Why He’s A Top 40: He has combined his fascination with human behaviour and his marketing savvy to give this family business a multinational presence.
Key To His Success: Having the right products and services, such as personality tests, at a time when major employers are desperate to find ways of reducing turnover by hiring the right people.
Every once in a while you have to get out of your comfort zone, even if it costs you a broken nose, Mark Fitzsimmons believes.
He has spent most of his career running the business side of the company he now heads, Psychometrics Canada. The company develops tests for other companies to measure aptitude, personality traits and intelligence with the aim of getting the right people into the right jobs and keeping them there.
About six years ago he took up boxing as a personal challenge. He worked out at the South Side Amateur Boxing Club and after a couple of years he started coaching, mainly beginners to improve their conditioning.
“I discovered that when you’re over 30 you aren’t as fast as you were in your 20s. After one broken nose, I decided that maybe this isn’t a good workout for me.”
Fitzsimmons also faced challenges outside the ring. He originally planned to be a teacher and started his career as a maternity leave replacement in Wainwright, Alta., but his timing was wrong. “It was the late ’90s. There was no hiring going on and the teacher was coming back. So I moved on and got a business degree.”
His father, George Fitzsimmons, a retired professor of education and psychology at the University of Alberta, had founded Psychometrics Canada in 1976. Mark ran the business side of the company after completing his business degree, eventually becoming president.
Under his leadership, the company has achieved an international profile. A test devised by Psychometrics, the Work Personality Index, is now used in six countries, from France to Brazil. The company, which has 16 employees, also provides services to governments and retail chains such as London Drugs and recently partnered with a government organization that runs mobile testing centres for Aboriginals in Saskatchewan.
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Outside work, Fitzsimmons has volunteered for political campaigns and for his community league. And he enjoys nothing more than camping with his young family.
After his daughter was born three years ago, he decided to quit coaching young boxers because of time constraints, but says he might return to the ring someday. “I probably filled out my collar a bit more than I do now.”