Mettl's Dark Personality assessment tool: New age recruitment

Mettl has reached the end of the horizon and gone as far as Ladakh to conduct assessments. Mettl has a phenomenal solution of a tech-savvy offline proctoring tool, says Tonmoy Shingal, Co-founder, and COO, Mettl


Q1. How has the hiring pattern changed since the inception of Mettl?
The business ecosystem is fiercely getting affected by the digital, economic, demographic, and social factors. These rapid changes in business are imposing a significant challenge for business & HR leaders to organize, recruit, develop, manage, and engage talent.

According to a report "Talent Acquisition in India, 2018"published by Mettl, the pace of technological and marketplace change will continue to create demand for new skill sets and job roles. Organizations that will create a blended approach and provide flexible work structures in cohorts with employee aspirations will be best positioned to attract the right talent for the right job.

Here are the key findings from the report:

1. Most of the recruiters agree on the fact that Talent Acquisition is one of the top challenges for the organization

2. A considerable increase in the Hiring Budget 2018 to be seen by the organizations

3. Startups would face the Talent crunch more this year as compared to 2017

4. Social Media turns out to be the top sources to get talent from You can view the full report here.

Q2. What type of software do you use for the talent assessment?
Technology today is no different from the water that makes its way through rocks and mountains. Technology has reached where no man has. So, when technology can reach the remotest corners of the world, it is not a herculean task for us to reach those corners with the help of technology. Mettl has reached the end of the horizon and gone as far as Ladakh to conduct assessments. Mettl has a phenomenal solution of a tech-savvy offline proctoring tool. Mettl fully uploads the assessment onto Android tablets where the candidates can give their assessments even if they do not have an access to the internet. These assessments are proctored via the front camera of the tablet, where the assessment is recorded and stored for later viewing. This helps Mettl to reach candidates who are in the most isolated corners of the world that are difficult to be approached by existing means of communication. The internet connection available in such places is negligible or non-existent. Working as a tandem to Digital India and Skill Mission India, Mettl has truly attained a global status of reaching the ends of the earth and beyond by being a part of this neo-technological era.

Q3. Shed some light on MDPI for our reader?
Methods and frameworks to identify dark traits have been in existence for ages, such as the dark triad. However, their applicability in workplaces is limited. They act more like self-awareness tools. In order to address the issue of workplace harassment and counterproductive behavior, we at Mettl decided to create Mettl Dark Personality Inventory (MDPI) consisting of 6 dark traits, to measure dark traits. This trait inventory can be used to assess the predominant dark personality traits of a person. It also tells us if the trait is present at low, moderate or high levels. Usually, a dark trait is a cause of concern at moderate to high levels only.

Additionally, we have created 3 variants of each dark trait. E.g. Opportunistic has three variants- ambitious, competitive and greedy. Depending upon the job role and job industry, different variants of a dark trait can surface. Each variant will lead to a different behavioral outcome after getting triggered, based on the level of dark trait present. Each dark trait can manifest itself in two ways: bright and dark. This is how people with dark traits use them to their own advantage and other’s disadvantage. Each dark trait is a source of strength for the person carrying it and a bane for people around them.

Q4. How does this new technology help in finding the best talent, but also filters the dark personalities?
Mettl Dark Personality Inventory is a tool to identify the dark personality constructs of potential hires as well as existing employees. Companies using MDPI during the screening stage of hiring as well as during employee engagement and Learning and development processes, will be able to filter out candidates/employees that possess moderate to high level of dark traits, as at these levels dark traits almost always contribute to counterproductive behavior at workplace and spoiling of the work culture. Additionally, moderate to high level of dark traits contribute to the creation of a stressful work environment which impacts the entire workforce and brings down the productivity level of high performers as well. All this culminates into increased incidences of workplace mishaps, higher attrition as employees start perceiving the workplace as hostile, and lower overall organizational productivity.

The absence of dark personalities has the opposite effect. A workplace which has employees with low level of dark traits will have a productive and positive work culture, happier employees, lesser stress and all this will be communicated to the potential hires via good word of mouth and improved employer branding as an employee-friendly workplace, which is very important in order to attract top talent.

Q5. How has technology helped in distinguishing the needs of different industries?
Mettl conducted a survey to find out which are the most undesirable dark traits for high-risk industries/job roles, that cause maximum harm if triggered. Additionally, we mapped the resultant distressing incident that these dark traits cause if triggered at the workplace.

As the significance of every dark trait is different for each job role/ industry, this framework throws light on the three most dangerous traits (out of the 6) for each job role and industry. The inference is based on the level of damage that the dark trait can cause if triggered on the job. You can refer to the framework in our whitepaper ‘Uncovering the dark traits of human personality’. We customize MDPI for each job role industry on the basis of this framework.

Q6. How do you eliminate the traits that tend to incite undesirable behavior among employees, which in turn negatively affect the organization with the new technology?
Merely the presence of dark traits in a person does not guarantee that they will behave in an undesirable manner. Dark traits have to be triggered for dark behavior to manifest. They get triggered by various factors, such as trait level, situation, and environment. Certain work environments tend to trigger dark traits, especially those that are very customer facing and those where the employee is in a position of power. That is why in job roles that are very conducive to triggering of dark traits such as cab driving, leadership roles, financial, childcare, healthcare and data security roles, employees and potential hires should be assessed to identify their predominant dark trait. Self-awareness about the kind of dark trait that a person has and the situations that may trigger it prevents employees from displaying undesirable behavior as a result of proactive self-behavior monitoring.

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