McQuaig Word Survey

How effective is your pre-employment assessment?

Job Match

Easy to understand and apply.

It is not only important to have an 'unbiased' pre-employment assessments as part of the recruitment process but also to have assessments that can be understood and used by 'line managers' and not just HR. 

Many times implementations fail because the solution is so complex that only 'certified' individuals can understand and use it. 

Download our sample report and see for yourself how easy it is to understand and use McQuaig's 'candidate' report by anyone. You do not need to be a certified psychologist or psychometrician to use The McQuaig Psychometric System!   

I HAVE 2 GREAT CANDIDATES. HOW DO I HIRE THE RIGHT ONE?

The end of the hiring process can sometimes be as stressful as the beginning – especially when your top candidates all seem like a strong fit for the job. Wouldn’t it be easier if the perfect candidate rose to the top each time?

Unfortunately, that’s often not the case, and hiring managers are left with some tough decisions to make. So what's the trick to choosing between two (or three or four) equally qualified candidates? Well, there are many opportunities to streamline your recruitment process to ensure you're hiring the right person, but here are three critical factors to consider when you’ve narrowed it down:

Job Match

The first thing to look at is how each candidate stacks up against the job profile for the role. If you use something like McQuaig personality assessments, this step is pretty straightforward: simply generate a report that compares the candidates’ personality profile against the temperamental requirements of the role. In a few seconds, you should see if the candidates are a strong match, a potential match, or if they don’t really match at all.

If you don’t use personality assessments, this step is still pretty simple: based on your candidates’ interview answers, try to match up their responses to elements of your job description. It’s important to revisit the job description or job profile after each step of the hiring process, to stay focused on what matters in the role, and to more accurately pick up on great opportunities or potential warning signs. Revisiting your information - instead of going off of gut feel or your memory of the interview - is a critical step that often gets overlooked. But it can typically reveal information that's vital in pinpointing and hiring the right person.

Pro Tip: We built a job description template that you can fill out in 20 minutes or less - check it out here.

Interview Answers and Candidate Interest

Standardizing your behavioural interview questions is a great way to level the playing field between candidates. Getting them to answer the same set of core questions can help you easily see where surprising differences may exist. Revisit each candidates’ answers as you make your final hiring decision – and remember to line questions up with critical elements of the job description. This way, you’re always aware of what’s most important in the job, and it becomes easier to see where some candidates excel and where others may not be so effective.

Revisiting interview responses is also a great way to re-gauge candidate interest. Did one candidate provide great answers but seem uninspired? Did another candidate lack technical skill but have the right approach to solving the problems you need solved? Assessing these observations after the fact can help with hiring the right people the first time - and avoiding a turnaround surprise down the road.

Reference Answers

References are a terrific source of information if you ask the right questions. Similar to the interview, standardizing reference questions – and going beyond the traditional confirmation questions – can help solidify observations made during the interview. Tying reference questions back to the job profile is a great way to confirm not only what the candidate said in the interview, but also how their work was received from a more objective standpoint.

Remember that equally qualified on paper may not mean equally qualified in terms of temperament or personality. And technical skill doesn’t always indicate top performance on the job. Hiring the right people all comes down to keeping in mind what the role requires, both from a technical and a temperamental stance. So when your candidate list is whittled down and making a decision seems impossible, remember to revisit the core of what the job entails, and realign candidate responses to those requirements. After a little consideration, it might feel like the right candidate is jumping off the page!

MAKE IT COUNT: CONDUCTING EFFECTIVE INTERVIEWS

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FREE DOWNLOAD: The Quick Guide to Hiring with Personality Assessments!

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I hate to tell you this, but if we’re being honest, there’s a good chance that you stink at interviewing. I don’t mean to pick on you specifically, but statistics don’t lie; study after study shows us that hiring manager make decisions based on interviews, and traditional interviews are just barely more effective than flipping a coin. So maybe you don’t stink at conducting effective interviews – but it certainly seems like a lot of us do!

Why is this? We all want to believe that we're good judges of character. We think we can trust our gut. We think that based on a traditional interview, we’ll be able to accurately predict future performance. Overwhelmingly, the evidence suggests that we’re wrong on all three counts.

You don’t have a lot of time with your candidate before making a hiring decision, so make that time count. Here are 7 steps to make sure that your next interview is an effective one:

Step 1: Prepare - What are looking for? Get key stakeholders to define job requirements such as education, experience and specific skills, as well as the dimensions that tend to be more difficult to assess, like behavioural requirements, the level of maturity needed, thinking ability and overall aptitude. One of the major contributing factors to the overall poor predictive ability of interviews is that they focus on skills and experience, not on passion, personality and ability.

You might find that some of the stakeholders have differing ideas of what is actually required for the role, and isn’t it great that we've discovered this prior to starting to source candidates? Once these characteristics are defined and agreed upon, we’re ready for Step 2!

Step 2: Screening - Who makes the first cut? Use the information gathered in Step 1 to create a strong job posting. As the applications start to come in, focus on assessing necessary skills, experience and education only - behavioural qualities are impossible to assess by viewing a resume. Once you’ve identified your top candidates, conduct a brief screening interview over the phone. Be clear on what the overall goal of the conversation is - what are you trying to learn? The most important thing is to clarify any job-related skills that we have questions about.

