Mcquaig Self-Development Survey

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! 

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:

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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?

Is Your Boss a Psychopath, a Sociopath, or Just a Little Lacking in EQ?

Do you sometimes wonder if your boss, or another executive at your company, is a sociopath? Do their actions in the office remind you of the suave serial killers from film and TV? It’s quite possible he or she really is a sociopath, but there’s also another potential explanation.

According to Martha Stout, author of The Sociopath Next Door, 1 in 25 people are sociopaths. This would mean that there’s more than likely a sociopath at your workplace. During the research for his book, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, British journalist Jon Ronson, discovered that about 4% of CEOs are psychopaths. That’s about four times the rate in the general population.

Both psychopaths and sociopaths lack empathy. However, according, a key difference between the two is that the psychopath has no conscience, while the sociopath has one, but it’s weak. They both may steal your money, but the sociopath may feel a bit guilty. A psychopath’s behavior also tends to be very controlled, while a sociopath may be more erratic.

It can be hard to tell the difference, though, and psychologists tend to treat them the same. According to an article in Forbes, you can spot the socio/psychopath in your office if they fit this checklist of behaviors:

  • charm or charisma
  • a constant need for stimulation
  • impulsiveness
  • sexual promiscuity
  • pathological lying
  • cunning and manipulation
  • a parasitic lifestyle
  • a refusal to accept responsibility for their own actions.

The Sociopath Vs. Lack of Emotional Intelligence

That lack of empathy or conscience is key, though. If you could you say that the person you’ve suspected of being a sociopath doesn’t have a conscience, you may be right. They are out there. However, this doesn’t mean every boss or coworker of yours meeting the checklist is a sociopath.  What some people mistake to be sociopathic behavior is just someone who is lacking in emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional intelligence is defined as someone’s ability to recognize their own and other people’s emotions and use that information to guide behavior. You can see how an inability to read and respond to emotions could cause someone to present some of the same characteristics as a sociopath. And there is evidence to suggest that many people with low emotional intelligence do get promoted into leadership positions.

Another Forbes article discussed the results of a study of the emotional intelligence profiles of people at various levels in their organization. What they found was that emotional intelligence is highest at middle management and then drops off as people get higher up in the organization, with CEOs being the least emotionally intelligent.

While EQ may be low at the CEO level, another interesting discovery from the study was that highest-performers at each level were the ones with the highest EQs. So, while a focus on bottom-line metrics may be what drives a lot of promoting in companies, resulting in a lot of low EQ senior leaders, those with higher EQs are the ones most likely to succeed in leadership roles.

Increasing Emotional Intelligence

If you’re in a leadership role, or planning on ascending the ranks, there are steps you can take to build your emotional intelligence to help ensure your success (and avoid the sociopath moniker). Emotional intelligence, like most aspects of our personality, is developed from a young age and tends to be consistent throughout our lives. The good news is, with work, it can be increased.

Proper Coaching: The Harvard Business Review states that with a good coaching program with a focus on interpersonal skills, can increase emotional intelligence by 25 percent on average. If you’re coaching someone on emotional intelligence, or anything, be sure to take time to understand their temperament and utilize the Platinum Rule to increase your chances of success.

Self-Awareness: By practicing self-awareness you’ll become more aware of how your behavior affects those around you emotionally and professionally. Many of our clients use our McQuaig Self-Development Survey to help their employees understand their natural behavior, how it affects others, and develop a plan to leverage their strengths and develop weaknesses.

Do you have any sociopaths in your workplace?

Download your FREE copy today!


Are Effective Leaders Born or Made?

Is being an effective leader something you’re born with, or can you acquire those skills over time? And are there core elements of leadership that never change, or do you have to change and adapt with the times to remain effective?

Those are questions that have been asked for as long as I can remember. It’s also something that wasdiscussed by a panel of experts last year and what they had to say may hold the key for those of us trying to become more effective leaders, or trying to find the right kind of leaders for our companies.

