Do You Have the Right People on the Bus

When Jim Collins’ team of researchers conducted their analysis of the most productive, efficient, and effective of the 126 major corporations they studied, the common denominator was that the “good to great” companies put “the right people on the bus in the right seats.”

His book, From Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, is the external validity that the best way to take your company from good to great is to select and hire peak-performing employees before pointing your bus in the right direction.

CraftSystems’ research — involving personal interviews with more than 10,000 managers and assessments on more than 1 million applicants and employees over the past 25 years — has found that you can have a quantitative impact on productivity by prioritizing your employee-selection process and putting only peak performers on your bus.

In repeated predictive validity studies, employees who “pass” our employment tests are over 100 percent more productive than those who don’t pass. In one financial services company, sales representatives with passing scores were more than 67 percent more likely to survive the first year of employment

“Right People on the Bus” Checklists

Deciding whether you have the “right people on the bus” means looking at both your hiring practices and your organizational chart with an eye to the “Three Dimensions of Success.”

Only if your candidates/employees are compatible with all three of these dimensions, can you rest assured that your company can make the move from good to great.

The dimensions are:

  • Can Do (skills, knowledge and experience)
  • Will Do (personality and motivation)
  • Follow-through (values and disciplines)To get an idea of how well you are applying the three dimensions in your organization, share these checklists with the appropriate managers or executives, and ask for their feedback.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Checklist For New Hires Assessing “Can Do”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  • Have we defined the job description to determine the importance of its core competencies, such as skills, knowledge, and experience?
  • If we do not hire candidates who are proficient in these competencies, do we have the time and resources to effectively train them?
  • Do we efficiently and effectively pre-screen our candidates via the Internet or over the telephone to assess each of these “Can Do” competencies?
  • Do we routinely eliminate candidates who do not possess the required “Can Do” for the job for which they are applying?Assessing “Will Do”
  • Have we analyzed the job description to determine the importance of personality factors such as the candidate’s confidence, drive, and motivation?
  • If we do not hire candidates who have the personality and motivation to be peak performers, do we have the time and resources to coach/supervise them?
  • Do we administer a highly valid/reliable personality test in-house or via the Internet to assess these “Will Do” personality traits?
  • Do we routinely eliminate candidates who do not possess the required “Will Do” for the job for which they are applying?Assessing “Follow-through”
  • Have we analyzed the job description to determine the importance of the values and disciplines that are characteristic of our unique culture?
  • If we do not hire candidates who have compatible values and disciplines, do we have the accountability systems to monitor their productivity?
  • Do we use effective, structured interview questions and reference checks to assess the candidates’ “Follow-through?”
  • Do we routinely eliminate candidates who do not possess the required “Follow-through” for the job for which they are applying?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Checklist For Existing Staff Assessing “Can Do”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  • Do we have effective job descriptions for each of our positions that define the importance of having relevant skills, knowledge, and experience?
  • Do we use annual reviews and/or 360 feedback to rate/assess employees’ proficiency in their core competencies?
  • Do we offer educational opportunities to employees to master the required competencies? Assessing “Will Do”
  • Do we have effective job descriptions for each of our positions that define the importance of having compatible personality and motivation?
  • Do we use personality profiles and/or 360 feedback to assess employees’ personality to determine if it is compatible to their position?
  • Do we offer effective coaching/counseling opportunities for employees who have incompatible personality or motivation?Assessing “Follow-through”
  • Do we have effective job descriptions for each of our positions that define the importance of compatible values and disciplines for each of our positions?
  • Do we use annual reviews, accountability systems, and/or 360 feedback to effectively assess employee compatibility with our organization’s values and disciplines?
  • Do we offer effective coaching/counseling opportunities for employees who have incompatible values or disciplines?
  • When we find Can Do, Will Do, or Follow-through incompatibilities that can not be corrected, do we try to reassign the individual to a position that is more compatible?
  • If reassignment is not an option, do we decide that this is the “wrong person on the bus” and take steps to immediately get him/her “off the bus?”

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