Step 3: Employee Assessments - If employee assessments are part of your hiring toolkit, now is the time to use them! A common mistake is leaving assessments until far too late in the hiring process. Use them as a guide to complement your decision-making process. Assessments can be very impactful in helping us understand those hard-to-assess qualities that we’ve defined as necessary for the role, such as temperament and cognitive ability. Time and again, research tells us that these are the keys to predicting future performance. If you want to know exactly what to explore once you and candidate meet face to face, it’s important to assess candidates before the interview.

Step 4: Conducting the Interview - In Step 2, you looked for confirmation of job-specific skills and abilities. In Step 3, you were given insight into your candidates’ temperament, aptitude and maturity. The interview is your opportunity to explore any potential gaps and get a more comprehensive view of how candidates have overcome any of their temperamental weaknesses. Make sure to use standardized behaviour-based interview questions, and remember to probe if you need more information. Many high-quality assessment tools will provide you with behaviour-based questions that are specific to the results of the assessment.

Step 5: References - We all know how important references are, but too often they’re approached as an administrative task - viewed as something that we have to do for the sake of compliance when our heart has already decided on a candidate. Don't make this mistake! To get the most out of your reference conversations, ask some strong behaviour based reference questions that relate to your candidate. References can provide a wealth of valuable information about your candidate, much more than just the standard dates of employment and rehire status.

Step 6: Decision Time! - Making your decision is not something that you do by gut feel - it should be an objective process where you tally each person’s scores and look at their areas of strength and potential weakness. This is vital to making the right hiring decision and it’ll increase the odds of making the right decision dramatically. Once your decision is made it’s time for the final step!

Step 7: Follow Up - You promised your candidates that you’d follow up with them when they met with you for their interview, so now it’s time keep your word. A positive candidate experience for all employees is important to your brand, and it can have a major impact on your future recruitment activities - so make sure you honour your commitment to your candidates and follow up with them!

If we conduct strong, structured interviews and correctly incorporate assessments into the hiring process, we’re not just flipping a coin to make a hiring decision. Instead, the decision gets made based on hard facts. You might not be able to hire the right person 100% of the time - I’d like to find the person who can do that! - but you’ll be able to dramatically increase your success rate. And once the success rate starts to go up, you’ll see the positive impact not only on your next successful hire, but on your entire organization!

RECRUITING WITH THE MCQUAIG WORD SURVEY

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When it comes to hiring, many people believe in their gut. If they get a good feeling from someone, they naturally want to hire them. Throughout life in general, your gut is a pretty reliable source for decision making. It serves as your compass to make ethical choices and major life decisions. It tells you what career to follow and whether to cheat or not.  But your gut is subjective. What your friend feels compelled to do is different than what your inner force is telling you to do. So should hiring be subjective? If your gut says hire but your coworkers’ says pass, whose intuition is right?

Maybe it’s time to bring in a measure that is more objective. Something that will help you to ask the right questions and get the answers that you need to make an informed decision.

Enter the McQuaig Word Survey.

The Word Survey is 42 sets of 4 words or phrases that ask an individual to rank them from most descriptive to least descriptive in relation to themselves. The result of the Word Survey is the personality profile of that respondent which includes detailed information on the behaviour that you can expect from them on the job.

What’s In the Results?

While your gut may give you an idea about what type of leader they are, the Word Survey results will confirm it. It even goes into detail on how they will motivate their team, make decisions, problem solve, and lead change. And it doesn’t stop there. The full report will provide you with many other pertinent pieces of information including their selling style, learning style, and team approach. Based on their personality profile, you will also receive tailored behaviour-based interview questions that will help you in your decision making process.

Strengths and Gap Analysis

If you know what the ideal personality for the position is, you can then compare your candidates to it. This allows you to see if your candidate naturally has what it takes or not. The Word Survey Report includes a section with a strengths and gap analysis as well as associated behaviour-based interview questions to help you probe deeper in those areas. The questions guide you to determine if any gaps will be detrimental to their success in the role or whether they have developed strategies to overcome them.

What You Save

When you rely on intuition to make a hiring decision, you are increasing your susceptibility to selecting someone who you really like, but is not well suited for the role. If your gut is wrong, it will be the cause for the many costs associated with making a bad hire and that is a lot of money to risk on a hunch.

Within just 15 minutes, your candidates can complete a survey to provide you with the information and questions you need to make an informed decision. When you are empowered to make better hires, you can put the right people in place to propel your business forward, and that’s what it is all about.

Introducing a Redesigned McQuaig Word Survey Report

There’s a brand new McQuaig Word Survey Report coming your way with an eye-catching design that’s going to make these reports easier to read.

As part of our ongoing improvements tied to our new online platform, we’ll be launching the redesigned report the first week in July for clients who have migrated to the new system.

The content of the report remains the same with the same in-depth, easy-to-understand insights you’re used to. The report design makes the content easier to digest and the new look will make a strong impression with hiring managers, executives and other readers of the report.

Have a sneak peek at the new report here.

What’s Changed?

  • An updated, modern design

  • Improved readability to please even the busiest hiring manager

  • To enhance the visual quality of the design, the new report will only be available in PDF format

  • Downloadable assets will make it easy to extract key components like the graphs for use in other documents

  • A printer-friendly version

The new Word Survey Report will automatically replace the existing report in the in the new online platform the first weekend in July. If you have not migrated to the new system yet, you will continue to get the current Word Survey Report.  This new design will be applied to reports generated for both new and existing survey results.

