Raise your hand if your leadership is continually encouraging innovation, but when it comes down to implementation, everyone continues to do things as they’ve always done them. Don’t worry; you’re not the only one with your hand in the air. It’s not uncommon for us to revert back to what we know, what is comfortable. What you did five or ten years ago worked for you – it got you to where you are today. Perhaps what you did back then was unbelievably innovative, and ultimately successful, for your company. Do you know what your next steps are for an innovative and successful future? Do you have the tools and talent necessary for your company’s evolution?
Seven years ago, a TTI-certified consultant, like myself, was working with a healthcare consulting company. A small, entrepreneurial company, the leaders were having a hard time hiring the right people. This isn’t to say they weren’t hiring great people - they were hiring recent cream-of-the-crop MBAs from Duke and Chapel Hill. These extremely intelligent, driven graduates were staying with the company for about a year, then moving on to run divisions at Fortune 1000 companies. They were tomorrow’s CEOs, and this particular consulting company desperately needed dedicated healthcare consultants. Moreover, the leaders wanted employees who would be trained on how to be the perfect healthcare consultant the way their company envisioned and how they had experienced success.
The TTI-certified consultant and her team benchmarked the healthcare consultant position by identifying the key accountabilities of the job, and then determining the most successful behavioral (DISC) style, motivators, acumen and competencies (soft skills) an ideal candidate would possess. As they recruited and onboarded candidates who aligned with that particular benchmark, they found that their retention rate increased substantially, and the first batch of benchmarked consultants stayed on staff a minimum of four years.
Fast-forward now to 2011. Five years after the original (and successful) job benchmark, the company’s leadership came to the realization that their clients were changing, and thus the company needed to change as well. The original consultant’s team was brought back in to re-benchmark the company’s standard consultant position, and during the benchmarking process, the leadership team truly realized how much their talent pool needed to change. Originally, they were looking for highly compliant, technically savvy individuals who would deliver the company’s strategy precisely as they were taught. After re-benchmarking, the position, the company leaders recognized that they needed consultants who were comfortable talking and meeting with clients, and delivering solutions to each client depending on that client’s individual needs. This was a very different type of employee.
Implemented successfully, this healthcare consulting company developed a cadre of talented consultants, equipped to evolve with the company’s strategic plan, but before they could innovate, they needed the right people working to fulfill the vision of the company.
How to Hire a Superior Performer:
- Prior to writing a job description and posting an opening, have you identified the specific behavioral (DISC) styles, motivating factors and skills that the job requires? How will you ensure that the candidates you review are truly qualified to succeed in your company? When it comes to talent acquisition, the number one resource any hiring manager should be using is a job benchmark. With a properly implemented job benchmarking technique, you’ll save time and money by hiring the right people the first time and reducing the learning curve with new employees who are strategically matched to be successful in your organization.
- To create a job benchmark, it’s important to gather a group of subject-matter experts. These are people who understand how the job should be done, and may include managers who have been in the job before and/or top performers who are currently in the same role. While certain leaders may desire to be involved in the talent acquisition process, it’s extremely important that the individuals creating the job benchmark are people who are very familiar with the day-to-day activities of the position. It’s common for a president or CEO of a company to be acquainted with the goals and desired outcomes of a position without fully understanding the steps a superior performer will take to achieve those goals.
- In an interactive session, the identified subject-matter experts will then come together to identify the key accountabilities of the job. The group will focus on the main contributions the holder of the position makes to the organization, thus avoiding a laundry list of tasks and assignments. This ensures you are able to distill the crucial elements of the role. By the time this part of the process is complete, the team will have created a comprehensive, yet succinct, group of three to five final key accountabilities that can and will be prioritized, weighed and ultimately measured.
- Through a multifaceted job report, the job benchmarking team will individually complete an assessment while keeping in mind the three to five key accountabilities. Once those individual reports are reviewed and merged, the final report will illustrate a clear picture of the job.
- At this point, anyone can be compared against the job benchmark. As personal assessments are administered, results will appear in a Gap Report that recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of each individual, as pertaining to the job, and even include recommended interview questions. As hiring managers review applicants, they won’t have to question, "Can this person do the job?" Instead, they’ll be able to focus on selecting the best person to do the job at that company.
Job benchmarking is an invaluable technique and is gaining much broader market acceptance. Contact us if you would like to learn more about the job benchmarking process. Your managers and employees will appreciate it – and your bottom line results will be favorably impacted.