How Smurfit Kappa ELCORR uses assessments to identify the right candidate and retain its talent
For Smurfit Kappa ELCORR, it is important to have the clearest possible picture of prospective new hires. Natasja explains, "Previously, we used Thomas International's Personal Profile Analysis [Behaviour] situationally. I was specifically looking for a solution that would help me get a complete picture of a candidate in the early stages of the application process. This goes beyond just experience and resume. Based on a CV, we can only estimate knowledge and experience, but it says nothing about who the person is. Whether a person fits into a team does not depend on what is on their resume, but rather who they are. We want to measure whether someone fits well within the team and the organization, and whether someone can bring depth to the team."
Furthermore, the HR team wanted to have a better idea of the traits, talents, preferences and challenges of current employees and how the organisation is shaped by these different individuals. "When executives know how the individuals on their team want to be managed and what their preferred styles are, they are able to better develop their team. Furthermore, it also offers the employee himself insight into their workplace personality, preferred behaviours and needs. Only when you know what you have, can you make a good plan for personal and team development and grow both the employees and the organisation."
Whereas ELCORR previously used Thomas International’s Behaviour assessment occasionally, Natasja and her team now use the assessment for almost all new candidates. "The first screening is based on resume, quickly followed by filling out the assessment. The results of the PPA [Behaviour assessment] are very reliable and give an objective and complete picture of the candidate. In many cases, the HR department, in cooperation with a manager, draws up a preferred profile. This is an ideal profile for the position based on the desired competencies. During the application process, we measure and discuss the candidate’s preferences and styles and test this against the preference. In this way, we can see at an early stage whether someone fits within the team and the organisation."
Smurfit Kappa ELCORR doesn’t just deploy the PPA during recruitment and selection. When it comes to personal development and team development, the results of this assessment also provide many insights. "If someone has a development need, or a manager wants to investigate the development potential of an employee, we take an assessment. The results give us an objective picture and tools to measure the development potential and support an informed discussion. Learning goals can be drawn up from the PPA results, which the employee and manager can then work with.”
In addition to assessing individuals, Smurfit Kappa ELCORR also uses the assessment to measure team behaviors. After everyone in the team has completed a PPA assessment, the team reviews the qualities present in the team and those that are missing. "We recently organised a team session for the Sales team, in which we expressly did not look at team performance, but rather at the team members’ talents and development. We asked questions such as 'who are you as a team member?', 'how do you get other people on board with your story?' and 'how do you mirror yourself to customers?'. The result positive team building in which the focus was not on performance, but on the individual, the team and on development. To achieve results, both individuals and the team are needed. Therefore, we don’t only focus on objectives and tasks, but also on people. Colleagues now understand each other much better, because they have knowledge of the behavioural preferences of others. This benefits collaboration."
To further develop colleagues, Smurfit Kappa ELCORR uses Thomas International's assessment that measures learning ability, the Aptitude assessment (GIA). "We believe that you shouldn't make the decision to advance someone based solely on past performance. Instead, look at the learning capacity, what they still have to offer and what flexibility they show relative to taking the next step. This assessment provides insight into how someone can develop through training. We also use it to identify potential leaders who can initiate change", Natasja explains.
The use of both the Behaviour and Aptitude assessments is an important step for Natasja and the organisation, enhancing both the recruitment and selection process, in addition to personal and team development plans within the organisation.
"The objective information we get from the assessments is very valuable to us and helps us to get a more complete picture of candidates and colleagues. This enables us to make better recruitment decisions and select the right candidate for the job. In addition, employees find the assessment to be an instrument for objective measurement that improves self awareness, and managers find it very pleasant to have a 'user manual' for their colleagues. Only when you really know what someone's preferences and characteristics are can you bring out the best in them."
Not only are the HR department and managers enthusiastic about using the assessments, but the broader business. "We find that candidates and colleagues are always positive after completing the assessment and receiving the results. They are surprised by the enormous recognisability of the results and see it as a sign of appreciation from the employer that they can fill in the assessments. We also see that the cooperation between colleagues improves after attending a team session. After the session they understand why someone reacts in a certain way and how best to approach someone. This creates more positivity and understanding in the workplace. Our vision is: 'Building the success of our customers together'. This success starts with the development of employees, because only through the development of our employee can the organisation continue to develop. The assessments play an important role in this."