This is the second report to have this new design in our new system, the first being the recently launched Executive Summary Report. During the course of the year, we’ll be updating all of our reports with this exciting, new design.

If you haven’t already scheduled your migration to the new system, you can do it here or by sending your migration request to McQuaig@hr-email.com. Don’t miss out on these fantastic new reports. Get on the new system now! You can learn more about what to expect in the new system here.

WEBINAR - Coaching and Developing Talent with The McQuaig System

Coaching and Developing Talent with The McQuaig System

Learn how The McQuaig System provides tools and insights to improve on-boarding, coaching, conflict resolution and team building. This webinar will also review the McQuaig fundamentals. Key Insights: - Managing with Insight. A common mistake that most of us make is that we manage people as we would like to be managed, as opposed to how they would like to be managed.

Click here to book your McQuaig FREE TRIAL! You can also invite 4 other colleagues at the same time! 

WEBINAR - Improving the Quality of Hire with The McQuaig System

Improving the Quality of Hire with The McQuaig System 

The cost of hiring the wrong person can be huge. So can turning over the right person. The key to avoiding both these scenarios is to understand what type of person is best suited to succeed in a specific role at your company, and how to asses for those traits in a candidate.

Click here to book your McQuaig FREE TRIAL! You can also invite 4 other colleagues at the same time! 

Why Sales People are the #2 Hardest Role to Hire

Are you having trouble hiring a sales person? If so, you're not alone. According to research from ManpowerGroup, sales representative is the second hardest role to fill globally. That's up from fourth spot last year and the first time it's been that high since 2011.

But why is it so hard to fill these roles? And when you do, why does the person you thought looked great end up being a disappointment so often? 

An article in The Business Journals points to two potential reasons for a sales talent shortage. The first is increased hiring from small enterprise firms looking for fast growth prior to an IPO. The argument being that the market is rewarding companies that can demonstrate fast growth over other aspects of the business, so they're staffing up their sales teams.

A second reason the article proposes is that the stereotype of sales people as manipulative and slimy is drawing fewer people to the profession.

Whatever the reason, there does appear to be a talent shortage and that makes it even harder to find an effective sales person, but even more important to spend the time to do so or you'll find yourself back in that market far too quickly.

What makes a successful sales person?

When most people think of a successful sales person, they picture someone outgoing, assertive, enthusiastic, and ambitious; a typical extrovert. And the more extroverted the better, right? Research actually suggests otherwise.

For some time, psychologists have been pointing to a weak link between extroversion and sales performance. Adam Grant of the Wharton School of Business looked at the personality profiles and revenue generation of 340 outbound call center sales employees in the US.

What Grant found was that typical extroverts (as measured using the validated Big 5 personality measure) performed no better than their introverted colleagues. More interesting, though, is who did perform the best. The group in the middle – what psychologists calls ambiverts – outperformed both groups. These ambiverts generated 24% more revenue than their extroverted colleagues.

The secret to sales success, it seems, is actually to recruit someone who is more balanced on the introversion/extroversion scale. The problem with highly extroverted people, Grant notes, is that they’re likely to focus heavily on their own perspectives. They’re more likely than introverts to dominate a conversation and that makes them less adept at listening to the needs of others, which is a crucial skill for sales, especially in B2B. Swing the pendulum the other way, though, and you end up with someone who is too analytical and not outgoing enough to build the relationships necessary in sales.

When we look at our own research and the results from working with over 1200 clients around the world, we see trends emerge. The #1 trait we see in effective sales people is a high level of dominance. People with high levels of dominance are competitive, risk takers, results-driven and highly motivated. They thrive on challenge and they’re not happy unless they’re achieving results. This type of person is actually motivated by failure, it pushes them to try harder to achieve sales targets.

This last point is incredibly important. Statistics show that 80% of sales require at least five follow-up calls while 44% of sales people stop after one follow up. This is the trait that allows someone to persevere in the face of frequent rejection without letting it slow them down.

The other interesting thing about this trait is that it’s the one most ingrained in our nature. That makes it the hardest one to fake and compensate for. You may see all the right characteristics from someone in an interview, and they may even show the right stuff early on in a job, but they ultimately fail if they are not naturals in this area.

How do you find your ideal?

If someone can fake the right stuff, even for a short time, how do you tell who really has it? The challenge for hiring managers is that these traits can be faked short-term; in an interview, for example. In fact, a study done by Michigan State University found that interviews are only accurate predictors of future performance 14% of the time, but they are used to make hiring decisions 90% of the time.

You need a way to identify a candidate’s natural disposition in order to be certain they are making a good hiring decision.

Behavior-based interviewing can help. Behavior-based reference checking can be even more useful. And scientifically sound assessments can provide an even higher level of insight to empower better decision making.

One of the most important steps is knowing what type of a person you need for success in the role you're hiring for. You need to have a profile that you can measure candidates against. If you’d like some help creating the profile of a successful sales person try our free Job Analysis Worksheet. It will help you document what a successful candidate needs to possess and gain consensus with the other stakeholders at the table.

For a deeper look at how assessments can help you avoid hiring another sales failure who looked great on paper and in the interview, get a free trial of The McQuaig System.

Why you aren’t getting results from behavioral interviewing

The concept of behavioural interviewing is nothing new. In fact, I would wager that a majority of you reading this have used the technique in your own hiring process—or at least you think you have. That’s the thing about behavioural interviewing, the concept is simple, but actually applying it correctly is trickier. And if you’re not applying it correctly, it's likely not helping you hire the right candidates.

