Team Building: Utilizing the Birkman Assessment When Hiring - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Team Building: Utilizing the Birkman Assessment When Hiring

As you seek to bring on employees who align with your lawn or landscape company’s culture, one tool you can use during the interview process is a personality test. While there are a number of different tests available, one test to consider is the Birkman Assessment.

The Birkman Assessment is used by more than 10,000 companies for talent selection and alignment, talent development, team performance and leadership development.

What Is The Birkman Assessment?

Created in 1951 by Dr. Roger Birkman, this personality test helps determine how someone is likely to behave and why. It also provides insights into how a person might interact in a team setting.

This test measures psychological characteristics and helps identify a job candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas of motivation, communication and teamwork. The questionnaire features 298 questions and takes around 30 minutes to complete.

There are four unique archetypes with the Birkman Assessment. Red (The Doer) represents a climate of action, energy, and practicality. Green (The Communicator) represents socialization and responsiveness. Yellow (The Analyzer) represents planning, fairness, and objectivity. Blue (The Thinker) represents reflection, sensing, and expression.

While there are four main archetypes, no two personalities are identical. The report identifies an individual’s personality on two key dimensions: their preference for dealing with tasks or people and if they are more extroverted or introverted in their style.

The assessment identifies a candidate’s interests (what activities they gravitate toward), usual behavior (how they act when their needs have been met), needs (how a person needs or expects to be treated by other people) and stress behavior (this is how they act when their needs have not been met).

This information will let you know which behaviors and environments motivate your team and which cause them stress.

Uses for Employers

One of the main uses of the Birkman Assessment is talent selection and alignment. It can eliminate the guesswork in determining if an individual has the characteristics needed to succeed at your company. Sometimes, a personality gap can cause troublesome issues for a team. For instance, in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, someone who rigorously sticks to a plan can be viewed as a roadblock.

While the Birkman Assessment is typically utilized for job applicants, it can be beneficial with your current staff as you are able to identify and assign them the work that aligns with their natural interests. You can tap into your team’s natural strengths by learning the work styles of different team members and how they complement each other.

The assessment can also show what each individual needs to be able to perform at their best. When you meet your employees’ needs, they can bring their most productive selves to the workplace. This assessment is also useful to get the right people in the right seat.

You can also understand the stress triggers for team members and reduce burnout. Awareness of team members’ personality differences can aid in engaging in a healthy conflict where everyone feels respected and heard in the face of disagreement.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.