Artisan Blog

Our Top 25 Blogs

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Our Top 25 Blogs

We are thrilled to publish our 500th blog today. As we approach the end of 2018, we’d like to share some of our a.team’s favorite blogs.

These cover a range of topics from self-development and time-management to job search, hiring and much more.

We hope you enjoy this top 25 greatest hits compilation.

We hope you've enjoyed our 500th post.  You can find plenty other tips, inspirations, best practices and advice on our a.blog.

We look forward to connecting.




Define Your Personal Brand

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Define Your Personal Brand

 

As a creative professional, no matter what projects you pursue, you can create a lot more opportunities for yourself when you establish a clear, concrete, and powerful personal brand.

Here are five steps to help you define who you are, what you do, and where you want to go.

Get to Know Yourself

No matter what work you do, you have your own skills, style, and experiences that are unique to you. Together, they make up a professional persona that differentiates you from your competition. The more specific you can be about your persona, the more consistent your brand can be, and the more work it can do on your behalf.

Developing an effective personal brand requires taking an inventory of what you do well, how others see you, and how you can help them. It can be difficult to look at yourself objectively, on the flip side, this process of inquiry will pay enormous dividends throughout your career.

Check Your Humility

To maintain a healthy grounding in reality, it's important to be realistic and think critically about yourself, your strengths, and the areas in which you can improve upon. When you're building your brand set this aside for the moment and begin with an open mind.

Flatter yourself. Emphasize your strengths. Present yourself as a legend, a rock star, larger than life. You can always be humble and approachable after people are intrigued!

If you have trouble getting excited about your own brand, this classic Creative Mornings talk from Richard Sauerman will provide a jolt of encouragement and help you fall in love with yourself a bit.

Go on a Vision Quest

Create a detailed picture of where you want to go in your professional life, and your mind will begin to automatically strategize how to get you there.

Before you begin the detailed work of building your personal brand, try this visioning exercise. It will help you understand why you're doing all this. Imagine the fruits of your success and you'll whet your appetite for the work it requires.

Become You, Inc.

Now it's time to open your toolbox and assemble the nuts and bolts you will use to build your brand. You'll develop your own style guide, visual assets, slogan, elevator pitch, and everything else a business needs to distinguish and differentiate itself.

To do this, you can use the same assignments and techniques that top agencies use on branding projects for multinational corporations. This article on the best practices of in-the-weeds brand-branding lists all the essentials you'll need, with examples from some of the world's best-known corporate brands.

Knowing how to stand out in the crowd is key to defining your personal brand.  Check out Winnie & Lorrie Hart's book on Stand Out for more details.

Get Engaged

Your brand may be born in the studio, and it will come into its own when it learns to survive on the street. As time goes on, you will develop and iterate on your brand based on how it interacts with the outside world at networking events, in pitch meetings, online, in the work you do, and in the content you create.

Whether you're an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between, you'll ultimately build your brand through active engagement with your professional community. The more you do this, the more opportunities will open for you. It pays to be strategic, mindful, and deliberate about it.

Consider what you’re comfortable with, and then go slightly outside that zone. You’ll bring back some interesting insights.

At Artisan Creative, we pool decades of experience in the world of creative work to help you become your best professional self and hit goals you didn't know you had. Contact us today to find your next invigorating challenge.

We hope you've enjoyed the 499th issue of our a.blog

 



The Power of Ambiverts

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Power of Ambiverts

When it comes to styles of socializing, most people aren't fixed at one extreme pole or the other, at least not all the time. Most of us spend our time somewhere on the spectrum between painful introversion or exuberant extroversion. Some of us shift positions based on the situation, whether we're wired or tired, the cold number of strangers in the crowd or the warmth of being surrounded by close friends.

If you identify as neither an extrovert or an introvert and you share key traits with both, you may be an ambivert. Does this sound like you? Here are a few common characteristics of ambiverts - see how many you identify with.

You're All About Context

In high-stress situations, particularly at work, you may prefer to keep a low profile and think before you speak. However, when you're around your friends, you may behave quite differently.

Ambiverts have the color-changing powers of the chameleon, subtly altering their presentation to what serves them best in the situations they find themselves in. When you cultivate the mindfulness and self-awareness to make these adjustments deliberately, you can dramatically increase your effectiveness, at work and in life.

You Love to Chat But Prefer Valuable Conversation

You combine an extrovert's gift of gab with an introvert's aversion to small talk. Although you're adept at casual banter, you're eager to get to the heart of the matter and address what you really care about.

