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Fixing your organizational talent gaps

Talk is cheap, they say. This is especially true in the business world. For example, have you ever purchased an item from a store that claims “We stand behind our products!” only to discover they have all kinds of arcane refund rules when you try to return the thing because it broke?

Business leaders have an image in mind for their organizations. A freight-transport company has to project operational efficiency to its current and potential customers, while a tech company should be seen as having a culture of innovation. However, you can’t claim operational efficiency if, behind the scenes, no one in the organization has patience for building systems or following procedures. And you can’t boast about leading-edge tech products if you lack the creative resources and know-how to develop them.

Well, one can do those things, but customers will quickly learn otherwise and move on to a competitor. 

The problem is: How do you know if your company has the people in place to fulfill the image you want to project? Performance competencies are a great place to start.

Performance competencies are the attributes we possess that help us perform well in jobs for which we are well suited (and cause us to struggle if we do not line up well with our roles). They are built from hard data and based on research into top performers across all positions and industries.

A lot of business leaders make the mistake of thinking everyone in the organization needs to have the same set of motivations (the “hiring in one’s own image” fallacy). In reality, performance competencies will be different for different functions. If you work in a tech company looking to innovate, you want leaders who show performance competencies such as leading change and managing innovation. On your product development team, you need people with competencies like continuous learning and creativity and innovation.

If you are with a freight-transport organization, process management, strategic thinking, and adaptability are likely to be important competencies for overseeing systems and coming up with timely solutions when logistical issues arise.

After measuring the performance competencies displayed by your existing staff, you can:

  • Identify the enterprise-wide talent gaps that may be holding you back
  • Uncover the hidden talent and untapped potential you already have
  • Reorganize your human capital to ensure people are in the roles for which they would be most productive

We live in an age of data, and gathering such information on your staff is becoming an important component of organizational development. With that in mind, the first step toward accessing the information in the bullets above is to have team members complete a scientifically validated personality assessment.

Imagine you collected such data from your leadership group. These are the people whose actions define the culture of the organization, and you would be able to see, for the first time, exactly what you’re missing in terms of driving innovation or developing and implementing operational standards.

Then move onto your R&D or product-development team. Maybe the leadership qualities you seek are hiding there in plain sight. And so on. If you don’t have the people you need, you can start moving the culture needle with future hires. The assessment process pays for itself when, by having the right people in the right roles, you start delivering on the image you project to the market.

About Caliper - For nearly half a century, Caliper has been helping companies achieve peak performance by advising them on hiring the right people, managing individuals most effectively and developing productive teams. The accuracy, objectivity and depth of our consulting approach enable us to provide solutions that work for over 25,000 companies. To find out more about how Caliper can help you identify and develop people who can lead your organization to peak performance, please visit us at  or call us at 609-524-1200. Email to contact Caliper.