Having spent a career hiring executive talent , it seems like all the new age tools for profiling and assessing candidates should make hiring a lot easier and improve overall success. My experience suggests the new tools do help early identify the candidates NOT to pursue but making final selections can still carry some angst in the process.
Netting out what I have learned, in layman’s terms, is not very complicated. First, leadership is a situational event. There is no one-size-fits-all profile that can drop into any opportunity and produce success. What works in one situation is never a guarantee of future performance in a similar role. As such, the obsession with “10+ years of industry experience” is totally overrated.
Second, the talent spectrum is essentially a continuum from SMART to SAVVY. The goal is to first figure out what blend (profile) is required to be successful in the role being filled. Let’s start with some clarifications: The SMART end candidates have a strategic focus with high level intellectual capabilities. They are more data-oriented, deep dive-type players with a long term focus. Their view is good process executed correctly will produce positive results. Moving to the other end of the spectrum, the SAVVY candidate is more tactical with real time perceptions about people, problems and progress. They have tribal knowledge about how the world works and will address decisions based on the data available now (connect the dots, integrate under the curve, etc.) rather than wait for more data. Their view can be summarized as good people will produce positive results as long as we all are aligned on the right goals.
The candidate profile question starts with: What is the SMART/SAVVY blend (80/20, 60/40, etc.) needed to be successful in the role? Assuming you have a solid understanding of the position to peg the SMART – SAVVY mix accurately, today’s assessment tools can deliver better fit candidates for all performance-based positions. If the SMART – SAVVY profile spectrum makes sense, we can connect you with today’s assessment tools to help eliminate the angst and improve your probability of success.