Article: Safeguarding your HiPo process from HiPPos

Performance Management

Safeguarding your HiPo process from HiPPos

HR need to convince business leaders despite not meeting eye-to-eye on someone’s candidature
Safeguarding your HiPo process from HiPPos

Around Holi last year, my marketing head came up with the idea of sending stress balls to our potential customers with a message, “Pass on your people stress to us”. My initial reaction to this was, “Why would someone find stress balls interesting?” I shot down the idea.

The marketing head didn't give up and quietly left some stress balls on my desk. Everyone who came to meet me started playing with the stress balls during conversations. The marketing head had smartly made his case. The campaign was a huge success. I am glad the marketing head didn't give in to HiPPO (Highest Paid Person's Opinion). He used data (in this case live examples) to convince me.

A similar contention often happens between HR and Business over High Potential Identification (HiPo). Business may not see eye-to-eye on HR's conviction about someone’s candidature.

Some of the common challenges HR folks routinely face include:

1. HiPPOs (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) influencing the HiPo’s.

Let's face it! Our perceptions acquire credibility and acceptance when they are backed with data. As it happened in my case, top-ranked executives in an organization may have their own perception about someone’s qualification as a HiPo, which may or may not stand true. This is where the need for a scientifically proven, reliable method of substantiating individual and subjective perceptions becomes the need of the hour.  

2. Assessment Centres are expensive and time-consuming.

Running Assessment Centres is an expensive and extensive exercise. A lot of logistics is involved in stitching them together, not allowing you to cast a wider net. The solution ends up being applicable for only the senior management level, leaving out a major chunk of an organization’s talent search requirements to less comprehensive, subjective and often questionable methods of selection or development processes.

3. Lack of one-stop solution (Behavioral + Cognitive + 360) customized to an organization’s defined competencies.

A comprehensive HiPo identification needs a measurement of both behavioral and cognitive aspects of an individual’s performance. Moreover, this measurement needs to be customized to a company’s competency framework. This helps increase its relevance and impact on the business HR managers often find it difficult to show relevance to business heads because assessment reports they generate don’t reflect the organization’s language and definitions, making it difficult to take a decision.

How can an organization run an effective exercise of identifying HiPos in an affordable, scalable manner?

With Jombay’s expertise in behavioral assessments, 360 feedback and analytics, we started an extensive search for identifying a partner who could help complete the picture with cognitive ability assessments. In the process, we came across Pearson TalentLens’s Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal. We learnt that it was the world’s leading tool for assessing critical thinking skills at the workplace. Its high reliability and validity scores boosted our confidence in the tool. Some of the initial pilots that we conducted with our clients made it evident that scores on the Watson-Glaser were a strong predictor of future performance of the candidates.

Backed by the results of these pilot studies, Jombay partnered with Pearson TalentLens to develop a one-stop online assessment and analytics platform, Hive.

Pearson TalentLens brings to Hive expertise in ability testing, with the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (W-GCTA), a measure of critical thinking. The W-GCTA is based on Pearson’s RED Model of critical thinking that breaks down critical thinking into a three-step process: Recognizing Assumptions, Evaluating Arguments and Drawing Conclusions. The reason this assessment was found to be appropriate for measuring cognitive ability is that critical thinking, a role-agnostic skill that has been shown to predict performance, is related to leadership competencies such as decision-making, problem solving, strategic thinking, and is a crucial element in the process of innovation.

Jombay’s behavioral assessments are based on globally proven theories - Big 5, Cattell’s theory, Organ’s framework and Goleman’s emotional intelligence theory.

How does Hive help you with HiPo identification?

  1. Hive integrates and automates multiple assessments (cognitive, behavioral and communication), and 360 degree surveys that are run in a company, and provides analytics on top of them, reducing 60% of the manual effort and costs.
  2. Hive helps create a Psychometric (behavioral + cognitive) and Sociometric (360 degree feedback) thumbprint of the candidate - essential for taking a decision. It evaluates both her potential (cognitive abilities) and preparedness (behavioral) to take the next big challenge, which can be validated by team members using a 360 tool on the same competencies.
  3. Hive enables HR customize outputs to an organization’s competency or values framework, thus helping HR create thumbprints using relevant parameters.
  4. It is a scientifically-validated and reliable solution that helps optimize assessment costs and justify resource utilization with objective and scientific data.
  5. Hive provides useful analytics on industry benchmarks and HiPo development that facilitates planning the development journey.

Hive is also used for first-time manager evaluations to objectively support talent decisions.

Coming back to my initial thoughts, HiPo identification has a lasting impact on the business as these individuals as potential future leaders will be torch-bearers for where the organization is heading. While personal opinion from HiPPOs will always dominate conversations at the talent table, backing your decisions with scientific data will go a long way in establishing the credibility of individual perceptions and creating the right talent pool in your organization.

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Topics: Performance Management

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