We regularly assess leadership succession candidates and outside applicants against desired behaviors for a role, determined by using the Bizet Job Activity Rating online job profiling instrument. When we do this, the behaviors where the candidates show weakness are given a lot of scrutiny. Recently, a client executive whose role was going to be open asked me to her assess her against her behavioral role profile. Curious to see the results, I assessed all the succession candidates against their behavioral role profiles. The results were most revealing.
In all cases, the incumbents in the role showed weaker congruence with the behavioral job profiles than the candidates being considered. Seeing this, I conducted behavioral interviews of all the role incumbents. In all cases, they showed a strong ability to do even the behaviors shown to be energy draining for them on the assessments.
This experience firmly reinforces our belief that both assessments and behavioral interviews are needed to get the true picture. Lots of highly motivated professionals can exhibit energy-draining behaviors if they have high overall motivation levels. Assessments provide the roadmap of where to look for behavioral weaknesses. Behavioral interviews show real behaviors that always trump predicted ones in candidate evaluations