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NYC – You think you know everything…oh wait – thats the other team…

David Wright of the NY Mets – arguably one of the best third base players currently, takes on the Phils in the 3 game series this week.

 

This is a continuation of a series produced by Aspen Advisors on improving recruiting progressively and systematically over the next six months, in parallel with the Major League Baseball Season. 

SERIES 3:  Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets @ Citi Field / April 13, 14, 15

IMPROVING EXPERIENCE

Testing and formalized assessment is a good thing.  Our Prime Group in Pando has some interesting behaviors when it comes to formalizing assessment. This group tends to use 1) additional online assessments during the application process, 2) has a copy of the resume handy during an interview consistently, 3) takes notes, and 4) uses formalized questions that are clearly prepared and observed during an interview.

Now other companies do share some or all of these behaviors – no question. However, it is interesting that those traits happen more consistently in companies that score better overall when it comes to experience ratings from candidates, new hires, and hiring managers. Oddly enough, they don’t necessary score “better” when interview processes are reviewed. All the scores are within margin of error, so don’t look for a quick upshot in feedback when you increase formality. In fact, the Prime Group picks up the same number of low scores for interview and assessment topics. That does not surprise me – its a candidate driven marketplace, and in demand talent may feel that some formalized assessment may not be required.

The takeaway? Make an effort to review your assessment processes and the perception of formality in those processes from both the candidate and hiring manager’s point of view.  Using the traits above long term mirrors the profile of companies that have higher experience scores from hiring managers reviewing recruiting’s performance, and candidate scoring on the recruiting experience. Formality isn’t a bad thing – in fact, I look my best in a tuxedo 🙂

IMPROVING ANALYTICS

Smooth or harden lines to reinforce your story.  “WHAT? What’s smoothing a line?” LOL. I know.

When you create a trend line, you have usually the ability to choose how the line is actually drawn. You can either have a connect the dots kind of look or a smooth look. However, you can see that the visual tends to tell to story. The smoother the line, the less volatile the trend appears.

Screenshot 2015-04-14 10.23.35

Example of chart 1 with SMOOTH lines, indicating within tolerances or targets

If I was to change the line to be straight line connections, it can show a jaggedness, which can be used to communicate that the trend itself has volatility.

Example of chart 1 with hard lines, indicating volatility

Example of chart 1 with HARDENED lines, indicating volatility

So when you tell the story, if you think the trend line is good or in compliance – give it a smooth line. If it is not, give it a hardened line. The audience will immediately understand that improvement is needed, or the trend needs correction.

IMPROVING COMPETENCY

Analysis / Problem Identification is a key dimension for any recruiters and recruiting leaders. Honing those skills means better understanding the competencies of that dimension, as listed below. There are probably one or more you can work on, but also one or more you are an expert in. Pick the ones you will develop, and pick at least one you can mentor somebody else on.

Recognizes the problem first; Stays ahead of the problem; Remains effective when another’s direction is uncertain; Persuades people to provide information to help resolve upcoming issues; Cites little problems before they become big problems

IMPROVING STANDARDS

Tracking Currency. You would think this is a straight forward concept – but there are global implications here for sure. In many cases, costs are allocated in the regional currencies, and then there is a global currency for a business. As an example, we have customers that track costs in over 10 different currencies, as they have several operating groups located globally. So local data on costs are collected in Rupees, Yen, Australian Dollar, US Dollar, GBP, Euro, and so on. Meanwhile, the global organization is has its headquarters in the EU, so they report to the markets in the Euro, but the US market is the highest growing market. What to do??

First – stop trying to convert everything. Market fluctuations allow for too much volatility, and after a year, what you converted from US Dollar to Euro then means something different now. Instead, report regionally first, in a regional currency. If you have an operating company in Asia, with a headquarters in Singapore – use the Singapore dollar as the regional aggregating currency, don’t covert to Euros – that does not mean much to the operators in Singapore or Asia.

Second – find out what the official company currency is. If you are public – you have one, but if you have several operating entities, you have actually have more than one (see if you are traded on multiple exchanges). If you are private, this could get ugly quick – so talk to finance on what they want you do to when aggregating costs. This is important for tracking expenses, cost per hire, relocation expenses, and so on.

Focus on Assessment: Collaboration

What is collaboration? The first thing that may come to mind is “teamwork”, but they are two different things. Teamwork is the ability to effectively work with others in a group to produce a common goal. Collaboration can be defined as working effectively with others in the organization outside the line of formal authority (such as peers in other units or senior management) to accomplish organizational goals and to identify and solve problems. In other words, collaboration is not working with your own team, pod or usual group of coworkers, but with an outside set of peers whose job goes hand in hand with yours. For example, Sourcers working with Recruiters; they do not have the same position or necessarily work together, but one’s successes can depend on the other.

As such, the competencies needed to be an accomplished collaborator differ from those of being a good teammate. Often in times of collaboration, one may need to provide services to another group without sufficient amount of knowledge or experience on the problem at hand. A good collaborator will adapt to his/her surroundings, ask appropriate and time-staking questions to get the proper information needed to help, and go from there. They will not use inexperience as an excuse to stay out. On the other side of things, a good collaborator must also be able to give simple yet defined information to someone on the outside in an efficient manner. Collaboration goes both ways.

We’ve all been in situations when the same set of eyes and ears have been dealing with a problem, and something just isn’t working. Maybe the solution is to pull someone from an outside party for a different perspective on the matter. A good collaborator will not hesitate to ask for help outside their own group, even if other members are not thrilled. Some people see this is a sign of weakness and are afraid to ask for help in fear of looking unqualified. However, in my experience, senior managers enjoy being pulled in for their expertise. They know a lot and are (usually) happy to share their knowledge any way they can. Moreover, they would rather help find the solution to a problem than have no solution at all, as it can obviously reflect on them, too.

