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Case Study: PXT Select™ Employee Assessment Enhances Abiomed’s Hiring

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Everything is data — from the job candidate’s response to the initial outreach to the way they show up the first day on the job and beyond. Employee assessments increase our chances of making good hiring decisions, and we would be crazy not to take advantage of them.
Background of the case study

Background

At Abiomed, Inc., science and medicine blend seamlessly with the rhythm of a human heart. This cutting-edge company produces devices crucial for hearts in crisis, offering support during high-risk procedures or heart attacks.

Founded in 1981, Abiomed has evolved significantly, aiming to produce the world’s first implantable artificial heart. With FDA approval of their Impella® cardiac device in 2008, the company transitioned into a dynamic, entrepreneurial force, driving revenues from $40 million in 2009 to $125 million in 2012.

Their devices, like the Impella®, aid the heart when it’s too weak to function alone, reflecting a culture of dedication to patient care. Working at Abiomed means embracing the challenge of helping the sickest patients, knowing their innovations save lives. As the company continues its groundbreaking work, employee assessments help ensure they hire employees who can keep pace with Abiomed’s fast, efficient operation.

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Challenges

Identifying candidates that possess critical success factors

Recruiting and hiring become challenging due to the scarcity of candidates who possess both clinical expertise and the appropriate behavioral traits. It’s easy to find one or the other, but Abiomed is on the look out for individuals who embody the essential success factors in behavior.

A fast-paced hiring process to fit a fast-paced organization

According to LeBlanc, Vice President of Human Resources, “We move fast and make fast decisions. We are competitive in the medical device sector. Waiting for results to be processed separately can really be a disadvantage in terms of the speed of hiring.”

Hiring individuals who can cope with the high demands of the positions

“Abiomed works with the sickest of the sick,” notes Frank LeBlanc, Vice President of Human Resources. “No one volunteers for an Impella. The thing that keeps us going is passion for our patients and knowing there are things we can do to help them. When a doctor says ‘This person would have died without Impella,’ that’s a ringing endorsement of our device and our technology and the hard work of our people.” 

Abiomed looks for employees who take pride in the company’s reputation and their role within it. They thrive on competition, embrace hard work, and understand the need for an “always on-call” mindset because heart problems don’t stick to a 9-to-5 schedule. Accountability is key, and they must be able to consistently deliver results in the field, meeting the high demands of their positions.

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Solution

A hiring guide plus employee assessments

Hiring guide:

Abiomed’s hiring guide is practically their bible. Constantly fine-tuned by leaders, this manual delves into the habits and skills of top performers, empowering leaders to fine-tune their recruitment strategies for optimal results.

Employee Assessments:

Abiomed had already integrated ProfileXT® employee assessment into their hiring process before LeBlanc joined the company. Recognizing the need for speed and efficiency in Abiomed’s culture, LeBlanc decided to expand their use. Profiles’ online platform and swift employee assessment outcomes provided a competitive edge in hiring.

Combining hiring guide and employee assessments:

To complement their hiring guide, Abiomed adopted the ProfileXT® assessment. This employee assessment tool helps identify top talent across various roles, from field representatives to clinical consultants and associate Impella® specialists. It confirms candidates’ intellectual capabilities and identifies crucial behavioral traits essential for success.

LeBlanc emphasizes the PXT’s custom job fit feature, which objectively validates subjective suspicions. It’s a crucial employee assessment tool, especially considering the fast-paced nature of Abiomed’s training process. Managers constantly assess candidates, ensuring they possess the mental sharpness and understanding required for success.

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Results

Using the Profile has become ingrained in the hiring process and well-accepted and adopted

The use of ProfileXT® employee assessment has become second nature at Abiomed

Having witnessed the effectiveness of the ProfileXT® employee assessment firsthand, field managers now rely on it almost instinctively. Past experiences have taught them valuable lessons about the importance of aligning candidates with the employee assessment’s Job Fit. It’s all about predicting outcomes, and the ProfileXT® employee assessment helps Abiomed stay one step ahead in their hiring game.

PXT is now in use for customer service, finance, and training positions. “Our use of the assessments helps us increase the odds of making good decisions,” adds LeBlanc. “It provides us with guidance in the hiring process, and there are certain characteristics that, if they are absent, we know this person is going to be imploding.”

Marrying PXT employee assessment and CheckPoint360™ leadership assessment

While the ProfileXT® employee assessment is primarily used for hiring purposes, LeBlanc occasionally collaborates with Profiles to integrate it with the CheckPoint360™ leadership assessment tool. This pairing comes into play when an employee needs coaching to advance in their career. According to LeBlanc, self-development starts with self-awareness, and the 360 leadership assessment provides individuals with valuable insights by showing them how they’re perceived by managers and colleagues.

We use it when we are working with a person who has a lot of potential to be promotable, but lacks a bit of insight into his own ability, how he is perceived by others.

The CheckPoint360™ leadership assessment tool is particularly useful for new managers who are refining their management style. It helps them identify areas for improvement and focus on developing the skills necessary to progress in their career journey.

Feel free to download the full case study here. Experiencing similar challenges to Abiomed? Explore our employee management solutions or contact us.

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