Exclusive Interview with Dr. Dan Harrison, founder of Harrison Assessments

Harrison Assessments was founded in 1990 with a single vision and purpose – to help companies optimize their human capital by leveraging their deep understanding of human resources and psychology.

The company focuses on providing the most trusted and accurate employee assessment tools in the industry. The tools help managers throughout the entire HR process, helping companies become more productive and efficient, leading to increased profitability.

Dan Harrison, Ph.D. – Organizational Psychology. Dr Harrison is the developer and CEO of Harrison Assessments’ and originator of ParadoxTechnology™ as used in Harrison Assessments. His diverse background in Mathematics, Personality Theory, Counseling Psychology, and Organizational Psychology has enabled him to make a unique and exceptional contribution to assessment methodology.

His 30 years of experience in Psychology and Assessment has enabled the Harrison Assessment tools to fulfill practical needs for recruitment, development and assessment. Dr Harrison’s’ ongoing world-wide travel gives him direct involvement with the needs of Harrison Assessments’ clients and exposes him to the appropriate practical application in a wide variety of cultures.

E&E Group, is a leading Executive Search firm since 1992. E&E is among the founders of the Executive Search industry in Turkey. 

E&E Group supported over 250 international companies and 
placed more than 5,000 high and mid level executives.
E&E Group runs Top and Mid level Executive Individual Assessments and Assessment Centers for Recruitment & Career Development purposes. E&E represents Harrison Assessments International.

What is the difference of Harrison Assessment’s methodology?

Our aim is to assess the job fit for the person. That includes how well the person fits the job and how well the job fits the person. Our assessment is customizable so that, you adjust the test according to the certain needs of the job. So, we focus on the behaviors necessary to succeed in the job. And we allow the system to be customized, to then assess those behaviors. So, it’s a job focused assessment, not just a behavior assessment. It’s a behavior assessment in relation to the specific jobs.

With paradox it means that there is just no one trait specifically a good trait in itself, but that trait is only good in relationship to another complimentary trait.  So if you have a trait for example frankness, that trait is a positive trait only if it has diplomacy and tactfulness connected to it.  And if does not have an equal measure of diplomacy or tactfulness, it becomes a negative trait. So our concept is that, no trait in itself is a positive trait, trait is only positive if it has, a complimentary balancing effectors.

How can you use Harrison Assessments in talent acquisition and talent development?

Well in talent acquisition because it is customizable for a specific job, you are able to customize it for specific job requirements and therefore you are able to use it to determine first of all who you want to interview. Then during the interview you can use it, in order to dive deeper in to the interview; asking more specific questions. In relation to that, since it assesses both job for the person and person for the job, it changes the natüre of the interview to be one of exploration of mutual benefit or mutual potential gain. Which then, it enables to much more disclosure, positive interaction and the interview will be much more supportive and ultimately a much greater potential to define the person that really fits your company.

How can you use Harrison Assessments in creating employee engagement?

Employee engagement, the key thing is to find out, what people want, whats supportive to them what are they interested in. Because engagement is really an internal, psychological process. Even though you can look at engagement externally, as does the person put in that effort to achieve the organizations mission, but internally it is a matter of them doing things that they like doing, it is a matter of being interested in the subjects, that are in our hand it is a matter of their needs related to a point fulfilled, and it is a matter of them being realistic about them meeting their needs, with the particular company. So, it provides the data that you need, have a conversation which will engage the individual. Because engagement very much occurs on individual level. So what engages one person will not engage another person. So it is that dialogue it is that discussion, you need to have which is directed and pointed toward what both parties need. And by doing that, you got engagement.

In what ways can you use Harrison Assessments in succession planning?

Important thing about succession planning is to know, what your pool is, what people are ready to go to that next level to grow to be promoted. And so there is two things you need to know, are they eligible for that, do they have the qualifications for that new job, and secondly do they have the behavioral tendencies to do that job. And so the system is set up so, it will automatically give you the talent pool, who are ready for that job. Employees take the questionnaire and they can express interest in particular job, it is like an internal job. Then that internal job provides a basis for the company to serve an automatically ready talent pool. So focusing just on the people who are ready for the job, and fit the job and are interested in a specific job. So it is automating that process essentially.

Paradox concept gives you an insight to the maturity of the person

Paradox concept gives you an insight to the maturity of the person. So by looking at the behavioral balances of the person, you can see the persons essential level of maturity. And as they become older they become more interbalanced. Because they have certain experiences when they are imbalanced, that just doesn’t work, counterproductive and painful. And as a result they slowly become more balanced. You know, so for example people who are high in risk taking and low in analyzing pitfalls, they all tend to crash and burn many times. As a result of crashing and burning many times, they slowly start coming in balance related to that. So over in their lifetime, there is a balancing effect that begins to happen in which I call maturity. And you can look at growth and development. I looked at the concept of human development and human consciousness, how people grow and what is the growth? Many people think growth as a unit directional thing. You grow in a single direction related to a single direction or a single trait. But in reality a growth is where you can take two apparently opposite things and grow in both directions. You can become more willing to take risks, at the same time be able to analyze those risks.  Or you can become self-certain but at the same time more open and reflective to the other ideas. Or you can become more self-accepting at the same time more self-improved. So if you embrace those paradoxes there is a level of maturity to that, just in itself. And not only we can measure that level of maturity, but we can see what happens over the period of a lifetime where people are related to that.

How can Harrison Assessments be embedded into leadership development program and what is the benefit of it?

Leadership development is largely a process of self-awareness and understanding how your behaviors impact other people and understanding the behaviors inspire others, develop others. That’s really based on your ability to self-reflect and your ability to basically see how you change and adjust yourself. So what we do is we provide a set of mirrors basically, enables the leader to see themselves in relationship to competencies. This enables them to see not only what they need to change but how they can change. How they can adjust become stronger as a leader. It is not things that you are aware of it are the things that you are not aware of. So what we do is provide a mirror, it shows the things people are not able to see themselves. How they are impacting other people. How they could impact other people in a much more positive way.

How does Harrison Assessments perceive Turkey as a market?

You know I don’t really look at markets in that way. I look at partners, I look at people who can be our partners who are in alignment with our values, who have the same understanding that we have in terms of how the organizations grow, how the people grow, where we have alignment in what we are trying to do and when we have good partners in different territories, different areas then we open up to those areas.  So we wait for the right partners to come along, in different areas. They are the experts in their territory, they know really what is important they tell us and work on.

Why does Harrison Assessments choose to work with E&E Group?

We choose to work with E&E Group, because of the great connection we feel with people here. The important thing is to have that alignment with the people and have that same sets of values and same sets of enthusiasm about what we are doing together. Also, they have the capability of doing it as well. Though we like to have partners who have capability and alignment with us and we feel that that’s very strong element in.
Etiketler: DanHarrison, EmployeeEngagement, HarrisonAssessments, Paradox, SuccessionPlanning