There is a trick to making this method of interviewing work harder for you, and getting that right is an important interviewing skill to add to your arsenal. I’m going to share that trick with you in this blog.

Let’s start off by being clear on what we mean by behavioural interviewing. This method of job interviewing is focused on uncovering examples of how a candidate behaved in specific work situations. It’s based on the premise that past behaviour is a strong predictor of future performance.

If you’re asking questions like “What are your strengths and weaknesses?  Where do you want to be in five years?  Can you work under pressure?  Are you a team player?  How would you handle this situation?”  You’re using traditional interviewing, not behavioural interviewing. This kind of interviewing will not help you identify A-level talent.

I can hear the collective “duh” from many of you out there. “Of course we know what behavioural interviewing is. And we’re using it.” You’re probably asking questions that start with “tell me about a time that you …”

That’s a good start, but that’s not behavioural interviewing; at least not on its own. The piece missing is what comes after the question: the probing. That's where behavioural interviewing brings real value.

The trick to more effective interviewing

Behaviour-based interviewing adds value because it offers a window into past behaviour that, in turn, provides an insight into how a candidate will behave in your company. In working with our clients, though, we find that they are often met with one of three types of responses when they ask a behaviour-based interview question:

  1.        Silence
  2.        Vague generalities
  3.        A verbal explosion

None of these responses is going to give you what you need. Whether they are unable to think of an example, only give you vagaries, or go off on so many tangents that you lose track of the conversation, you fail to get the value from the question.  

In order to take control and get the response you’re looking for, you need to probe them with the SARR method.

Situation: What was the situation? Get a description of what they were facing, who the players were.

Action: What did they do? Them specifically, not “we.”

Result: What was the outcome?

Reporting: Who were they reporting to?

Using SARR enables you to draw out the silent one, drill down with the vague responder and focus the verbal explosion, getting to the information that enables you to make a better hiring decision.

Many people ask us about the last question about reporting.  The reason you want to ask this question is as a bit of a check for the candidate.  You want to make sure that they know you’re going to check on some of these stories to make sure they’re real. 

You can also use this method in your reference checking, too, but that’s a topic for another post.To explore some other common interviewing mistakes, read this.

What are your thoughts in behavioural interviewing? Do you use it? Does it work for you? Let us know in the comments section.  


By Kristen Harcourt

Why Sales People are the #2 Hardest Role to Hire

Are you having trouble hiring a sales person? If so, you're not alone. According to research from Manpower Group, sales representative is the second hardest role to fill globally. That's up from fourth spot last year and the first time it's been that high since 2011.

But why is it so hard to fill these roles? And when you do, why does the person you thought looked great end up being a disappointment so often? 

An article in The Business Journals points to two potential reasons for a sales talent shortage. The first is increased hiring from small enterprise firms looking for fast growth prior to an IPO. The argument being that the market is rewarding companies that can demonstrate fast growth over other aspects of the business, so they're staffing up their sales teams.

A second reason the article proposes is that the stereotype of sales people as manipulative and slimy is drawing fewer people to the profession.

Whatever the reason, there does appear to be a talent shortage and that makes it even harder to find an effective sales person, but even more important to spend the time to do so or you'll find yourself back in that market far too quickly.

What makes a successful sales person?

When most people think of a successful sales person, they picture someone outgoing, assertive, enthusiastic, and ambitious; a typical extrovert. And the more extroverted the better, right? Research actually suggests otherwise.

For some time, psychologists have been pointing to a weak link between extroversion and sales performance. Adam Grant of the Wharton School of Business looked at the personality profiles and revenue generation of 340 outbound call center sales employees in the US.

What Grant found was that typical extroverts (as measured using the validated Big 5 personality measure) performed no better than their introverted colleagues. More interesting, though, is who did perform the best. The group in the middle – what psychologists calls ambiverts – outperformed both groups. These ambiverts generated 24% more revenue than their extroverted colleagues.

The secret to sales success, it seems, is actually to recruit someone who is more balanced on the introversion/extroversion scale. The problem with highly extroverted people, Grant notes, is that they’re likely to focus heavily on their own perspectives. They’re more likely than introverts to dominate a conversation and that makes them less adept at listening to the needs of others, which is a crucial skill for sales, especially in B2B. Swing the pendulum the other way, though, and you end up with someone who is too analytical and not outgoing enough to build the relationships necessary in sales.

When we look at our own research and the results from working with over 1200 clients around the world, we see trends emerge. The #1 trait we see in effective sales people is a high level of dominance. People with high levels of dominance are competitive, risk takers, results-driven and highly motivated. They thrive on challenge and they’re not happy unless they’re achieving results. This type of person is actually motivated by failure, it pushes them to try harder to achieve sales targets.

This last point is incredibly important. Statistics show that 80% of sales require at least five follow-up calls while 44% of sales people stop after one follow up. This is the trait that allows someone to persevere in the face of frequent rejection without letting it slow them down.

The other interesting thing about this trait is that it’s the one most ingrained in our nature. That makes it the hardest one to fake and compensate for. You may see all the right characteristics from someone in an interview, and they may even show the right stuff early on in a job, but they ultimately fail if they are not naturals in this area.

How do you find your ideal?

