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08 28 2013

Hiring Employees: The Four Requirements

Business Management Consulting, Business Success, Corporate Therapy, Effective Performance Evaluations, Staff Development for Profit

August 2013


Most people look at previous employment history and skill sets to decide on candidate selection. Although past history and skills can be decent indicators of future work, it is far wiser to look at this process through a different set of lenses. Each job actually calls for four major areas to be looked into before a candidate can be considered a good fit. To add value to your organization, be a good return on your investment and for them to be successful so that a long-term professional relationship develops, the four areas to consider are:

1. Company or department culture

2. Behaviors the candidate will need to posses to successfully complete job requirements

3. The actual skill set required to successfully complete the job

4. What does the organization or department need in terms of a team member to help them mature, evolve and be more successful?

Begin with the big picture and look at the culture of the department or organization a candidate will be coming into. The essential elements of culture are invisible, but learning about yours is paramount when making a decision to bring another person into this elusive mix. A brief and over simplified description of culture is: It’s how things are done in your company, the rights and rituals, company climate, reward system, basic values and the shared assumptions that a group has made in learning how to successfully deal with external tasks and cope with internal relationships. Next in line are the behaviors required for this person to be successful.

Behaviors are attributes of a person’s personality, which will increase their probability for success or failure within a certain culture and job. Behaviors cannot be taught; typically people are born with certain behavioral patterns and as one ages they tend to adjust but don’t typically change due to training. For instance, you may want to hire a salesperson. The behaviors that top your list are:

1. Ability to communicate easily with others 2. Make people comfortable 3. Copes easily with rejection, doesn’t take it personally and moves on to the next client 4. Provides information and closes the deal without coming across as “pushy” or “arrogant”

Skills on the other hand, are learned competencies, which can be generally achieved regardless of one’s behavioral set. In other words, keyboard proficiency, understanding computer programs, the ability to learn and explain sales features and benefits are all skills that can be learned through systematic acquisition of information and practice. And last, what type of person does your department need to maximize its strengths?

The last question, and in many ways the most critical and overlooked is, what does the department need, from a human and systemic standpoint, to improve and excel as a unified team? For instance, do you have a department that is mainly full of young get-it-done types who could benefit from a slightly older more methodical type who could add stability to the unit? Or perhaps, there is a group of older people who tend to be set in their ways and need someone with enthusiasm who can jump start your department. Obviously these are extreme examples but you get the idea. What does your team need to grow and expand; someone from the inside, not a manager?

Years ago, I worked on a consulting project with a large multinational corporation. One of the areas that needed guidance was the IT department. The Information Technology department employed eighteen techs that were under the age of thirty-five and two that were fifty-eight to sixty two, but no one who could bridge the gap, including the 48-year-old director of IT. Candidate (1) was around the age of 38, had less technical skill but was worldly, mature, had owned a business and knew what responsibility and internal and external customer service meant. He turned out to be the best fit because he could speak to both the younger set and older techs. In addition, he had a calming effect over the whole department and brought an element of moderation that was lacking. Candidate (2) had a better skill set and looked better on paper, but was more of the same; he wouldn’t have added anything new to the department except another pair of hands. By hiring candidate (1) we received another pair of hands, but more importantly, we hired a person who helped this department expand and grow to the next level of efficiency. So to answer your question, you are looking for someone who can add value to the whole organization, not just fill a spot for the moment so everyone can get back to work ASAP.

As you can see, adding a new person to your organization can be a short sighted quick fix of finding a body to fill a slot or it can be part of a systematized approach to building your company that will separate you from the competition. To recap look at:

  • locating the right person who fits in with your culture
  • has the right mix of personality and behaviors that will help your team stretch and grow
  • has the required skill sets to be successful in the position
  • someone who can help you take your team from where they are to where they need to be by adding something special because of their behaviors, personality and/or unique approach to your business and industry.

Taking the extra time to make the best choice will save you from having increased rates of attrition, high training costs and personality difficulties, which may lead to costly litigation in the future. Good luck and be choosy.

Kelly Graves, CEO
The Corporate Therapist
Cell: 1.530.321.5309
Toll-Free: 1.800.704.3785
Office: 1.530.321.5309
Internal Business Solutions, Inc.™

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Posted by at 10:59 AM

08 19 2013

Customized Executive Assessment Coaching & Pre-Hire Selection Package

Business Management Consulting, Communication Issues, Corporate Therapy, Effective Performance Evaluations, Leadership Development/ Executive Coaching, Rapid Customized Executive Assessment Package, Staff Development for Profit

August 2013


This is where you are, but… THIS is where you WANT to be…
  • Assessment tools are so generic they produce non-specific and unreliable results.
  • No implementation piece results in rapidly fading benefits.
  1. Customized assessment tools produce results that are highly reliable and customized to your firm.
  2. Results will include specific feedback on individual strengths in key leadership competencies, as well as recommended areas for professional development.
  3. Long-term usability permits cost-effective repeat implementation.
  • There is no connection between assessments and ongoing training or staff development.
  1. A customized assessment tool and process for coaching and developing your executives are solidly in place.
  2. Return on investment can be clearly measured.
  • Assessment results are fun, cute, or random, rather than based on specific competency criteria.
  1. Your organization has clearly defined competency criteria.
  2. Your customized assessment process will assist the organization’s decision makers with predicting and selecting future executives who will be the best match for your departments or divisions.
  • Assessment data do not inform decision makers in ways that support the organizational goals.
  1. Your assessment process creates a road map of information. When used by your organization’s training department or Board of Directors, it will accurately inform decisions about diagnosing, planning, and delivering highly specific and relevant training opportunities needed by your entire executive team.


Our customized approach to assessing the developmental needs of your management team is designed to provide you the essential tools for choosing new executives and defining the strengths of your current executives.

Our approach is unique in that we assess executives not just by looking at isolated traits, skills, and interests from a battery of generic assessments, but by analyzing actual behaviors, thoughts and patterns such as the dynamic interplay between the executives he or she will be working with, the culture he or she will be required to become a part of and the organizational setting including behavioral expectations, pace and stress factors. Research has shown that this approach is much more cost effective than having to “terminate” or “live-with-it” later. This has proven to be a vital step in assisting an organization to build its successful executive community.

Benefits to Executives

Our package includes an assessment of your current executive team, your culture and spoken and unspoken values; (on rare occasions depending on the type of organization and people within it; personality tests), face-to-face interviews, observations, and group as well as one-on-one feedback sessions. The specific recommendations that emerge from my assessment reports benefit both the individual being considered, the current executive team and the organization:

  1. Leadership chooses the correct personality for their specific type of executive team, culture and organizational objectives.
  2. The leadership team looks at skills and work history. I observe behaviors and look past the conscious verbal answers into the deeper and more elusive yet honest subconscious. It is here where we will significantly improve our odds of understanding how they work, make decisions, lead and manage people, deal with stress and communicate.
  3. Candidates as well as current executives make immediate positive adjustments to their leadership and management skills and style.
  4. Team leaders use results to achieve their objectives and create a clear, long-term road map to improve overall management skills, collaborative methods, and leadership qualities.

Contact me now so we can discuss your challenges, refine your objectives, and zero-in on your options:

Kelly Graves, CEO
The Corporate Therapist
Cell: 1.530.321.5309
Toll-Free: 1.800.704.3785
Office: 1.530.321.5309
Internal Business Solutions, Inc.™

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