When success of the business is on the line, why delay in collaboration? A successful collaborator understands the value of collaboration. As stated earlier, this person is not afraid of asking for help and giving help if both parties can benefit from it. Any company can reap the benefits of collaboration if used effectively and appropriately. Are you a good one?

Focus on Assessment — Oral Presentation

It is no secret that oral presentation is not everyone’s strong suit, even though it is a crucial competency in the professional world. Oral presentation, for our purposes, can be defined as presenting ideas effectively to individuals or groups when given time for preparation (including nonverbal communication and use of visual aids); or targeting presentations to the characteristics and needs of the audience.

Oral presentation is a competency needed to illustrate important ideas internally to higher-ups or externally to current or potential clients, for example. These types of presentations require similar skills on the part of the speaker and are of the utmost importance regarding both internal and external ventures.

When interviewing someone for a job that requires superior oral presentation skills, make sure that they can:

1. Present to superiors and peers with equal effectiveness: Someone should be able to speak just as well to superiors as they can to their peers. Their skills should remain consistent no matter what the occasion of the presentation or who is present.

2. Use multiple approaches to communicate: This person does not rely on the same, overused technique each time they are required to present information. They are able to utilize various forms of communication to present in the best way possible for that particular situation.

3. Handle demanding presentations: Performing under stress and on short notice is a reality of any business. A skilled speaker can handle a lot in a short amount of time, and do it successfully.

4. Keeps attention of large groups: We can all relate to sitting through a boring presentation. So much can be lost on a group if the speaker does not keep its audience engaged.

Of course, these are just a handful of important assets to someone with high oral presentation skills. Oral presentation is a hard competency to test for unless that person is put into a real situation. Ask the interviewee to give thorough examples and to play out the experience as best they can.

Focus on Assessment – Integrity

INTEGRITY is a word that is used in many corporate behavioral constructs. It is not unusual for the 12 or 15 behaviors of a Fortune 500 company to have INTEGRITY listed either as a value on its own or to be weaved into that value system across the board. I do find it using that although INTEGRITY seems to be something that most corporations take great pride in, when I asked how do you measure for it during your assessment process they seem to be a bit at a loss.

There may be several definitions or interpretations of what INTEGRITY is, but in regards to assessment for a new hire, I’ll try to use a definition is broad enough so it can be assessed . INTEGRITY involves maintaining and promoting social, ethical, and organizational norms and conducting internal and external business activities. INTEGRITY is something that typically is not as such taught as much as it is reflected and were learned great care to be taken to avoid condoning behavior that indicates “low integrity”. If a manager exhibits the behaviors that are “low integrity”, it is likely that the team that reports about will believe that “low integrity” is approved within the organization.

It has been my experience that integrity is something very personal. As such, you may want to get a better understanding of the hiring manager in their style in general, so that you understand what integrity needs to know.  When considering competencies or experiences to measure in order to assess integrity, you may want to consider certain questioning based on the function specifically. As an example, if you are measuring integrity for sales personnel, you may want to measure how someone up sells the customer with a strong value proposition. If you are measuring someone who is in quality, you may want to better understand how to maintain accuracy consistently.

About Rounded Assessment and its Value to Recruiting

Assessment comes in many forms. Our contention is that competencies need to be identified for each position at an organization, and a level of mastery for some or all of those competencies needs to be identified for each candidate that has applied for the role – whether they are internal or external.

It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to then understand which competencies to leverage, which to develop, and which to avoid in order to have the new employee reach desired productivity in the desired timeline. Competence needs to be assessed, but assessing experience, work habits, cognition, intelligence, and other areas are also critical. We believe that the advocacy of a combined assessment, or “Rounded Assessment” is the job of every recruiter. It is not necessarily their job to assess everything, but rather make sure that the assessment is performed and documented so a hiring manager or business leader can make sound decisions.

This blog post is part of a series of posts that are set to release over a long period of time. In each, Aspen provides insight on the elements and assets within Rounded Assessment.

Focus on Assessment – Energy

Productivity is absolutely critical to forecast the success, as such understanding a candidates ENERGY in its capacity is absolutely critical. There are many positions that involve intense workloads, concentrated work hours over short period of time, or repetitive tasks over a long period time that some would find mundane.  If assessment on energy is not done for positions where productivity is absolutely critical and has to be compliant, is reasonable to assume that a long-term fit or immediate fit for that role will be difficult to obtain.

As such, ENERGY can be defined as consistently maintaining a high activity or productivity level or even be defined as simply as sustaining long work hours. It’s important to realize that the definition of ENERGY may be very specific to your own organization. When your organization defines as intense or long hours may be radically different than another company considers intense for long hours.

When assessing ENERGY, you may want to consider any number of competencies that could include the following–how a person puts in extra hours when needed, how they follow through processes tirelessly, or how they prepare for completion. It’s also important to measure if someone has awareness of their low energy and if they can persevere even though they have low energy.

About Rounded Assessment and its Value to Recruiting

Assessment comes in many forms. Our contention is that competencies need to be identified for each position at an organization, and a level of mastery for some or all of those competencies needs to be identified for each candidate that has applied for the role – whether they are internal or external.

It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to then understand which competencies to leverage, which to develop, and which to avoid in order to have the new employee reach desired productivity in the desired timeline. Competence needs to be assessed, but assessing experience, work habits, cognition, intelligence, and other areas are also critical. We believe that the advocacy of a combined assessment, or “Rounded Assessment” is the job of every recruiter. It is not necessarily their job to assess everything, but rather make sure that the assessment is performed and documented so a hiring manager or business leader can make sound decisions.

This blog post is part of a series of posts that are set to release over a long period of time. In each, Aspen provides insight on the elements and assets within Rounded Assessment.