<<< back < prevnext >

Select, Develop, and Promote Top Talent

Thu, Jul 8th, 2010

Select, Develop, And Promote Top Talent
Using The Same Advanced Process Employed By Major Corporations Worldwide
Larry Gard, Ph.D.

Think about the people you've hired or promoted for management and leadership roles. Chances are, it was a tough call. Few candidates are perfectly suited to a position. You're forced to make complex decisions about individuals and their futures. Who gets placed in what job? Where should you invest training dollars? How can you make sure that key employees will behave in ways that are in sync with your company's strategic objectives? Will your decisions about people translate into improved organizational performance? This article presents a brief guide to using Competency Models, an essential tool for making these decisions measurably more accurate.

Profitability is about performance, and performance is about people . . .
At the end of the day no matter how outstanding your produce or service, and no matter how skillfully you market your business, your profits are only as good as your people. If you don't have a well-conceived Competency Model that specifies exactly what high performance looks like, how can your firm select, develop, and promote the most talented people? More importantly, if you haven't clearly identified what separates outstanding performers from ordinary ones, how can your firm grow and differentiate itself in the marketplace?

A competency model defines the underlying set of skills, knowledge, personal characteristics and abilities needed to perform in a role and help achieve the organization's goals. From this perspective, many would argue that developing a sound competency model becomes a mission-critical endeavor for virtually any organization that wants to protect and extend its competitive advantage.

Major benefits of a competency model:
A competency model builds a strategic foundation for subsequent staffing, development, succession planning, and performance management.

For recruiting and hiring purposes it establishes a model of high performance by identifying Critical Success Factors (i.e. behaviors, abilities, and attitudes) that differentiate high performers from ordinary ones.

For current employees, gaps between current and future competence can be identified and training resources can be targeted more accurately.

360 surveys, selection assessments, and performance evaluations can be tied directly to a competency model.

What is a Competency?
A competency develops over time as a blend of innate qualities and learned experiences. It arises from a combination of who we are and what we've been exposed to in life. Here are some examples from a much broader library of competencies. Note that they fall into three categories: how an individual thinks, works, and relates to others on-the-job.

In-Depth Problem Solving; Decisive Judgment (thinking)
Delivering Results; Planning & Organization (working)
Influencing & Persuading; Teamwork & Collaboration (relating)

In order to be useful in a model, competencies need to be clearly defined in behavioral terms. For example, people who display Decisive Judgment . . .
"make sound decisions with conviction and in a timely manner. After they have considered alternatives and possible consequences, they can decide upon a course of action and assume responsibility for their decisions."

You can't tell if a candidate will be a good fit with your competency model unless you assess that person the right way . . .
How can you predict whether a job candidate will be able to demonstrate a particular competency? By measuring the innate and learned factors that contribute to the competency in question. Let our firm introduce you to psychological assessments and advanced interviewing techniques, so that you no longer have to make educated guesses about selecting, evaluating, developing, and promoting top talent. To learn more, please call Dr. Larry Gard at (312) 787-9620, or send an email to drlgard@gardexec.com.