A contractor with a parachute, belt and braces

"The companies lacked a test where the understanding of the company was present" - Bjarne Mønster, Founder of Master

Interview with Master’s founder Bjarne Mønster

Since Master’s founder, Bjarne Mønster, already in the early 1980s saw the potential and the need to introduce objective criteria in the form of testing by recruitment, the foundation of Master was laid. However, a few years passed before the company saw the light of day.

At that time Bjarne Mønster worked as sales manager in Canon, and here he noted that the recruitment process lacked objectivity. The bosses were most often employed based on personal preferences and did not make sufficient distinction as to which personality traits and sales skills were needed to succeed in the job.

There was a lack of valid solutions that could qualify the process of recruiting. Some large consultancy houses offered tests, some of which were imported from the United States.

"But common to all of them were that as a user you usually had difficulties interpreting the test results and translating the person's characteristics into the demands of the job tasks. In short, the companies lacked a test where the understanding of the company was present ", says Bjarne Mønster. A test that was operational, understandable and valid for the user and test person.

This observation made the entrepreneur awake within Bjarne Mønster. He saw that not only did they lack tests, but a test system that could uncover both the job and the personal profile, that could make recruitment objective, business-oriented and value-creating.

So, in addition to working with the development of test systems, there was also a large piece of marketing work in front of Bjarne Mønster.


Developing and testing for several years

Bjarne Mønster set out to develop a test solution, a tool that could create a structured process around hiring new employees and at the same time could uncover properties that were conducive to success.

He developed the EASI and MPA person and job profile typology. Both tools, which he tested thoroughly for 5-6 years, among others on his 112 sellers, who at the time were employed by Canon.

"In the end, they were quite tired of being tested," notes Bjarne's Mønster with a smile.

When Canon took the test into use in recruitment, it was clear that it had an effect. Staff turnover declined, fewer mistakes were made and the new employees thrived and delivered quickly in the job.

"They had lacked an objective tool that would give them a good basis for decision-making, and now they got it through my tools," says Bjarne Mønster.


Quality and networking gave great customer portfolio - and led overseas

While Bjarne Mønster worked at Canon, he ensured that the test systems were thoroughly tested and proven. He was now ready to take the plunge and become self-employed.

"Although I am a typical salesman, I am also highly analytic with the need for both parachute, belt and braces", says Bjarne Mønster about the beginning of Mønster management, which was established in 1985.

Bjarne Mønster developed his already large network in these years, and this led him being able to add major customers like the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, DSB, the Ministry of Greenland and SAS to his portfolio soon after.

Quality, valid solutions and a thorough decision-making in recruitment enabled him to receive and retain the major customers.

Cooperation with major international companies showed a need to be present in other countries. Already two years after the start, offices were established in Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.

It also meant that the tests were translated into several languages and the underlying norms were developed.

Since Mønster Management came on the foreign market, a name change was necessary. Foreign tongues struggled with the name, 'Mønster'. The MPA stood for the Master Person Profile, and thus obvious to replace the Mønster with the Master, which quickly was accepted. HR people talked about having a 'Master' in testing people, and the tests were referred to as 'Master-Test'.


The toolmaker makes a status

The thoughts that Bjarne Mønster had back in the early 1980s still holds through, as the need in a recruitment process at that time is the same as now; To know how a candidate will react in the job and whether it is a good match.

Bjarne Mønster sees himself as a Toolmaker and a Trainer. He has developed a tool and learned companies to use it.

And the entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well in Bjarne Mønster. He says that it is the dream to expand in Europe, Asia and the United States. He has, however, long since escaped the reins and entrusted the leadership to younger forces.

Looking at the whole process of Master, he is particularly proud to have built up very long-term customer relationships and that there is a staff group, spread across several countries, who are still working and developing on the tools and creating quality for customers.

The toolmaker is satisfied when looking back at the 35 years that Master has existed and he thinks that there is the basis for yet another 35 good years (at least).


Written by Lene Ebsøe 3/7-2019

Translated By: Linnea Norengaard
Date: 03.09.2019

Lene Ebsøe

Content Writer