Assessing & Improving The ‘Cognitive Value’ Of Your Firm

  • Mark Edwards ·
  • May 31, 2018

The title of this article might have given you pause for thought. Of course, being a great firms means being inclusive. This means giving absolutely no negative or positive value to race, gender, sexuality, personal life (so long as it doesn’t reflect badly on your firm or is illegal in any way).

Some firms operate trying to include a certain gender or race above others, but this can lead to a very strong inability to deliver in terms of your personal meritocracy. By this that we mean it’s superior to have a team of all women if you can prove they are better qualified and skilled, and the opposite is true also.

No, the real currency in business in cognitive value. This is a blanket term that means finding reliability, a proven track record, a keen awareness for business trends and many other things matter when it comes to hiring new employees. This also helps you hire without any form of prejudice in the first place, opening up your business to any and all that deserve a place there.

Here’s what you should look for.

Cultural Understanding

It’s incredibly worthwhile, especially when opening up your business to overseas interests or establishing, that you hire those with a cultural understanding. This might mean investing in local workforce and local residences for those employees, such as those found on PropertyGuru. It can also mean finding bilingual employees and even considering this a requirement for those entering your mid-level positions. The world is global, and the free market more so. This means finding buyers for your products around the world requires a customized strategy in each area you try to market within.

While cultural understanding is absolutely not the only skill a new hire must demonstrate, adding this as a requirement (depending on the job role suitable) can help you find people with authentic and accurate skills for a certain job. That way you both respect the pride of the culture you hope to become a part of, and keep the best person at the helm to steer you through those unfamiliar waters.

Routine Training

It’s important to provide routine training for all of your staff, and in areas that you might not initially think of. The law dictates you must have a certain number of first aid qualified individuals in your workforce, to allow for a quick attendance to health issues that might occur as the emergency services are called.

Could you extend this training further, opening it up to anyone who may desire to become qualified? This can certainly help you increase the safety of your office. However, there are many new training programs you might choose to introduce. The most appropriate hire will be happy to grapple with as many of these as they can if it furthers their competence in the job role. This might mean learning a new programing language. It might mean learning a new language. Investing in the competence skillset of your team not only opens them up to better and more varied task handling but also helps them keep a loyalty for your firm. You needn’t consider training items as wide-spanning as this either.. Helping employees specialise further allows you more opportunity to open a wide degree of highly trained individual needs within your usual operational parameters.

This means that each staff member becomes invaluable rather than simply part of a generic whole. If you hope to hire internally (good for motivation and lowering staff turnover in general) you will find that a team of specialists is the way to go. Conduct a poll within your office. List a potential number of training programs for a department and see how many would be interested in engaging with that. You’ll often find that many of the staff members care about being better, so providing them with the platform to do so can be the best thing you’ll ever do as a boss.

Strong Interviews

It’s important to know that your interview technique will always, always, always mean more than you think. When it comes to assessing new hires, you’re not only finding out if that person, in particular, will be competent enough for the job role. It matters to know if they could be appropriate for another role within your business. Sometimes extreme talent might not be as perfect for the job role as you think, but more than worth creating a new role for, or at least training them more in line with their strengths.

For example, let’s say an interviewee attends your marketing HOD role interview. They have only recently decided to go back to college and study marketing, but have a great history of promoting, engaging with clients and they have a long string of happy customers behind them. It might be that this person would be much better suited in a top-level position for your customer service department, with input into press releases where appropriate. It pays to find a strong interview team for this, plucked from the higher echelons of your firm. With this in mind, you’ll often find the best person for the job, and conduct more stringent, personable interviews.

Also, remember that cognitive value isn’t always in book smarts, or pre-prepared groomed suit interviews. Sometimes, a person only shows you their true working colors when working on a job with you. This is why trial shifts, weeks or projects are better to assess the full working capacity of an individual. If you have the means to and the job role is of a sufficient importance, you will often find that a small stressful scenario shows you the character of a person with much more proficiency than anything else.

With these goals to aim for, skills to search for, and practical systems to put in place, you’ll certainly find that the cognitive capacity of your team improves and only grows with time. This can truly lead you to develop a team to be reckoned with, helping you establish a firm that almost anyone would be envious of leading.

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