Along with Personality Profiles, assessments of verbal and numerical applied intelligence have long been included in the armoury of those making decisions about who to choose when filling key vacancies. Although the subject prompts hearty debate amongst both supporters and detractors of such techniques, there is plenty of research based evidence which supports the inclusion of these practices. At CFR UK, we have found that an assessment of personality and critical reasoning i.e. the speed and accuracy of problem-solving in both numerical and verbal contexts, are valuable additions to other recruitment techniques.
A relatively new kid on the block and attracting more interest is EQ or Emotional Intelligence. This is perhaps the missing link which explains the strange anomaly that people with average critical reasoning scores outperform those with the highest scores 70% of the time. EQ has been described as “the something” in each of us which is intangible.
“The rules for work are changing. We are being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other”.
How we handle ourselves and how well we handle other people is at the heart of the EQ concept of. There is heightened awareness for this measure, which is particularly relevant to the modern working environment and it has a profound impact on the judged effectiveness of our work performance. The main emphasis is no longer on what we know, our specialist skills or how well we can solve complex critical problems. These are still important but they count for little in many organisations if the individual has difficulty adjusting to the pace of change and can’t interact effectively with others in the organisation.
EQ has various applications e.g. in performance development and coaching as well as in team development however, its value in selection should not be underestimated. Using trained practitioners, CFR UK is able to assess and compare candidates’ EQ as part of the selection process. It is intended as a “value add” rather than a “stand alone” measure, particularly given that selection decisions should always be taken in the context of the broader job demands. Also, the more techniques included in a selection process, the greater the likelihood of an excellent selection decision.
Like IQ, personality can’t be used to predict EQ and like IQ, personality really doesn’t change much through life although of course learnt behaviour can. Personality, IQ and EQ each cover unique ground and help to explain what “makes a person tick”. Although some people are more emotionally intelligent than others, it is possible to develop higher EQ even if you aren’t born with it.
By offering our clients detail under all three categories, we can provide vital knowledge about a shortlist - not to make a decision for the client but to provide excellent information which the hiring manager can use in making the best choice.
A new type of leadership
Euromex is a specialist legal aid insurer that provides legal aid to its clients. It’s true that the insurance sector has remained a rather stable sector, but social evolutions definitely have an impact on them, and this is also where the changes are happening faster and faster. Insurers are also making the switch from products to solutions. Where it was previously the insurer’s job to check if the problem stated by the client was covered by the policy or not; now, the focus is on reacting in a problem-solving manner. This means that the employees who serve the clients must have a different attitude. And that, naturally, requires other things from their managers. Where they were previously specialists in insurance, they must now critically innovate, embrace change, make results as a team, all while still focusing on the client.
Before CPM started to research the Euromex team managers concerning their level of leadership in order to come up with the appropriate support for developing growth, it first organised a workshop for the three directors, including the CEO. After all, at Euromex, the directors manage the departments directly, which strongly binds them with the operational course of things. The directors took a look in the mirror during the workshop and focused on the strengths and points for development in order to provide successful coaching.
TEAM MANAGERS DIRECT THEIR OWN DEVELOPMENT
There was a step-by-step process in place for team managers.
First, the 10 participants were given an entire day to go through the development programme in all openness and trust with coaching from CPM - under the watchful eye of learning coach Veronique Van Erp; this coaching was focused on giving them a better grasp on their own personalities, their strengths, and points for development.
The report for that day would be a very useful source of information for the next phase.
This next phase was a PDP, or personal development plan. The team managers were asked to prepare for the PDP using the report from the Development Centre that was done on day one. They were asked to define two learning goals that they felt deserved priority.
Every team manager was challenged to take control of the reins of his or her own further development.
The PDP discussion afterwards was intended to allow the team manager to develop a personal plan that would allow him or her to become a critical, creative, motivational leader. The team manager and his or her supervisors then formulated specific development actions based on their preparations.
Veronique Van Erp served as the initiator of the brainstorming in that discussion. She encouraged the pairs to translate ideas into actions in the field, and together, they evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of the proposed actions. The advantage of this way of working is that the development actions are results-oriented and are supported by the people who are to achieve them.
BACK TO THE TOP
The roll-out of the development actions is an on-going process. The directors took the initiative to keep the dynamic from the beginning of the process alive and to embed it through daily feedback and scheduling follow-up discussions.
Veronique Van Erp, Managing Consultant CPM: “The Euromex team managers had little experience in participating in this kind of development programme. So, naturally, there was a little bit of uncertainty among the participants at first. But because it was a very clear process with specific agreements, which were communicated well beforehand, and because we ensured that they had extensive reports with clear tools, that uncertainty quickly went away.”
Rob Vromen, CEO Euromex: “Our core values of Customer focus, Simplicity, and Transparency dovetailed seamlessly with the way in which CPM assisted with this development programme. All the managers were very impressed with Veronique’s professional skills!”
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Véronique Denant, Partner in the French CFR Member Alphée, is also the CFR Practice Leader for Construction & Building Projects Industry. She has an extensive experience in assignments for public works and construction material companies, urban planners, real estate asset managers and main control organizations.
As part of her daily work, Veronique relates with top executives in the field. She recently interviewed Mr. Jean-Claude Cochard, the Managing Director of the French subsidiary of Jordahl H-Bau.
Could you describe us your company?
We are a small-sized sales subsidiary of 11 people. Our turnover is 5 M€. We represent in France 3 mother companies named Jordahl, H-Bau and Pfeifer. We are specialized in building and civil engineering.
We focus on major investments and develop industrial cooperation with industrial companies, prefabricating building construction elements.
Our target is to achieve 10M€ until 2020.
What is your job position?
I am the Managing Director of the French subsidiary.
What is your position in the market?
We are a strong market challenger competing with market leaders specialized in their business fields when we offer a bigger range of solutions.
What are the main trends in your business?
We rely on public investment in roads, highways, railways, airports, energy plants etc. and also on private investments in the building business.
How are you involved in sustainability?
We participate in the development and the normalization of sustainable products. We develop fast and easy products to be installed. We also focus on reducing the energy consumption while increasing the building insulation. We also try to reduce the noise inside and outside the buildings.
Why did you choose to work for this company?
I have more than 20 years of experience in the construction notably within German industrial companies.
I have been working for the last 15 years throughout Europe but I wanted to come back to France because I knew the construction market outlooks were good due to a lack for infrastructure. I was also interested in working for family-owned companies which innovated in the long run, were well-known in their businesses and successful.
How would like to conclude?
The potential of the French market is important. Big towns in France are very much developing their infrastructures. So it explains why Germany industrial companies want to further invest in France.
We can rely on small and medium-sized companies to develop business in France.
For more information on our Building & Construction Practice and CFR other Practices, please click here