The panel discussion took place as part of McKinsey’s Leadership Development Practice and included Helen Alexander, former CEO of The Economist Group; Robert Kegan, the developmental psychologist and author, from Harvard University; Nadir Mohamed, former CEO of Rogers Communications; and McKinsey partners Claudio Feser, Mary Meaney, and Tim Welsh.

One of the themes that came out of the conversation was that there are both timeless and changing aspects of leadership.

Changing Leadership Traits

Technology, business cycles, and markets are all moving and shifting faster than ever. Part of being an effective leader is having up-to-date skills and knowledge relevant to the job, according to Tim Welsh. Those things change with time and stages of a business’ natural evolution.

Leaders need to be willing and capable of learning to remain effective. Arguably, this ability to learn is more of a timeless trait.

Timeless Leadership Traits

While the group generally agreed that the traits of an effective leader consisted of a combination of timeless and changing aspects, more of the conversation focused on the importance of those timeless elements.

Claudio Feser noted that “several studies suggest that open-minded, conscientious people who are emotionally tuned to take charge tend to be stronger leaders than people who aren’t.” And these core personality and character traits are set by the time you enter the workforce.

Self-awareness also stood out to the group as an essential trait of an effective leader, which Robert Kegan said has always been a required quality of a leader. This is also something that tends to be a core character trait and not something that is learned.

Finding the Right Leader

So, the organization looking for the right kind of leader needs to be assessing for both timeless character traits and more changing aspects of skill and knowledge. Before you can do that, though, you need to identify which of those traits will enable a leader in your company to succeed.

That means developing an ideal candidate job profile, or Employee Persona. Be sure your profile is three-dimensional so you get a true picture of what a successful leader will look like and use it as both a tool to help find and engage with candidates and as a target to measure candidates against; or, in the case of existing staff, develop them toward.

Assessing for skills and knowledge is best done using behavioral interviewing techniques that ensure you identify candidates who not only possess the right ones, but can demonstrate that they have used the skills and knowledge you’re looking for.

To assess more timeless character traits, your most effective tool is a behavioral assessment. This will allow you to accurately predict how someone will behave on the job and whether they possess the core traits you’re looking for. If you follow our recommended process and complete a Job Analysis before assessing candidates, you can actually get back level of fit measure and customized interview questions to help you with your interviews.

Developing Your Own Leadership Skills

In much the same way a recruiter looking to find a leader needs to start with a target, to develop your own leadership skills you need to first identify the traits that spell success as a leader in your field. Find out what others say is required to be an effective leader; including skills, knowledge and character traits. Then compare that profile with yourself and identify strengths and gaps.

On the character/behavioral side, a self-assessment will provide you with a detailed view of your core personality with respect to work. This kind of insight also dramatically increases your level of self-awareness, a key trait according to all the experts. The McQuaig Self-Development Report includes a personal work plan along with your profile to help you create action steps that lead towards leveraging your strengths.

There’s more on identifying your own leadership strengths here.

What do you think makes an effective leader? 

A 4-Step Process for More Effective Coaching

In my work with clients as a professional coach and trainer, I have rarely come up against someone who doesn’t think coaching can have a positive impact on a person and company. What I do see more often, are people who are frustrated that their coaching is not having the results they think it should.

They want to get more from their staff, but they don’t know where to start when it comes to coaching in a constructive manner, nor the best steps to successful coaching. They make assumptions about what coaching is and how to apply it, making up their own approach as they go along. What is needed is a core foundation that they can build from.

Coaching is a way to create positive change and it includes providing feedback, asking open ended questions, and with providing direction and encouragement. That’s all very easy to say, but it can be a challenge to implement amongst the many other imperatives of a manager’s job.

Having completed education and training in the field of coaching myself, along with years of experience in coaching individuals, I have found coaching to be a very empowering approach and am a firm believer (from first-hand experience) that when managers apply a coaching approach to their management style, employee performance improves. I’ve seen a number of tools and structures to help managers and one of my favorites for creating a foundation for coaching is this simple format:

This simple, four-step process can work whether you are coaching on a specific skill, mentoring someone through a big project or working to generally create greater self-awareness.

