Talent Spotting: The 21st Century Mandate

Let’s lead this conversation with the cover story in the June 2014 edition of Harvard Business Review, 21st Century Talent Spotting: Why potential now trumps brains experience, and “competencies” and challenge the common wisdom that we should be screening for talent using resumes. We should not.

Using predictive talent analytics to find talent

Using predictive talent analytics to find talent

More and more articles are emerging indicating that the market is way too fast paced and volatile to depend on old knowledge catalogued on a resume to make hiring decisions. Companies across the globe are moving to predictive talent analytics to help spot not only specific talent profiles that can and will do the job, but early talent that has little or no job experience in the job posted. Companies like Google are investing heavily to try to spot talent and companies like SAP international now use Predictive Index to screen all external and incumbent applicants in an attempt to find early talent that resume screening discriminates against. Where many HR organizations may feel that this is a risky move and may want to wait and see what happens before making a decision to move this direction, this is actually the safe move as it will guarantee the organization is getting the best talent for each and every job posted. Really how safe is it letting an organizing underperform or outright fail because of selection processes that do not deliver the talent needed by the organization to not only compete but thrive in a world that is best characterized by complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity.

In the HBR article, the author, Claudio Fernandez-Araoz provides some compelling insights. I suggest that this article be mandatory reading for any leadership team interested in delivering improved engagement and performance across the organization. Although the article does not address predictive talent analytics specifically, this use of these talent spotting tools is exactly what executive teams are looking for. Tools such as Predictive Index put people data at the front of the decision making process. Consider this evidence based talent decisions rather than the current process of making decisions based on feelings, intuition and competencies that no longer are relevant to the success of the person in the position. The author describes this new era as the era of selecting on potential. The last era was the era of selecting on competencies. The era that proceeded selection based on competency was an era when selection was based on intelligence, experience, and past performance. And just imagine just how many companies as still selecting based on era practices that were created 50 years ago, in a world that no longer exists. The author states “Geopolitics, business, industries, and jobs are changing so rapidly that we can’t predict the competencies needed to succeed even a few year out.”

The opening scenario in the HBR article provides a clear example of what many executive teams are battling on a day to day basis, not only at the executive level, but at all levels of the organization. Read this opening paragraph and ask yourself if this scenario isn’t one that you have witnessed or experienced. And wouldn’t you like to have a different way forward? The author opens with the following story, “A few years ago, I was asked to help find a new CEO for a family-owned electronics retailer that wanted to professionalize its management and expand its operations. I worked closely with the outgoing chief executive and the board to pinpoint the relevant competencies for the job and then seek out and assess candidates. The man we hired had all the right credentials. He’d attended top professional schools and worked for some of the best organizations in the industry, and he was a successful country manager in one of the world’s most admired companies. Even more important, he’d scored above the target level for each of the competencies we’d identified. But none of that mattered. Despite his impressive background and great fit, he could not adjust to the massive technological, competitive, and regulatory changes occurring in the market at the time. Following three years of lackluster performance, he was asked to leave.”

Two questions that I would immediately ask, Did this person have the cognitive profile to learn at a extremely fast pace? He would have needed a high cognitive profile to perform in this position. Did this person have the behavioral profile to excel in this job, in this company, in this industry, at this time? I would suggest that he did not. Someone with the potential but with a Skinny Resume would probably have exceled in this position. Too bad they did not select for potential, the game change would have been significant. So can you imagine the bottom line impact on this organization. I suspect it was millions. A small investment in predictive talent analytics would have had an extraordinary ROI. Predictive talent analytics are not an HR cost to be managed, most organizations make an executive decision to improve performance and view the move this direction as an investment with a predictable ROI.

If this conversation has not convinced you to explore predictive talent analytics yet, maybe this last thought from the HBR author, Claudio Fernandez-Araoz will. “As business becomes more volatile and complex, and the global market for top professionals gets tighter, I am convinced that organization and their leaders must transition to what I think of as a new era of talent spotting – one in which our evaluations of one another are based not on brawn, brains, experience, or competencies, but on potential.” I totally agree.

If you would like to learn more about talent spotting, workforce analytics, and people big data and how it can transform your organization, please contact John Inman at john@johninmandialogue.com or at 425-954-7256.

 

Data-Driven Development: How Informed Coaching Can Accelerate Sales Performance

Accelerate Sales Performance

 

This article is reprinted from PI Worldwide, News and Insights, April 2014.

Oracle research cites 89% of sales reps want more coaching. Fortunately, sales managers are recognizing this need and are actively seeking to deliver more informed coaching that is enhanced by analytics. PI Worldwide research shows that the coaching dynamic can benefit tremendously from insight into a rep’s behavior (what motivates a person), skills (what are the strengths and weaknesses), and performance data (sales results). Leveraging this trifecta, managers can pinpoint precisely what a rep needs to improve and sustain performance, and where the manager should invest time and energy to get the desired sales results.