If you readily understand social cues, yet not always in the mood to follow them, you may be an ambivert.

You Provide Balance

When you're around your boisterous friends, you may calm down a bit, or do less talking and more listening than usual. However, when you're on a corporate retreat, you put yourself in the mix, break the ice, and help others form the connections they need to be themselves and come alive.

Because of your sensitivity and versatility to others with more extreme social styles, you can provide the secret sauce that makes relationships work.

You Respect Your Own Boundaries

You do fine in social situations, as long as you're in your comfort zone. Over time, you've come to know how much socializing you can tolerate without getting tired, how much you can participate in different sorts of meetings without overextending yourself, and what sort of people bring out your best as friends, collaborators, or mentors.

With their appreciation for the best of both worlds, ambiverts are well positioned to help others better define and establish their own needs and preferences. There is power in this versatility - when you understand the inner lives of both extroverts and introverts and can switch gears as appropriate, you are capable of great compassion and empathy.

Ambiverts may be well suited to roles that require thoughtful negotiation (e.g., sales or management), as well as the "helping professions" such as therapy, advocacy, or creative recruiting. Author Dan Pink, in his book "To Sell is Human” has created an assessment to test for yourself. He argues most of us are indeed ambiverts.

At Artisan Creative, we believe in the strength of diversity. We have decades of experience helping all sorts of creative professionals and businesses bring out their best selves and succeed beyond their expectations. Contact us today to discover your capabilities and embrace your excellence.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 496th issue of our a.blog

 

 


How to Find a Mentor

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How to Find a Mentor

 

Finding the right coach or mentor can take your creative or business career to the next level. In work and in life, no matter what stage you may find yourself in, you can always gain tremendous value by seeking guidance, wisdom, and aid from masters, teachers, or anyone with a unique perspective on your field.

It’s important to always be seeking the help of mentors and coaches. The biggest question is how do you find them? Lots of people are willing and able to help the right mentee - you just have to locate and approach them in ways that will show them the benefit of mentoring you, and the difference you’re going to make once you are committed to learning from them.

When looking for new coaches and mentors, or strengthening connections with those who have enriched your mind and soul in the past, it pays to keep these key principles in mind.

Bring Value

Before you seek out a mentor or coach, be able to show them what you can accomplish on your own. As much as people may believe in your potential, once you give them solid proof that you're on your way and you're willing to work toward your goals, you make it easier for them to support you.

Build your portfolio and resume. Do projects you love (even if they don’t come with high pay or a high profile). When you encounter a possible mentor, your body of work is your best introduction. Have something you’re proud to show.

Build Your Community

To receive support from others, constantly looking for new ways to support yourself and those around you. Building strong networks and communities is its own reward. The more you put yourself out there as a helpful, collaborative spirit, the more others will want to be part of your cause, including those who can provide valuable coaching and mentorship.

To gain mentorship, be a mentor to others. "Your legacy is not what you do," says writer and investor James Altucher. "It’s what the people you teach do." When you give more than you expect to get, the rewards can be far greater than you ever dared to anticipate.

Seek Out a Variety of Mentors

Intelligence and strength come in a rainbow of flavors. Julia Fawal lists five distinct types of mentors with whom you should cultivate close relationships. It includes not just masters and higher-ups, it also includes friends and coworkers you see every day.

Everyone has a different piece of the puzzle. Your most valuable mentorship may not come from a glamorous boss or a wizened shaman on a mountaintop, it may simply come from someone who sits next to you on mass transit.

Be Resilient

"The best mentorships I’ve had have taken a lot of time to cement," says Altucher. While some of your best coachings may come from a three-hour class, you must also have the patience, and put in the time, to build relationships with mentors that stay strong for years and decades.

This requires staying in touch, providing continuous value, and developing the relationship over time. Be adaptable to change when you want to keep relationships going through challenging times and circumstances and be willing to walk away from those that have run their course.

Be Humble

"A mind is like a parachute," said the musician Frank Zappa. "It doesn't work if it isn't open." Socrates, one of the wisest philosophers who ever lived said, "All I know is that I know nothing."

The most important rule in receiving help from the world is always to make yourself available for it. This requires questioning your judgments and assumptions. Know that wisdom is infinite, and the more you experience, the more you will realize you still have to learn.

Challenge yourself. Live on the outer edges of your comfort zone. Take a Socratic approach to work, life, and your own self-concept. When you make yourself open to new information, you make it easy for those with more wisdom and expertise to guide you into new ways of knowing.

