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Evaluating candidates using high performance modelling

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How to create a team of top-performing employees

Profiling for future hires

Have you ever looked at a particular employee and thought “if we had more of this person, we would be more successful”? High Performance Modelling is an organisational tool that allows you to do just that.

We discuss how this evidence based profiling tool can find out the underlying strengths of your best people to then take the guess work out of evaluating the suitability of future hires.

Sounds good? let’s explore this in more detail.

How to create a team of top-performers

Watch the video to understand how you can use psychometric testing and behavioural interviewing of your best employees to create a profile that allow you to hire even more top-performing staff.

Watch the first video in this series here:

Part 1 – Creating Outcome Based Job Definitions

And watch the previous video here:

Part 8 -Testing Methods to Evaluate Candidates

And if you know of anyone who would benefit from this video, please share it with them.

Video Transcript

Hi, Andrew from SACS and welcome to video number nine, lucky last in our sequence about candidate attraction and candidate evaluation.

So in earlier videos in this sequence, we’ve really given you some practical tips about how to define jobs to make them attractive, how to make your ads as appealing as possible and how to actually write employment ad copy.

And then, we looked at a range of candidate evaluation techniques based on the ranking of the accuracy of different recruitment methods because there is good psychological research to indicate which methods of recruitment are more accurate in comparison with others.

So we talked about biodata scoring, scoring the applications you receive, behavioural interviewing, reference checking, and the last video was all about testing, how you use testing methods such as psychometric assessment to evaluate whether people are likely to succeed in their jobs.

And then, this last video is about a thing called high performance modelling which is really a technique which allows you to profile your best people.

Identifying high performers

So what you need to do is you need to identify high performance exemplars and the outcomes that they need to achieve in their job.

So how do you identify your best call centre operatives? Good call centre operatives have two characteristics.

Characteristic number one is that they achieve their objectives and characteristic number two is that they are the type of people we want to have around.

Now what’s the type of people that we want to have around? Well, we want people who typically aren’t much complained about. We want people who are helpful to their colleagues. We want people who are liked by their customers, people who are cultural exemplars.

So it’s not enough to just be a performance exemplar. A true exemplar must be a cultural exemplar.

One of the most common questions we get asked about this methodology is, how many do you need?

Well, it depends on the number of people that you have in the population of employees.

We built a high performance model for an organisation, a construction company, which had project managers, and in total, they had about 25 project managers.

Each of these project managers would be running projects building a building, which could be worth anywhere between, let’s say, $2 million and $50 million. And if somebody got this wrong, they could actually cause that project to lose 5, $10 million, so this is really serious stuff. It was existence threatening to the employee and organisation.

So we asked the organisation, how many really good ones have you got?

And they had about six really good ones and the rest of them were sort of somewhere between okay and really struggling.

But that six in a group of only about 24, that is probably enough.

And also when we psyched them, when we undertook the high performance modelling process and I’ll outline how we did that in just a second, but we found such coherent and similar results that you could rely on it because it was clear what was shared and what was not shared.

You see the idea of high performance modelling is that there are all kinds of ways in which high performers differ from each other but there are also certain ways where everybody seems to have certain characteristics that they share.

Now those characteristics that they share, that’s what you’re trying to pick out in a high performance modelling.

Now when we’ve developed high performance models for clients, what you find is stuff that they didn’t know which seems to be really important for the job.

But what we’ve also found is where people have felt that it’s very important that candidates have a certain characteristic.

And when we do the high performance model, we find out it’s completely unimportant.

And so you’re actually saying to the client in under those circumstances, look, stop assessing for this, stop worrying about this but start worrying about this.

So in effect, it’s an evidence-based approach.

Pick your exemplars.

Psychological testing and behavioural interviewing

You psych test them. You use valid psychometric instruments such as I’ve been describing in the video just immediately before this one.

You identify the psychological characteristics that they have in common.

You then also behaviourally interview them to identify the outcomes that they need to achieve and the skills, experience and knowledge, values and attitudes that make them successful.

So you build a really simple form of a competency analysis process to behaviourally define, what skills do you think you have that enable you to do this job? And you do this with quite a sample.

Six for a small sample of 24 people, but if you’ve got 1,000 people who you’re trying to evaluate, well, you’re probably looking at a larger sample of maybe somewhere between 1 and 300, depending on how many exemplars can be found.

So what you get out of this is that you get a definition of the role in an outcome-based job definition format.

You get the competency, the skills, the experience, the attitudes and values that are necessary to do the job well in the eyes of the people who are doing the job.

But as well as that, you get a psych profile and you can build this into a recruitment kit.

And that, frankly, is about as accurate as a recruitment can get.

That is the Rolls-Royce of recruitment. Do we still say that by the way? If something’s really good, is it Rolls-Royce? I don’t know, maybe it’s an iPhone or something like that, although I’m an Android kind of guy, so maybe I don’t take that view.

In any event, the point is that’s about as good as recruitment can get because I mentioned in earlier videos that there are certain characteristics which seem to apply to any organisation, like honest people are better than dishonest people. Hardworking people are better than lazy people. Emotionally stable people are better than emotionally unstable people in any organisation.

But, of course, there are nuances in what we stand for in certain organisations or in certain teams.

High performance modelling will allow you to capture that and to recruit against that criterion in the future.

High performance modelling report

Here’s an example of a high performance modelling psych report (refer to video) and this is where we’ve identified these characteristics through a high performance modelling process.

We’ve psyched a bunch of people who’ve worked for the organisation and you’ll notice that the mechanism that we have in our psych assessment process allows us to give green ticks and red crosses to each candidate. And so you see, the majority of these ticks and crosses are green ticks.

There are two red crosses, but in the high performance model cut scores, we’ve identified that that’s good enough.

So you see this person gets a big green tick at the bottom which says that they are a person who matches the high performance model.

So science-based recruitment, the simplest way of deciding is has this person got a big green tick or have they got a red cross?

Now this, of course, relates to what in the earlier videos I’ve called algorithmic decision making and it takes away a range of subjectivities and biases that can often come into recruitment processes, makes it more accurate and gives you the better probability of getting a great outcome.

So high performance modelling represents absolute best practise tailored to your specific organisation but also drawing out evidence-based recruitment techniques which are shown by research to be high ranking in terms of their forms of accuracy.

So that concludes our series on how to attract the best candidates, and then how to evaluate those candidates to make sure you’ve got a good job match and you’ve got people who will A, perform well, but B, not bring negative behaviours into your organisation.

I hope all of that helps you to make better hires in the future and I’ll say goodbye by wishing you the following wish.

May your next hire not be a psychopath.

Thanks for spending some time with us.

Watch the first video in this series to find out more about Candidate attraction & Evaluation:

Part 1 – Creating Outcome Based Job Definitions

And watch the previous video here:

Part 8 – Testing Methods to Evaluate Candidates

And if you’d like some help evaluating your next hire, contact us about our Psychometric Assessment Tools.

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