Why are personal assessments a critical part of the recruitment process at Teollisuuden Voima Oyj?


Teollisuuden Voima

Teollisuuden Voima Oyj, or TVO, is a power company that produces electricity from nuclear power at the Olkiluoto plant in Eurajoki, Finland. Currently, TVO produces approximately a sixth of all electricity used in Finland with the Olkiluoto 1 and 2 plant units, and the figure will increase to approximately 30% when the Olkiluoto 3 plant unit starts its operations. The production of nuclear energy is climate-friendly – it doesn’t accumulate any emissions contributing to climate change, which means that TVO is doing its part in our shared work to mitigate climate change.
We asked Jaana Isotalo, Senior Vice President, HR & Communication at Teollisuuden Voima Oyj, why personal assessments are a key part of their recruitment process.


The nuclear industry has high safety standards

Naturally, the safety standards in the nuclear industry are high, and the work duties are diverse. An example of a diverse and challenging role in Olkiluoto is the control room operator. For the role, TVO usually recruits engineers who have graduated from a university of applied sciences. They are trained for 2–3 years for their duties, after which they receive qualifications, or a licence to act as a control room operator. After this, they embark on a learning path that spans their entire career at TVO, where they are trained every year and actively maintain their expertise in addition to the actual work and learning on the job. The control room operator’s role is integral to electricity production, and this is a significant investment for the company, which is why the goal is to use personal assessments to find the most suitable persons for the TVO career path.

MPS’s experts’ understanding of the company and industry creates added value

“We have cooperated with MPS for a long time, and together we have found the personal assessment methods that are best suited to us and support our recruitment in the optimal manner. It’s an advantage for us that the consultants and psychologists carrying out MPS’s personal assessments are truly versed in our industry, company and work duties. The MPS teams are often made up of contact persons with whom we have cooperated for years, which means they have a long perspective and knowledge of our teams and managers. Additional value comes from the fact that they can consider the characteristics, abilities and suitability of the candidate for our operating environment, and also the operations of our organisational units and the team where the new recruit will be working.”


Developing new kinds of personal assessment packages together

“Instead of individual personal assessments, we have aimed for long-term cooperation with MPS to adapt certain test packages to different roles and circumstances. We have developed many personal assessment packages together and found some completely new ways of working, also for MPS. That is a great quality in the MPS experts: they have the ability to innovate and experiment, and that is how they have succeeded in seeking out the best possible methods for us for different situations.

In addition to different personal assessment packages, we have also performed different recruitment projects. In some, MPS has entered at the suitability assessment stage, and in others, it has been part of the process from the beginning, as with searches. Whatever the situation, MPS holds the recruitment reins tightly from beginning to end.”


Positive feedback from managers

“Our recruiting managers have praised the briefing that takes place before the assessment. In the briefing, the job description, expectations and capability model, among other things, are reviewed. Often, in the feedback, managers say that their ideas were clarified and that the meetings challenged their ideas about the vacancy and the person handling the recruitment.

We have also received surprising reactions and positive feedback from the result debriefing meetings of the candidate’s assessment day. Managers, in particular, appreciate getting tips on how to lead each candidate to get the most out of the person in their job. So it’s not only about recommending this or that person and explaining why, but also raising notions about what kinds of matters should be taken into consideration in the daily work with this person if we continue with them. This has been possible because we feel that the MPS team’s expertise has been sufficiently in-depth.”


Recruited employees also appreciate personal assessments 

“For a few years now, we have conducted a so-called orientation assessment discussion with all new employees and those who have changed roles, about six months after starting in the role. In this half-structured interview, we review key matters related to starting in the role, and it’s often typical that the suitability assessment is raised as a positive topic, year after year.

Of course, we also hear feedback of how taxing the personal assessment day was. It requires extra effort because of the massive number of exercises, interviews and time use, but it’s still perceived to be a pleasant and committing experience, which also indicates MPS’s success. It’s also good to keep in mind that when applicants reach the assessment day phase, there is often plenty of heart, soul and dreams on the line. If we can face them and take them into consideration, it will contribute to a pleasant applicant experience, which is important for us.”


Years of cooperation have accumulated data for future recruitment

“We have created anonymous applicant profiles or typical applicant analyses based on the applicants who have participated in the personal assessment day over the years. We use the profiles and analyses to see the aspects that are emphasised in the persons we have decided to recruit or not to recruit. We aim to use these anonymous analyses in new recruitment to maximise success.”

Picture: Jussi Hietikko

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That is a great quality in the MPS experts: they have the ability to innovate and experiment, and that is how they have succeeded in seeking out the best possible methods for us for different situations.


Jaana Isotalo

Senior Vice President, HR & Communication, TVO


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