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Harrison Assessments: An Innovative Approach to Employee Assessments

CIO VendorDan Harrison, Founder
"For behavioral assessments to be accurate they need to be job specific.” says Dr Dan Harrison, Founder of Harrison Assessments.

It’s not just a theory. Dan’s 30 years of research related to job success have led to the conclusion that the behaviors that make a person successful for one job can be very different from the success behaviors for another job. Dan has a PhD in Organizational Psychology and before that he studied advanced mathematics at University. His curiosity and in-depth understanding of human behavior makes him a natural fit to helm the global employee assessment powerhouse, Harrison Assessments.

A core Harrison principle is that assessing job specific behaviors is far more effective than trying to apply a general personality assessment across a range of jobs. For example, sales positions have a completely different set of success behaviors than technical positions. Even within sales positions, sales that require prospecting have different success behaviors than sales in which leads are provided. That’s why Harrison Assessments uses a unique formula to predict success for each job.

However, Harrison doesn’t use a different questionnaire for each job. Instead, their SmartQuestionnaire™ measures 175 factors in only 25 minutes and each job specific assessment uses a unique formula that analyzes only 30-40 of those factors from the questionnaire that are relevant to the job. There are more than 6500 existing formulas based on Harrison’s job performance research. These Job Success Formulas make it easy to customize an assessment to your specific requirements and company culture. The SmartQuestionnaire data can also be applied to assess for a wide range of talent functions including leadership development, recruitment, high volume screening, employee development, engagement & retention analysis and succession planning.

“True leadership is a matter of balance,” adds Dan. Harrison’s research has shown that strong traits are not necessarily strengths.
In fact, they are a person’s greatest weakness if not balanced by what Dan calls Paradoxical Traits. Harrison Assessment’s unique Paradox Technology™ determines if strong traits are genuine strengths or derailers. An example of two paradoxical traits in relation to communication is Frankness and Diplomacy. Frankness or directness can enable a leader to get things done and provide needed clarity. However, if it is not balanced by tact or diplomacy, the person unnecessarily creates conflict, disrupts teamwork, and causes costly employee turnover.

Being certain about one’s opinions is often considered a strong leadership quality. However, in the Harrison system if a leader is not also receptive to others’ ideas, this certainty is really dogmatism which often results in poor decisions, poor innovation, high turnover and disengaged employees. Conversely, if leaders are reflective and welcome new ideas but are not confident, they fail to provide clarity to their people and are often perceived as unclear, evasive or even untrustworthy. People who are both certain of their opinions and open to the ideas of others are good at brainstorming and are easily able to collaborate, innovate and achieve deeper understanding.

“Attracting and retaining talent requires a two way assessment,” observes Dan. Another unique aspect of Harrison’s approach is what Dan calls a two-way assessment, meaning it is mutually beneficial. Each assessment is designed to map the candidate/employee’s needs as well as the requirements of the organization. This provides an exceptional candidate experience and attracts and retains top talent like nothing else.

Harrison Assessments provides a complete Talent System that offers a brief job specific assessment of qualifications, a SmartQuestionnaire for behavioral assessment and an assessment for critical thinking. The system immediately identifies and ranks the top candidates, saving 70 percent of the administration time when hiring or doing succession planning. The same SmartQuestionnaire data is also used for organizational analysis, engagement and ongoing leadership development to cover the entire employee lifecycle.

Harrison has over 1000 consultants, working in 38 languages, across 61 countries helping organizations to achieve their full potential. “Our solutions are not just designed for individuals to achieve success in the workplace; the results strengthen their family and personal life as well,” concludes Dan.