The Brilliant Disaster
Putting more certainty in hiring good leaders and managers. What I didn't know
The Brilliant Disaster
Resumes were strewn all over the floor and couches of our living room. My father was desperately searching for a new senior executive in his organization. I was in college at the time and had no idea about executive selection. I struggled seeing his desperation and confusion with all the hundreds of resumes he had received. After reading resumes and talking to hundreds of candidates my father made his selection.
The final candidate, Angela, was a brilliant attorney in the main division of the organization. She seemed wise and knew the system well. Looking good on paper made Angela look like the best of many candidates. Interviews with her seemed to go well.
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She was a disaster! Rigid and uncompromising Angela didn’t last for more than a year. She knew the rules all right and she could spew them back to you verbatim. She loved the book and she went by it. She was a poor fit for an organization that went more with the spirit of law than the letter of the law.
What had gone wrong? My dad had worked so hard on those hundreds of resumes. He had hired by gut instinct mostly but not by design really at all. Later I would find out about hiring by design through some excellent teaching by one of my mentors in executive coaching.
Hiring By Design
- It’s objective, cost-effective, legal, and it works.
- Candidates are uniformly impressed that the organization takes its mission so seriously that it uses such a systematic and thorough approach to the acquisition of human resources.
- Testing significantly reduces turnover and the high costs associated with it.
- When the best-fit applicants are hired, they settle into the new position more quickly and travel the learning curve faster.
The hiring evaluation report becomes a working document for the individual and their manager. With the evaluation report in hand, the manager has a much clearer understanding of how to motivate, develop, and coach the new hire.
- When correctly matched to a job, individuals perform for the satisfaction of mastery and achievement.
- Job analysis
The job in question is evaluated with that job’s immediate boss. We identify the job’s critical success factors and understand who succeeds and who fails in this role.
The candidate spends two to three hours in a structured interview with a consulting psychologist.
- Computerized testing: Cognitive abilities
The candidate is administered a battery of tests, tailored for the job in question. Tests used assess numeracy, verbal skills, critical thinking abilities, and mental alertness. Norms used by our expert systems are specific to the job class.
- Computerized testing: Personality and vocational inventories
The other portion of the tailored assessment battery generates insights into goodness-of-fit issues such as thinking style, motivators, emotional maturity, work style, interpersonal orientation, and influence style. Norms used by our expert system are specific to the job class.
The Information You’ll Have About The Candidate
- Career outlook: evaluation of career history, personal mission, and job motivators and de-motivators.
- Cognitive abilities: in-depth description of critical analytic skills, reasoning abilities, verbal and numeric skills, and mental quickness.
- Use of cognitive abilities: receptivity to ideas, problem-solving aptitude, and practicality/creativity of thought process.
Work style: energy, pace, approach to planning and thinking, need for recognition, need for organizational freedom, attention to detail, orientation to action, work ethic and conscientiousness.
- Emotional style: optimism, restraint over feelings, objectivity about feedback, handling stress, management of strong emotions, resilience and composure.
- Interpersonal factors: sociability, assertiveness, first and lasting impressions, perceptiveness, competitiveness, agreeableness, acceptance of diversity, and service orientation.
- Management and leadership style: desire to persuade and influence, approach to persuasion and influence, approach to managing relationships and conflict, communication style, and adverse factors that could impact relationships.
- And more: a graphic profile of 21 personality traits plus selected cognitive ability measures; topics for special consideration and their implications; management advice; specific follow-up interview probes to pose to the candidate and another set of questions to ask of references; and the ability to reanalyze the same data set and produce an in-depth developmental report.
Hire by design. Improve the odds.