Managers can support this process by asking probing, open-ended questions that will trigger greater awareness for the employee at regular touch points throughout the process. As a coach, your role is about supporting them in taking action for change. It is about assisting them in building self-awareness, especially about their strengths, values, and purpose, improving performance, and advancing.

Your Coaching Toolbox

Coaching is also about building for yourself, as the coach, a tool kit for raising awareness and empowering your employees. In future posts, I’ll explore some of the powerful tools I have used that will help you be a more effective coach, including:

If you take the best steps in coaching and build your tool kit, your return on investment with staff will increase and results will be met.

Coaching the "Whole Person"

Over the years, we've heard from many clients that getting real engagement and results through their coaching programs can be a challenge. When we look at our clients who are getting results from their coaching, we see a common thread and it's this advice that we give to those struggling: Coach the "whole person."

In order to be effective at coaching and developing someone, we have to coach the whole person, not just aspects of them. But let's take a step back and look at what we mean by coaching the whole person.

If you look at the graphic on this page, you can see these words around the person: experience, intelligence, values, ethics, attitudes, maturity, skills, education. They are all part of what goes into making up the whole person.

Lots of managers focus on just one or two of those aspects. That approach doesn’t usually deliver results and then they question the ROI and wonder why they should bother coaching at all.

If you coach the whole person, your level of engagement will be much higher. And with higher engagement, as we all know, comes better results.

That’s because in any coaching situation there are relationships. There’s a relationship between the manager and the employee. There’s a relationship between the employee and the work they’re doing. There are all these different types of relationships going on and those create dynamics.

What we counsel our clients to focus on is the relationship between the manager and employee. How is that playing out and what is the manager doing to address all these aspects that make up the whole person. If we look at maturity, attitude, ethics and values, these are all about who we are; how we see the world; and how we interact with people. To really coach this part of the person, you have to take time to get to know what makes that person tick. Then you have to use that knowledge to shape the way you interact with them when you are coaching them (or any time, really).

The Platinum Rule

Often what happens, though, is that managers will approach an employees the way they would like to be approached, assuming that must be how everyone wants to be approached. That's the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But, to coach effectively, you have to approach them the way they want to be approached. That is what we call the Platinum Rule: do unto others as they would do unto themselves.

We encourage our clients to use the insights that come from our assessments to understand this part of a person. To encourage the manager to understand how the employee's temperament affects the way they work and interact. We also strongly encourage the manager to understand their own profile so they can understand how their own style can work in favor or against their goal of helping this employee succeed. That's what the McQuaig System is designed to do; to uncover these hidden insights and empower companies to develop people to their full potential.

If you're not using a behavior assessment tool like McQuaig, you can still take the time to try and understand what makes an employee tick; through observation and by asking them directly. Even that level of insight will help you to better coach the whole person.

What's your experience with coaching? Is it working for you? What challenges do see in getting results? Let us know in the comments section.

5 Questions to Consider When Coaching (Or Not Coaching) an Employee

As your company develops and evolves, your employees need to as well. That being said, you don’t always have time to develop everyone. And, as you’ve probably figured out, not every employee responds to your coaching the same way. While some people may develop at a rapid pace, others struggle. Sometimes it feels like more of a commitment than you can afford to take on. So, how do you tell whether someone can, or should, be coached?  Asking yourself these five questions can you help you make the right decision.

