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One of These Things Is Not Like the Others

May 09, 2018

The reality of most hiring decisions is that both the organization and the candidate are crossing their fingers for the first three to six months, at best.

The candidate experience is grueling. You spend hours researching the best jobs, customizing your resume and cover letters, preparing for interview after interview, and then waiting … so much waiting. Then, you get the good news — you got the job! Even with the excitement, there is an overwhelming element of the unknown: 

  • Are my skills good enough?
  • Will I get along with my teammates? My boss? Those I’m supervising?
  • Is this really the right job for me?
  • Will I succeed?

When I came to Wipfli, I was so focused on leaving my previous place of employment, most of these questions did not hit me until after I started. In fact, I knew I had applied for and accepted an administrative position for which I was overqualified, so my skills and experience alone would undoubtedly result in success, right?! I also found myself working with an amazing team of intelligent and caring women. This would work out just fine ...

About three months in, something didn’t “feel” right. I had already mastered the essential responsibilities, but my strengths were not being utilized. Worst of all, I was starting to see some glaring differences between me and the rest of my team that made me feel like an outcast. I was succeeding in obtaining results and receiving great feedback and recognition, but my engagement level was plummeting. I began the job search process once again.

As part of the monthly admin team curriculum, HR was invited to facilitate a meeting using our Predictive Index® Behavioral Assessment results. This assessment measures an individual’s motivating drives and needs that result in observable behaviors. It helps individuals understand their own, and others’, behavioral preferences and styles. As the results went up on the screen, everything I had been feeling was confirmed — there was the team on one side, and there was me on the other. I had a quick flashback to Sesame Street:  “One of these things is not like the others.” It all made sense. The issue wasn’t so much that my behavioral preferences were different from the rest of the team; in fact, that often helped us to be more effective. The issue was that the rest of the team matched the behavioral expectations of the job, and I simply did not.

Fast-forward another month or so. An opportunity that required a behavioral style which matched my own natural preferences opened up in Wipfli’s consulting practice. I took the position, and here I am today, celebrating six years at Wipfli at the end of the April.  

My story has a happy ending for both Wipfli and me, but it was close. So many of these same stories end with an employee leaving or being terminated because the employer hired for what the employee could do and ignored who the employee was.

If obtaining more happy endings with new employees and potential leaders is of critical importance to you, contact your Wipfli Relationship Executive or send an email to me at to learn how our team and Predictive Index® can help.


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Wipfli Editorial Team

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