New Assessment Helps Employers Find Job Seekers Who Want to Be a Force For Good

January 16, 2020

Introducing the First Purpose Assessment for Recruitment

As more workers seek jobs that provide a sense of purpose as well as a paycheck, the world’s largest impact job site — B Work — is rolling out a new addition to its Fitzii screening assessment to identify workers who want to be a force for good on the job. The B Work platform, which offers an array of tools and services that help Certified B Corporations improve their hiring success, initially launched in 2016 through a partnership between B Lab and Fitzii, a division of the Ian Martin Group, a B Corp. On the B Work job site, purpose-driven employers post jobs and candidates can search for meaningful work amongst the thousands of jobs available.
The new addition to the Fitzii assessment aims to make the matching process more efficient and beneficial for employers and workers by pinpointing which applicants are most oriented toward doing purpose-driven work. (You can read examples of the types of questions this new assessment includes throughout this article.)
Edwin Jansen, head of corporate development at the Ian Martin Group, notes that B Corps do not have a problem attracting applicants. B Work data shows that B Corps on average attract more than two times as many candidates as a non-B Corp.
am I going to decide who are the five people that I’m going to interview?’” Jansen says, noting that many B Corps are small businesses that don’t have the capacity for that task. “And that’s a difficult challenge, because the ideal candidate is likely somewhere in those 300 applications, but you can’t tell from their resume or their cover letter whether they’ll be a great fit.”
Identifying candidates who are most inclined to be a force for good at work is especially crucial in a job market where more applicants are seeking work with purpose, Jansen says. “We had a need to help B Corps to understand who, out of all these applicants that you’re getting, are actually purpose driven,” he says.
There are several ways that employers benefit from finding employees most aligned with a company’s mission, including an improved retention rate and stronger participation and commitment to getting work done. These benefits have tangible impacts on the bottom line, company culture, and the overall mission impact a company can achieve. A business can only be a strong force for good with the support and work of committed, impact-driven employees.
Rank how important the following statements are to you:
That my work never imposes on my personal life.
That I never have to put work ahead of my personal needs.
Over a two-year period, Jansen and his team worked closely with the academic researchers to create a validated psychometric test, which companies typically use for existing employees to gauge their sense of purpose at work.
“While there are many purpose assessments for employees, there aren’t any purpose tests for the recruitment process,” Jansen says, noting that employment law has strict criteria for the validation of these tests, so that there is no discrimination bias.
Measuring Engagement and Commitment
The B Work team gathered inspiration for the survey questions from purpose assessments used for academic studies and from companies such as Gallup and Imperative, a B Corp that does an annual Workforce Purpose Index survey as part of its services that help organizations to increase the amount of purpose that their employees feel.
Rank how important the following statements are to you:
That each job I take is a stepping stone to a better job.
That each job fits into my predefined career path.
During the two-year development process, Fitzii and the researchers tested how well the questions identified positive engagement and commitment outcomes through tests with employees of B Lab and other B Corps. Through these tests, they were able to refine the process to best identify workers who are most inspired by their company’s purpose and meaning.
The questions measure four dimensions — social responsibility, commitment, advancement focus, and social investment — and two predictive outcomes:
Meaningful engagement: The degree to which the candidate will likely feel a strong sense of engagement, belonging and belief in the purpose of the organization.
Loyalty and commitment: The likelihood that a candidate will intend to stay with an organization for a longer period of time than most employees.
Now in use exclusively within the Fitzii assessment made available through B Work, the new scale will be used to score the level of purpose and meaning orientation of candidates so that B Corps can focus in on the people who most want to be a force for good.
“Everyone knows that someone who deeply cares is more productive, more engaged — those are the kinds of employees that you want to hire. But it’s impossible to make that determination based on a resume and cover letter, and it’s difficult to do in an interview,” Jansen says. “This is a way to help purpose-driven candidates put their best foot forward and get recognized for how valuable they are.”

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