Taking the guess out of work

No matter how thorough the background check or how in-depth the interview process, hiring decisions often boil down to a gamble that a gut feeling about the person chosen will pay off. But there are a number of methods businesses use to hedge their bets. Testing can further refine the hiring process, and there are other strategies that have proven successful at strengthening existing staff. Nothing is guaranteed, but here are some tactics with which dealerships have found success:

The DISC assessment: DISC (which stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness) is a personality/behavioral profile that companies can use to evaluate job candidates, or existing employees, and determine their suitability for specific positions. For example, people who score highly in the “Dominance” category are said to be forceful, independent, determined, etc., while those with high “Influence” scores exhibit traits such as enthusiasm and optimism.

Galati Yachts, based in Anna Maria, Fla., asks job seekers to take a DISC profile specific to the position they are applying for in order to understand the person’s strengths and performance motivators. The dealership says its goal is to find someone with character traits that fit the company’s philosophy.

Caliper Personality Profiling: MarineMax uses Caliper, which is another assessment system employers can use either for new hires or current employees. The “Caliper Predictor” is a 30-minute assessment that reveals who is a strong fit for a role and who is not, and Caliper says some of its other tools can pinpoint employee abilities and motivations to help employers create customized development plans for them.

Topgrading: This is another staff development tool used by MarineMax. A series of practices created for hiring, training and promoting, the “Topgrading” method focuses on the “A” players within organizations. As noted in the book of the same name, Topgrading is defined as “achieving teams of almost all A players: those in the top 10 percent of talent available for the pay.” MarineMax is the subject of a three-page case study in the book, where MarineMax President, Chairman and CEO Bill McGill is quoted as saying that since his company began following the Topgrading strategy, 94 percent of the dealership’s external hires have been “A” players or those with “A potential” – defined as someone predicted to achieve “A” status within six to 12 months.

“Our biggest focus we have in our company is our people,” McGill told Boating Industry in an interview a few years ago. “And we do Caliper Personality profiling, we do Topgrading efforts, which is basically making sure you have the right people in the right seat and you’re growing and developing and hiring the right people, etc. It’s a culture at our company. It’s really what’s making a difference and what’s going to continue to make a difference and take it to the next level.”

The S.C.O.R.E. Success System: Used by Michigan’s Colony Marine, this is a thought-management system creator Jim Fannin, who has worked with Daimler-Chrysler and Apple, says will increase productivity by retraining the brain. Colony says S.C.O.R.E. – which stands for Self-Discipline, Concentration, Optimism, Relaxation and Enjoyment – helps its employees stay in peak form and makes it more likely that they’ll perform well. Fannin meets with employees to teach them how to reach their goals and achieve their vision.

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