May 19

Focus on the Data that Brings the Greatest ROI


By Chuck Coker

Let’s use the example of information you can gather to fill in the column on ‘Assessments and Talent Management’ for the rubric on the previous blog. Most companies focus on data that does not bring comparatively strong ROI. If you analyze the information above you will see the first thing a manager needs to know about candidates, is whether or not they match the job description, and if they can bring to you a mentality needed for excellence.
While this appears to be somewhat elementary, you can see roughly half of marketing managers are looking for what they need in a employee. When a manager uncovers a good match, he/she will immediately settle the competency questions, and allow themselves their first look into the employee’s character.

As you move down the chart you can see that interest indexes are the second-most effective tools available. A employee’s interests provide a ‘heads up’ to the marketing manager so they can identify possible competencies that the employee may possess. If there is an interest in aligned skills the employee needs to be directed toward learning or mentoring opportunities that will allow them to expand a knowledge base into those areas.

For example, if you have a employee that is very objective, you do not want to focus them on development of creative or conceptual marketing aspects. They are much more suited for research and data analysis. If you do not understand the mental priorities of how employees approach issues, you will never be able to maximize their potential.

The third-most effective aid is an abilities indicator. Most psychometricians believe they will become more widely used in the future as more leaders understand the value in the information they provide. These ability indicators come in two forms – competencies and capacities.

You will find with each that about 23-25 different skill sets can be measured. Competencies, such as problem solving, self-management, resiliency and interpersonal skills, provide information on where the individual has attained certain levels of competence. Both intra-personal and interpersonal skills are measured and graded as follows:

1. Well-developed

2. Developed

3. Moderately developed

4. Needs development

Competency measurement helps you identify current skill levels. Here is an example of how they can be illustrated (collectively) based in the individual’s scores:



Capacities, on the other hand, identify the range of capacity an individual has in a certain area. They illustrate where a person has the aptitude to perform. It is not designed to measure specifically where the person is right now or where they will perform each and every time – it’s just where they have an ability to grow and develop. The most important thing for you to remember is that this tool can alert you to the bright and upcoming stars of the future.

Capacities must be developed, not simply assigned. You must identify how the person learns best and then focus their attention on growth in a manner that will expand the capacities, not confuse them. Capacities are measured and compared to national norms (individually).

The most commonly used tools by companies are personality assessments, which only provide 39% effectiveness according to Personnel Psychology Magazine. They are frequently used by organizations who want to help employees better communicate, and see if they can find something in common with their peers. They are common as part of a training that exposes the department or organization to behavioral-type profiles. The sessions are designed to tell you about yourself, and show you a graphic representation to help you compare yourself to others.

What they normally do NOT do is help you see how the information can be used on a daily basis – there is no application. Organizational leaders have learned that personality profiles can be helpful if used properly, perhaps as a benchmark for specific jobs.

(According to surveys, 80% of employees have completed personality profiles.)

About the author 

Chuck Coker

For more than 30 years, Chuck has focused his career on people's development. He has implemented proprietary Personal Formation, Human Capital, Talent Management, and incentive-based programs across a broad scope of Fortune Companies, regional organizations, and educational institutions.


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