Working with a new client, our first assignment was to create a behavioral benchmark of their highest performing sales professionals. This benchmark is used to determine whether a job candidate possess the behavioral traits necessary for success in the job and in the company as a whole.
Our contact, the HR Manager, provided the email addresses for 3 individuals. We set them up and conducted behavioral assessments of all three. Once the assessments were complete we ran a statistical analysis on the resulting personality profiles focusing specifically on common personality attributes.
Normally we see scoring trends on anywhere from 4 to a dozen traits. As more individuals are included in the benchmark, the number of shared traits declines. As a result we recommend including between 3 and 6 high performers in a benchmark study.
In reviewing the three assessments from our new client, our Workforce Management Consultant noticed an anomaly in the scores. Two of the individuals were quite well matched on a number of behavioral traits, but the third individual appeared to be an outlier, showing a markedly different profile. Two of the high performers matched our default sales benchmark by more than 70%. The outlier only scored a 43% match.
Our consultant discussed this inconsistency with the HR Manager. After some discussion the Manager finally admitted that she had decided to throw us a curve and added herself as the third individual in the benchmark. It was her way of testing our behavioral assessment tool.
Our behavioral assessment passed with flying colors, revealing the plant. The HR Manager was surprised and perhaps just a little bit embarrassed. Of course, we politely refrained from kidding her about her “fast one”.