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ExtremeVetting

#ExtremeVetting: Hiring with Behavioral Insights

As the debate around extreme vetting heightens in the US, the discussion is shifting from border controls to hiring practices. Many businesses are looking to improve their service offering through requiring hiring agents to identify, in advance, behaviors that could potentially bring down an organization. There have been too many examples over the years of rogue behavior, particularly in the financial sector, causing havoc and destruction to businesses and their customers. To name but a few:

  • Madoff
  • Lehman
  • Forbes
  • Corzine
  • Fannie Mae

Gone are the days when talent alone gets you a job. While this approach served organizations well in the past, Hirers are now being tasked with vetting for values; for indicators of malevolent behavior under pressure; for approach to money; for bias; for candidates, whose behavior is consistent with the organization’s beliefs, values and culture.

For example: In response to the many problems faced by the financial industry, FINRA set regulations in place to counter the growing numbers of cases involving illegal behavior on the part of executives in the industry. It stipulated that in addition to its normal oversight, it would be looking at:

  1. How businesses communicate and reinforce its culture directly, implicitly and through its reward system.
  2. What metrics are used to measure compliance with its cultural values?
  3. Implementation and consistent application of values throughout the organization.

HR departments, hiring organizations and executive search consultants are now under pressure to introduce #extremevetting using validated methods such as the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery Process, to reveal a range of behavioral strengths and limitations. Employers need HR departments and recruiters to get below the surface of candidates to reveal the behaviors that cannot easily be revealed through questioning. Employers are demanding a holistic personality approach, not just a range of complex questions and resumes to be the tools for selection, nor scanning their social media for clues.

While Big Data has a place, it cannot provide insight into the actual personality of individual prospective hires. People are unique; how they communicate, interact with each other, respond under pressure, manage their emotions, each of these will be different. Whatever the approach to building a picture of a candidate, a validated behavioral insights discovery procedure, such as the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process provides 91% accuracy.

The cost of a bad hire is not the only driver of employers, the growing concern is will this employee fit the values and culture, or bring down my business? Further, recruitment agencies and executive search organizations are concerned with protecting the integrity of their own business by requiring clients to fit the role in terms of both skills and personality.

Many are now turning to the application of behavioral insights not just with candidates, but also through administering the DNA Behavior Discovery process with the client.

Recruiters assess the manager and culture of the organization to ensure their selected candidates are not just suitable for posts, not just a good fit, but that they know in advance how to communicate with managers and understand the values and culture of the organization.

Behaviorally smart organizations, whether recruiters or employers, define their values in cultural terms. And they now require interview processes to focus on whether the new hires will fit the desired culture without a steep learning curve to get up to speed. So, not just in terms of a candidate’s performance but their individual values and understanding of culture must align as well.

This #extremevetting approach when partnered with DNA Behavior and their Behavioral Intelligence Solutions is a behaviorally smart first step in the hiring process.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

What Contingent Liabilities are Your Employees Causing

What Contingent Liabilities are Your Employees Causing?

Rogue behavior costing $36 billion in legal bills since the financial crisis should give every Board member and Executive sleepless nights. Then add the cost to hire significant compliance and security management and staff to curb rogue behavior, and some serious questions need to be asked!

  1. What part does pressure to chase profitability encourage a greater level of risk to be taken?
  2. How much risk is the business willing to take? And at what level does risk become reckless?
  3. Is the level of inter-staff competitiveness so great that irresponsible risk is encouraged?
  4. How vigilant are those in leadership to the impact of pressure on employees?

Working in an environment pressurized to succeed at all costs, tends to be the norm, especially in the Financial Sector. Just look at Wells Fargo. Whilst taking risk is a legitimate part of building a successful business and keeping ahead of the competition, when pressure and risk collide it can quickly become a weapon in the wrong hands. Unable to balance risk under pressure to achieve results, the line becomes blurred between acceptable business practices and legal or moral improprieties.

Even more alarming, is when Boards and senior executives fail to acknowledge the environments that promote rogue behavior simply to increase profits. It could be argued that they are as culpable as the rogue employee. Daniel Kahneman, in his book Thinking Fast and Slow, says “we can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.”

Prosecutions and regulatory enforcement stemming from noncompliance related to employee behavior such as corruption, bribery, rogue trading and insider trading are on the rise around the world. In fiscal 2015, the SEC filed nearly 7% more cases over the prior year, meting out $4.2 billion in sanctions.

People are hired for their talent but little attention is paid to their inherent personality. So when an individual is placed under significant pressure or pushed to take excessive risks, their behavior can turn rogue. The good news? When pressure and risk collide can now be predicted.

Using behavioral insights, management can dynamically match employees with specific environmental conditions to determine their potential response to risk and pressure. They can also discern the degree to which such responses could create rogue behavior and negative actions towards the business.

It is no longer enough to simply look at emails, computer keystrokes, outside influences, sick records etc. – the old hat of international espionage and anti-terrorist tools. What should be clearly understood is that the rogue employee is a human being, that when placed under significant pressure to achieve, will take risks.

The question to Boards and Executives is – do you know your employees?

