In the economic heart of Europe you'll find Antwerp. With a population of 450.000, it is the largest city of Flanders. About 8.000 employees are in public service. In these times of change, the City needs to manage its human resources in a proactive manner, and needs to detect its High Potentials as early as possible, in order to deploy them in critical functions and to retain them, given the highly competitive workplace.
In these circumstances, Freddy Vandekerckhove, the vice-Secretary General (or COO) of the City, supported Ingrid Siaens to start the HI.PO-droom project.
The goal of the project was to quickly detect the High Potential employees in order to enroll them in a coaching and development track, thus creating a pilot group for the City's new career development center. The candidates were to be attracted to the project in a friendly manner, helping them to increase their self-knowledge and their understanding of the requirements of the functions they could apply for. Freddy Vandekerckhove: "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 HI.PO."
For this, the City of Antwerp used the iWAM tools to create 3 reference profiles, for a management position, for a position as internal consultant and for an assistant-manager position. In a first phase, candidates for the HI.PO-droom project could use the iWAM Questionnaire as a self assessment tool, getting an automated individual feedback on their fit with the profile and access to iWAM's helpdesk for further individual feedback. In a second phase 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 individual comparison reports, comparing the candidate to the reference model.
One of the characteristics of the project was the fast execution time. The models of reference were created in January 2001. 400 employees were informed about the project, of which 140 used the iWAM self-assesment facility over a period of 6 weeks starting mid-february. 48 persons choose to apply for the project. By the end of April the interviews had taken place and people were informed whether their application was withheld.