At Artisan Creative, we pride ourselves on the guidance, connections, and stewardship we provide to creative professionals at all stages of their careers and their lives. Contact us today to learn more.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 494th issue of our a.blog


7 Impactful TedTalks

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

7 Impactful TedTalks

TED Talks are a rich resource for ideas and inspiration. With countless hours of video and curated playlists on nearly any topic of interest, they present a nearly endless buffet for the mind and heart.

We highly recommend sampling TED Talks whenever in need of fresh perspectives. Here are a few we find particularly relevant to our goals of career advancement as it dovetails with personal, professional, and community enrichment.

Brene Brown - The Power of Vulnerability

In one of the most-watched and best-loved TED Talks of all, Brown expands on the notion of grit, one of the qualities that set Scrappers apart. She shares her research on human connection and finds that, through accepting difficulty and pain and turning them to our advantage, we can find homes in dimensions of the human experience that cannot be accessed through pure brawn alone, but through a lifelong cultivation of sensitivity and compassion.

Andy Puddicombe - All It Takes Is 10 Mindful Minutes

In an age of overstimulation, it can be easy to forget how to simply sit and do nothing, even for just ten minutes at a go. In this wise and friendly talk, Puddicombe offers a broad introduction to the core principles of mindfulness practice. He explores why it can be so difficult to do nothing, and why it's so important. He suggests that we are what we pay attention to, and the best way to get better at using our minds is to sit back and observe them in action.

Susan Cain - The Power of Introverts

Most workplaces and most constructed environments, in general, are designed for the benefit of extroverts. In this acclaimed and influential talk, Cain shares her rocky journey to accepting her own introverted nature. She proposes that, through their powers of calm and skeptical observation, introverts have much to teach about potential new ways of doing and being. And she makes the case for building spaces and teams that can help introverts bring forth their transformative power.

Magnus Walker - Go With Your Gut Feeling

A British metalhead shares snapshots from the ping-ponging odyssey that led him to become a famous clothing entrepreneur in Los Angeles. To lead an interesting life, he suggests, we must cultivate intuition, take dangerous risks and leaps of faith, and go for what we want rather than what we think we’re supposed to want. Anyone who wants to live a bit closer to the edge can find inspiration in his exhilarating escapades and his penchant for charming and galvanizing storytelling.

Rajiv Nathan - How to Become an Expert in Vulnerability

For another expansion on Hartley's key themes, check out career coach Rajiv Nathan's observations on his revelatory Costa Rican vacation. He learns that entrenched knowledge can be an impediment to open-minded, open-hearted investigation, and that true strength comes from accepting how little we know about the world. Along the way, he meets a strange and surprising new friend, riffs on the foundations of Buddhism, and learns to live in a state of perpetual growth through self-critique.

Terri Trespicio - Stop Searching for Your Passion

Life doesn't have to be a mission; it can also be an exploration. The single-minded pursuit of a dream can close doors and make your life less interesting while engaging with opportunities as they arise, and building skills by learning to "solve your favorite problems," can help you become a person you never knew you could be. Trespicio shares her story of being fired from her "dream job," and how she discovered that "success fuels passion more than passion fuels success." If you're fixated on a distant goal, or you're nervous because you don't have one, Trespicio's talk is a rousing wake-up call.

Regina Hartley - Why the Best Hire May Not Have the Perfect Resume

An HR expert draws a distinction between two sorts of candidates, those who have the educational pedigrees and smooth career progressions that are generally made possible by backgrounds of privilege. And those who may hail from public schools and have uneven resumes, often because they have navigated significant hardship and uncertainty. Hartley explores the revolutionary concept of "post-traumatic growth" and makes a case for hiring for grit and humor. In a workplace that is rapidly diversifying and a society that is beginning to seriously reckon with the costs of steep inequality, her message is urgently relevant.

At Artisan Creative, we believe that the right intellectual diet is essential to success and fulfillment at life and work. Contact us today to take your team or your career to places you never knew it could go.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 492nd issue of our a.blog.

 



Create a Creative Workspace

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Create a Creative Workspace

Living things don't exist in isolation - we are who we are through complex interactions with our environments. This means building strong relationships with colleagues and coworkers. We can also pay more mindful attention to the details of our physical surroundings. This can help us bring our workspaces into harmony with our projects, our values, and our personalities.

Whether you work from home or have a desk/cubicle in a larger office, these tips can help you spruce up your space, which can help you become happier, more productive, and more creative.

