Sunday, November 6, 2011

Goalscape for HR; by Richard Parslow of Goalscape

Goalscape is ideal for many HR applications: recruitment, skills and competencies profiling, goal-oriented management and reviews

Recruitment and skills profiling

Hiring, training and retaining the right people are all essential for running a successful business. 

The people who excel at HR and recruitment are very perceptive judges of skills, character and the often-nebulous criterion 'best fit'.  This is usually the result of careful attention to the job specification: establishing the requirements and agreeing their relative importance, then accurately assessing applicants on every aspect.

Extracting a good job specification is a skill in itself.  Managers may have a concept of the ideal candidate, yet find it difficult to express; or they may omit to mention vital aspects because they consider them ‘obvious’.  And if more than one person is involved in the hiring it is even trickier, especially if a senior decision-maker is not going to be present at the interviews.

Evaluating applicants is demanding too, relying in the early stages on Resumes (CVs), previous work (if available) and perhaps personal recommendations from trusted sources.  Face-to-face interviews can be even trickier: social bias (or “beauty contest syndrome”) can take over, so the interviewer chooses the person (s)he likes most, almost regardless of other factors. 

This is the basis of the oft-repeated statistic that interviewers decide within 5 minutes (sometimes less!) whether to hire someone.  While this sometimes works out well, it can cause problems later… and it may even have brought down empires!

Goalscape ‘smart jobspecs’

With Goalscape anyone can easily produce a ‘smart’ job specification that precisely matches all the key requirements.  Because it is extremely fast, all the decision-makers can be involved at an early stage to ensure that nothing vital is omitted and everyone agrees what makes the ideal candidate. 

The manager makes a first draft that covers the specific skills and experience profile for the role.  Senior managers can contribute their ideas – perhaps to check that candidates’ personal goals align with corporate goals or to express a preference about experience in areas not directly related to the role.  Even the team members can contribute to the final specification: team cohesion is vital.

Crucially the Goalscape representation incorporates an agreed assessment or the relative importance of each skill, experience and personality trait.  This automatically applies a weighting to the candidates’ scores in each area.

The screenshot below is a real job specification, which we posted on the web when we were looking for a Data Services Developer.  In this screenshot the ‘Basic Computer Science’ skill is selected, to illustrate the additional detail in the Notes field.

Note that each element has its own section under this skill, each with its own relative importance set. 

The interviewers enter the applicants’ scores for each skill (either on the basis of written submissions and test scores, or interview, or both) as Progress. In producing the overall rating (ie Progress in the Main Goal), Goalscape automatically applies the agreed weightings.  So the person with the highest overall score just is the best candidate, according to the agreed specification!  This supports an analytical approach and reduces the influence of social bias. 

Below is a screenshot of the completed goalscape for the successful applicant (who has since been extremely successful in the role).