What we do at Selection Strategies is both unique and rather complex. Because it can be difficult for new visitors to get a complete handle on our mission, products and services, we've included this FAQ list to help you get to know us.

What is the validity of your selection tools? How have you determined validity?

1. What is competency based recruiting? How does it work?
2. How does it differ from other hiring metrics like Predictive Index or EQ?
3. Why is Selection Strategies unique?
4. How are you different from traditional "headhunters"?
5. What kinds of companies can you help? What companies have you worked with?
6. What has been the track record of your recruiting assignments?
7. What exactly do you do for your clients? What are the different ways your company can help my company?
8. What is the difference between retained and contingency search?
9. What is the validity of your selection tools? How have you determined validity?
10. What is unique about your training approach?
11. What types of training do you offer?
12. How do I get a consultation, schedule a training course or retain your services?
13. What's your fee structure?

What is the validity of your selection tools? How have you determined validity?

For a discussion of competency-based selection methods in general, and our tools in particular, please click here for an Information Paper in Adobe Acrobat format

1. What is competency based recruiting? How does it work?

  • Competency-based recruiting and selection is designed to hire the right person first, by using scientifically determined position profiles and a highly structured interviewing process. If conventional recruiting is first-aid for a company's hiring needs, competency-based recruiting is laser surgery.

  • Competency-based recruiting discounts certain conventional recruiting practices in favor of more precise, predictive metrics.
    • For a variety of empirically proven reasons, the least important selection criterion in our model is experience. In conventional recruiting, experience, typically validated by a resume and a cursory qualification interview, is often used as the primary filter. We discount experience in favor of two other metrics: Ability and Chemistry. For us, these three facets of the candidate are not synonymous and cannot reliably be determined through conventional, unstructured interviewing.
    • We believe that the best indicator of future performance is past performance under similar circumstances. The more consistent the behavior the better, the more recent the behavior the better.

  • In a full-service role, we begin by developing a position profile (benchmark) for each job we're asked to address. The profile becomes the road map for our sourcing and evaluation activities.
    • The profile measures 16-18 behavioral traits of your most productive people in that job. For start-up clients and new positions in established companies, we use our own archetypal profiles and refine the benchmark as we go.
    • The profile is then cross-referenced to a corporate culture survey, to insure that we find candidates that are suited to the position and congruent with your business methods, philosophy, and informal patterns of behavior. These candidates are both talented and likely to stay with you longer.
    • You receive a Position Benchmark Report for each position we're asked to address, recapping the results of our research and discussing their implications for sourcing, interviewing and managing future hires. The report is provided in both written and HTML format, for use on your corporate intranet.
    • We teach your hiring team to interview for the benchmarked traits and personal tendencies.
    • We research, identify and qualify highly suitable prospects for your company. You receive a complete, written report, called a SCOOP Sheet, covering our initial assessment of the candidate, a pass or play recommendation, areas of concern, and guidance for your interviewing team. The written report is backed up with a telephone follow-up session for your hiring team, allowing them to ask questions and clairify issues surfaced by the SCOOP Sheet.
    • We manage the recruiting process, schedule interviews and coordinate feedback sessions and follow-up interviews.
    • We administer the Hiring Intelligence In-Depth Interview to selected candidates. The "IDI" measures the candidate for the existence, consistency and strength of all 16-18 traits. You receive a complete report for each IDI and a telephone feedback session with your Selection Strategies engagement manager.
    • When requested, we assist your hiring team in preparing offers for your prefered candidates.
    • At the 90- and 180-day marks following hire, we prepare a written Performance Management Review. The "PMR" is a written recap of the new hire's strengths, potential, and suggestions for managing them for optimum performance. We also schedule follow-up telephone sessions with the hiring manager.
    • We repeat, or concurrently administer, our recruiting model until your company is where it needs to be.

  • That briefly covers our competency-based methodology, in the context of a full-service engagement. There's a lot more to it. If you'd like to take a closer look, please visit our "Contact Us" page.

