Trust is the cornerstone for all good business relationships. No deal will proceed in the absence of Trust, and nothing grows without it: No hiring, no scale, no sales, no mergers, no fundraising, no increase in value. While most of us perceive or feel Trust, many of us have not figured out how to quantify or measure it in our colleagues; all we can sense is something feeling “off.” How can you systematically identify what element of Trust is missing?
I had a recent conversation with a client, which evolved into a discussion about Trust. Trust fuels and feeds all relationships, and while certain behaviors build Trust, others diminish Trust. We discussed a formula he uses to identify and develop Trust in working relationships, which I thought to be very clever and decided to experiment with it. For the next two weeks, I would use this equation for all people I encountered to determine whether or not I could build a Trust relationship.
Some of us think we know what to look for, such as a lack of transparency, facts not adding up, false timelines, body language, etc. These are not all readily quantifiable or consistently reliable determinants and do not fully cover how Trust is developed and measured in human relationships.
Let’s first take a look at all the elements of trustworthiness in humans. Credibility, reliability, ability to be vulnerable, and how other-oriented people behave.
Credibility is relatively straightforward and easy to identify in people – I this person who they say they are? Are they forthright?
Reliability is based upon capability plus willingness. Will this person do what they say they will do? Is this person able to do what they say they can do?
Intimacy is the person’s willingness and ability to be emotionally open to being emotionally vulnerable. Does this person share their feelings openly with others?
Self-orientation or other orientation. Is this person patient with others? Do they have an awareness of the impact of their words and behaviors on others? Does this person clearly communicate expectations and goals to others so that others are not guessing.
The trust equation looks like this:
Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy
The higher the self-orientation, the lower the Trust, and the more other-oriented, the higher the Trust. The higher the credibility, reliability, and emotional intimacy, the higher the Trust.
When interviewing, we verify the work history and accomplishments to validate credibility and reliability. We look at emotional awareness and demonstration of certain character traits to determine how each candidate demonstrates leadership.
For example, when assessing a candidate, we choose a few questions – we do not directly ask all these questions. Instead, we use them to think through information after the interview.
Does this person demonstrate humility? How? What was their most significant failure or biggest lesson, and under what circumstances did they learn it?
Is this person curious? Do I believe that this person will be gentle enough to ask questions in a nonthreatening way to get the best answers? Will this person look for what people are not telling them?
Trust is the cornerstone of business fitness. I would be interested to hear how you determine Trust in your relationships and what has and has not worked for you, and your biggest lessons around developing and sustaining Trust.
We are all needing to advance our businesses in a pandemic. We have progressed through the initial panic, and rearrangement of how we do business remotely. We have figured out how to be both effective and efficient work away from the office. Now we need to hire people to move our businesses forward. What steps can you take to make sure your hire is a great one, especially when you cannot physically meet them?
Here is an 8 step process that have worked for our clients:
- Write a position description that identifies the top 10 objectives to accomplish in the near term. Use this as a template to score candidate skills strengths to the role.
- Know your team’s core attributes and abilities. Whar is your team’s communication style? Ask yourself, when interviewing the candidate. Does this person compliment my team?
- Expand your interview jury. Make sure all key stakeholders, and at least one board of directors’ member are involved in the interviewing process. Investigate all concerns.
- Take your time, you can be selective, but do let the candidate know that the process is going to take longer than usual as this is a KEY HIRE for your organization.
- Zoom/Video interviews are very important tools. You will be able to identify most strengths and weaknesses and communication habits in your candidates.
- Reference checks – be sure to use a 360degree approach. At least one, preferably two people in each category: supervisors (board of director if a CEO) peers, subordinates, and a customer (commercial or clinical roles). The point here is to verify what you already know, it is a bonus if you get more information.
- Use an assessment tool – Ipsative are best – one that will grade skills (including leadership) on a curve. You can have an assessment custom built for the role, and it is not that expensive. Think of it as an insurance policy.
- A good recruiter. We know good talent and fit when we see it. We often have many candidates in our pool that we have worked with or met over the years and can quickly assess whether there will be a good fit or not.
Feel free to reach out to me if you think I can help to identify great talent for you or help you design an assessment tool for better hires. Thank you for reading my blog, and please send any comments or insights my way.
By the time we reach the executive ranks, we have all participated in assessments: DISC, Myers-Briggs (MBTI), StrengthsFinder, etc. The problem with these assessments is that they are Ipsative, and unless the person has a high degree of self-awareness, these assessments tend to produce variable outcomes. The results can be swayed by the emotional state of the person taking them ( ie if they had a bad day) and because of the variable emotional state, the results will be skewed. The other problem is that these assessments, by definition, are how a person sees themselves, and therefore with limited objectivity.
Ipsative assessments are useful tools for team building within a company because they often identify how people approach conflict. However, Ipsative assessments should NEVER be used in hiring because the results are variable, and therefore, cannot be defended against discriminatory hiring practices. Also, because the outcomes from these assessments are not consistent, the results WILL NOT correlate to other candidates, and cannot be applied to and used to compare one candidate to another.
So, what assessment tools can you apply when you want to calibrate talent to a role, compare one candidate to another, or assess leadership capabilities? In addition, with remote interviewing via video providing limited information, who wouldn’t want to know as much as they could about the candidate’s capacity?
The assessment tool you want to use for hiring and leadership capability is called Normative Assessments. These assessment results are graded on a bell curve of actual character measurements. The measurements are based upon questions that are scientifically proven to assess certain qualities and character traits.