  1. Why is it they’re struggling? A Harvard Business Review article points out that while an employee may be reacting negatively to an attempt at coaching, there is usually a deeper and rational reason for this. Getting to this root cause can help you understand how to coach them, or whether you even should.
  2. What is it that needs changing? Some things can be easily taught through coaching while others may be more difficult. According to the American Management Association, “when an employee has the skills and ability to complete the task at hand, but for some reason is struggling with the confidence, focus, motivation, drive, or bandwidth to be at their best, coaching can help.” If your employee just needs a little motivation to get them moving coaching is just what they might need. If it’s skills that are lacking, more formal training may be what’s needed.
  3. Are their developmental gaps or struggles affecting others? There is a choice to be made when it’s clear that one employee’s struggle is affecting the morale of others. It’s possible they can change but you may do more damage to the rest of your team in the time it takes to find out. It’s great to be compassionate, but always consider the bigger picture.
  4. How do they react to feedback from others? On a daily basis, fellow employees provide each other feedback - constructive and not-so-constructive. Sometimes, this feedback isn’t even verbal or explicit, but it’s there. Watch carefully and see how your employees react to this feedback from their colleagues. Their behavior with colleagues may give you a clue as to how open to feedback they are.
  5. Do they want to be coached? While your star employee in one department may seem like the best candidate for coaching into a management position, if they don’t want to be coached or put the effort into developing, changes won’t stick. This can be seen in high performers who take a promotion for a pay increase but don’t develop an effective management style. Make sure the goal of your coaching efforts is a mutual goal that your employee buys into.

If you decide someone is coachable, there is one more thing to consider; that’s your approach. In order to coach effectively, you have to use the Platinum Rule. While the Golden Rule tells us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, the Platinum Rules tells us to do unto others as they would do unto themselves. It’s a tricky, but critical difference if you want your coaching to be well received. You can read more about it here.

How do you decide whether you should coach an employee?

7 Tips to Become a More Effective Leader

Whether you’re a new manager or a seasoned management veteran, as your workplace evolves, your leadership acumen must as well. Here are seven tips that will help make you a more effective leader.

  1. Lead with your heart: We aren’t suggesting that you run around the office hugging your employees (that might get you sent to HR). What we are suggesting is that you manage both parts of your employee, the professional and the human side. Do this through recognizing people's accomplishments. Learn more about this from our July #MiChat conversation on Leadership with Mark Crowley.
  2. Ask open-ended questions: What better way to learn than to ask questions. Open-ended questions about the processes and people you are managing will allow you to learn about them. And the Harvard Business Review points out, asking open-ended questions actually increases the level of trust your employees feel in you because you’re demonstrating that you value what they have to say.
  3. Always be learning: Another gem of wisdom from the Harvard Business Review. The more you know and understand, the more actively you can manage. By expanding your knowledge regularly with relevant educational or professional opportunities, you’ll widen your understanding of your workplace, its people and its processes.
  4. Become of aware of your relationship with knowledge: A third and final tip from the Harvard Business Review is to consider your relationship with what you know and what you don’t. Some questions include whether you’re required to know everything or whether that’s even possible. Thinking about this can help you be at peace with some of the not knowing that can come with managing, especially early in your management career.
  5. Use assessments to learn about yourself and your team: Have you ever been caught off guard when a member of your team negatively reacted to your attempt to coach or mentor them? You may have approached them in a way that you’d like to be approached, but that's not always the best approach. As we’ve learned through our understanding of behavioral psychology, not every one likes to be coached or motivated in the same way. If Sara tends to be more social than analytical, mentoring her with a logical explanation that lacks a people focus may be frustrating for her. Use what we call the Platinum Rule and treat people the way they want to be treated.
  6. Give up control every now and then: As a leader, you’re responsible to make sure the ship is headed in the right direction. Sometimes that means you have to step in and take control, but long-term that can actually stifle results. When you solve problems or take difficult work off your teams’ plate, you prevent them from developing as much as they could if they worked independently. By giving up control you’ll develop your team and become a leader rather than a manager.
  7. Listen actively and communicate thoughtfully: A workplace can be a noisy place. Through the noise however, there is much to take in that can improve your leadership skills. Listen, really listen to what your employees are saying. That may mean probing with some follow-up questions when they make a statement or answer a question. Sometimes the immediate meaning of their words – or their silence - is masking something deeper. 

What tips do you have to be a more effective leader?

In Coaching, Know When to Be Quiet

Listening is a key to success in so many areas; successful communication, successful leadership, and successful coaching are all underpinned by the power of listening. It's also a key that many of us fail to make good use of in the workplace.

