Finding Potential – It’s All In The Head, Heart and Hands 


Finding potential is about more than just finding someone who can do the job.  It is about finding someone who stands out from the rest.  Assessment plays a fundamental role in the recruitment process, pinpointing who amongst your candidate pool will add true value to your business, and its particularly critical when hiring at management level. 

Great managers are a bit like great teachers – they inspire interest and commitment, and their influence stays with us long after our day-to-day contact with them. Sadly, great managers that stand out are as hard to find as those great teachers that we remember so fondly. 

Finding potential is about more than just finding someone who can do the job.  It is about finding someone who can shine.  When you’re hiring at senior level, this means identifying people who can lead, develop and inspire, not just those who can keep the ship afloat.  That’s where the use of assessment in the hiring process plays a fundamental role.  Assessment makes the difference between simply matching the candidate to the job specification (in other words matching the skills with the tasks) and matching the candidates to the person specification (or, to put it another way, finding the ‘best fit’).  

At great{with}talent we use a simple model to help our clients hire great managers (all underpinned with sophisticated science and the latest technology). We believe that it’s all about head, heart and hands.  

Head – put simply, are they bright enough? Do your applicants have the mental horsepower required to really grasp what is required, to base decisions on hard facts and not just take a poorly informed leap of faith. The science here is proven – the relationship between ability test scores and job performance is well documented. Ability tests give a powerful insight into every applicant’s capability to use data and draw the correct conclusions. Our ability assessments are different from similar looking assessments as they are built to reflect the reality of today’s work environment. 

Heart - personality is something that we all assess and describe every day. When we talk about ourselves and others, we frequently refer to different characteristics of an individual’s personality. Unsurprisingly the link between personality and job performance is compelling, hence the value of personality testing as an assessment tool. It is important to realise that there is no such thing as a “right” or “wrong” personality – but some people’s behavioural preferences (personality traits) are better suited to some tasks and environments than others. That’s why what looks great in one organisation just isn’t the right match for another. When it comes to management and leadership styles, for example, what defines an effective management style? Much depends on the environment this person will be working in, the challenges they will face and what is happening in that team. Transactional leaders prefer dealing with what needs to be done and by when, i.e. the task at hand and managing processes and systems to ensure success. Transformational leaders will tend to focus on building relationships, focusing on the why (i.e. alignment to the organisation’s vision) and how (i.e. enabling others to execute effectively) aspects of performance to drive belief and confidence. One size most definitely doesn’t fit all when it comes to management styles.  So, provided you know what your organisation needs, it pays huge dividends to be able to identify those required personality traits in your shortlisted candidates.  

Hands - they might be bright, they may believe they have the right leadership style for the challenge ahead, but how will they actually react? We’ve designed Managerial Situational Judgment Tests that will give you a unique insight into how the applicants are likely to react to the different challenges they will face every day. The candidate is presented with a series of scenarios and given some options on what to do. Upon completion of the assessment you will have a deep insight into how each candidate takes accountability and is dependable, leads the way for others, embraces change, and builds positive working alliances. 

Whatever type of assessment model best suits your business needs, there’s no doubt that it will steer your shortlisting decisions in the right direction, form the basis for far more insightful discussions during the recruitment process, and create the foundations for a tailored and ‘on point’ personal development plan for the appointed candidate.  

If hiring great managers by assessing their ‘heads, hearts and hands’ sounds like music to your ears, we think you’ll be blown away by the ease of use and quality of our assessment tools. Please visit to find out more or to sign up for a free, no strings trial. 

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