2. How does your assessment method differ from other metrics like Predictive Index or EQ?

  • We believe that our metrics are more focused, and, within the contxt of IT sales and services, more comprehensive than Predictive Index, EQ, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or other popular "off-the-shelf" personality models and inventories. We break the candidate assessment process into a more exhaustive and position-specific cluster of variables, and are focused on a narrowly targeted group of value-added roles.Our evaluation model is named A-C-E™, for "Ability, Chemistry & Experience." It is targeted specifically toward sales, consulting, project management and instructional positions.
    It can be used for evaluating non-IT sales candidates, and for other occupations if a comprehensive profiling effort is performed. But that is not our focus and we pefer to leave it to other companies and instruments.
  • At the end of our evaluation, you don't get a laundry list of jobs the prospect mightbe good at. You are told, specifically, whether the prospect has the ability and propensity to succeed at your specific sales, management or consulting position.

3. Why is Selection Strategies unique?

  • As a company, we've brought together people of varied experience and expertise, with a common focus on the Information Technology industry and a common mission: to make our clients more competitive through the most talented people available.
  • Our value proposition is unique because we offer our services to one segment of the business world and provide in-depth, expert support. We are not a generic recruiting or training firm working with a diverse set of clients; we are a focused group of professionals with considerable practical experience in the Information Technology industry.
  • Our take on competency-based selection in this market segment is unique. We use proprietary interviewing and process management tools that have been proven over and over again to be accurate and reproducible.
  • We align an organization's recruiting and sales practices, creating a process uniquely suited to compete for and win high-quality people in modern history's most competitive marketplace for talent.
  • We provide life-cycle support to our full-service clients. We stay on-board with you through the first 180 days of a new hire's tenure.
  • We do not believe that one size fits all. We don't purport to be able to analyze and profile any and every position through a web-deployed software tool. There is no magic bullet for effective IT sales recruiting. It requires an investment of time and a disciplined method of evaluation. We aren't going to lie to you about that.
  • We are willing and able to teach your company to build its own competency-based recruiting practice.
  • Please visit our "Products" page to learn more about how we can help you.

4. How is Selection Strategies different from "headhunters"?

The comparison below isn't intended to undervalue those recruiters and recruiting agencies often referred to as "headhunters." These agencies are usually ethical and a terrific source of intelligence on quality prospects for our clients. We often use them in our full-service engagements, and recommend their use to our clients when we consult. But there is little similarity in our business models. To make sure that you get what you intended to pay for when you hire us, or them, here's a quick overview of our differences.

  • Headhunters
    • Tend to disengage from the recruiting process once the hire has been made and a placement fee paid.
    • Primarily serve their customers on a contingency basis, and have to generate a lot of hires for a lot of customers to be profitable.
    • Tend to sell candidates from their rolodex rather than recruiting new prospects for specific skills.
    • Tend to attract active job seekers rather than investing time in seeking out talented people not currently looking for new opportunities.
    • Because they are primarily contingency-based, they best serve their business model by selling their top prospects to the highest bidder.
    • Are also likely to serve multiple industries and recruit for multiple career tracks to increase their placement volume.
    • Agency business models depend upon a lot of churn to keep contingency revenues flowing. They aren't generally dissuaded from serving multiple customers in the same industry and marketspace. And again, within that industry, the highest bidder gets first refusal on their best prospects.

  • Selection Strategies
    • We provide life-cycle recruting support to our clients on a "retingency" basis (i.e., a monthly retainer fee plus appropriate placement bonuses). We support all of your recruiting activities, from development of position profiles to sourcing and evaluation, to training interviewers, to progress monitoring for six months following the hire(s).
    • While we do maintain a database of promising candidiates in a variety of IT sales, training and consulting disciplines, we are not a "rolodex" company. We always look for the best available candidate. We find them through our network, through search agencies and management consultants, and through internet data mining as well as traditional sourcing methods. We place special emphasis on discovering superior candidates who aren't looking to change positions. For us, recruiting is a sales-based process.
    • Because we have a more intimate relationship with and provide more complex support to our clients, it's our policy to serve only one company in any specific niche to avoid conflicts of interest. For example, we would not work for a supply-chain software company like Manugistics while retained by a similar company like i2 Technologies.
    • We only serve companies in the information technology industry. And within IT, we recruit only for sales, training, management and consulting positions.
    • We provide a variety of training products to help clients who want to learn competency-based interviewing skills or implement their own, competency-based sales recruiting practices