Listening with intention, or active listening, is an absolutely fundamental tool that you must have in your coaching toolbox if you are going to be an effective coach.

It was in my early years of study of the human make up that I came across a poem called Please Listen (author unknown). It spoke to me both as one who listens and who needs to be heard. I’ve always been someone for whom listening comes easily and effortlessly. I have always, by nature, listened for more than what is being said. I watch the body language, to what's not being said, listening for a deeper meaning to the story that can be found in the speaker’s energy (are they excited or withdrawn), the tone and volume of their voice, and how they are speaking (with confidence or fear).

You might be thinking, “well that’s great for you, but it’s not as easy for me.” The good news is that this isn’t a case of you either have it or you don’t. Listening with intention can learned and practiced.

Active listening springs from a sincere curiosity to hear what the other person has to share. This leads to asking open-ended questions and makes way for a no-judgment interaction. Curiosity opens up opportunities.

Why listen with intention?

Listening with intention is about listening for more than than just the words being said and it allows the employee to feel understood, which makes them feel safe and more trusting in the discussion. With a sense of trust and safety, by nature, we are willing to be more open and sharing, which will assist in coaching for success. It's essential to turn off any of your own mind chatter and your desire to talk over the employee, don't allow your own opinions or points of view to get in the way of you hearing what needs to be heard.

When you are coaching your employees, identify what is important to the employee, then walk in their shoes. By that, I mean try to view the situation from their perspective, understand how they are being affected. When you do this, you will get a truer sense of which approach is required for that employee. One way to walk in their shoes is by knowing their temperament and how they communicate, respond, react and take direction. This coaching cheat sheet might help you get a sense of different people’s needs.

As a coach, listening with intention is about listening for:

  •          what the employee says and doesn't say;
  •          the truth in their story;
  •          their values and beliefs;
  •          what motivates them;
  •          what holds them back;
  •          any resistance or fear;
  •          the tone and volume of their voice;
  •          where there is imbalance;
  •          what their vision and goals are; and, in turn,
  •          identify 'what's next'.


Listening also means having moments of silence. We as humans are programmed to speak, to talk, to fill the air with sound and words. It can often feel uncomfortable to sit in silence; however, part of communicating is listening and sometimes a moment of silence is magical. It allows what has been said to sink in and resonate, it makes space for those ah-ha moments to arise without being interrupted with further chatter, and it creates opportunities for new ideas to come to through. Be aware when to talk and when to listen.

And lastly, listen to your own inner knowing. That gut instinct, your intuitive sense that will guide you when to talk and when to listen. It will assist you in asking powerful, open-ended questions.

When you are committed to listening with intention, it helps your employees think more clearly, work through issues that need to be resolved, and identify solutions that they come up with for themselves. That is much more empowering than being told what to do.

Listen for what's being said and what is not being said and watch how you become a more effective coach. 

Here Come The Boomerangs

Here’s a scenario I’m sure many of you have found yourself in: You’re looking through resumes for a new job posting, weeding out the chaff, trying hard to understand if some of them even read the job posting and then you see it: the boomerang.

A candidate who used to work for your company applying to come back. In the past, many of you may have rejected the applicant because they already left you once. Even those of you without an official policy on the matter, may have wondered what would keep them from leaving again? A new survey suggests attitudes about boomerang employees may be changing. But should it?

The survey of 1,800 HR professionals, people managers and employees in the US revealed a number of interesting insights into the boomerang candidate and how companies are viewing them today. The study is cited as the first release in The Employee Engagement Lifecycle Series and was commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and Here are some of the highlights:

  • 85% of HR professionals have received an application from a former employee in the past five years
  • Three-quarters of HR professionals and two-thirds of managers say they are more accepting of former employees now than in the past
  • 15% of employees said they had boomeranged back to a former employer
  • For Millennials that number is 46%, suggesting we’re missing opportunities to convince them of our employer value proposition before they leave
  • Familiarity with corporate culture was identified as the biggest benefit to hiring former employees, while 1/3 also cited reduced training needs

From the looks of those numbers – especially the high number of millennial boomerang employees – this cohort is going to be an increasingly competitive candidate segment.