If someone can fake the right stuff, even for a short time, how do you tell who really has it? The challenge for hiring managers is that these traits can be faked short-term; in an interview, for example. In fact, a study done by Michigan State University found that interviews are only accurate predictors of future performance 14% of the time, but they are used to make hiring decisions 90% of the time.

You need a way to identify a candidate’s natural disposition in order to be certain they are making a good hiring decision.

Behavior-based interviewing can help. Behavior-based reference checking can be even more useful. And scientifically sound assessments can provide an even higher level of insight to empower better decision making.

One of the most important steps is knowing what type of a person you need for success in the role you're hiring for. You need to have a profile that you can measure candidates against. If you’d like some help creating the profile of a successful sales person try our free Job Analysis Worksheet. It will help you document what a successful candidate needs to possess and gain consensus with the other stakeholders at the table.

For a deeper look at how assessments can help you avoid hiring another sales failure who looked great on paper and in the interview, get a free trial of The McQuaig System.

Hamilton Resourcing Welcomes Shurooq!

Shurooq - Sharjah Investment and Development Authority signs a multi-year psychometric assessment agreement with Hamilton Resourcing to implement The McQuaig Psychometric System. 

About Shurooq:
The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, also known as Shurooq, is the driving force behind the transformation of Sharjah. Guided by our traditions and inspired by innovation, we are committed to enhancing Sharjah’s appeal as an investment, tourism, and business destination.

Shurooq is committed to the future of Sharjah. We balance generating return on investments with our genuine commitment to develop projects that benefit citizens, residents and visitors alike.

About Hamilton Resourcing:
Hamilton Resourcing was founded in 2009 to provide global ‘passive’ executive talent acquisition services to regional organization. Realization of the need in the market to improve the quality of hire and retention in 2011 Hamilton Resourcing acquired exclusive regional representation rights of The McQuaig Psychometric System™. Evolution continued with the 2013 regional consulting partnership agreement with LinkedIn. In 2015 to further disrupt the outsourced talent management space Hamilton Resourcing singed the regional representation agreement with the global leader in video interviewing and selection, Sonru.  

By keeping each of its services independent; talent acquisition, psychometric & video interviewing and easily accessible our clients have the choice to address exactly what is needed.  

For more information:

W – www.hamiltonresourcing.com

E – info@hr-email.com

 

Infographic of Global Recruiting Trends 2016

LinkedIn's fifth annual Global Recruiting Trends report, which is available for us all to download here, reveals the findings from almost 4,000 talent leaders around the world and presents the industry’s top priorities, challenges and opportunities ahead. If that all seems like too much trouble then have a look at this super infographic produced by Lucas Blake. 


The Real Cost of Bad Hiring Decisions

We often talk about and arrive at figures for the Cost-per-hire (CPH) at the risk of distracting ourselves from 'Quality of Hire'. Perhaps an analysis of the economic impact of 'bad hiring' decisions will refocus our attention as we embark on our 2016 recruitment drive. A Career Builder survey found 42% of companies reporting that a bad hire cost them at least $25,000, and 25% reported a loss of at least $50,000. A tracking study by Leadership IQ found that 46% of 20,000 new hires failed within 18 months.  Of the new hires, another 45% were found to be only fair to marginal performers effectively meaning that 81% of new hires are a disappointment. 

The Cost of Bad Hires varies by Country

The findings of the 6,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals in the Career Builder survey found that the single bad hire costs varied by country, for example: 

  • U.S.: $50,000. 
  • Germany: €50,000 ($65,231).
  • U.K.: £50,000 British pounds.
  • India:  2 million Indian rupees ($37,150)
  • China:  300,000 CNY ($48,734).

In an article in Fast Company, Rachel Gillett wrote about Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh who offers new hires $2,000 to leave the company and his policy of hiring slowly and firing quickly. Hsieh maintains his past bad hires have cost his company over $100 million.

The Career Builder survey found that the costs could also be higher between lost worker productivity, time and expense in recruiting and training another employee not to mention the negative impact on employee morale and the client relationship. 21% of companies admitted that they hired poorly because they didn’t take the time to properly test and research the employee’s skills. For more insight into the cost of a bad hire and what you can do to avoid it, Mindflash have very conveniently produced this infographic of the key findings from the Career Builder survey.

How to Measure a Leadership Development Program

Countless studies and good old common sense tell us that good succession planning is critical to long-term company success. Despite that, very few companies seem to have much of a sense of whether or not their leadership development program is paying off. How do you measure the success?

There is no one-size-fits-all leadership development program. They vary just like the organizations that use them, and they should. Not all organizations need the same kind of leadership, so no one program will fit all needs. There are three steps that will help every organization to measure the effectiveness at developing future leaders.

Step 1-  Create a set of competencies or requirements

A set of competencies or requirements for potential and current leadership provides a foundation for your leadership development program. It’s pretty simple. If you don’t know what you need, it’s hard to know if you’re on the right track. Alternatively, if you know what you’re trying to build, you can focus your resources in pursuit of that goal. The process of bringing key people together to discuss what competencies future leaders should have helps to solidify thinking and get consensus about what leadership should look like in your organization now and in the future.  It also sets you up to identify who in your existing employee pool has the potential to lead and which areas your current leaders need to develop.

Our clients use our McQuaig Job Profile tool to assist them in creating the benchmark leadership traits. The process of using this tool also helps gain consensus and the report becomes a handy target or measuring stick.

