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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.

An example of the questions asked / Image Credit: Fourlead

“Based on the assessment responses, the minimum accuracy is 70%, and the highest is 90%,” Don shared.

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.

Perhaps getting 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.

An example of what the company culture section looks like / Image Credit: Fourlead

The results are then averaged out according to 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 (Yet)

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 reviewed here) 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 better.

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.”

Fourlead overcomes 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 Policy

I gave the free behaviour assessment tool a go myself, just to see how well it could pinpoint my working behaviour.

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.

My personal results which I’d have to say are accurate / Image Credit: Fourlead

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

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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)