Profiles International - Victoria    eNewsletter   March 2010 

How Do You Select Superstar Performers?    BY JIM SIRBASKU
Companies seeking superstar employees need to perform their due diligence before initiating the hiring process. Most business leaders assume that the superstar they need must come from outside the company rather than from within. This is not always the case. Following these five steps will ensure that you identify and place superstars appropriately in order to maximise their potential and productivity.

1. Star performers shine brightly. The first step in hiring a superstar is to identify those already in your company who have potential. Seeking external superstars before identifying potential stars internally can cheat the organisation of the talent already available. Many employees are not placed into jobs that fit their strengths, preferences, skills and abilities. If an employee is inappropriately placed, she will never exceed expectations. Many superstars exist within companies but are never recognised because they were placed poorly in the beginning. Meanwhile, external stars shine brightly, causing managers to overlook the cost of hiring as it compares with the cost of training and promoting internally.

2. Impulsive desire should not detract from real need. An appropriate question to keep in mind when searching for superstars is, " Does the organisation need this person?" This is the question most commonly asked when purchasing high-cost items with a budget in mind. What will your needs be in a year? What will they be in five years?

3. Think practically. Try to imagine the superstar working in your organisation. Do you see someone coming in and developing solid relationships, meeting with team leaders, hearing concerns and asking a lot of questions? Or do you see your superstar trying to wave a magic wand to make all problems disappear? Know that it will take months, if not years, to get your superstar up and running to his full potential. Understand that no man or woman works alone, and if high performance depends on understanding the organisation, your superstar needs time to develop that insight.

4. Assessments are investments. This correlates with number one on our list. Now is the time to focus on understanding and improving the hiring process. If you are so eager to get this new star on board that you circumvent your own selection process, you are taking the same risk as a tightrope walker who does not use a net—and you are making a risky investment, too. Be thorough and well-educated about each possibility before making the offer. Be fair, be consistent and be legal.

5. Consider the potential outcomes. If you do decide an external superstar is a perfect fit for your organisation, be conscious of the message you give your internal stars. It's best not to imply that this new employee has been hired to correct or improve all of the problems currently inhibiting the business. Rumours are unavoidable when new employees arrive, even in the healthiest of work cultures. Keep in mind that experienced employees may feel threatened by the new person. Business leaders should make the new person's arrival a normal event, keep details of the compensation package private and tell the "star" that he is working among many other stars.

Identifying and placing superstars requires due diligence and thorough consideration of all of the available options. Be practical and thoughtful with your hiring or promotional practices to ensure that everyone is impacted positively, and that employees have the opportunity to develop to their full potential. 

Hiring Without Regrets
Your candidate may indeed be a superstar, but the money and time your organisation is about to invest in him require that you find out more about the person than what his resume tells you—and what he tells you during an interview. You can approach hiring acquisitions in two ways.

Method One
• You examine the candidate's resume and find many points that suggest he or she is right for your company.
• You call the candidate in for an interview and spend a long time reviewing the resume and interspersing the interview with questions about his/her likes and dislikes. You also tell the candidate what your organisation is all about.
• You call the candidate's references and hear rave reviews.
• You offer the candidate the position at top salary. You negotiate other benefits.
• You advise everyone in the office that you have found the perfect person for the open position.

Method Two
• You post an opening internally and externally. An external candidate looks promising, so you also examine his/her credentials.
• You ask all candidates to take an assessment that provides you with more information to consider and questions to ask each one during an interview. The external candidate, reportedly a superstar, is still in the running.
• You interview all the candidates and examine assessment results, paying particular attention to job interests and skills of candidates, and whether those interests and skills match those of people who have done this job well before.
• You conduct background checks and call people at previous jobs (not only those on the reference list) to find out if your finalists' resumes are accurate and truthful.
• You hire the best person for the job. It may or may not be the purported superstar.

The second method may take a bit longer than the first, and it may even cost more at the outset. But its advantages over the first method include the fact that it allows you to gather information about all candidates aside from the information that they provided you with, it allows you to make a decision based on objective facts (not your gut), it saves you money the long run because you are certain you hired the person with the best job fit, and it protects both the organisation AND the candidate.

The organisation is protected because you have made a fact-based and fair decision, while the candidate is protected because he accepted a job he is interested in and able to do—not a job he took because he thought he should for the prestige, money, pressure from someone else…or just because he was tired of the job search.

Project Upgrade 2010: PXT Is a Good First Step
Financially healthy organisations interested in upgrading their talent are finding themselves in "prime time" during the first quarter of 2010. Across the globe, employers are cautiously optimistic about hiring. This optimism coincides with the entrance of top performers into job market, many of whom are victims of the economic downturn that began in 2008. Some are unemployed but very employable. Others are working while seeking new positions that will allow them to learn and grow.

So what will your organisation's hiring strategy look like?

While every situation is different, a good general plan for hiring top performers should include some or all of these considerations:

• Hire workers who will become key to your success in the near-term, and who can grow to contribute to that success in the future.
• Hire workers with skills that are hard to find.
• Hire workers who fit your culture.

A good first step in finding skilled jobseekers who match your needs is to use the Total Person Assessment, also known as the ProfileXT™. This assessment helps you hire in the short term while focusing on long-term needs.

The PXT is called the Total Person Assessment because it evaluates thinking and reasoning skills, occupational interests and behavioural traits, and JobFit™ technology gives clarity to its measurements. This helps in selecting employees as well as managing them. When team leaders are assured of job fit, they can train, coach, manage and promote the right people from within when positions open up.

Just as importantly, PXT helps predict job suitability, and it accurately matches people with the work they do. This helps leaders understand future talent demands and assess current talent inventory.

Organisational leaders often tell Profiles about their successes in using PXT for initial job placement, evaluating the best person to promote, succession planning, coaching and self-improvement. Its variety of reports helps employers solve the challenges of high turnover, poor training, organisational identity confusion, conflict and profitability issues.

If you are a leader ready to capitalise on the talent available, you should first envision success, then devise a plan that will help you achieve it.

Four Tactics for Optimising Organisational Talent     by Megan Bullard

The state of the economy is unfortunate, but now more than ever companies have the opportunity to optimise their organisational talent. While cost-cutting may be inevitable; it’s important not to fall into some of the common traps that will put you at a disadvantage when the economy turns around.

The bottom line is that you need to know your human capital inventory well enough to make the best decisions, and you must have the courage to take calculated risks to upgrade when the opportunity presents itself.

Our researchers have identified four essential tactics to optimise your organisational talent. They are:
- Remove your chronic underperformers
- Remove your bad apples
- Uncover your hidden gems
- Never stop your hunt for high-quality outside hires

Download the Executive Briefing: Four Tactics for Optimizing Organizational Talent.


How Do You Select Superstar Performers?

Hiring Without Regrets

Project Upgrade 2010: PXT Is a Good First Step

Four Tactics For Optimising Organisational Talent


Partner Training:
Training scheduled for 23rd March. 

There is no seminar scheduled for March.




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