We Live our Lives Based on What we Want to Avoid

By Dr. Ron Bonnstetter

We’ve been told our whole lives to go after what we want. What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want for dinner? What do you want to do this weekend?

Even though it’s good to know what you want, our research is showing that our brains are more decisive on what we don’t want and do not like. And, that makes sense. Think of when go you to a restaurant. You look at the menu and see a plethora of things that you would like, but there are always a few things that you definitely will not eat. You may ask your family what they’re getting or ask the waiter to help narrow down your choices, but you know what dishes you will avoid.

Almost two years ago, we started conducting brain research using EEG and we quickly began learning that our brains have opinions on all nouns and adjectives. That opinion can be positive, negative or both, which often shows confliction in your brain and leads to an uncertain feeling. Our EEG protocol reads these opinions from the subconscious in a fraction of a second. There’s no time for the conscious mind to deliberate about the meaning and feelings behind each word. We measure gut reactions – how you really feel deep down inside.

This research is changing the way we do business here at TTI. The research coming out of our Center for Applied Cognitive Research is showing that more weight should be given to what we say we are not and the traits we say we definitely do not possess.

We have recently improved our behaviors and motivators assessments to include issues that our brain wishes us to avoid.

Human Resources CAN Innovate with TTI’s Job Benchmarking System

By: Ashley Bowers, President of TTI Performance Systems, Ltd.

A couple of days ago Bloomberg Businessweek posted an article entitled “Why HR Can’t Innovate,” and it’s already sparked some spirited comments about – and from – human resources professionals. In the article, the author takes the time to catalog the many ways recruiters and hiring managers are failing at securing qualified talent in a list she calls “How to Hire an Empty Suit.” While perhaps intended to be playful and spark controversy, as a leader in the talent management industry with a 92% retention rate with talent acquired via our patented job benchmarking process, we at TTI Performance Systems would like to offer our own guidance.

How to Hire a Superior Performer:

  • Prior to writing a job description and posting an opening, have you identified the specific behavior styles, motivating factors and skills that the job requires? How will you ensure that the candidates you review are truly qualified to succeed in your company? When it comes to talent acquisition, the number one resource any hiring manager should be using is a job benchmark. With a properly implemented job benchmarking technique, you’ll save time and money by hiring the right people the first time and reducing the learning curve with new employees who are strategically matched to be successful in your organization.
  • To create a job benchmark, it’s important to gather a group of subject-matter experts. These are people who understand how the job should be done, and may include managers who have been in the job before and/or top performers who are currently in the same role. While certain leaders may desire to be involved in the talent acquisition process, it’s extremely important that the individuals creating the job benchmark are people who are very familiar with the day-to-day activities of the position. It’s common for a president or CEO of a company to be acquainted with the goals and desired outcomes of a position without fully understanding the steps a superior performer will take to achieve those goals.
  • In an interactive session, the identified subject-matter experts will then come together to identify the key accountabilities of the job. Moderated and managed by a TTI-certified associate, the group will focus on the main contributions the holder of the position makes to the organization, thus avoiding a laundry list of tasks and assignments. This ensures you are able to distill the crucial elements of the role. By the time this part of the process is complete, the team will have created a comprehensive, yet succinct, group of three to five final key accountabilities that can and will be prioritized, weighed and ultimately measured.
  • Through a multifaceted job report, the job benchmarking team will individually complete an assessment while keeping in mind the three to five key accountabilities. Once those individual reports are reviewed and merged, the final report will illustrate a clear picture of the job.
  • At this point, anyone can be compared against the job benchmark. As personal assessments are administered, results will appear in a Gap Report that recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of each individual, as pertaining to the job, and even include recommended interview questions. As hiring managers review applicants, they won’t have to question, “Can this person do the job?” Instead, they’ll be able to focus on selecting the best person to do the job at that company.

3 Silver Bullets to Hiring the Best

By Bill Bonnstetter

For years, companies have been searching for a “silver bullet” when it comes to hiring superior performers for specific jobs. Increasingly as of late, we are hearing hiring managers from large companies complain, “I cannot find anyone to fill these empty positions.” Perhaps it is not the available workforce that is letting them down. Instead, it could be the outdated hiring methods still being used by those in charge of hiring.

Times have changed, and so have hiring techniques. No longer can those who hire rely on the old rubrics of education and experience as the one-two-punch of uncovering ideal candidates. If education and experience always leads to superior performance, then all people with an education and experience would be successful. We know not all lawyers, doctors, nurses and CPAs are successful even though they have degrees and certificates that demonstrate proficiency. It is estimated that a majority – some research states as high as 80 percent — of all people hired are interviewed based on education and experience. According to hiring website Monster.com, a tendency to hire sales people based on experience alone most likely means hiring managers are side-stepping the hard work of developing and training staff properly.

Hiring managers or business owners who instead adopt a multi-dimensional view of resumes and candidates are more likely to hire the correct people.

People have many different attributes and talents such as behavior, skills, motivators, education, experience and worldviews that will predispose them to success in a given job. The first step – before hiring begins – is to reflect on what this job will require. Create a comprehensive list of these skills, talents and attributes, not based on a person but based on the job itself. Think about what the job would say, if it could talk. Use these attributes as the main screening factors.

Once that is complete, load up on these three (silver) bullet items:

Analyze behaviors – What behaviors do your candidates routinely engage in? Every job is unique and can require a different set of behaviors. Sales people should have a degree of competitiveness that might show up in the interview by pointing out past achievements or through a participation in sports. Other behaviors such as decisiveness or analytical thinking can also be ferreted out during screening, and can be major advantages to the job as you’ve defined it.

Understand motivators – Is your candidate motivated by financial success? These types of people are best in sales or commission type positions. By helping others or making other people better? Consider these types of candidates better for an inside sales or customer service role.

Assess personal skills – Is your candidate passionate about continuous learning? Then a role as a social media manager or a researcher, which both require constant inquiry and learning in a fast-paced setting, might be the best fit.

While just these three silver bullet approaches will help increase the likelihood of hiring a person ideally suited to your position, the more aspects you can screen, the better your company’s hiring will become. Investing in the process of hiring with your time and patience will ultimately pay off with better hires, who are more suited to success and superior performance on the job. In addition, with these employees in place, companies will have lower turnover and experience less lost income associated with dipping retention.

Finally, instead of lamenting the lack of quality candidates, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to say, “I’ve found perfect candidates for each of my open positions!”

Multiple Assessments Needed to Hire the Right Person

By Dr. Ron Bonnstetter

If you could hire the right person for the right job nearly every time, would you? Of course! Hiring the wrong person for a position wastes both time and money. Many times companies only look at behaviors and motivators for selection when in reality soft skills are a vital key in identifying the perfect hire.

Research shows that using only one assessment will not get you the right person for the job. In fact, the odds of a company finding the right candidate using only one assessment is only slightly better than flipping a coin. When two assessments are used, those odds increase to 84% and when three are used, the probability jumps to more than 92%.In fact, a Fortune 500 company recently conducted an internal study which found that if they had used multiple assessments instead of just one for their hiring needs, they would have eliminated 97% of their “bad hires” in the last year.

To avoid this mistake, first you need to take a look at what the job calls for. What skills, behaviors and motivators are necessary to get the job done? Once you have defined this, you can more easily decide which assessments to use to find the perfect fit.