Step 2 - Identify Employees with High Potential to Lead

Once you have your competencies established, you can start to look at your employee pool and identify which employees have high leadership potential. There are many ways to do this. We recommend our clients use the built-in Job Fit measure our assessments provide in combination with an interview process. However you identify your high potentials, once you have them you can start to ask yourself some questions about developing them. Are there any opportunities for them to learn from current leaders? Do they have any gaps in skills or behavioral traits? By knowing who your potential leaders are and what they need to do to fit the competency mold you’ve created, you’ll know what must be done to develop their leadership acumen.

You’re now set up to create individual development plans that cater to exactly the areas these high potentials need to focus on in order to grow into the kind of leaders you know you’ll need. Our Self-Development Reports help our clients by providing action plan worksheets that can be customized based on their personal assessments and the target in the job analysis used to create the leadership target. You can do this however you like, as long as you are careful to make it targeted and personalized.

Before acting on any of this, though, having a one-on-one meeting with your high potentials may prove to be helpful. Ask some obvious questions. Are they interested in leading? Do they plan on staying with your company for the long term? These are questions that should be considered before too much of an investment is made in developing a high potential employee into a leader.

Identifying high potentials can be tricky business. Here are a couple of blog posts we’ve written on the subject:

High Potentials: 6 Components for Finding and Keeping Them

The Difference Between High Potentials and High Performers

Step 3 - Create Evaluation Methods

Once you’ve established the competencies that your leaders need to have and your high potential employees, it’s time to use these two parts of the equations to help build evaluation methods for your leaders. On a qualitative level, one-on-one meetings with your developing leaders gives them an opportunity to provide their feedback on what development efforts are working for them. Hiring managers can use the development action plans to track progress towards their goals and fitting the leadership target.

On a quantitative level, measuring retention rates, engagement levels and achievements in those undergoing development as well as their team members can help in determining the effectiveness of your leadership development program.

While measuring leadership development is not structured the same in all organizations, knowing what is required for leadership, who has potential to meet these requirements and how to create evaluation methods is an excellent start in building an effective leadership development program.

Your thoughts?

Assess the right level to find your ideal candidate

This infographic outlines what we call the Three Levels of Assessment for candidate assessment. They represent the levels of a person that allow you to determine if they will succeed in a role. If you’re not looking at the right level, you may be making decisions based on bad information.

There was a study done at the University of Michigan that found that interviews are only accurate predictors of future success 14% of the time. The other 86% of the time, they’re not reliable.

The reason for that is interviewers are tapping into the wrong level of information in an interview to make a useful prediction of future success.

When we talk to clients, we talk of three levels of assessment. The first level is this phenomenon that we all experience called the first impression. When we first meet somebody, in that initial gut reaction we have to meeting that person, we tend to make a decision, even on a subconscious level, about whether we like this person or not. A study done at Princeton University suggests that in just 100 milliseconds, people are making decisions about you or you’re making decisions about candidates based on their appearance. 

This level of assessment is based on appearance, mannerisms, expressiveness and presence. We refer to this as the “Appear to” level, meaning this tells you what a candidate appears to be able to do.

When it comes to predicting future performance, this first level has a very low success rate. In other words, you could meet somebody, have that initial great reaction about them, feel really connected; think, yeah this is the person that I want to hire, which, by the way, is what most hiring managers do. Then you spend the rest of the interview trying to prove or disprove that initial gut feeling; it can bias an entire interview.

So, we move onto the second level, which is really about skills, abilities and experiences. The kind of information you would find on somebody’s resume. This level encompasses learned skills, experience, education and credentials. This level has a greater impact on predicting performance on the job. We call that the “Can do” level. It tells you what a person can do, but not necessarily what they will do. For that we have to look to the level 3. 

We call this final level the “Will do” level because it allows us to assess how that person will behave on the job. It includes attitudes and beliefs, self-motivation, capability to learn and temperament.

Temperament is probably the foundational piece in this level. It’s temperament, or behavior patterns, that really capture a person’s nature, their disposition. It’s the reason we are who we are and it influences those other elements on the list. Psychologists tell us that either people are born with certain temperament or that it’s instilled at a very early age.

We know that this aspect actually has the highest impact on future success, if we can access it, but it’s the hardest piece to get to. If you picture an iceberg, levels 1 and 2 are the tip that’s above water – what you typically see in an interview - and level 3 is the bulk of the iceberg beneath the surface. You usually don’t get to see that until eight or nine months down the road. 

If you can access that third level before you hire, though, your chances of hiring someone built to succeed skyrockets.

2015 McQuaig Research Study

For MENA HR Professionals

This is your chance to get a FREE trial!!

With the McQuaig Research Study we would like to determine the temperament profile types of HR leaders in this region.

Process

Participants will be asked to complete a 15-20 minute online assessment; The McQuaig Word Survey®; and will be provided their feedback report along with a complimentary 30 minute consultation.

The McQuaig Word Survey® is specifically designed to determine an individual’s underlying temperament. Our temperament has a significant impact on how we will perform in a given role. Temperament lays the foundation of who we are: what we find motivating or demotivating, how we interact with others, our ability to deal with pressure and adapt to new situations, etc. Temperament embodies key traits like competitiveness, empathy, analytical thinking, sense of urgency and determination.

About McQuaig

Founded in 1960's, The McQuaig Institute™ is being used by over 1200 companies globally in over 30 countries and 15 languages; including Arabic, for talent acquisition and development.

