HR Manager: "We need to recruit 10 people for this position."
Consultant: "No problem. We'll use a Model of Excellence!"
HR Manager: "What's that?"
Consultant: "We profile the top people at that position, and find candidates with the same profile. It's a more objective way to find the high-potential people."
HR Manager: "Yeah, but we don't have top people at that position."
Consultant: "What? The people don't perform well?"
HR Manager: "No, we just don't have any people. It's a brand new position."
Consultant: "Oh. Uh...what are your other needs?"

Luckily, our partners are a little more resourceful than the consultant in this conversation! A unique type of challenge occurs when an organization needs guidance hiring people for a brand new position. At jobEQ, we know that a Model of Excellence is the most reliable way to evaluate job applicants, but how can you create a model when there are no employees currently in the position (and therefore no top performers)? This is the situation one of our partners, Carl L. Harshman & Associates, Inc., recently had to solve...

This case took place within the Customer Service department of Lincoln Industrial, a manufacturer of lubrication systems. The department was undergoing a re-organization, and it had created a new position called “Account Manager”, which was a level above a current position called “Customer Service Representative”. The new position was broader, deeper, and required different knowledge and skills as well as behaviors. The client asked for assistance in how to identify talent for the new position.

So how did our partner create a Model of Excellence? By using every available resource that provided clues as to what kind of person would perform well in this new management position. The company had one person in the current department who had been functioning in this role on a pilot basis. During the pilot period, this person performed the new role very well. This was the first piece of the puzzle.

The process began with in-depth interviews of the HR manager, the department manager, and the employee who held the pilot position. Based on the interviews, we administered a series of assessments, including the iWAM, to the pilot employee and to the manager of the customer service organization. Since no other top performers were available, we used the next best thing—an analysis of the characteristics and competencies of a top performer based on the vision and knowledge of the senior manager of marketing, the senior HR manager, and the manager of the department. The combination of data from the assessment, interviews, and analysis was used to build a Model of Excellence.

The advantage of using the jobEQ tools is that you don't get subjective answers by only asking executives "What are you looking for in an employee?" Instead, you profile the top people to objectively and accurately find out what factors really set apart the best performers. Lincoln Industrial has been using this Model of Excellence to screen applicants for the new role, and they have reported very high satisfaction in their hiring progress. Management indicates that they have a much better understanding of what is required of employees and of how to diagnose difficulties that may affect performance of the job. An additional advantage of the profile is that the manager coaches new hires about where they may have difficulties based on individual variance from the Model of Excellence. So they not only improved the quality of hiring, but also have a built-in database for improving the performance of those they hire!

The consultant to this project said, “The Model of Excellence created in this way was a work-in-progress. The organization will use their experience and performance evaluations to improve the Model over time.”

 
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last modified: 2006/Aug/07 17:57 CEST