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
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
11. What types of training do
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
- Competency-based recruiting discounts
certain conventional recruiting practices in favor of more precise,
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
3. Why is Selection
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- e-business infrastructure
companies (Cybrant Corporation)
- distributed engineering software
- big-five consulting practices
( Deloitte & Touche Telecommunications Consulting ).
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"
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
- "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
- Retained, full-service recruiting
- Recruiting skills training
- 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"
- 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"
- 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
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
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
- Interviewing for Instructor
- Inerviewing for Consulting
- Interviewing for IT
- 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
- 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
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
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
Please send us a message. We're delighted
to hear from you.
13. What's your
- 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”
© 2000-2002. Selection Strategies,
Inc. All Rights Reserved.