Global Head of Talent Management Spotlight: How Adam Yearsley Kick-Started Red Bull Wingfinder

With the rise of passive job seekers and so many active job seekers combined with companies challenged to find the right talent that matches their needs, Adam Yearsley, now Global Head of Talent Management at Siemens Energy, was inspired to change the status quo during his tenure at Red Bull. He wanted to give candidates for Red Bulls’ roles feedback so they could better match themselves to the right job and apply with a focus on the strengths they could bring to the role. Making a personality strengths assessment available free to the public and other companies was also an important component. As a result, Red Bull developed Wingfinder to “give wings” to anyone aspiring to take their careers to the next level.

Wingfinder is a free and reliable psychological assessment that provides individuals with deep insight into their workplace strengths and weaknesses. Wingfinder equips both the candidate and the employer with transparency into the candidate’s personality and abilities to maximize performance and drive success. The publicly available online assessment focuses on gathering the essential data, requiring fewer questions than traditional personality tests. With around 280 questions, the assessment takes approximately 35 minutes to complete, and 93% that start the test finish it. Instantly after the assessment, the participant receives a detailed 19-page report and a 1-page “Talent Passport” with actionable takeaways.

Jonathan Covey, TTL Analyst, shares his thoughts on Wingfinder, “The candidate’s personality intelligence makeup is often under-appreciated in discussions about workplace performance and diversity. Wingfinder is taking a more candidate-centric approach to the problem, asking how we can help job seekers become more self-aware so they can make better employer decisions? Starting from the perspective of the job seeker is a winning strategy.”

Find out about the #candidateassessment tool @RedBull created to give wings to potential employees in the @TalentTechLabs blog: Share on X

To uncover more information, TTL had a conversation with Adam Yearsley on the idea behind Wingfinder, what he hopes the future of talent acquisition looks like, and insight into the job market of tomorrow. Below is the conversation of Adam Yearsley and TTL:

Q: What is the big idea behind Wingfinder? Can you provide detail into the ethos of the brand?

A: Red Bull is all about giving wings to people and ideas and Wingfinder is doing that about your favorite topic, you. The second piece behind Wingfinder is solving a challenge to a recruitment need. We wanted to provide candidates with the same knowledge and feedback into their strengths and weaknesses that companies receive during the recruitment process, empowering candidates. We want candidates to leverage the power of self-awareness to find the best career for them that’s a win for both candidate and company.

Q: What value does Wingfinder bring to the current economic market? How do you think Wingfinder can help candidates and companies in the marketplace?

A: The talent marketplace is constantly changing; the world bank is predicting a global economic downturn so the level of change is likely to be unprecedented. From a talent standpoint, we are already seeing a far greater supply of workforce than there is demand for jobs.  People need to be able to choose the right job and better position themselves within the market.

The way in which an individual is able to find the most suitable job for himself or herself is through self-insight into their strengths. Socially we are facing challenging times ahead in terms of employment and job opportunities. Candidates can find the best or new opportunities they hadn’t thought of by first understanding themselves and then by positioning themselves to speak about their unique strengths and weaknesses in a factual manner to match the right job for them.

Q: Wingfinder is based on 30 years of psychological research. Can you provide more information on the work that went into this development?

A: Yes, Wingfinder is based on the original model of determinants of employability. If of interest, this meta-analysis is unpacked in the academic article “Employability and Career Success”. Wingfinder is developed by some of the world’s best psychometricians and psychology professors from University College and Columbia University. The tool points to four areas that are most influential for success in knowledge-based jobs:

  • CONNECTIONS (Interpersonal and self-management skills)
  • CREATIVITY (includes Curiosity)
  • THINKING (Fluid Intelligence)
  • DRIVE (Ambition and Motivation)

We built Wingfinder with the notion that everyone within one company has a different view of success and a unique perspective on what makes something successful. We wanted to find a model that would apply to roles within many companies. We decided upon a generic model because it has the basic or raw components of talent and personality you need in any knowledge-based role in any company to succeed.

With a more generic model, you have a more diverse candidate pool because you are looking for the fundamentals instead of specifics. Soon we will celebrate giving wings at work to our millionth participant so its obviously filling a need for candidate and companies alike.

Q: Who can leverage Wingfinder currently? How does Wingfinder integrate with other applications?

A: Wingfinder is a web-based platform so if you do not have an ATS you can easily access Wingfinder from a website browser. Our web browser functionality is great for small enterprise companies.

Wingfinder’s integration partner “Joynd” specializes in HR integrations and allows the connections with ATS to already be built-in. It currently integrates with 17 different ATS and is used by Randstad, one of the world’s largest recruiting companies, for selection in some markets. Wingfinder is open to the public—the only cost is to maintain the integrations. Since the integration already exists costs are very low.

Q: What are the key differentiators of Wingfinder?

A: One of the key differentiators of Wingfinder is it is free of charge so it can be used right at the beginning of the selection funnel and can be accessed by anyone in the world through a web browser. With Wingfinder, the recruiting funnel is full of best match candidates; it is more likely to be accurate in the end. The risks of selecting the wrong candidate are reduced with Wingfinder because you are pooling from a larger ideal candidate set that is a better fit and match for the job.

Conventional personality tests are great at delivering the diagnosis of what certain traits someone does or does not possess. Wingfinder is better at the coaching advice, “do this with that” dialogue. With Wingfinder, the candidate receives a 19-page report with key takeaways that shows him or her how to put this diagnosis into action. That’s great for current onboarding and employees also.

Also, Wingfinder uses images instead of words. We wanted to make the assessment more engaging and part of that engagement is about learning more about yourself through that internal dialogue; this one-on-one conversation is often more about using pictures than text. There are more gamified assessments on the market, some reliable many are not. Wingfinder is gamified, fun, and interactive but it is academic & scientifically backed. Due to its engaging nature, 93% of participants finish the assessment. Over half the people doing Wingfinder are just doing it for a self-assessment and share it with their friends. 

Q: What change would you like to see in the current job market? How does Wingfinder make this change possible?

A: Right now, too many people select for jobs based on a list of skills and qualifications. Candidates must use their natural talents and personality as a currency rather than just focusing on what knowledge and skills they need for a specific job. People are far more likely to be high performing when they have the right job match, and Wingfinder gives people an opportunity to do that. Wingfinder gives people transparency into what jobs fit them best.

Q: What do you think the talent market of tomorrow will be like? What advice would you give to individuals entering the future job market?

A: People are incredible and capable of so much only if they are given wings and have insights into what they are capable of doing. The world at the moment needs a lot of solutions, so we all need to be the best we can be to find those solutions and adapt to change.

Individuals entering into the future job market may need to rethink what they are going to do if that role is not readily available or needed. They will then need to reposition themselves to fit the new market. The best way to reposition oneself is to first gain the power of self-insight and self-evaluation. They must know their unique strengths and weaknesses. Instead of focusing on the role and skills needed for that respective role, they need to see themselves truly through rich self-insight and then see what available jobs are needed in the tumultuous market ahead of us.

Photo Credit : Sandra Schartel

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