Shed a Little Light

The light you work under sets the tone for what you think and what you accomplish. It can have a powerful effect on your psychological and ocular health. If you can, invest in a stylish lamp you love. If you love to work with your hands and you know a bit about electronics, you can even try making your own.

Know Your Ergonomics

We did not evolve to sit at desks all day. But with a basic understanding of the principles of ergonomics, you can make your work much easier on your health, and feel better as well. Understand what you need from a chair, how to place your equipment, and how to sit. You'll feel better, accomplish more, and preserve your long-term health.

Keep Your Vision in Sight

Keeping your vision board prominently placed in your workspace can help you stay cognizant of your larger goals and mission. When you're in danger of getting lost in the details, your vision board can realign your mind with a larger perspective. Whatever you're working on, the big picture is only a glance away.

Add a Splash of Color

In every culture, colors have deep symbolic significance. According to color theory, the right combinations of colors can inspire new ideas and perspectives. In your space, experiment with colors to find your ideal aesthetic and psychological balance. You don't need to turn your office screaming neon pink; minor accents can be enough to alter your brain chemistry and enhance your insights.

Go Green

When we strengthen our relationships with nature, we put ourselves in touch with the rhythms of the earth and the essence of life. Bringing plants into your workspace (even just a modest succulent) can freshen your perspective. Taking care of a plant also provides a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, a valuable reminder that what you pay attention to always matters in this complex web of existence.

Work Within the Code

When we innovate within the rules, we become, as Proust writes, "like good poets whom the tyranny of rhyme forces into the discovery of their finest lines." If your employer has rules governing how you can decorate your space, this can drive you to be more creative, not less. Go through the rulebook in detail, and figure out fresh ways to let your personality shine within the structure. This can inspire you and those around you to look at established guidelines with a fresh perspective.

At Artisan Creative, we support all aspects of your career, because we believe the best work can only be done in the right environment. Contact us today to learn more.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 490th issue of our blog.


 

 




9 Apps to Boost Creativity

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

9 Apps to Boost Creativity

As creative professionals, it’s important to be able to generate a steady stream of new ideas. Professional creativity means having a regular creative practice. It asks that you cultivate a life in which creativity can take root. It means thinking playfully even when you may not be in the mood. If you encounter a creative block, you can take a break, find inspiration in the outdoors, and come back with a fresh perspective.

You can also utilize the many tools, exercises, and habits to give you a jumpstart as needed. Here are a few free or low-cost apps you can download to your mobile device and use when you need a quick creative spark.

Blip Synthesizer

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a musician, riffing on musical instruments is a proven way to limber up the creative areas of your brain. This Android app is one of the simplest music-making apps available - it turns simple visual patterns into catchy miniature melodies. If you’re deep in a detail-oriented project or need to revive a spirit of play, it’s great for a quick hit of inspiration and joy.

Brainsparker

Created by the creative and leadership coach Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker is one of the more popular and widely-used ideation toolkits in the agency world. With 250 built-in creative prompts, it’s a randomized card game that facilitates group or solo brainstorming on the go.

Coolors

A new color combination can carry a bounty of new moods and ideas. If you’re a visual artist or graphic designer, you’re working on a new brand package, or you’re at all energized by color combinations, give this palette generator a try.

Evernote

The more deftly you can organize your information, the more cognitive bandwidth you’ll have left over to make connections and get fresh ideas from your data. With its robust integrations, this massively popular note-taking app is a go-to if you want to keep all your raw material in one place.

GLTCH

In the art world, glitch art is a movement based on digitally manipulating images, often in weird or irreverent ways. With this app, you can warp, corrupt, and mutilate any image you choose. It can help you see old concepts in new ways, and it’s a lot of fun.

Insight Timer

A regular practice of mindfulness meditation is one of the most time-tested habits to calm and clear the mind and to take heart in the face of the unexpected. With goal setting, rich analytics, hundreds of free guided meditations, and a worldwide community of practitioners, Insight Timer is one of the most popular and versatile apps for meditators at all stages.

Oblique Strategies

Created by the musician Brian Eno and polymath Peter Schmidt and inspired by the art movements Surrealism, Dada, and Fluxus, this set of cryptic and ironic instructions can help you take your work down unexpected and counter-intuitive avenues. Variations on Oblique Strategies exist for iPhone, Android, the web, and Slack.

Simplemind

Creativity is a connection, the art of forging new connections between existing points. This user-friendly mind-mapping program can help visualize clusters of ideas and information, making it easier to spot patterns, draw new throughlines, and find order in apparent chaos.

