Why You Need Benchmark Profiles in a Professional Search!

Sometimes the recruiting process can be a little fuzzy for business owners who need to find high-level talent. The recruiting process can even be hard to understand for other professional advisors.

Does it make sense then, to clarify certain parts of the recruiting process so the fuzziness can be removed?

One part of the recruiting process I use is outlined below.  Many owners and advisors should understand it, and how it relates to improving a business’ achievement of its mission, vision, values, and purpose.

The Purpose of Search

I start here so that owners and advisors understand the why. Why is there a need for a professional search, vs a simple request such as: See, it’s easy to just ask – “I need a VP of Operations,” and leave for others to figure it out. When I am asked to perform a a professional search I want to meet with owners and others who can inform me on a company’s mission, vision, values, and purpose , as well as informing me on how filling the position will help to accomplish the company’s objectives. To me, it’s a matter of alignment. How can the new VP of Operations help the company achieve its goals, as well as understanding the type of professional the company needs to get there?

The Company Profile

As part of the process, I work with the senior management team to help describe the company, its size, sales, employee count, location, brand, market, products and services, customer psychographics, etc. as well as a strong statement on mission, vision, values, and purpose. Perhaps this can be considered the most important aspect of the search process – ensuring that the company is properly positioned for a successful search.[1]

Develop Consensus On Position Profile

So, what type of person is needed to fill that VP of Operations? It’s here that I engage senior management in a facilitated discussion. The objective, as noted above, is understanding the type of person who will achieve the best “person-future fit.”  That is, I work with senior management to profile the most appropriate decision-making talents, motivators, and behaviors that the new VP of Operations should have. I need to understand then, what type and kinds of decisions that are required for fulfilling the job’s essential functions; and what motivators, values, and behavioral characteristics are desired for the person to achieve both those functions, and to effectively interact with other members of management, direct reports, customers, and co-workers.  Once this information is gathered, the next step is creating the benchmark profile.

The Benchmark Profile

I like to describe development of a benchmark profile by alluding to the major “buckets” or categories that will reflect a person’s characteristics. When looking at decision-making we discuss a position’s preferred external profile, for instance, should the position require someone who has a balanced profile, so that when decisions are made, the position will require engagement of all 3 thought patterns – empathy, practical thinking, and systems judgment, as well as the bias profile, that is, preferring someone who is vigilant.  Looking at motivators and values, should we be looking for someone who highly economic, aesthetic, or theoretical values? Looking at behaviors, should we be looking for someone who is highly decisive, interactive, stabilizing, or compliant?  And within each of these latter 2 profiles, we also look at point-range spreads for the position. For instance, if someone needs to have a decisive score of 75, the group can decide that it is ok for a candidate to have a range that is 25 points less or more than the preferred score.

When developing this profile, it is important to keep asking the senior management team about “fit,” including a discussion and understanding about their own “profile” for making decisions, values, and behaviors.  After all, this team will need to work closely with the selected VP of Operations.

The Search

Once all this information on the benchmark profile is developed, we now have a great sense of direction from which to start the search.  If you are interested in understanding how these profiles work take this complimentary assessment to learn your EQ.

[1] I, and others, have found in prior search processes that company representatives may say they want X to do Y, but when the search is successfully completed, the company may inform me that they really did not want to change.  Ugh,  that is what this WHY step is important.

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