Despite the benefits of hiring a former employee, it’s important not to treat them differently in the recruiting process. More than ¼ of respondents say these employees may encounter the same issues that caused them to leave in the first place. They may have been part of your organization before, but it’s important to make sure they are a fit for the current role.

At The McQuaig Institute, we recommend and support a three-step process to make sure you get the right person – boomerang or otherwise – for the job.

  1. Create a target, or Employee Persona, that includes the key temperament and behavior style that’s required for success in the role and the company.
  2. Assess candidates against this target and use behavioral interviewing techniques – including SARR probing – really get a sense of what a candidate WILL do on the job, not just what they CAN do.
  3. Develop a personalized development plan for your new hire catering to their strengths, natural behavioral style and learning style.

By following that three-step process, you’re much more likely to hire someone who will be productive and stay with you, and not boomerang back to someone else.

What’s your experience with hiring former employees? Are boomerangs a good thing, or do they bring back all their problems, too?

How Your Yearly Performance Reviews are Sabotaging Engagement

I was talking to an HR Manager the other day and she was expressing her dislike for annual performance reviews. She wants to replace this archaic process with something that’s more effective. That got us talking. What are the goals and outcomes associated with doing an annual performance review and are they being accomplished? We concluded that waiting until the end of the year is actually the worst thing you can possibly do for employee engagement. Why?

Let’s start with a quick examination of the annual performance review. What are some reasons why we do them?

  • So employees know what they are doing well

  • So employees know what they need to do better

  • They are standardized

  • Provides an easy way to calculate a salary increase, or lack thereof

That’s why we do them, but the actual purpose of a performance review is to ensure we develop an employee so that they’re more productive and satisfied. Ask yourself if your performance review system is delivering on that.

A poll with 2,677 workers found that 98% believe annual performance reviews to be unnecessary. Of those polled, 645 were HR managers, 232 were CEOs and the remaining 1800 were employees. What are we missing by continuing to take this approach? I would argue we are missing the bigger picture: An opportunity for you to become a better coach and for your employee to develop their skills and behaviors.

A more timely model

Instead of  having a formal sit down with an employee once a year to talk about their performance, let’s provide real-time feedback to employees - both constructive and reinforcing. More than that, let’s provide them with the tools, mentorship and encouragement they need to develop.  

What does that look like? Well, simply giving someone immediate, direct, open and honest feedback when you observe a behavior you either want to reinforce or discourage. Supplement that with regular one-on-ones with your direct reports to discuss progress and development.

If you find eliminating the annual performance review to be daunting, do it gradually. Start by adding in quarterly meetings, then monthly, then weekly, and finally, daily and instant interactions. Through two-way communication, regular feedback, encouragement, support and coaching, you and your employees can build relationships that will help you both grow. By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millennials. Research has found that this group prefers real time feedback and coaching. Prepare now for the workforce of the future.

How assessments can help

Our customers use The McQuaig Self Development Survey along with instant feedback to guide the coaching and development process for their employees. The McQuaig Self Development Survey creates self-awareness by:

  • Providing a behavioral profile with behavioral strengths and gaps

  • Helping employee’s prioritize which of their strengths they’d like to develop

  • Teaching employees how to manage their developmental areas and selecting which to work on

  • Getting coach/manager input through discussion of a Personal Action Plan

  • Encouraging review of targets set in the Personal Action Plan on a regular basis.

This puts the power and tools needed to develop into the hands of your employees and the guidance to help them along into yours. You can work together, with two way communication, to become a better manager while your employee works to develop themselves as an employee.

Our Manager’s Coaching Cheat Sheet can help in navigating the development process and can be found here.

Aim High: 5 Steps to Hiring & Retaining A-Level Talent

A-Level Talent is the 20% of your workforce that produces 80% of your organization's results. They're unique. Most A-level performers are not looking for a job and they view the hiring decision as their own. This webinar will provide you with 5 practical steps you can take to bring A-level talent into your organization.

