The Highlands Company Blog

The Right Career Fit: Transforming Career Development by Connecting Natural Abilities

This article is the second in a two-part series introducing the HAB Person-to-Occupation Fit Tool, a new feature of the Highlands Career Exploration report

The U.S. has the highest college dropout rate in the industrialized world with student loan debt soaring to $1.5 trillion. Even those who stick it out and complete a higher education degree are floundering. Jobs are available and recruiters are looking for talent but increasingly they are not finding it. In part one of this series, The Right Career Fit: The Path to Closing the Skills Gap, we acknowledged this rising challenge faced by our nation today; a crisis that has come about as a result of our neglect as a whole to provide effective career development.

The resolution to the problem, as proposed by The Coalition for Career Development in their Solutions Framework, identifies prioritizing career planning and providing professional career advising as critical components to accelerate advancement in the effort to improve career readiness. 

We at the Highlands Company, together with our certified Highlands Consultants, believe that satisfaction and fulfillment in our careers are sustainable when we work within our strengths. We believe that to find the right fit between you and your career, you must first know what your natural abilities are, and second, explore careers that will position you to utilize those abilities. But how do you figure out what comes naturally to you? And how do you know what careers will use those talents?

The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) Person-to-Occupation Fit Matching Tool

Announcing the HAB Person-to-Occupation Fit Matching Tool, leading-edge technology that will generate a list of 50 O*NET occupations most closely aligned with a person’s unique profile of abilities. The list of occupational matches are now incorporated within the Highlands Career Exploration Report.  

Through a partnership with the Human Resource Research Organization known as HumRRO, the organization that refines the Occupational Network known as the O*NET, the Highlands Company has developed the new Person-to-Occupation Fit Matching Tool for identifying closest-matched O*NET occupations for everyone who completes the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB), the gold standard among human assessment tools that objectively measures your natural abilities. 

The list of O*NET occupations to explore will align directly with the client’s HAB profile over many of the aptitudes measured. 

It goes without saying that career exploration should be multi-dimensional in that many other factors should be considered when searching for the right career fit. That is why the occupation fit matching tool will provide several sort options through which to view a person’s list of 50 occupational matches. The occupations can be sorted by: 

Job Families: Job Families, as identified by O*NET, are groups of occupations categorized by the work performed and the skills, education, training, and credentials required for the job. Some examples of Job Families include Business and Financial Operations; Community and Social Service; Education, Training, Healthcare Practitioners and Technical; Legal; and Office and Administrative Support. Sort the list of occupational matches by Job Family when considering the right fit career.

Interests: Interests are based on the Holland Codes, or the Holland Occupational Themes (RIASEC). Stemming from personality, the six Holland Codes include Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Interests can provide fuel for skill development and direct the use of abilities on and off the job. The listing of occupational matches can be sorted by the top interest code for that occupation. Interests are an important factor when refining best fit.

Rank Order: The top 50 occupational matches are listed in order of degree of match to the profile of considered abilities, starting with the strongest match. The top two interest codes also appear for each occupation in this sort option.  

Career Cluster: Career Clusters contain occupations in the same field of work that require similar skills and paths of education. The list of top 50 occupations can be viewed by career cluster. The National Career Clusters Framework was developed as part of the national initiative, discussed in part one of this series, to provide learners with career education. There are 16 Career Clusters derived from six Career Fields. See below for more information about Career Clusters.

Students and The National Career Clusters Framework

For students, the list of top careers best suited to their natural abilities can be viewed within the National Career Clusters Framework, which is intended to help learners find general career direction. The Career Clusters Framework is composed of six Career Fields, 16 Career Clusters, and 79 Career Pathways. These levels of organization provide students an ideal way to explore different career options in preparation for college and beyond. For those who are already in the workforce and are contemplating a career change, it’s also ideal for helping to learn more about the industries they are interested in pursuing.

After students finish the HAB, they can download the Career Exploration Report, which includes a review of their results and considers how abilities work together across Personal Style, Driving and Specialized abilities. The connection to occupations is revealed in the list of top 50 career matches. Each career listed will link to the O*NET for information pertaining to that occupation. The list of career matches can be sorted by career cluster (in addition to job family, interests and rank order) and each career cluster will link to the O*NET to identify career pathways or plans of study for that career.

Students, parents, and educators can use Career Clusters to help focus education plans towards obtaining the necessary knowledge, competencies, and training for success in a particular career pathway. Individual states use the career cluster concept to identify pathways from secondary school to two- and four-year colleges, graduate school, and the workplace.

Connecting Natural Abilities for the Right Career Fit

Anyone who knows of the Highlands Ability Battery, the Highlands programs, and the work of our certified consultants is familiar with what has been our philosophy throughout the 25 years that we have provided career insight and guidance. A philosophy that, in fact, given the current climate, seems more appropriate now than ever before,

“Everyone is born with inherent abilities that make certain types of tasks preferable to others. For that reason, people are most fulfilled in their careers when they find an environment that allows them to work primarily from their gifts and their natural talents. The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) is an objective way to assess what those abilities are in a virtual, online format.

For some, talents are specialized, such as a gift for music or design, or a gift for theoretical thought. For others, talents may be more generalized, such as a talent for leading teams or the abilities that make teaching, selling or writing easy.

But does it matter if you know what your natural abilities are? Can’t everyone learn skills and improve their job performance, regardless? 

There’s no question that we can all improve in different areas and acquire skills. But it takes a tremendous amount of effort to do something well for which you are not naturally suited. You will achieve fewer results and far less satisfaction doing work that doesn’t align with your natural talents, gifts, and abilities. For individuals, this means longer, more frustrating hours with fewer rewards; for organizations, this means falling short of attaining maximum productivity.”  The Highlands Company LLC

For adults, students, parents, educators, and career counselors, the Person-to-Occupation Fit Matching Tool is a timely solution for the advancement of career development. As demonstrated, there is a critical need for adequate self-exploration for career planning in order to connect with meaningful careers. Thanks to the partnership between the Highlands Company and HumRRO, it’s now possible to connect real-life career possibilities to your natural abilities. The flexibility, depth, and precision of the Person-to-Occupation Fit Matching Tool make it a perfect starting place for finding the right career.

“Tap into your talents, don’t waste them. They are your key to personal and professional success.” Don’t Waste Your Talent, Highlands Co.

The Highlands Ability Battery and Career Exploration report, now featuring the Person-to-Occupation Fit Matching Tool, is beneficial not only for students starting out in their career journey but for anyone who is contemplating a career change or considering investing in additional education. The debrief session that follows the completion of the HAB is conducted by Highlands Certified Consultants (HCCs) who have been trained in the interpretation of the results to provide meaning for occupational and academic application, with implications for life and career. 

Connect with an HCC today through the Highlands Company website, or contact us directly so we can help you get started on the right career path. 

Click here for more on The Power of Feedback: Why the HAB Includes an In-depth Debrief Session.

The Highlands Company is the sole publisher of the Highlands Ability Battery™ (HAB). Administered online, the HAB is an aptitude assessment that objectively measures one’s natural talents through timed, performance-based worksamples. Since 1992, tens of thousands of individuals have taken the HAB for career guidance and development, gaining insight into their natural strengths and applying that insight across a lifetime for greater career satisfaction. To learn more about The Highlands Company, click here.