Author’s Blurb: Prior to joining Vulcan Post, I was asked by our Managing Director to find out my personality type through 16Personalities. I found this an interesting approach, as I’d never been asked to do so by a company before (though, granted, this is my first ‘proper’ job).
Don Low of Fourlead believes that it should be done differently.
Fourlead is a Malaysian
startup that wants to minimise the challenges of traditional hiring and match
the right talents to the right employers.
This sounds like
something that’s already been done in many different ways by various other
companies, but Don’s approach is slightly different.
He uses the DISC model,
which was first developed in 1928 by William Moulton Marston, an American
psychologist who also invented the prototype of the lie detector machine.
The DISC assessment
method measures 4 main traits: Dominance
(D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C).
While there are many
other personality assessment methods in the market, Don told Vulcan Post that
DISC is probably the only model that can also assess human behaviour.
“We don’t use
personality because personality is fixed at as young as 3 years old, and it
doesn’t change after that. Personality only shows what you are as a general
person, but not at work because most of us tend to be different at work
compared to at home.”
It’s A 2-Way Street
The DISC model that
Fourlead uses has also been tailored specifically to the workplace, so it
informs workplace behaviours and potential performance.
Its questions were directed
by Don, who has 9 years of corporate experience in multiple MNCs and a local
publicly listed company, and were verified by an American clinical psychologist
based on the DISC model.
“Based on the
assessment responses, the minimum accuracy is 70%, and the highest is 90%,” Don
Every job has a
behaviour demand, but the problem that he’s identified is that many employers
do not state this demand clearly in their job listings.
employers to state this is a futile approach, so Don took it the other way
instead: allowing talents to take the test and making those results available
to interested employers.
Now, you might be wondering
then, if I get a bad result on my DISC assessment, wouldn’t this just mean I’d
never get hired?
Rest assured, as Don
said there is no best behaviour type (out of 16 total) since they all have
their strengths and weaknesses.
Getting hired simply
depends on how well matched you are to the employer, and the employers
themselves will also be assessed based on Fourlead’s DISC culture assessment.
But what if the
employer lies about their company culture just to make themselves sound
attractive, you ask?
Well, the culture wouldn’t
be assessed by the employer, but rather by its current employees who are
registered on Fourlead.
For example, if Vulcan
Post registers on Fourlead and has 10 current employees also registered on the
platform, Don shared that you can expect these 10 people to have assessed
Vulcan Post’s culture.
The results are then
averaged out according the DISC model, and there will also be a politics and
flexibility level shown.
The identity of the
assessors will remain anonymous and confidential, and if a registered employee
leaves the company, their assessed result will be pulled from the chart to keep
the report up to date.
In short, if your
behaviour matches well with a company’s culture, this should ideally mean that
you have a high chance of getting shortlisted and hired.
Solving What AI Can’t
I’m not sure if many
other employees and jobseekers have noticed this, but it appears that job
platforms are beginning to experiment more with AI, with some going full-on AI
from the start.
Take adnexio (which we
for example. Its proprietary AI system conducts interviews and evaluates a
candidate’s education, job experience, skills, and even personality.
adnexio claims that
this eliminates 80% of the recruitment process and matches talents to employers
But Don’s not entirely
convinced that AI is the be all end all solution to every employer’s needs.
“I am not sure how
much value current AI technology can bring to the table, given that a job position
in Location A, Department A could be very different to the same position that
is in Location B, Department B.”
this by assisting in the judgement of not only company compatibility and candidate
suitability, but also the jobs themselves.
With such transparency,
Don expects to see a reduction in the number of job applicants to a job
opening, but an increase in the quality of the applicants.
The platform had its
soft launch on February 14, 2020 after a few years of challenges, scrapping the
initial project and starting from zero again.
On April 1, 2020, the free behaviour assessment tool for HR and the public was launched.
Honesty Is The Best
I gave the free
behaviour assessment tool a go myself, just to see how well it could pinpoint my
On Fourlead’s current beta
site, the tool is displayed front and centre so there’s no way you’d miss it.
I’m not sure if it was
my internet or just the site itself, but do note that it might take an extra
second than normal to load, so don’t hastily exit thinking that it’s broken.
Overall, I was asked
28 questions, and each question had 4 statements. You have to pick ‘yes’ for a
statement that describes you the best, and ‘no’ for one that doesn’t.
Personally, I didn’t
struggle with answering them, as they’re simplified yet specific. None of them
are negative or positive-sounding statements either; they’re all neutral and
reflect the fact that Don said there are no ‘bad’ behaviour types, just
different ones with their own strengths and weaknesses.
I don’t think this
needs to be said, but for this to really work in the intended way, an applicant
would have to be honest and not pick statements just to produce an ‘attractive’
result to employers in general.
To avoid the misconduct
of someone retaking the assessment multiple times after failing to get
shortlisted or hired, Fourlead only allows users to reassess after 12 months.
When I received my
results, I was pleasantly surprised. I believe they describe me rather spot-on,
and I’d give it a good 95% grade for accuracy.
While I’ve led teams
before, my greatest asset in a team is as a supporting member. I’m critical of my
performance but find it hard to vocalise issues to the right people who can help
me solve them. Some of my worst fears as an employee are criticism and being
unable to meet expectations, thus inviting potential disappointment.
I feel exposed, yet
enlightened to know that I do have some strengths alongside my weaknesses (from
my personal POV).
Bottom Line: Prior to this, I’d never heard of the DISC model, having only checked out my personality based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). When Fourlead fully launches all of its features, I’d be interested to see the success rate of hiring based on behaviour, and if possible, maybe even the retention rate of a company that’s using Fourlead’s services for recruitment.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Fourlead