Resumes and transcripts. Job postings and interviews. These are important artifacts in the matchmaking that occurs between job candidates and the organizations that hire them. They usually do a good job of helping match the knowledge, experience, and qualifications acquired by the candidate and required for the job. What they don’t do very well, however, is explicitly communicate a way of thinking, either the way of thinking that is required to be successful in a given job or how a given person thinks – processes complex information and makes decisions. In a knowledge-based economy how you think is often just as important as what you know. Also, in different stages of an organization’s growth cycle, specific ways of thinking play different roles. Hutcheson Associates offers a set of tools and insights we call Strategic Hiring Analytics. Two of the tools we use as part of this service area are the AEM-Cube and the ACT-Cube, both products of our partners at Human Insight. Here’s an example from a recent project.
A large manufacturing company asked us to help them do a better job of finding engineering and technology candidates with a certain mindset. Specifically, a “lean manufacturing” mindset. We helped them consider how they see the lean perspective contributing to their desired strategic outcomes and then put into place a process to attract, evaluate, and hire the right people. We organized our work in two phases.
Definition & Validation Phase. In this phase we assisted management in defining and validating 5-7 Results Positioning Areas (RPA) desired for the ideal candidate. This phase included the following steps.
- Workshop with 2-3 managers to identify RPAs
- Managers use the ACT-Cube assessment tool to develop a profile of the ideal candidate
- Identify 2-3 current workers that management considers good match for the profile
- Current workers use ACT-Cube assessment tool. Data is compared to develop a profile of the “ideal” candidate
- Refine and revise ideal candidate profile
- Present final ideal candidate profile to management
HR Process Recommendations Phase. In this phase we helped identify key words and phrases to include in position descriptions and advertising content and identify key interview questions and techniques to better recruit, select, and match candidates with the desired RPAs.
- Develop and present to management key words and phrases
- Review current position descriptions, advertising content, and interview questions
- Present recommended revisions to position descriptions, advertising content, and interview questions (deliverable)
- Pilot the use of the AEM-Cube assessment tool in the interviewing and hiring process with 3-5 potential candidates
- Make recommendations for changes to the interviewing and hiring process
One of the unexpected outcomes of this project (unexpected to the client but quite expected to us) is that they actually didn’t need ALL of their new hires to have that lean mentality. They realized that to remain competitive they needed a wider variety of cognitive styles among their engineering and technology workers. Some lean optimizers, yes, but they also needed some engineers and tech workers who were natural explores of the unknown! This combination of focusing on BOTH “better sameness” and “reinvention” proved to be the perfect mix for robust growth.
Hutcheson Associates now has a long-term relationship with the company to use these analytical tools as a regular part of their HR processes. Mission accomplished!
If you are interested in learning more about our Strategic Hiring Analytics please connect with us.