What corporate entities have in their corner is direct and immediate access to their own personnel from top to bottom and every department – including even outside partners and vendors. So the solution is the deployment of a validated personality discovery process, providing hidden insights and a reliable prediction of where security or compliance risks exist.
Based on external research, employees with the following measurable behavioral traits are more likely to engage in rogue behavior when emotionally triggered

  1. An inventive mind, full of ground-breaking ideas turns their thoughts to curious and devious thinking when, as an example; many of their ideas are rejected.
  2. A go-getting, determined person, driven to success at any cost; begins to cut corners, as a toxic competitive streak takes over.
  3. A reticent, uncommunicative, taciturn minded person normally just seen as the quiet one’ begins to hold onto key information that others need, simply because they have taken offense over something trivial.
Which Employee is Your Molotov Cocktail2

DNA Behavior International’s validated system gets below the surface to reveal behaviors that, if not managed, can lead to ruinous behavior.
The Unique DNA Behavior Approach is able to Score, Filter, and Prioritize Employee Personality Insights.

oerational risk 3.1

Which Employee is Your Molotov Cocktail

Which Employee is Your Molotov Cocktail?

Potentially 5% of your workforce includes employees that are a high-security risk. The cost of all types of fraud is a staggering 5% of turnover, per the 2014 Global Fraud Study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE.) So, what’s the cost of rogue employee behavior to your business? Simply identifying the personality type most likely to cross the line and the triggers that push them there could save you big dollars and your reputation. Or better yet, how do you help an employee to align their strengths to a given role and avoid rogue behavior altogether?

While larger businesses are investing more in cyber security and other monitoring programs, virtually nothing is being put towards identifying and monitoring costly employee behavior risks. The problem is that many of these insider threats are already in your business and the situation is gaining momentum without anyone being the wiser. The Global State of Information Security Survey 2015 recommends that 23% of the annual spend on business security should be directed to behavioral profiling and monitoring of employees.

Research shows that the following problems are caused by human behavior:

  • Combinations of human behavioral factor outliers and external environmental factors (e.g. financial difficulty) trigger emotions causing negative behavior toward the company.
  • Combinations of employees with too similar or too different styles working in a high-risk environment cause internal control issues.

Which Employee is Your Molotov Cocktail

The solution is the deployment of a validated personality discovery process, providing insights to hidden, hard-wired traits and a reliable prediction of where security or compliance risks exist. Based on external research, employees with the following measurable behavioral traits are more likely to engage in rogue behavior when emotionally triggered:

  1. Innovative – bright mind, which turns into curious and devious thinking
  2. Ambitious – desire for success, leading to cutting corners
  3. Secretive – working under cover and not revealing key information

The reality is that any person with a weak or temporarily broken character in the wrong team or facing external pressure can make flawed decisions and therefore, become the source of costly negative behavior. The employee behavior review using personality assessment methodologies should be uniformly applied to every employee in the business from the top down to distill the “hot spot” areas. The high performing leaders down through the sales and operations teams to the disgruntled bookkeeper are not exempt – New hires, or old guard, every last one. You only have to look at the recent headlines regarding Wells Fargo, Volkswagen, and JP Morgan. I am regularly seeing it in the financial services industry and the privately held businesses with whom we partner.

Which Employee is Your Molotov Cocktail2

Using behavioral insights, management can dynamically match employees with specific environmental conditions to determine their potential response. They can also discern the degree to which such responses could create rogue behavior and negative actions towards the business. Lastly, management can apply these insights towards talent re-allocation, employee evaluation, team development and improved hiring processes.

Investment Committee integrated graphic blank

Investment Committees through the Behavioral Intelligence Lens

Most investment committees have a very clear mission: Serve as stewards for assets of the organization they represent.

Recruiting the right people to do that is critical to the success of the Investment Committee. But how do we define “right”? Is it a professional background? Education? Investment knowledge? And where does the diversity lens come in, if at all? What about their inherent risk-tolerance and behavioral biases toward investments?

In a study by Vanguard’s Vanguard Investment Counseling & Research on Group Decision Making for Investment Committees, there are definitely biases (both investment behavioral biases and workplace behavioral style differences) that should be considered when forming a committee with such important responsibilities in an organization.

Group Decision Making for Investment Committees Source: Vanguard Research

Most investment committees focus on five critical decision-making areas:

  1. Establishing goals or objectives for the investment portfolio they are managing.
  2. Setting an investment policy-on everything from strategic asset allocation to rebalancing policy to performance metrics.
  3. Selecting managers to implement the portfolio’s investment policy.
  4. Evaluating short- and long-term investment performance-both for the portfolio and for individual managers.
  5. Selecting experts (e.g., a consultant) to guide the committee as necessary.

As you think about how your committee recruits and selects new members, are you making the most of the opportunity to broaden the search to include those who would bring a diverse and beneficial perspective to the group?

As the research shows, this can lead to a more effective team and, in turn, a better outcome for the committee’s main mission.

Using a Behavioral Finance approach can shed light on the risk-tolerance and behavioral bias of the Investment Committee Members who may possibly be more wired for a Newness Bias or the More Anchored Bias. There are several behavioral biases that can either create conflict for the Investment Committee or potentially a group-think bias that could create risk for the firm.

In selecting an expert to guide the committee as indicated in bullet point 5 – Selecting an Expert, using a behavioral discovery process can add a dimension of behavioral diversity to the important function of the Investment Committee by ensuring the group can function collaboratively and effectively while also preventing “Group think.” Find out more on using Behavioral Intelligence and how to recruit the right behavioral fit for this important role in the organization.