UX Companion

The multi-faceted discipline of user experience brings together some of the most vital and relevant thought in the areas of design, technology, research, and human behavior. This annotated glossary of UX concepts provides a useful introduction to ideas that are shaping the way we interact with our constructed worlds.

At Artisan Creative, we believe creativity should be fun, and we believe in sharing the resources that help the pros keep their creativity flowing. Contact us today to empower your mind and energize your creative career.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 486th issue of our a.blog. 

 


Are you a Digital Nomad?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Are you a Digital Nomad?

As humans and especially as creative professionals, we must learn to maintain a delicate balance between security and adventure, as our minds and hearts deem appropriate. If you are the sort of person who tilts toward adventure, or you crave a lot more risk in your life and career than you have currently, have you ever considered the life of a digital nomad?

Digital nomads take advantage of the wondrous interconnectedness provided by flourishing digital technologies. The consumer internet has only been around for a bit more than two decades, and these digital nomads live to explore new landscapes both virtual and geographical.

To be a digital nomad, one condition is to hone the skills you can do remotely, such as web design and development, copywriting, social media marketing, or any other creative trade that requires only an agile mind and a laptop. You must also cultivate your adaptability, learn to strategize, and develop a whole range of travel and interpersonal skills, some of which are so specific that they don't have names.

You can start to live a successful life as a digital nomad, with all the romance and adventure that come with it, if you can master these four core principles.

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Before you travel the world on your own steam, get smart with your money. Eliminate as much debt as possible and cut expenses to the bone. Own only the property you absolutely need - place most of your items in storage, and if you own a home, consider renting it out on AirBnB for extra income. If you don't own much, don't owe much, and lead a simple life, you will have an easier transition to becoming a digital nomad.

Plan Ahead - Take Care of the Details

The life of a digital nomad involves lots of improvisation. That's much easier to manage if you handle as many potential variables as you can before you go. Figure out your communication strategy - how will you stay in touch with clients and creative recruiters on foreign soil? Plan your itinerary - where are you staying, and where can you stay if those plans go awry? Do you need travel insurance, or extra guidance and protection? Use your networking skills to find a community of mentors and peers who have overcome some of the challenges of being digital nomads. Their friendship, camaraderie, and insight will make your travel experience less lonely and more fun and fruitful.

Put Your Assets to Work

As a digital nomad, you won't have access to the same professional networks you would if you were anchored in one location or community. You can make up for this if you create assets that will work in your favor when you're traveling or go offline. Make sure your online resume and digital portfolio are attracting new business while you sleep (especially if you're sleeping in an unusual new time zone). If you have unique skills to share, you might create an online course - this can generate passive income to help you get through any rough patches.

Keep an Open Mind

The most important skill of a digital nomad is adaptability. This bold lifestyle will teach you how to embrace unpredictability, dive into the unknown, and change your mind on the fly.

"Travel has a way revealing that much of what you’ve heard about the world is wrong," says Rolf Potts, author of the acclaimed travel lifestyle manual Vagabonding. " Even on a day-to-day level, travel enables you to avoid setting limits on what you can and can’t do. On the road, you naturally ‘play games’ with your day: watching, waiting, listening; allowing things to happen. There’s no better opportunity to break old habits, face latent fears, and test out repressed facets of your personality."

At Artisan Creative, we can help you conquer the challenges that matter to you as you claim the life and career you want. Contact us today to learn more.

 

 



The Power of Mental Representations

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Power of Mental Representations

As a child, you were an adept and effortless daydreamer, immersing yourself in your imaginary experiences with the dedication and enthusiasm of a film director. The richness of your inner experiences could rival that of real life. The skills associated with making mental representations of imaginary experiences tends to fade with age, and if you deliberately cultivate them, they can help you make more mindful and deliberate decisions to change the course of your career.

In a piece for Aeon, the philosophy professor Armin W. Schultz ponders what evolutionary purposes our mental representations might serve. Inner movies, he writes, "allow the organism to reason about what the right thing to do is. Very often, organisms that rely on a system of reflexes to manage their interactions with the world have to cope with much redundancy. Many perceptions of the world call for the same behavioral response, and many behavioral responses to the world are variations on a theme." If you can learn to think outside the restrictions of your unconscious reflexes, you can open new possibilities your reptilian brain didn't know you had.

Here are a few ways to use these skills to your professional advantage.

