by Dr. Carol Renaud Gaffney
It is no surprise to people in business that you can have a great idea, a terrific plan, more than enough money and still not be successful. Other factors equalized, success depends on having the right people in the right place at the right time. In other words, the level of business success you achieve is directly related to the sum of the well placed motivated competent people in your company.
And, it wonít come as a surprise to the people who have careers that your ìjobî becomes ìworkî if you or the people around you are in positions for which you or they are not well suited.
Professional Solutions must consider what the business needs, wants and how to get it. Professional Solutions must also address the personal needs and wants of its people and effectively facilitate their needs. Professional Solutions help match the right people with the right job so not only are businesses meeting their objectives but the people within the company are meeting theirs. When the right matches occur, the outcome, measured in greater productivity, higher sales, increased profits, reduced turnover and greater satisfaction, is more than the sum of its parts.
The Business Side:
Before interviewing and making decisions about who you want working with and for you, the business must first have its say. IF the jobs in your company could talk, who are they asking for?
Although this is a straightforward question hiring well means knowing what you need today but also keeping an eye to the future because companies and people are dynamic and if theyíre not growing, they seem to shrink, not become stagnant. When you make great decisions for today, youíll often have people who are going to be around and growing within the company for a strong tomorrow. When hiring, we usually look for education, skill and experience but that is not enough. The best fit also means having people with the best attitude for the position as well as the motivation to do it well.
How does the job talk? Too often hiring decisions are made based on similarities to existing strong performers in the company and trying to find more like them. Initially this might seem like a good idea until you realize that just because someone performs well doesnít mean they are the A players. In order to provide the best people for the business you must benchmark the position, not the people currently in the position.
Beyond the degree and experience: How is the job benchmarked? Most jobs have an expectation of education and skill and experience but beyond that, the process of benchmarking requires the stakeholders take the time to understand the job and determine its Key Capabilities. Once that is done there is technology (Trimetrix © Job +) that can organize the stakeholders opinions of what attitudes, behaviors and capacities it takes to execute the Key Capabilities. This is where we go beneath the surface to understand the motivation and will to get things done. This information is not surface information so interviews alone will not reveal this information. In order to get to the sub-surface information that determines the energy and will a person has available for the demands of a job, properly designed and tested assessments must be used.
As you read more in Professional Solutions, youíll see that profiles and assessments provide information to support the hiring process, performance improvement and talent development.
Assessments are tools which support the process, they are not the end in themselves. They are used because they are objective measures of whatís important. People, being human, have biases. Reliable, validated assessments do not have human bias so when used as a part of the hiring process they add the objective information that helps you hire right the first time. (Please see Why Assessments for more information on the how and why they are used.)
Job benchmarking may seem all well and good if you are starting out with new hires, but what if you already have people working within your organization? Itís still important to benchmark, to determine what the job asks for, in order to determine the match with a personís areas of strengths and areas for improvement. With a plan based on objective needs, specific plans for development within sales, customer service, management and the executive suite, can be initiated.
Again, technology has come a long way. Not only can we help people understand themselves relative to the demands of their job, but we have prescriptive programs that focus on the very specific pinpointed needs for improvement. The Prescriptive approach concentrates on developing specific areas rather than having the same general plan for everyone.
The People Side:
Just as the company needs to know the job, how to hire and how to continue to develop the people within the organization, the person needs to know him or herself in order to make the best decision about where to work and what area to work in. People request Professional Solutions for a variety of reasons including career choice determination, personal plans for performance improvement, sales improvement, career enhancement programs or leadership/executive development.
The process for a personís Professional Solutions includes the initial important step of personal understanding which is accomplished through an in-depth interview and assessments. The individual Professional Solutions process is usually within a coaching relationship that extends over a period of several months. Change takes time as habits of thinking and behavior love the status quo. Coaching supports the shift from status quo to your being dynamically involved in your life. (For more information in this area please see Personal Solutions.)
A Final Note:
Sport Coaches hire the best talent they can for well understood positions within the team. As far as I know, basketball coaches donít offer contracts to point guards when they need a center. Football coaches donít select field goal kickers when they need a running back. Sports coaches carefully examine the requirements of a position and when selecting get the best person to fit the position and the team. They hire on talent for the position, fit for the team, attitude and the will to win. Because of the development of sports metrics, over the years sports coaches have had the benefit of the art and science of hiring.
Until recently businesses have only had the benefit of the Art of hiring. Now they have the benefit of the Science of hiring as well as positions or jobs can be objectively benchmarked using input from people who know the job and using well developed technology to turn their opinions into metrics. Now that both the art and science of hiring for business as well as sports is available, your team or business can be a winner with the idea, the plan, the money as well as well-placed motivated competent people in the right place at the right time.