Nobody’s perfect — not at work, not anyplace else — thank goodness.
Still, if you ask the execs at human resources/staffing consulting firm Talent Plus, it’s perfectly reasonable for employers to expect “near perfect” performance on the job.
WHAT IS NEAR PERFECT VS. PERFECT?
“The term means being the absolute best at what you set out to do,” says Amy Ostermeyer, who heads staffing/training initiatives for what Talent Plus calls its Global Talent Interviewing Center. “It means satisfying your team members, satisfying your management staff, and most importantly, satisfying the [customers] whom you’re there to serve.”
Doug and Kimberly Rath and William Hall founded the Lincoln, Neb.-based agency in 1989. They set out to revolutionize recruitment, workplace dynamics, employee satisfaction and retention.
The result: A complex series of interview sessions designed to determine each and every company employee’s life theme — or consistent, never-gonna-change traits — and to slot him or her into the most appropriate, most fulfilling position possible.
Themes are mostly positive: “Test results show you’re probably a perfectionist, an optimist, a competitor, a people person, or some combination.”
Today, the company also has offices in Arizona, Colorado, and D.C. Star clients include Estee Lauder, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Mercedes Benz, USA, and several property management companies, including R.W. Day and Associates.
Talent Plus takes on small and large companies. The goal is the same: Hire well; help managers understand employees; help employees thrive, so the business thrives, too.
“Size doesn’t drive us,” co-founder Kimberly Rath says. “It’s simply the commitment a company is willing to make in holding out for talent.”
In order to be taken on by Talent Plus, commitment to excellence in staffing and retention is a must for clients. Some of the agency’s interviewing phases last a few weeks, but larger organizations generally require a broader plan of attack. They sign up for long-range help. It can take years to assure everyone is cast in the right roles.
How does a guy get closer to perfect?
Talent Plus comes in. They interview client leadership and eventually interview everyone else down the company ladder.
Interviewers never recommend termination, but they will suggest the shuffling of duties. Based on what they discover during beginning rounds, they devise plans for new hires. Then another interview phase kicks off.
Hall developed TP’s trademark “Quality Selection Process” — based on massive research, the process involves penetrating questions and professional response analysis. Along the way, the QSP has been translated into 20 languages.
Talent Plus lingo includes terms like “aces” — a person’s strengths — and “spaces” — elements an employee requires for comfort and effectiveness on the job.
Sandy Avery, director of property development at R.W. Day, says she’s pleased with Talent Plus’ results. Since interview rounds wrapped, the company’s employee retention has improved and the team runs extra efficiently.
“We tried several screening tools and never felt they were accurate in truly defining talent,” Avery says. “Since our rollout with managers, we’ve lost only two. Believe it or not, they were managers Talent Plus recommended we not hire. The interview identified areas of possible failure and, sure enough, they didn’t fit.”
PEOPLE WHO NEED PEOPLE
“A company’s intellectual capital — its people –is their only sustainable competitive advantage,” Rath says.
“So many companies aren’t relying on a product or a widget as much as they are great customer service and relationships to drive them,”
The company literature features a yarn about a top seller who hated paperwork. Once her higher-ups found someone to relieve the paperwork headaches, this super-seller sold through the roof.
Ostermeyer says TP’s thinking is basically this: Once you recognize your strengths and find the right employment position, you might just feel happier — you might very well strive for perfection. You benefit, and so does your employer.
“You have to realize,” she says, “perfection is not a bad thing.”
Author: Betsy Boyd