You can use The McQuaig Psychometric System for:

  • Your next recruitment campaign

  • Team assessment

  • Coaching sessions

  • Personal development

Just fill out the form to receive your free 10 days access to complete your Word Survey!

Applications Close on 31st December 2015!

How to Use the Selling Process to Hire Better Salespeople

A poor sales hire is a costly one. Recruitment, training and salary costs among other expenses can amount to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Along with the high financial cost, it can be disheartening for your team and management to deal with the turnover and added workload that results from a departing sales hire.

It’s clear that in sales, your people are your business. You need to hire the best to be the best. But how do you know that you’re hiring the best? How can you predict that a candidate will succeed?

The key to hiring the right, sure-to-succeed sales person for your company is the interview. You might be thinking, “Ian, I interview my salespeople already, and it doesn’t seem to be working!” Depending on how you’re interviewing, you’re probably right. According to a Michigan State University study, interviews only accurately predict employee performance 14 percent of the time. In order to unlock the potential of interview success, you need to know what you’re looking for and how to probe for it.

If you’re reading this you’re probably either a sales manager or an HR professional who has sales managers in the company. That puts you at an advantage. The structure of a consultative selling process is actually remarkably similar to an effective interview strategy. If you understand the first, you can easily adapt it to help you assess and identify superstar salespeople in the interview.

Selling and Interviewing: One in the Same

Sales and interviewing are more similar than they appear. If you’re not quite convinced, bear with me, things will become clear.

The consultative selling process is a quest to uncover your potential customer’s needs and how you can fulfill these needs with your offering. Here’s a graphic representing a typical sales process.

Let’s quickly look at each section and I’ll show you how to adapt this to interviewing salespeople.

Opening

Arguably the most important part of the sales process – and the most ignored - is the opening. It sets expectations and creates an impression for the subsequent interaction. If it is rushed or absent, the sales pitch may either die or take a lot more work than it should have.  In job interviews, this is equally true. Without a proper opening, the interview will likely not die completely, but it will become more difficult.

Your opening in a job interview should describe three things:

  1. your reason for being there;
  2. what value you present to your candidate; and
  3. what will happen during the interview.

Here’s an example:

“Hello Jim, I’m happy to be interviewing you for our sales rep position. I’d like to start off with who we are as a company. After that, I’d like to learn more about you, the work you’ve done and any questions you may have. Through doing this, I hope that we will gain insight into whether our company is a good fit for your personal and professional objectives.”

After this is presented, asking your candidate for acceptance of what will be happening will allow him or her to feel comfortable with how the rest of your time together will proceed and allow you to get started.

Probing

If your opening gets you in the door during a sales pitch, probing gives you what you’ll need to know in order to move forward. Probing gives you an idea of what your potential customer wants or needs and why. You learn their language and how they speak about what they’re looking for. With this, you know whether your offer is right for them and how to approach presenting it. After all, you wouldn’t try selling a sports car to a father by touting its spaciousness.

This second, extremely important piece of your sales process has a critical place in your job interviewing process.  Think of what you’re trying to gain from the interview. You want to know how they will perform on the job; not what they say they can do, but how they will actually perform. Through the use of behavioral interview questions and techniques you can probe for this information. Like your sales probing questions, behavioral interview questions allow for long and open answers that will get your candidate talking about their past work. Here’s an example:

“Can you share an example of a time when you had to go above and beyond to gain a client? What was the end result?”

Why do these kinds of questions work? They push your candidate to go beyond generic answers that they think you want to hear and they delve into their past behavior. This past behavior will be your best indicator of how they’ll act when working with you.

This is even more effective if you’ve taken the time upfront to create a profile of the behaviors required to succeed in the role. This gives you a target to compare your assessment to, and keeps you focused on the information you need.

You’re Not Done Yet

Asking a good behavioral interview question is just half the battle here. You won’t always get the information you need right off the bat. For this reason, you need to probe with some specific follow up questions. There’s a specific structure for this probing and it looks like this:

SITUATION: What was the situation? (Who was involved, when did it happen, what were the circumstances)

ACTION: What did you do? (The candidate, not the team. Look out for responses that start with“we”.)

RESULT: What was the outcome? (Should be a measurable outcome ex. percentage of increased sales)

This is called the SARR method. Now, you’ve no doubt noticed an extra “R” there. Good catch. I’ll get to that in moment.

Supporting

Up to this point, much of the interview process has been for your benefit. How will this candidate potentially act in your work place? However, upon hearing your candidate’s answers and success stories you must consider how to ensure they’ll want to choose to work for you, should you decide you’d like them to.

When supporting in the sales process you’re providing confirmation that you understand your prospect’s needs and are offering support through your product or service and its benefits, after which, you ask for their agreement and acceptance.

In an interview, you do this through verbalizing connections between your candidate’s needs and the offerings at your workplace. Are they looking for an opportunity to develop their skills further? This would be a good time to mention that your workplace offers to pay for work-related educational opportunities. Ensure they feel their need has been heard and supported by confirming it, relating your benefit and asking if this interests them.

Confirm their need: “So you’re looking to expand your professional sales skill set?”

Support that need: “We pay for employee’s work-related education to ensure their skills are up to date and effective.”

Ask for acceptance: “Is this something you’d be interested in utilizing if you worked with us?”

Through offering something that your candidate is looking for, you will ensure they will be engaged and stay with your company. That being said, if you don’t have an offering for their needs, this indicates they may not be the best choice to hire as they might leave.

