Suits you: finding a job that matches your personality

Jeremy Lamri’s company, Monkey Tie, adds a new layer to online recruitment: personality traits. Will it improve the service for both employer and potential employee? And would people even tell the truth about their flaws?

Jeremy Lamri, chief executive of Monkey Tie, at the One Young World summit in Dublin: “We bring value to the candidate”

Jeremy Lamri, chief executive of Monkey Tie, at the One Young World summit in Dublin: “We bring value to the candidate”

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Interviewer: “What would you consider to be your greatest weakness?” Applicant: “Honesty.” Interviewer: “I don’t think honesty is a weakness.” Applicant: “I don’t give a sh*t what you think.”

This meme sums up the insincerity of the traditional interview dialogue: a lot of diplomatic to-ing and fro-ing in which the applicant hopes to be assertive and honest without offending or saying anything inappropriate.

Much information about both employer and employee can be found online long before it ever gets to the actual interview stage, which was until recently the point at which the employer could gain some real insight into the personality of an applicant.

French firm Monkey Tie offers an algorithm which, on the candidate’s side, takes into account one’s CV info, main personality traits (measured by psycho-sociologist Gilles Azzopardi’s Big 5 test) as well as a person’s expectations around things such as corporate culture and the work-life balance. These are collated through a questionnaire designed by more than 150 HR directors and psychologists.

For recruiters, the algorithm consolidates standard job specifications, personality traits, ranked in order of priority by the recruiter, as well as including the fundamental principles behind their own corporate culture.

So candidates can search for jobs that match their profile the best. This allows for both job-specific and open applications.

Monkey Tie has grown incredibly quickly. Its young chief executive, Jeremy Lamri, started the company only a year ago. Now with a staff of 15, Monkey Tie has had over 200 mentions in international media (including Le Monde, Figaro and Al Jazeera TV) and 40,000 candidates and 450 client companies are already signed up with it.

“I was working as a financial analyst in private equity and I noticed how standardised the area of online recruitment was,” he says. “So I quit and decided to try to find a company where I could fit my idea. I soon realised that such an approach simply didn’t exist. You could just look for jobs and that was it. So I decided to offer the service myself. We are available in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, and getting ready to launch in the UK and Ireland. The popularity is fantastic but the main aim of Monkey Tie is to be a recruitment website that brings value to the candidate.”

Why tell the truth?

The real question is, though, why would people tell the truth? If you know you’re impatient, irritable and don’t respect authority, you’re not going to admit as much to a potential employer. “We don’t do it that way,” explains Lamri. “We use the Big 5 Test – a personality test which asks questions like whether you are, for example, a dynamic person or someone sociable. Both are equally positive, so you wouldn’t want to lie, as both are good. You simply answer the one that suits you best. Candidates do that a certain amount of times and then the algorithm can get through your personality. It is the most proven and robust personality test in the world right now, and we just acquired the IP.”

This is for the personality, as in how to match the candidates with the companies. But it also looks at other things such as whether the candidates are attracted by a big salary, friendly management, teamwork, or a relaxed workplace, for example.

“The idea is to find what is most important to applicants and what might make someone leave a job,” he says. “The same approach applies on the company side, with an angle on how to attract and retain employees.”

Connecting with world leaders

Lamri is an ambassador at the One Young World Summit, running at the Convention Centre Dublin until Sunday. Each year the UK-based not-for-profit brings together young people working in national companies, NGOs, universities and other innovative organisations from around the globe, and connects them with world leaders to “debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces”.

This year’s counsellors include Mary Robinson, Kofi Annan, former English footballer Sol Campbell, Bob Geldof, Boris Becker, and former Mexican president Vicente Fox.

“I was one of the participants last year in Johannesburg, which was where I officially launched Monkey Tie,” says Lamri. “It was a very successful launch. One Young World helped us a lot. They’ve put us in touch with lots of good contacts and helped get press releases out to the right people. In particular they helped with media coverage, which was very important for us as it can be extremely costly for a new start-up to get its name out there.”

For more information on the One Young World Summit, visit oneyoungworld.com

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