5. What kinds of companies can you help? What companies have you worked with?

  • We can best serve the recruiting needs of IT companies in the ERP/business applications software marketspace, though we have also worked well with telecommunications/call-center software and consulting companies. Although we have worked primarily with industry leaders, we have a great deal of experience with start-up companies like Red Pepper Software (purchased by PeopleSoft), Blue Martini Software, Aurum Software (purchased by The BaaN Company) and Cybrant Corporation.
  • We have worked with:
    • ERP & business applications software companies ( The BaaN Company, Oracle Corporation, PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards ).
    • medical applications software companies ( Medaphis, McKesson HBOC ).
    • supply-chain software companies ( i2 Technologies ).
    • financial software companies ( FlexiInternational Software ).
    • electronic customer-relationship management software companies ( Siebel Systems, Blue Martini Software ).
    • e-business infrastructure companies (Cybrant Corporation)
    • distributed engineering software companies (Alventive)
    • big-five consulting practices ( Deloitte & Touche Telecommunications Consulting ).
    • time-and-attendance/scheduling software companies ( FASTECH ).
    • call-center quality management software companies ( Witness Systems ). For an indication of our ability to serve the needs of our diverse clientele, please visit the "Our Press" page.

6. What's the track record of your recruiting assignments?

  • Interestingly, our retained recruiting engagements have been uniformly excellent, but the success of our contingency engagements has been largely dictated by our clients' level of corporate "pain." We've found that retained engagements with modified placement fees result in greater interest and participation by our clients; having agreed to invest in our process, they are much more interested in its outcome. And that is the real strength of this fee structure for us and for our customers.
  • "Uniformly excellent" in the paragraph above is defined by us as "able to meet or exceed all hiring requirements, both in terms of candidate numbers and suitability, and in the quality of our candidates' performance after hire." Those candidates we've presented and who've been hired on a contingent basis have also been very successful in their new positions.
  • The "Our Press" page includes accounts of our performance and endorsements from our clients. We hope you'll visit.


7. What exactly do you do for your clients? What are the different ways your company can help my company?

  • We support our clients in four major ways:

    • Retained, full-service recruiting engagements
    • Recruiting skills training courses
    • Decision support tools
    • Recruiting process consulting

  • The details on each can be found in several places on our web site:

    • Full-service recruiting is explained in FAQ Number 1., above (What is competency based recruiting? How does it work?), and on our "Products" page.
    • For an actual example of full-service engagement support, please visit the "Our Press" page and click the Oracle CASE STUDY button.
    • Decision Support Tools are discussed in the Information Paper we invite you to review in FAQ Number 9., below. They are also covered in our "Products" page, and a real-world example of one of most powerful tools, the In-Depth Interview, is also found on the "Our Press" page.
    • Skills Training and our Process Consultancy are explained in our "Products" page.

8. What is the difference between retained and contingency search?

  • Simply, our retained searches are conducted on behalf of our customers for a flat fee, one month billed in advance and the remainder invoiced monthly over the life of the engagement.
    • Typically, the first month of the engagement is devoted to candidate pipeline development and initial qualification of prospects.
    • When candidates are hired, we invoice a reduced placement bonus (i.e., a lesser fee than contingency recruiters would charge).

  • Contingency searches are those in which the recruiter is paid only upon acceptance of a candidate by the client. In other words, payment is contingent upon placement of a candidate, and no other fee is paid. Contingency engagements are attractive to recruiters because critical positions can carry a very high placement fee; 25% of the new hire's base salary is not uncommon. If the agency happens to have a suitable candidate for a client's critical position on file, the ratio of reward to effort can be intoxicating.

  • We accept very few contingency engagements. Typically, we only work this way for clients with whom we have a prior relationship.