Here are four scenarios where informed coaching using workforce analytics makes a measurable impact:

The Muscle Scenario — High sales results, Low sales skills: This is an example of a top producer who gets the job done but likely in his or her own way. Success may come from years of experience, superb product knowledge, or simply hard work. The good news is that they get superior results. Unfortunately this is often achieved by being overly reliant on just one key selling skill, such as closing skills, presentation skills or questioning skills. As a result, producers in this category are likely to be working inefficiently, and have a strong opportunity for improvement. Coaching to develop those additional selling skills will increase performance and efficiency substantially.

The Execution Scenario – Low sales results, High sales skills: These are the folks who know what to do but have trouble executing on that knowledge. They’ve attended the sales training, absorbed the information, but still struggle to deliver. This classic “knowing-doing gap” may be from lack of confidence, lack of drive, or simply lack of coaching. Through focused one-on-one coaching, a manager can help the rep see how judgment and knowledge play out, and provide the necessary feedback to optimize follow through. Often, when a person has the necessary sales skills for the role but isn’t succeeding, it can be helpful to use a behavioral assessment to uncover the drive behind their selling style.

The Knowledge Scenario – Low sales results, Low sales skills: A sales rep that scores low on the selling skills assessment and has low sales results needs training. A manager can hire the best rep with all the drive necessary to succeed, but if the individual lacks core sales skills, he or she becomes a rocket without a direction. Start with solid sales training and reinforce with focused skill builders. By increasing a rep’s core sales skills, a manager helps provide the tools necessary for the role. These reps tend to be sponges and the sales skills training is absorbed and used.

The Leverage Scenario – High sales results, High sales skills: When the rep has strong sales skills and outstanding sales results, what could be the problem? Sales superstars can fade if they feel constrained by a lack of selling time or worse, boredom. In either case, top producers need to be kept engaged, challenged and leveraged. A manager should examine all aspects of the person’s role and identify ways to minimize distraction and maximize selling time. For instance, this could mean providing better technology systems or hiring support staff to manage administrative duties.

In each of the four scenarios, high performing organizations leverage workforce analytics, the data trifecta of behaviors, skills, and results, to augment any coaching strategy. The outcome will be a highly targeted and consistent coaching experience that drives predictable results faster over the short and long term.

If you would like to learn more about this process, workforce analytics, and people big data and how it can transform an organization, please contact John Inman at john@johninmandialogue.com or at 425-954-7256.

 

 

Dialogue! Using Dialogue for Organization Transformation – John us on August 7, 5:30 In Bellevue for this conversation

Join us at our 4th – HR and Its Connections SIG meeting as John Inman, Ed.M., M.A., PHR, will join us in a facilitated dialogue session: Dialogue! Using Dialogue for Organization Transformation

Thursday, August 7th

Time: 5 to 6:30pm

Location: Bellevue Library Room 1, Bellevue, WA

Lake Washington HRA SIG on OD and HR

Lake Washington HRA SIG on OD and HR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will begin by exploring the attributes of Dialogue, followed by a discussion on the Dialogic approach and how Dialogue might foster an outstanding HR practice.

  • How might Dialogue help us to deal with complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity?
  • How might we host a dialogue to foster organization transformation?

Registration: At the LWHRA WEBSITE

If you have time, please read this article: Using dialogue then deliberation to transform a warring leadership team

About John: John has a Bachelor degree in business management, a master of education degree in adult education and organization development, and a master of arts degree in human and organization systems. He is a doctoral candidate in education leadership and change. John published “Using dialogue then deliberation to transform a warring leadership team” in the Spring 2013 edition of the OD Practitioner, the international publication of the OD Network. John recently acquired a new product line of workforce analytics solutions and is bringing people big data to executive teams to help pinpoint opportunities for accelerating performance of people and the organization.

Follow John’s blog for more insights into talent acceleration using people analytics.

www.johninmandialogue.com/blog

Decision Science: Predictive talent analytics – Questions to ask if seeking a solution

Decision Science: Predictive talent analytics tell us whom to hire and how we should manage them. This is the title of the cover article in the July 2014 T&D Magazine.

Decision Science

 

The author states “If baseball teams can use player statistics to predict performance, thereby gaining a huge competitive advantage, why can’t companies do the same with their employees?” I could not have said it better. In fact, I am amazed that there seems to be so little interest in creating a conversation about predictive talent analytics. I ask myself if it is because HR teams are so vested in not delivering powerful people analytics to the organization because they have not done so in the past or is it just fear of change. Or maybe it is simply a lack of curiosity. If I were presented with a people analytics solution that would help place people that have the talent to do the work required into positions that fit their talent, I would jump at it.  Yet even with a powerful solution like Predictive Index available in the marketplace, there is no rush to learn more, no one beating down the doors to explore how to accelerate performance, not even a whimper. With that said, 100 of the Fortune 500 use Predictive Index to do exactly this, so it is not fair to say that no one is interested.

Of course there are always concerns about compliance and legal issues. These concerns are justified. If you decide to explore a solution or if you are using a solution within your organization, there are a couple of questions that you should ask yourself to make sure you are getting the best solution for your investment.

  • Does the solution help keep you out of legal entanglements by being EEOC, ADA, and European Union compliant? The bottom line, a solution that is free of bias and approved for the full employee life cycle.
  • Does the solution provide built in robust job modeling so that you can screen applicants against a job model for every position? You should be screening all applicants, incumbent and external first with the solution.
  • Does the solution allow you to efficiently and effectively screen for early talent?
  • Does the solution provide coaching and interview guides that are based on the gap between the employee profile and the job model?
  • Does the solution train and certify you to be a licensed analyst so that you can implement the solution where ever you go?
  • Does the solution provide executive dashboards to highlight team talents and compare with team performance so that you can improve the performance of teams?
  • Does the solution provide unlimited use of the complete solution based on a site license?
  • Does the solution come with coaching and consulting at no additional cost from your associate?
  • Is the solution based on a knowledge transfer model to insure complete implementation?
  • Does the solution deliver the big data that your executive team is demanding of you on people analytics?
  • Does the solution provide ongoing continuing education both in the form of self directed e-learning and webinars?

These are just some of the questions that you should be asking of yourself and your solution provider. To me this is a must have conversation. We can transform employees lives, hire the best people for the jobs, and improve organization performance by using predictive talent analytics.

Call or email me for more information on predictive talent analytics. It may not come as a surprise to you that our Predictive Index solutions absolutely deliver on every question above. John Inman 425-954-7256 or john@johninmandialogue.com.  

 

7 Talent Acquisition Mistakes to Avoid

Hired

This article is reprinted from PI Worldwide, News and Insights, July 2014.

A bad hire is not just bad for business—it can be very costly as well. International talent management experts estimate the average cost of a poor hiring decision to be equal to 30% or more of that hire’s first year’s probable earnings. For example, replacing a senior executive can reach upwards of $50,000. Factor in productivity loss and lost opportunities, morale implications, turnover and recruiting costs and the price tag starts to swell quickly. Fortunately, organizations can prevent the costs associated with poor hiring decisions by recognizing the challenges at different steps of the talent acquisition process. Here are the sevenmost common mistakes that can lead to a bad hire, and how to avoid them at the outset:

  1.  One Job, Different Definitions. Different stakeholders often have different perspectives on what makes someone successful in the role. Using a job analytic, organizations can objectively align all stakeholders on those activities critical for success.
  2. Poorly Written Job Description. In addition to noting activities and tactical goals of the job in the description, it’s important to detail all of the Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other characteristics (KSAOs) that an employee will need to be successful in the role.
  3. Attracting the Wrong Behavioral Profile. A candidate that meets the minimum requirements of the job may not necessarily be a strong fit. Consider behavioral tendencies and attitudes in defining what makes a strong candidate and compare applicant profiles against the job target to determine compatibility.
  4. Screening Challenge. While technology can help organizations manage hiring volume, some systems will eliminate good fit candidates and retain applicants who prove to be a poor fit. Use a quick and practical assessment to measure each candidate’s behavioral assets.
  5. Unstructured Interviews. When hiring managers lack the training to conduct effective interviews, they often resort to generic interview questions that don’t evaluate the candidate in the areas that matter most. Using assessment data to inform the interviewing process helps all members of an interviewing team develop structured behavioral interview questions to determine job and culture fit with greater accuracy.
  6. Compelling the Candidate to Accept the Offer: In today’s hypercompetitive market for top talent, the key to getting a candidate to accept a job is presenting an offer that resonates with their innate motivating needs and drives. Organizations that do not align an offer with the behavioral profile of the person risk losing a strong candidate.
  7. Ineffective Onboarding: Once the hiring process has culminated in a great new hire, managers must embark on getting that individual embedded in the culture and productive quickly. Managers should continue to leverage the data and insight collected thus far to customize the new employee’s socialization and learning.

For more tips and best practices on improving your talent acquisition process, listen to our Webinar: Avoiding the 7 Mistakes that Lead to A Bad Hire and download our Infographic,  Can You Afford to Make A Bad Hire?  on the Sidebar.