Russell Jones, HR Director in "CropLogo", told CleverControl how far can companies deviate from the ideal employee’s portrait, what two ways will help you assess the honesty of a candidate and where do they offer the position of "just a nice person".
- Russell, what details should be considered when composing the profile of a successful employee?
- In the preparation of competencies profile, it is necessary to consider a number of prerequisites. A competency must be:
- easy to understand for all employees of the company;
- simple in structure, described in clear language;
- relevant for all employees who will use it;
- taking into account possible changes in the company;
- containing the indicators of behavior that do not intersect and are not duplicated;
- fair to all candidates or employees who will it be assessed according to it.
Tools that we will use to assess these competencies are also important. For example, honesty, we evaluate in two ways, the first one is testing: if an employee embellishes some things in the answers we know that he or she is not always honest. The second is the cases, the unusual questions, the answers to which manifest personal qualities.
- Give an example of a successful application of this tool from your practice? Were you able to pick employees matching the created profile?
- The profiles of competencies that exist in our company were created as a useful working tool for the selection and evaluation of employees. According to the approved profiles, we selected all Directors and Deputy Directors of all our branches. Hired employees have been working in our company for a long time and successfully handling their tasks. This is the criterion that shows that the profiles were created in line with current and strategic needs of the company.
Over the past few years, we have been constantly working to improve this tool and add some nuances. We see the results of its use: over the last three years, the turnover rate among Directors of branches has decreased significantly. In addition, we observed the growth of our employees: they know what they are required to do and where to move forward, what skills to develop to fit the perfect profile of competencies. To achieve all this, after the Assessment Centre we provide employees and their supervisors with feedback that includes the dynamic development and individual development plan. So, the profile helps us a lot in selecting candidates and working with current employees.
- What to do if you like the employee but he or she doesn't fit the profile that exists in the company?
- The main thing is values. If professional qualities are insufficient but we see the potential of the candidate and that he or she is capable of development then the lack of experience and knowledge can be compensated. However, such a candidate will be weaker than the others. Maybe the candidate is liked, maybe he or she is a really nice person, but such a position - "a nice person" - does not exist. We assess the professional qualities, if the person is willing to learn, he or she has the potential,
we can offer this candidate a position a level or two below to eventually teach him or her all the necessary skills. If the potential is low, this specialist is ineffective, no matter how good a person he or she may be there is no way for such a candidate to the company.
A competent HR does must not have the concepts of "like – dislike", the assessment should be as objective as possible. Only inexperienced HR and managers can allow this: if they are impressed by personal characteristics, they tend to appreciate the professional qualities more.
- Do you practice regular updates of profiles for each position?
- If work on the profile was made qualitatively, based on current business requirements, prospects and directions of development of the company, as a rule, regular revision and adjustment are not required. Changes should be introduced only if the strategic goals of the company, its mission and values have changed, or if the company needs different employees with different competencies - broader or entirely new ones.
- How important do you consider this tool to be in the work of an HR specialist?
- A competencies profile is a key tool by which we select staff. The profile touches on several key aspects of HR work.
First, the selection: HR has to select candidates according to certain requirements and to the competencies profile that exists in the company. Second, staff assessment: to understand whether we have “right” employees work with us, we assess the staff, and we do it with the help of the competencies profile.
Third, the development and training of staff: after staff's evaluation, we understand what we need to develop and what to invest the funds and effort into for employee training. The profile denies subjectivity and simplifies the process of assessment and selection of personnel. It is the perfect tool for the job.
We pay special attention to finding the right people, in our understanding the company is a tree, the roots of a tree are the right people, our staff, whom we need to "water", to motivate, and to correctly choose. The trunk is our processes, our technology which is governed by people. The tree branches are our clients with whom we work, interact, and collaborate. Finally, the leaves are the profit of the company, the company's money. The growth of the tree depends on the roots, so well-chosen people are the foundation and prerequisite for the prosperity of the company.
- What qualities of employees do you consider to be paramount? What can you tell us the experience of your company?
- Last year, the company approved the core values, and all the competence profiles were completed by this unit. Now, first and foremost, we look at whether the beliefs of the employee correspond with the company’s values. For an employee in our company in priority are qualities such as compassion, honesty, teamwork, development, and the interests of the customer. If these qualities are evident in the job interview process we turn to a more detailed discussion of professional competencies of the candidate.
From each employee we expect responsibility and ability to achieve results. For managers, in addition to the above qualities, it is important to be able to lead, to make choices, to think several steps ahead, and to be proactive.