Case Studies

Thomas assessments helped SA Airlink shortlist employees for their new Leadership Development Programme

SA Airlink at a glance

Airlink is Southern Africa’s largest independent airline with more than 50 commercial jetliners operating throughout the region. In 2019, they carried 2 million passengers on more than 63,000 flights on 55 routes to destinations across nine African countries.

Airlink chose Thomas International’s psychometric assessments to objectively evaluate employees nominated for a new leadership development programme to invest in their future leaders.

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SA Airlink case study

The Challenge

Airlink wanted to introduce a Leadership Development Programme (LDP) as a way of investing in its future leaders. Employees who showed leadership potential were nominated based on their performance in their current roles, and 74 employees were nominated to attend the LDP. Airlink could only accommodate 25 employees on the first intake of the LDP and so needed an objective means of selecting the 25 employees.

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The Solution

Airlink chose Thomas International’s psychometric assessments to evaluate the nominated employees objectively. Thomas’ leadership potential assessment, the High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI) and aptitude assessment General Intelligence Assessment (GIA) were used to rank employees.

The HPTI measures personality traits proven to predict a person’s likelihood of success as a leader as well as possible risk for derailment. Employees could score a 1, 2 or 3 per HPTI trait:

  • 1 score for either low or excessive traits as these might decrease leadership effectiveness
  • 2 score for a moderate trait as the trait might be easier to develop into the optimal zone
  • 3 score of traits in the optimal zone.

The GIA measures a person’s aptitude and ability in order to predict a person’s response to training, mental processing speed, concentration and fast track potential. The employees could once again receive a score of 1, 2 or 3:

  • 1 score for employees whose GIA results were less than other people in the population group
  • 2 score for employees whose GIA results came out as same as other people in the population group
  • 3 score for employees whose GIA results came out as more than other people in the population group (as this typically predicts faster learning and mental processing, as well as higher levels of concentration and ability to fast track their potential).

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The Result

The Thomas psychometric assessment results assisted Airlink by providing them with valid and reliable information regarding each assessed employee’s leadership potential and trainability. They could therefore follow a fair and accurate process in selecting the 25 best ranked employees to attend their first ever LDP.

This was significant as employees with higher leadership potential and higher trainability were more likely to respond better to the content of the LDP and apply the insights learnt with greater ease. The cost of an LDP is substantial to the business and by using scientifically proven results to predict performance, the likely return on investment for Airlink on their LDP will be notable.

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