Some of the things we measure in leadership candidates include assertiveness, decision-making style, stress management, sense of urgency, team, ability to follow rules or process, detail orientation, introvert/extrovert. Additionally, these tests are taken online and in private – the person taking them has set aside time and is relaxed.
Because of the private nature of the delivery method, the Normative assessment is not subject to interpretation by the filtering bias of the interviewer. You get a picture of the “real person” – who the candidate truly is. The best news is that the assessment requires only 15-30 min of the candidate’s time. Results are emailed privately to you – and the results are accurate, reliable, backed by science, and objective.
The assessment provider I work with has over 8000 assessment tests and can determine many innate character traits, and capabilities. We can custom design an assessment tool for any role in your organization.
Most recently, this assessment provider also has created a tool to determine who will work productively from home. For example, the average company has a workforce that consists of 33% of people who will work highly productively when remote, 33% of the people will need support to be effective, and another 33% will struggle and require significant support in order to have the same productivity as in the office. Wouldn’t you want to know who needs help and what sort of help they require?
Please reach out to us to learn more about executive hiring or assessments and how they can be used to determine who will perform well in your company and how to get the most from your teams and how to design assessment tools to build strengths with your teams.
How do you know you are hiring the very best? To really KNOW, you need to calibrate candidates against a large pool of similar candidates. Some people are very good at selling themselves in interviews, but when it comes to actual work performance they fail. In executive recruiting terms we call these people “empty suits” – all fluff, no substance.
Each company is unique in some way: business challenges, communication channels, technology, culture, leadership style, and goals. You can create a position description containing minimum requirements to filter candidates. Even then, most top performers, the people you really want, will be engaged in a role, performing well and have significant incentives to remain in their current position. Additionally, top performers will also resist the risk of changing to a new company, and new manager. So, knowing all of this, how will you know you have a great candidate who will perform well for you and your company?
Skills and abilities are a common way to evaluate people. Many people are very good at executing. The question is: who will perform in your company? Who will be motivated and confident with your challenges and works well with you and your team?
If you have worked with stellar performers before, then you can calibrate against that experience. What if you haven’t? What if you are leading your first start-up or leading a new division in your company? Will the same person who was successful for you before be able to perform well in your environment? How will you know? Is there a test you can perform to ensure success?
What is difficult to assess is whether or not the candidate possesses the right leadership capacity, values, work ethic, communication and the ability to execute in your company under your circumstances. Each company is unique, and while situations are similar, business climate is in a constant state of flux.
How do you define this? Can you articulate your vision for the company and how teams work together? Can you articulate your team’s communication style? Defining your unique challenges often outlines gaps in team capability, and is a good starting point to identify your needs and what to hire for. What is your mission? How are your mission and values demonstrated in the behaviors of the team?
Developing a clear picture up front of the “who” you want, will go a long way to finding someone who can execute well for you. After all, when hiring a C-Suite candidate you need someone who can lead and execute to take your company to the next level and beyond.
Vice President of Manufacturing
Steve joins Cala Health with 19 years of experience in manufacturing and operations. Steve has a long history of developing manufacturing teams, ramping production, and the supply chain in step with increased sales. Steve’s strengths include developing company culture, engaging team members at all levels to reduce waste and increase efficiency through continuous improvement. Also leading production, manufacturing engineering, service, purchasing, materials and logistics teams.
Welcome to the Cala Health team!
Cala Health is a bioelectronic medicine company transforming the standard of care for chronic disease. The company’s wearable neuromodulation therapies merge innovations in neuroscience and technology to deliver individualized peripheral nerve stimulation, and its vertically integrated commercial model is reshaping the delivery of prescription therapies. Cala Health’s lead product, Cala Trio™, is the only non-invasive prescription therapy for essential tremor. New therapies are under development in neurology, cardiology and psychiatry. The company is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and backed by leading investors in both healthcare and technology.
LinkedIn is a great tool all seasoned recruiters and hiring managers use to identify potential talent. But, like a resume, LinkedIn profiles are a self promotion tool, not a list of accomplishments, results, failures and lessons but rather a marketing tool, limited to career highlights used by people to promote themselves. Just like a resume, LinkedIn profiles are marketing pieces used by candidates to stand out.
Leadership Candidates often hire consultants to create content for their LinkedIn profiles. You only see what people want you to see on their LinkedIn profile. These profiles are limiting and you can’t assess a whole person from what is presented in a LinkedIn profile alone.
Resumes suffer from the same limitation -they are tools to market ones’ skills. While there may be some truth to what is written, it needs to be investigated and verified when you meet in person.
A phone interview will give you some indication of capacity, energy, how the candidate communicates and thinks. Yet, this too is a partial assessment.
An in person interview, allows you to assess chemistry, learn how this person communicates, how they think, solve problems and work within a team. You will be able to assess energy level, judgment and some leadership capabilities. You need to meet candidates more than once and in different circumstances to be able to assess them fully. References are often the best source for information.
This is why it is important to meet people in personal and formally interview and evaluate them. You want to have a feel for WHO they are as a person.
Items to Investigate in the interview:
- Timelines – Did the candidate perform well at their previous position?
- What challenges did the business overcome? What specific contributions did the candidate make?
- Investigate the details of what the person actually did with whom and what resulted.
- How does this person specifically motivate and lead?
- What accomplishments are they most proud of?
This is part of the value a seasoned recruiter brings to you and your company. We understand how the right people influence the success of a company. We follow strong performing companies and their key players.
Strong recruiters also develop relationships with great leadership performers, much like following top athletes on professional sports teams. Furthermore, recruiters spend most of their time vetting and calibrating talent. We assess people and vet them to separate the wheat from the chaff, and only present top performers to our clients.