched a cost-efficient range of online aptitude, numerical, verbal and inductive screening and ability assessment tools. “The screening and assessment tests we are offering are used by leading companies worldwide and certified by strict validation processes,” said Kwok. “Each assessment test can generate an instant comparison of candidates’ quality and suitability against the tested norm.”

Fully accessible to candidates and clients 24/7, the Classified Post Cognitive Aptitude Test measures a candidate’s abilities to solve problems, extract and apply information, learn new skills and think critically. Meanwhile, the Classified Post Personality Questionnaire (TPPQ) provides useful insights about a candidate’s character, a helpful predictor of workplace performance. “This is a useful tool when used in combination with interviews or aptitude tests,” noted Kwok. With leadership a crucial focal point for many organisations, the Classified Post Leadership Questionnaire provides assessment and development potential of potential and current leaders at all levels of management. When used for recruiting, the assessment method identifies high-potential candidates early in the selection process, ensuring only the top candidates make it to the in-person interview stage.

Meanwhile, Terence Yeung, management director and lead trainer at Tacsen Management Consultants, which has a partnership with CP Learning, an extended line of service of Classified Post, offered insights on what might be the cause of workplace disagreements over work styles and processes. “Difference of opinion typically occurs when opposite personality types clash,” said Yeung. He explained that research had categorised four personality types, conscientious, dominant, influential and steady.

Yeung said dominant and steady personalities may differ because dominant people can appear to be overbearing boarding on aggressive, while steady people are more passive-aggressive. Conscientious and influential people may clash because conscientious types tend to focus on details, while influential individuals are often less concerned about details.  “With insights into their own personality and a better understanding of different behavioural styles, people learn to better relate to others and ultimately work together more effectively,” said Yeung.