Make a Mental Movie

"Let’s say you are offered a new job in a different city, and you need to figure out whether to accept it," Arvin writes. "How are you going to do this? Most likely, you will think about what the job offer means to you: what will the new city be like? How fulfilling will the new job be? What about the pay and other benefits? How does all of this compare with where you live and work now? It’s not trivial, in the end, you’ll manage to make up your mind."

Experience, in your mind, the details of a typical day on the job, how your life and mindset will shift because of it, and what your work and your achievements will mean to you, intellectually and emotionally.

Running elaborate mental simulations of possible future experiences - taking it three-dimensional - can give your gut more information to work with. Sometimes, you may end up "going with your gut" in the end, even after all the rumination. Which is still a good exercise to have gone through.

Try Different Models

There is much wisdom to be found in consciously adopting certain intellectual frameworks, and then shopping around until you find one that is particularly useful to you.

When working through a difficult decision, experiment with a range of possible scenarios, based on different variables. You can then make a more wholly informed decision, and prepare yourself for different realities that may present themselves.

Try different sensory modalities, as well. If you are not a visual thinker and you are more comfortable focusing on sounds and feelings, try hearing or feeling your way through a decision. You may get some fresh insight just from imagining the physical sensations walking through your new office space.

Don't Mistake the Map for the Territory

Our mental representations never square precisely with reality. For difficult questions about your career, sometimes the most powerful answer is "I don't know." Then actively seek out “to know”.

When you work with mental representations, acknowledge that your thinking is biased by factors both conscious and unconscious. Do plenty of research and always keep your mind open to new information. Mental representations empower us to anticipate change, including change we never could have expected.

With the rise of AR and VR technologies, we may soon be able to work with simulations that are even more rich and useful. Be prepared to keep dreaming bigger and better.

At Artisan Creative, we love to share all the tools that can empower you to have the career and the life you want. 

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 484th issue of our a.blog.  Get in touch today to continue the conversation.

 


Personality Assessments and the Hiring Process

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Personality Assessments and the Hiring Process

"When you meet somebody for the first time, you're not meeting them. You're meeting their representative." - Chris Rock

Businesses struggle every day to hire and retain top talent. Making professional matches is as much an art as it is a science, and even the strongest minds in HR, recruiting, and management must sometimes learn from mistakes.

In their quest to find the best candidates, many top companies use a variety of personality and integrity tests to screen applicants during their interview processes. There's an ongoing debate around this practice, with strong arguments and research supporting either side. Should you consider implementing this sort of testing for potential new hires, it's important to know the pros and cons.

Pros

- You're in good company. According to a recent survey, more than 40% of Fortune 100 companies use some form of personality testing as part of their recruiting and onboarding procedures.

- It can get results. Studies have shown that retail businesses who used integrity testing in hiring reported a 50% reduction in inventory loss. Long-term results for some other forms of testing are less clear, but anything that weeds out clearly unqualified applicants obviously saves time for HR, and money for the company.

- It can eliminate biases. Individual interviewers may be biased toward candidates they personally like, or, worse, make decisions based on unconscious cultural biases. By establishing measurements that are more objective, at least theoretically, testing can correct for this tendency.

- It can be fun. Startups such as Knack offer gamified versions of some employment-related tests, which can infuse a spirit of play into your hiring process. Some companies also test current employees after they're hired, which can be a part of an employer-employee feedback loop that improves conditions at work.

-It's a good communication tool.  Learning more about ourselves and our colleagues is a great step towards better communication and connection.

Cons

- Tests themselves can be biased. Tests reflect the values and biases of their creators. Interpreting results requires training and judgment. Placing value on certain personality traits will always be controversial. Proceed with caution, research, and awareness.

- Potential new hires can "game" the tests. The main thing a test measures is how adept the subject is at taking the test. People who are determined to get hired, despite any reasons why they shouldn't, can find ways to manipulate their results.

-Testing can entrench a fixed mindset. "Growth mindset" refers to the attitude that perceived weaknesses present opportunities for improvement. According psychology professor Art Markman, there is a significant risk in testing if it carries the message that skills and characteristics are innate or that people are fixed entities, hardwired from birth for success or failure. Employees deserve the chance to improve over time through their own initiative, which is easier if they don't think of themselves as fixed data points on a scale.

One tool that the Artisan Creative team uses as a group is the CliftonStrengths Assessment, where we use our top 5 strengths to communicate via a common language on a regular basis.

With decades of experience as creative recruiters, we know hiring is easier when you don't have to do it alone. Contact Artisan Creative today and leverage our expertise to make your next great match!

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 481st issue of our a.blog.



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