Detecting the Next Generation of Managers

In the economic heart of Europe you'll find Antwerp, Belgium. The city has a population of 450,000 and a government that employs 10,000. Forward-looking administrators desired to create a management track for employees that would train them to be the next generation of managers for the City of Antwerp.

For this reason, Freddy Vandekerckhove, the vice-Secretary General of the City, supported Ingrid Siaens to start the HI.PO-droom project. The name was chosen because the goal of the project was to quickly detect the High Potential employees in order to enroll them in this coaching and development track. The City wanted about 20 employees to be the pilot group for the program.

The challenges with such a project mainly involve the sheer number of applicants. In order to be fair, the City had to allow any employee apply for the project. Vandekerckhove said, "It was important to prove that we were objective in our selection, showing we didn't want to do our "friends" favors with this project by calling them 'high potential.' " They needed an inexpensive, fast solution to narrow the field, and they had to be prepared for up to several hundred applicants.

For this, the City of Antwerp chose jobEQ. We used the iWAM tools to create three Models of Excellence, for a management position, for a position as internal consultant and for an assistant-manager position.

The City identified 400 potential candidates for the HI.PO-droom project. In Phase 1, we sent an e-mail to the 400 employees, explaining the project, and giving them a link to the iWAM self-assessment page. If they were interested in the project, candidates could use the iWAM questionnaire to test themselves, getting an automated individual feedback on their fit with the Model of Excellence. There were 140 workers that responded by using the self-assessment tool. Of those, 48 chose to continue the process after reading their feedback report and viewing their comparison to the Model of Excellence. Before a single interview took place, jobEQ's tools eliminated about 90% of the possible candidates.

In Phase 2, candidates could formally apply and were invited for an interview where their attitude, motivation and competencies were further assessed. For these interviews, jobEQ provided the iWAM management reports, calibrated for the "company culture" of the City, and used individual comparison reports to compare the candidate to the Model of Excellence.

In the end, the City selected about 20 high-potential employees for the pilot group. Officials pronounced the project a big success, and the biggest reason was one factor: fast execution time. The Models of Excellence were created in January 2001. In six weeks, the field was narrowed to 48 names, and by the end of April, the City of Antwerp had detected the next generation of managers. Plan, start, finish, smile.

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last modified: 2006/Aug/07 15:57 UTC