Author Archives: Alun Rowe

  1. Talent Management Solutions – A Strategic Approach

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    CIPD research tells us that only 8% of HR professionals are satisfied with the way they deal with talent management and yet talent attraction, development and retention is high on the agenda of most progressive HR professionals.

    One of the challenges for HR Directors is establishing a talent management solution which gives real, progressive data on attracting, developing and retaining the best talent in a cost effective manner. Until now measuring the very things that make people good at their job, ie, the things they enjoy doing, have not been measurable in any robust or non-subjective way so making a business case for introducing development plans can be a tough call for even the best of HR Directors. Faced with measurable business cases from finance, sales and marketing, IT and operations HR initiatives can often fall under the radar due largely to a lack of measurability. Aspects that are measurable are often administrative by nature – holiday records, salary pay scales, overtime hours and so on. But what of those that aren’t perceived to be measurable? These often fall into the ‘pink and fluffy’ category simply because measurement has been a challenge. Making a business case is difficult and measuring the success of any development initiative can be a challenge.

    So what if HR professionals were in a position to measure on an individual, team and organisational basis, 175 aspects of business success such as –

    • Ability to take initiative
    • Optimism
    • Ability to analyse pitfalls
    • Inclination to experiment
    • Inclination to take risks
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Ability to influence
    • Frankness
    • Diplomacy
    • Desire for self-improvement
    • Levels of self-acceptance

    What if they can measure such traits in relation to specific roles, organisational and/or team values, behavioural competencies, benchmarking excellent performance, maintaining a talent pipeline, succession planning, career development and placing graduate/wp-contentrentice talent? How different would Board meetings be if HR could produce statistics to support business cases for development in specific areas and to measure the success of such initiatives.

    The Harrison Assessment Talent Management System can do just this and here is how.

    • The central driver of the HATS system is the SmartQuestionnaire™ – the result of over 30 years of research by Dr Dan Harrison into what makes people successful at work. Its focus on working preferences makes it much easier to interpret and more flexible than other assessments.
    • HATS records all in one place the working preferences, ie the success factors over and above qualifications and experience, of the entire workforce as well as any prospective employees. It does this by completion of a robust and accurate SmartQuestionnaire™ and provides a fresh and up-to-date pipeline of talent.
    • HATS has over 6,500 job profiles on the system against which to measure the suitability factors of prospective candidates for a role. These are flexible and can be designed for the organisation’s individual and specific requirements. Including suitability factors as well as eligibility factors for a role will increase the predictive success rate from 40-45% using just eligibility factors to nearer 90-95%. Many organisations will pay an external talent seeker an average of 15-20% of salary to fill some roles – a high price to pay for only a 40-45% success rate! One HR Director told me recently that to find 12 young graduates for their graduate training scheme cost a total of £100,000.
    • There is a range of reports to use for development for individuals and their managers as well as teams.
    • Employees can be encouraged to take responsibility for their own career development through the talent readiness part of the system.
    • The data drawn from the system puts HR in an excellent position to build a business case for development for individuals, teams and/or groups and the results of such development are now clearly measurable – no more guess work or subjective reasoning – just clear and accurate data pushing HR talent solution initiatives up the list of Board level priorities.

    HATS is designed for maximum customer effectiveness

    There is no license fee and installation is quick and cost effective – training and consultancy packages are available from Quadrant 1 International on +44 (0)7768 922244 – a much better investment than a license fee.

    A typical package may include –

    • Installation of system and 6 days consultancy spread throughout the to be used for training up to 6 people to use the system, support with campaign designs, benchmarking exercises and/or cultural measurement, setting up the talent readiness system, consultancy on dissecting the data to support business cases as appropriate.
    • Design 6 job specific suitability profiles for recruitment campaigns and/or talent readiness programme
    • 1,000 HATS units – enough to fully profile 166 managers or measure 1,000 people against a baseline profile. More can be added as and when required.
    • After the first year customers can choose to continue with consultancy from Quadrant 1 but by this time customers are generally self-sufficient and the only cost then is in purchasing additional units.

    After the first year customers can choose to continue with consultancy from Quadrant 1 but by this time customers are generally self-sufficient and the only cost then is in purchasing additional units.

  2. How do you measure company values?

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    4In our role as development consultants to organisations we see many different cultures – some highly effective, some not so. The interesting thing about a culture is the way it evolves – a strong leader or leaders, the development of best practice, a strong set of company values, intense promotion of the brand and what it stands for or maybe something else. As Peter Cheese, the chief executive of the CIPD, reported in a recent article –

    Culture in the workplace is among the biggest challenges facing organisations and their leaders.

    The culture will often attract like-minded people and those that don’t buy into it seek employment elsewhere. When a culture becomes restrictive, or is causing the organisation to lag behind its competitors or has become financially unviable there are attempts to change the culture but how? Even where a culture is healthy and strong it can be difficult to measure individual compliance. It’s not uncommon to take a look around a workplace where values are displayed for all to see yet observe behaviours which bear no relation to them at all. An example of this is a company with a high value around communication. So high was this value that everyone in the organisation was focused on communicating just about everything to everybody, clogging up email inboxes. Often the communication was one way and there was an obvious lack of focus on the results of the communication. As long as communication had taken place, job done!

    So how do you measure values?

    Behind every value is a set of behavioural traits. If you can determine the behavioural expectations that are linked with the values then measurement can be a simple process. Dan Harrison has spent over 20 years studying what makes people successful in their roles. Besides being eligible in terms of qualifications and experience, success is the result of a number of suitability factors – working preferences, motivations, interpersonal skills, interests, work values and attitudes. Harrison Assessments is designed specifically to assess success in the workplace based on enjoyment theory: the more we enjoy what we do, the more successful we will be and the more we are likely to commit to our role. The online SmartQuestionnaire™ has a consistency rating which ensures a very high degree of accuracy and cross matches 175 traits based on the suitability factors mentioned above.

    It’s a simple process!

    • Outline cultural expectations in line with organisational values
    • Work with Quadrant 1 to produce a cultural profile
    • Ask all employees to take the SmartQuestionnaire™
    • Run results for each person against the profile

    To fully integrate cultural values consider including the Harrison traits into your appraisal document. This ensures that performance is appraised and behaviour continually aligned with values.


    • Highly motivated staff that know exactly what is expected of them
    • The opportunity to have conversations around attitudes and working preferences which may previously have been avoided
    • Opportunities for development
    • The opportunity to pick up mismatches before engaging staff who may leave due to cultural discomfort thus saving all the associated costs of re-recruitment

Quadrant 1 International