9. What is the validity of your selection tools? How have you determined validity?

  • For a discussion of competency-based selection methods in general, and our tools in particular, please click here for an Information Paper in Adobe Acrobat format.

10. What is unique about your training approach?

  • Many business training programs, even many good ones, do little to provide practical tools for their students or provide follow-up services to check their progress and deal with issues that emerge after the whiteboard's erased.

  • Students at out training sessions are always scheduled for follow-up phone sessions with their instructors after formal training. They are also invited to join us for periodic web-based training sessions to further refine their skills. We provide our clients with a Interviewing Help Desk. And starting in September 2000, they will also have our electronic magazine as a tool.

  • No one provides better toolkits than we do. Depending upon the course attended, our students get all of the printed materials (our briefing package, slideshows, practical exercises, behavior questions and interview scripts), and a CD-ROM containing the actual courseware/slideshow used in the class, an automated planning tools, and our Manager's ToolkitÔ, a database containing hundreds of actual questions you can use to interview your own sales, training, consulting and management prospects. The questions can be accessed and sorted by 160 different traits and behavioral characteristics. it even contains pre-designed interview scripts in text format to cover essential functions like the recruiter qualification interview, senior manager's evaluation of candidate potential, etc.
  • Our goal is to make you instantly productive, and to reinforce your educationthrough follow-up. When you invest in us, we invest in you.

11. What types of training do you offer?

We offer four major courses of instruction for companies who want to learn or implement competency-based recruiting.
  • Interviewing Skills Training - A single-day training session devoted to our A-C-E model, and how to implement it in your organization. We offer four tailored sessions of interview skills training, customized to needs of your company:

          • Interviewing for Complex Sales Talent
          • Interviewing for Instructor Talent
          • Inerviewing for Consulting Talent
          • Interviewing for IT Management Talent

  • In 2000, we celebrated the non-millenium by launching two new courses. The first, "Ten Principles of World-Class Recruiting," is a two-hour seminar targeted at senior executives and technology venture capitalists who need to learn the basics of Hiring Intelligence at a very high level. It is offered in conjunction with our recruiting partner, Strategic Software Resources, Inc.. If you'd like to learn more, please go to our "Contact Us" page and e-mail Ross Rich or George Tatarinow.

  • Last year we also launched our most ambitious training course to date. The two-day "Hiring Intelligence - Recruiting for Talent" seminar and practicum was created in response to a frequent request from our full-service clients. It is a two-day course that teaches the theory, design and execution of our competency-based recruiting practice. It is the perfect training course for independent and in-house sales recruiters, hiring managers and venture capitalists who need to diagnose, develop or create a world-class IT sales recruiting practice. Learn more about this unique recruiting skills course in our "News" and "Products" pages.
  • New for 2001 is our job opportunity positioning, selling and negotiating course, designated "E3." E3 stands for "Evaluate, Elevate & Execute," and is a unique opportunity for IT recruiters to learn a whole new pespective on discerning and satifying the buying criteria of high-quality candidates. This skillset has proven to be lacking in so many of our process consulting engagements that the course almost created itself. We'll be publishing additional information about E3 in our "News" page, to include a full curriculum by July 2001, when we will be offering the course for the first time.

12. How do I get a consultation, schedule a training course or retain your services?

The simplest way to get the ball rolling is to use the navigation bar on the left and click the "Contact Us" button. There's a comprehensive breakdown of who on our staff to e-mail for any circumstance, and a "Mailto:" link for each. All inquiries will be answered within one business day.

Because our recruiting services and training courses are specialized, very effective, and are priced accordingly, we like to talk with people who request our services before scheduling them. But if you're a hiring manager for a technology or software sales company, a sales recruiter for one, or a venture capitalist who holds a stake in any, you are very likely to benefit from our courses, our process consultancy or a full-service recruiting engagement.

Please send us a message. We're delighted to hear from you.

13. What's your fee structure?

  • It depends upon the scope of work requested and the expected duration of the engagement. We're always happy to submit a firm proposal after we've had an initial exploratory session with you.

  • Finite services like our training courses are billed at a flat rate explained in our “Services” page

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