Listen to the recorded webinar.

In this free webinar, you'll learn how to:

Appreciate and cater to the uniqueness of A-Level Talent
Identify the characteristics of a “natural” A-level performer
Assess A-level characteristics in an interview
Conduct proper reference checks to ensure you have an A-level performer
Engage A-level talent by coaching to their strengths

About the presenter

Ian Cameron is the Managing Director of The McQuaig Institute®, an International organization committed to helping companies assess, select and develop talent. 

Ian has more than 20 years of Human Resource and Organizational Development consulting experience. Throughout his career Ian’s focus has been on helping organizations realize their goals through their people and helping people live their passion through their work. 

Four Steps of Effective Succession Planning

With the number of employees approaching traditional retirement age increasing dramatically over the next decade, succession planning has found itself on the front burner for many companies. 

Succession planning is the process of preparing internal staff to meet the future needs of the organization.  It also helps organizations retain their best people, because they appreciate the organization’s investmentin their development.  It is sometimes referred to as succession management to reflect the ongoing natureof the process.

The succession planning process is similar to the recruitment process in that it entails:

  • determining the organization’s needs for current roles or for future roles that may not be clearly defined

  • assessing candidates for those roles

  • revealing where gaps exist, to probe in the interview process or to determine development plans As such, The McQuaig System can support the succession planning process in four key areas.

Full article here!

Does the Talent Shortage Mean the End of Corporate Culture?


As As I read and re-read the results of our recent McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey, new insights and questions keep popping up. This week I was looking at what the responses from 450 HR professionals said about why new hires don’t work out. Some really interesting things came into focus regarding corporate culture and whether or not it matters. I want to share my thoughts and I’d love to hear what you think.

First, here are the numbers: In a weighted average, our survey showed that HR professionals think about 12% of new hires don’t complete their first year with a company. On the extreme end of the scale, 12% of those respondents said that they think that 1/3 or more don’t make it to their first anniversary.

Of course, then you start to wonder why are all these new hires that you worked so hard to recruit, not sticking around?


We asked about that, too. As you can see by the chart the overwhelming majority (58%) said it was because of an “attitude/personality not suited to the role.” The next biggest reason was lack of skills, way down at 22% and it dropped off a cliff after that.

I’m sure you’ve heard a version of the saying “hire for skills and fire for attitude.” I know I’ve heard about a dozen variations of that over the years, and it seems to bear out.

When you look at the results of this question you also see “other” accounting for 10% of responses. I looked into what those other reasons were, and almost half of those were related to a lack of fit with corporate culture.

That jumped out at me because elsewhere in the survey, 65% of respondents told us they have a hard time finding a cultural fit when recruiting. That’s a 14% increase over that same result in 2014. Now we’re getting to a piece that really makes me wonder and worry.


The survey results made it pretty clear that we’re either in, or heading into, a tight talent market. This is backed up by reports from the Conference Board and others. Here’s why I think it’s important to connect these results, and the danger they hint at.

I think – and this is my opinion, so let me know if you disagree – that fit with corporate culture is likely to be thrown over if it comes up against finding the right skills. Despite all the catch phrases and studies that suggest character, cultural fit, and personality are more important than skills because skills can be taught, most HR people I speak to admit that their hiring managers more often pick skills over fit if they can’t get both.

If we’re in a tightening labor market and companies are struggling to hire, corporate culture could end up de-prioritized in the hunt to win the war for talent.

That could be short-sighted, though. Remember that personality/attitude was the run-away leader in terms of the reason new hires don’t work out. Cultural fit ended up accounting for about 5% on write-in responses. Those instances where new hires who fail due to personality conflict or attitude problems may be developing because they were a poor cultural fit.

It will be interesting to watch and see what happens as this talent crunch evolves. What do you think? Will organizations discard cultural fit during the talent shortage? And what does that mean for the future of organizations? Please share your thoughts.