We recently assessed a candidate (we’ll call her Jessica) for a managerial position with a large technology company.
On the surface Jessica appeared to be an excellent candidate, she has the right skills and she has a good deal of management experience. When we compared Jessica’s behavioral profile to the corporate culture benchmark for the position we began to see issues emerge.
Jessica fits the culture and position benchmark on only 3 of the 10 desired traits scoring Assertive (top 10%), Disciplined (top 25% ), and Self-Aware (top 25%). For two of these three traits the assessment identified some possible issues. First, while she’s Assertive, probing (built into the test) revealed that Jessica may be overconfident and act in a derisive manner towards those she sees as less successful. Second, her tendency to be Disciplined may extend to being pedantic and overly concerned with details. These are issues that should be explored in an interview. Jessica is also highly Calm, Confident and Cooperative. Unfortunately, while potentially attractive traits, these do not correlate highly with success on this job in this company’s culture.
On the remaining 7 desired traits Jessica deviated from the benchmark, in some cases significantly. Rather than scoring as highly Conscientious, Jessica’s score revealed a slight tendency towards Rebelliousness. The same situation occurred when it comes to being Controlled, with Jessica scoring slightly Demonstrative. Her largest deviation from the benchmark was scoring in the top 25% for Easy-Going versus the Benchmark’s top 10% Achieving. While probing didn’t turn up any glaring concerns, Jessica may be just too laid back for this particular position.
In summary, Jessica’s profile aligned with the benchmark profile at a 57% level, making her, in our view, a “yellow-light” level candidate.
I just read an exciting article about Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Zappos started selling shoes online in 1998. In 2008 they sold over one billion dollars in merchandise. Tony really understands the Zappos corporate culture and makes hiring and firing decisions based on their 10 core values. Two quotes really stood out to me.
“We’ve actually passed on a lot of really talented people that we know would make an impact to our top or bottom line, but if you know they’re not a culture fit we won’t hire them.” – Tony Hsieh
I love that Tony realizes talent isn’t everything. Hiring someone is like bringing them into your family. If that person is happy and likes the environment they will add something positive. If they are not happy, there will definitely be negative consequences.
“If you get the culture right, then most of the other stuff, like great customer service or building a brand will just happen naturally.” – Tony Hsieh
At Hire-Intelligence we agree with Tony. Defining and cultivating your corporate culture will allow you to focus more on your customers and less on dealing with internal conflicts. Call 800-385-1993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how Hire-Intelligence can help you define your corporate culture, and make sure you hire people who will be a perfect fit.
I read an interesting article today over at brainblogger about a Swedish med student who was admitted to medical school even though he had been convicted of murder. Apparently the school is legally restricted from performing criminal background checks.
The article brings up an interesting point about research associating professionalism during residency with professionalism as a practicing physician. The research indicates that unprofessional residents end up as unprofessional doctors. While this may seem unsurprising to most people, it seems to have gone right over the heads of the admissions committee.
It would seem the medical school could have picked up on some of the “character flaws” if they had done some fairly simple behavioral testing.