By Subbu Balakrishnan
Finding the perfect employee or the perfect job is not dissimilar to finding the right life partner.
Almost every one of us has likely experienced the joys of being in a job and an environment that fits like a glove, as well as suffered through times of frustration or uncertainty, where Fridays can’t get here soon enough. The struggle for employees and employers alike is to articulate, measure and predict the likelihood of both the highs and lows with such an abstract topic like personality and culture fit between an individual and her workplace.
At Good.co, a TechStars Spring 2013 graduate and an early beneficiary of the IBM SoftLayer Catalyst program, we set out to create a framework to help both ask and understand the questions that help people discover their strengths and culturally-fit workplaces.
Traditional personality assessments, while based on solid research and practical studies, are often tedious and not easily actionable in the workplace. Similarly, employee assessments for both fit and cultural engagement leave much to be desired in terms of expressing the alignment (or lack of it) between the individuals that make up an organization and the organization’s culture and ethos.
The Good.Co personality identification and culture fit platform is designed as a three-part solution to the problem.
· First, a bottom-up, consumer-first, self-discovery process that helps individuals verbalize their unique strengths when it comes to careers and workplace approach.
· Second, the articulation of interpersonal fit between an individual and her co-workers to address workplace compatibility beyond mere similarity.
· Third, the application of personality theory to organization – companies, teams and jobs that make up the organism that is the corporation.
But in addition to evolving well-established personality models, like the Big-5, and integrating mathematical techniques from statistical pattern recognition, the platform also brings a level of design sophistication, visual art and user engagement to the increasing problem of human capital understanding and management.
None of this would be possible without the underlying capabilities of the SoftLayer cloud – both from the perspective of constructing a scalable, cloud-based infrastructure footprint for a fledgling company with big ideas, as well as the simple goal of gathering, understanding and drawing insight from multiple data points of unstructured data.
One of the assumed but overlooked benefits of working with cloud infrastructure, is the granular customizability of what could be considered a commodity service – whether it is a server to host a database, or an entire configuration for a test version, or production load balancing based on traffic spikes. This customizability has made the process of going from an idea to 100k+ surveys and 2 million+ data points possible. In addition, this has been possible with essentially one, half-time engineer dedicated to operations and a very reasonable cost footprint.
After a few months of learning from the beta with the data and user feedback, Good.Co is on the verge of launching the next revision of its platform, a completely re-designed, mobile-first experience, with nearly three times the dimensionality of measurement, along with a four-fold increase in company information, and what we believe is a foundation for the meaningful integration of personality and culture fit into individual and organizational success. The company’s growth and ability to scale the platform is a direct result of the power and potential of cloud computing.
Subbu Balakrishnan, CTO and co-Founder of Good.co, recently participated in a virtual event focused on cloud’s impact on today’s small business. Watch and listen here for more insights: http://bit.ly/1nLVxuE.