University of Free State |

University of Free State

Case studies

How Thomas supported the university through significant change and assessed its ongoing impacts

Free State hero

University of Free State

South Africa
Behaviour (PPA)
Aptitude (GIA)
Personality (HPTI)
Emotional Intelligence (TEIQue)

The Challenge

An organisation of 40,000 people, the South African University of the Free State (UFS) began using psychometric assessments in its recruitment processes in 2015. As the organisation evolved, it also needed to mature its performance management and development processes. 

When the Covid pandemic began in 2020, the university was still predominantly site based. The HR department therefore needed a solution that would help to support the university through a significant change programme and help them to assess its ongoing impacts on the workforce. 

free state challenge

The Solution

The university uses a range of Thomas assessments, including Behaviour, Personality, Engage and Emotional Intelligence, to support the organisation during this challenging time. Natasha Nel, Organisational Development Specialist at UFS says: “The assessments have really informed our development programmes. With recruitment it’s about identifying the right candidates. It’s also about supporting the whole candidate experience right through until they leave us.”

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The Results

“We use the tools to support our interventions and programmes so that we align with the employee experience that we want to create” says Natasha. “We conducted a PPA (Behaviour) analysis on all our employees and based on these results and our Employee Engagement results, we we launched our iRecognise Programme, an initiative to better recognise our employees.” The revised approach to performance management has helped maintain engagement and facilitated flexible working.

Natasha continues, “We even use the Emotional Intelligence assessment during change programmes, to see how profiles shift and ensure that our approach to change aligns with our commitments as an organisation. We also did a resilience study during the pandemic using the HPTI [Personality assessment].” Using the suite of Thomas tools, the university has successfully moved to hybrid working and mitigated burnout. It also enhanced its performance management approach based on the insights provided by the Thomas data.

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