Success profiles can help your organization to improve hiring, leadership development, and role planning, giving you the tools to strategize who and why you hire and develop. However, the value of these success profiles often lies in their validity, relevance, and ability to adapt to the future, which means that the process of building success profiles is just as important as actually using them.

While your organization can take many approaches to building success profiles, your best option is to use several techniques to complete a well-rounded job profile. In most cases, you can get started by working with an assessment center, tailoring their results to your specific needs, and moving on from there.

Using Performance Management Data

Performance management will always give you a clear idea of who is succeeding, although it may not always tell you why. Here, you should look at who is performing well in their job and in what aspects of their job. You may find that some individuals excel in certain aspects of a role while others do so in other ways. Collecting this information is relatively simple, but it will give you great insight into the skills, personality, and behaviors necessary to hiring or developing a fully rounded person for the role.

Conducting Work Interviews

No one is quite as aware of what is needed in a role as those already in the role or those working immediately around it. Here, you should question how well individuals perform in their role, how they go about performing their role, what is needed for future and upcoming changes, and what they could do better. Doing so will give you a good understanding of not just what people like to see in the role but also what they aren’t seeing.

Using Industry Standards as a Baseline

Industry standards, which can be sourced through assessment centers and recruitment centers, are often a valuable insight for hiring and development. For example, you can look at how others are hiring, look at which skills and behaviors are considered standard, and then tweak those results to meet your own needs. While this will never give you a truly personalized success profile for your organization, you may find details and skills or competencies that you would have missed if building the success profile on your own.

Taking a Holistic Approach to Success

Success in a role is often about much more than simple hard skills. Other considerations include emotional intelligence, competencies such as communication and adaptability, and ability to adjust to new roles, skills, and tasks. For example, many individuals are brought into a leadership pipeline despite not having the necessary adaptability to switch from technical work to leadership work. Looking at every aspect of competencies does require having a competency framework in place, but it will pay off in the long-term, because your success profiles will reflect not just what is needed to complete a job, but also what is needed to excel in the job, what is needed to adapt to a new role, and so on.

Review Your Biggest Risk Cases

Many success profile standards such as the one developed by SigmaSuccessions recommend that you base success profiles on high risk cases. Which employees would make the largest impact if they were to leave tomorrow? What makes them so special? If you can identify key employees, you can identify the traits, behaviors, and competencies that make them so key.

Success profiles are valuable in leadership, succession, and in recruitment but it is important to validate your results.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick