Yesterday the New Yorker released a long-form look at Amazon, one of the world’s most admired companies. While the article focused on the deep history and disruptive nature of the company, one of the most newsworthy segments described the mysterious inner workings of the company:
“The key to understanding Amazon is the hiring process…Eighty per cent of [managers who took personality assessments] came in two or three similar categories, and Bezos is the same: introverted, detail-oriented, engineer-type personality…The vast majority fall within the same personality type — people who graduate at the top of their class at M.I.T. and have no idea what to say to a woman in a bar.”
Is it possible Amazon has identified their ideal candidate, a personality type statistically destined to drive the company to success? If revenue of $74.45 B in 2013 and 426 items ordered from the site every second on Cyber Monday are any indication, the answer appears to be yes.
Although not a new form of evaluation, psychological assessments have seen a resurgence in today’s sales recruitment best practices. So what has changed since psychometric assessments first hit the recruiting scene in the 1950s? Two major technological advancements have impacted the accuracy and accessibility of psychometric assessment in sales recruiting:
- Cloud Computing – business are now able to quickly, conveniently and inexpensively administer assessments
- Big Data – complex algorithms allow hiring managers to draw simple, meaningful insights from their stockpiles of data
As their cost decreases and their validity increases, psychometric assessments are looking like a strong investment for sales professionals. Timid tech grads may not be the personification of success on your sales team – why not use your data to tell you who is?
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