TeamPlayer Wants You to Hire People Who Are Compatible

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 9.26.12 AMI went to a Jobvite “roadshow” networking event in Los Angeles this week, and the first attendee I met — well, dedicated readers can guess exactly what he said to me: “I’m starting a recruiting technology company!”

In this case the guy’s name is Jim Lanas. He’s a Vietnam-era veteran and a recruiter in the medical field, whose new company, TeamPlayerHR, is in the assessment field. But it’s not exactly a personality or psychometric assessment (and it drives Lanas bonkers when people assume it is).

Let me explain how this works.

First, people take this assessment. By people, I mean a manager, or a group of existing employees. Then, a candidate takes the assessment (which takes about 20 or so minutes).

After people take the assessment, the hiring company sees how compatible the candidate is with the manager or the coworkers. Perhaps they’re a better fit with a different manager, in a different group within the company. Or, the assessment could be given to an employee already on the payroll, to find out the best place for them within the company.

Let’s get back to where the company says it’s different. It’s not asking people those questions we’ve all come to know and love. You know: “Would you rather play chess with your neighbor by the pool, or sing the song American Pie backwards while standing on your head?”

Indeed, I took TeamPlayer’s assessment, and compared to some other assessments, many of these questions feel more work related. It’s strictly not meant to weed out someone because they have a personality that’s different from a manager or coworker, or because are perceived as loud, quiet, bubbly, weird, and so on.

You’re asked about your short-term goals; long-term goals; importance of work/life balance to you; who you go to (family? co-workers? supervisor?) to resolve conflicts; whether you want to resolve disputes quickly or after some time to simmer down; the importance of recognition vs. personal satisfaction; and more.

You’re also given scenarios: one employee is looking at another, and you’re told to guess what’s going on; are the people in a given picture, for example, not getting along?

“It’s comparing people with people,” Lanas says. He says the assessment is not about determining how well someone will do a job, except to the extent that how well you get along with your co-workers determines your success.

TeamPlayerHR is launching out of London and Los Angeles. It’s self-funded, but venture capitalists are likely to get a call from Lanas about growing it before long.

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