Closing on Next Steps

Closing an interview and closing a sales call are two nearly identical processes. It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll be hiring your candidate on the spot and you may not be ending your sales call with a sale. The objective when closing both of these conversations is establishing what will happen next. In sales this is when a potential customer will meet or talk with you again. In an interview setting, this is when your candidate should expect to hear from you next. Clarity in both cases is important because no one should be left wondering what happens next. Thank your candidates for taking time out of their day to attend the interview, explain the rest of the hiring process and when they should hear from you regarding next steps.

If you’re talking to a superstar salesperson, they’ll likely be in various steps of this process with other companies. By leaving your candidate with uncertainty or failing to do what you committed to in your closing, you may lose them to your competitors.

Don’t forget to Reference Check – The Right Way

The last step is a bit outside of the standard sales process, but it’s the final stage after the interview. Think of it as a credit check on a potential customer. Remember that missing “R” from when you’re probing?  Here’s where it comes into play.

Before you make a hire, you need to check references. This isn’t a call you pass off to an administrator so they can confirm employment dates and titles. Proper reference checking, the kind that helps you confidently know how a candidate will perform once hired, looks remarkably like the interview. The only difference is that it’s with the candidate’s prior managers.

Meet second R:

SITUATION: What was the situation?

ACTION: What did you do?

RESULT: What was the outcome?

REPORTING: Who were you reporting to at that time?

This lets your candidate know that you’ll be verifying the truth behind these stories they provide and it gives you an idea of what questions to ask references.

When you call these people, refer to your interview notes and ask some similar questions that you asked of the candidate. Remember, the goal here is to confirm that they have demonstrated the kind of behavior that will lead to success in the role.

As a skillful salesperson, you can create a valuable and predictable process for identifying top-performing candidates. You can anticipate how they’ll perform and leave them feeling as though working with you is one of the best career decisions they can make.


Posted by Ian Cameron

Assess the right level to find your ideal candidate

This infographic outlines what we call the Three Levels of Assessment for candidate assessment. They represent the levels of a person that allow you to determine if they will succeed in a role. If you’re not looking at the right level, you may be making decisions based on bad information.

There was a study done at the University of Michigan that found that interviews are only accurate predictors of future success 14% of the time. The other 86% of the time, they’re not reliable.

The reason for that is interviewers are tapping into the wrong level of information in an interview to make a useful prediction of future success.

When we talk to clients, we talk of three levels of assessment. The first level is this phenomenon that we all experience called the first impression. When we first meet somebody, in that initial gut reaction we have to meeting that person, we tend to make a decision, even on a subconscious level, about whether we like this person or not. A study done at Princeton University suggests that in just 100 milliseconds, people are making decisions about you or you’re making decisions about candidates based on their appearance. 

This level of assessment is based on appearance, mannerisms, expressiveness and presence. We refer to this as the “Appear to” level, meaning this tells you what a candidate appears to be able to do.

When it comes to predicting future performance, this first level has a very low success rate. In other words, you could meet somebody, have that initial great reaction about them, feel really connected; think, yeah this is the person that I want to hire, which, by the way, is what most hiring managers do. Then you spend the rest of the interview trying to prove or disprove that initial gut feeling; it can bias an entire interview.

So, we move onto the second level, which is really about skills, abilities and experiences. The kind of information you would find on somebody’s resume. This level encompasses learned skills, experience, education and credentials. This level has a greater impact on predicting performance on the job. We call that the “Can do” level. It tells you what a person can do, but not necessarily what they will do. For that we have to look to the level 3. 

We call this final level the “Will do” level because it allows us to assess how that person will behave on the job. It includes attitudes and beliefs, self-motivation, capability to learn and temperament.

Temperament is probably the foundational piece in this level. It’s temperament, or behavior patterns, that really capture a person’s nature, their disposition. It’s the reason we are who we are and it influences those other elements on the list. Psychologists tell us that either people are born with certain temperament or that it’s instilled at a very early age.

We know that this aspect actually has the highest impact on future success, if we can access it, but it’s the hardest piece to get to. If you picture an iceberg, levels 1 and 2 are the tip that’s above water – what you typically see in an interview - and level 3 is the bulk of the iceberg beneath the surface. You usually don’t get to see that until eight or nine months down the road. 

If you can access that third level before you hire, though, your chances of hiring someone built to succeed skyrockets.

5 Questions You Must Answer to Attract Top Talent

Are your employees more or less happy this year than last? According to research conducted by Milewalk, they’re less happy. They’re also open to new opportunities and half of them have actually taken the step to interview with another company in the past year.

These are just some of the findings we talked about with Milewalk CEO, Andrew LaCivita in our October 27 #MiChat. Want to hear more?

Andrew is the founder and chief executive officer of Milewalk, an executive recruitment firm. His new book, The Hiring Prophecies: Psychology behind Recruiting Successful Employees, present the results of a 10 year study involving 10,000 employees and 200 companies. In it, he provides a proven recruitment methodology that counteracts the ever-present challenges when evaluating job candidates.

In our 25-minute interview, Andrew shared a number of insights from his new book and results from 10 years of research he’s conducted that uncovered why companies have trouble hiring and retaining top talent. Among other things, Andrew gives us the five questions that companies must ask themselves in order to be able to attract top talent. Watch the complete interview below.


Posted by Kristen Harcourt