DDI: The Super-Duper Interview Company

Reader Gautum Ghosh sent me an article. Here's an abbreviated version.

Development Dimensions International is an employee selection and training firm.
It was founded by two organizational psychologists who wanted to prove that hiring isn't a matter of intuition.

DDI doesn't test for basic skills. That's for recruiters and internal HR. They claim that people don't fail for technical reasons. It's for a behavioral reasons: they can't get along, they over-analyze or they jump to conclusions. And that's what DDI is interested in.

At the core of its process is a behaviour-based interview. It assumes that the past predicts the future so it probes past behavior through a gentle but relentless examination of past experiences.

Rather than ask how you might win over a tough customer, the interviewer says, "What was your most difficult sale, and how did you approach it?"

DDI claims that honesty and integrity can be discovered this way. Psychological testing has shown that people with low integrity think other people share their twisted values.

So you say, "We all try to put our best foot forward sometimes. Have you ever had a situation where you had to make something seem better than it really was?" And people with integrity issues tend to tell the self-incriminating truth.

(You thought they would lie to make a good impression, didn't you? Nope, according to these guys it's very easy to get liars to tell you the truth.)

DDI also offers a series of simulation techniques. It has created a hypothetical company into which a candidate is thrust for a full and complete simulation that includes business challenges, financial issues, public relations crises, the works. And it's all videotaped.

The idea is to replicate a real-world job complete with interruptions, surprises, and distractions. Candidates going through the process might find themselves solving a personnel problem or mentoring someone on the team, while handling a constant stream of e-mails and phone calls.

Part of the mix is an in-basket exercise, which assesses time-management skills and priority-setting.

The simulation depends on the job description and DDI spends a lot of time working with its clients on that -- and the competencies being assessed.

For example, someone who deals with the media might suddenly get the message that a hostile public relations person is on the phone. How the candidate proceeds -- whether to wing it or decide to canvass internal resources before taking the call -- is part of the evaluation.

The real pressure cooker comes in the mid-afternoon, at a strategic meeting in which the candidate presents a recommendation based on a business case history that was supplied earlier.

After the day is finished, the assessors meet The day's trends are identified, weaknesses and strengths noted.

If the assessors disagree, they go to the video and replay a critical moment.

DDI places itself between headhunters and hirers. "We protect the company from the headhunters. The mistake companies make is believing that headhunters are doing any real due diligence."

From Inc. Magazine

No comments: