What Prompted AcuMax?


James “Jay” Hawreluk, the creator of the AcuMax Index, first became involved in the psychometric arena nearly 20 years ago. Being a business executive with an aptitude in marketing, finance and statistics, Jay was fascinated with psychometric testing and how it could be used to determine what motivated people in different types of work or personal situations. Why were some workers more engaged and productive than others? Why were some relationships easier to establish and maintain while others were more challenging and fleeting? And, how could companies incorporate the information gleaned from psychometric tests which have been in use for over 100 years to better select, motivate and retain the best employees?

In his use and research of various psychometric assessments, Jay observed that most came from a specific perspective or bias in favor of certain behavioral characteristics. In other words, they slanted toward certain profiles and against others. Some people were classified as having either inherently “good” or inherently “bad” profiles. Joe was a leader, but Bob was supposedly only a follower in every context and aspect of his life. Sally was a communicator, but Sue was labeled as a social wallflower unable to connect with people.  Jay also noticed that the profiles categorized as “good” often coincidently resembled the characteristics of those developing or presenting the results.

This thinking was contrary to Jay’s interactions and common observations. As the author of Unraveling the Mystery of People, Jay noted that every personality trait contained both positive and potentially negative implications. Workers adept at task juggling often were less accomplished in prioritizing the work to be completed. Heads-down and analytical individuals typically find long periods of face-to-face communication to be exhausting and disagreeable. In his experience, Jay noted that there was no such thing as a “perfect” profile. Everyone has strengths and corresponding limitations. The key to success and engagement is placing people in opportunities which allows them to capitalize on their strengths and to downplay or reduce the effect of their limitations. Focus on objective results as this will improve the accuracy of the findings and the corresponding buy-in of those being evaluated. This empowers employers to allow their employees to do more of what they do best. Everyone can do better when placed in the right role in the right environment.

This concept was a breakthrough in the interpretation of psychometric results. Employees are not labeled, classified or marginalized, but are objectively measured in terms of natural wiring strengths and limitations. To simplify the process and implementation, Jay designed the AcuMax Index to objectively focus on an individual’s idea flow, how they successfully process thought, their work style, their level of pressure acceptance and how much information they need for effective decision making – exactly what an employer needs to know after the determination of skillset and experience to make the right hiring or placement determination. And, AcuMax does it in an easy-to-interpret format that reduces both the necessary training time and the downtime associated with obtaining assessment results.

Jay’s desire to develop an assessment that aligns with everyday experience and better put people in positions where they are more likely to succeed led to the genesis of the AcuMax Index. The testament to his success is the fact that over 50 AcuMax’s clients were clients of competing assessment companies that are now clients of AcuMax!