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3 Sets of Questions to Get Started on Needfinding Your Ideal Candidate

Posted August 26, 2014 by Editor
Categories: Hybrid Thinking
Needfinding Your Ideal Candidate

This post was written by Joy Liu, Director of Strategy here at Jump. You can get in touch with her directly by commenting on this post. 

Needfinding provides extraordinarily powerful tools for uncovering strategic connections, and here at Jump, it’s something we use a lot.

On a project to develop new businesses for a healthcare client, for example, our research included the client organization, healthcare providers, and end consumers. Because we studied all the stakeholders in the value chain, we not only came up with end consumer solutions, but also solutions for the healthcare providers—a market the client had never served before because they didn’t realize that they had the capabilities to serve health professionals’ needs.

Focusing on needs can allow you to develop new solutions and think in ways you hadn’t thought before. And while that’s true in designing strategies, it’s also true for another critical element of your existence as an organization: hiring the right talent.

Needfinding your ideal candidate is a good way to get started on the right track of hiring someone who fits all of your company’s needs, some of which may be explicitly described in the job description, and others which may be more implicit, like what it takes to be successful with management in this role. A more intimate knowledge of what your company needs (and what a candidate who fits those needs looks like) also gives you the ability to put employees in positions where they’re best enabled for success.

At Jump, we have hiring worksheets that we use to debrief candidate interviews. Interviewers fill out the worksheets right after the interview, while the interactions are still fresh in their minds. When making hiring decisions, these worksheets are essential to ensuring that we are finding candidates that fit our current needs.

This basic worksheet will get you started with comparing the needs of the position to the needs of 3 of your candidates. From here, you can also come up with additional needs and ask others working with you on this hire to articulate their needs, and how you all might prioritize the variety of needs.

You can find a .pdf version of our career needfinding worksheet here. You can also access a preview of the worksheet by clicking on the image above.

Seismic Scaling: Aftershocks and Confusion in Contextual Measurement

Posted August 25, 2014 by Editor
Categories: Hybrid Thinking
san francisco golden gate bridge

This post was written by Matthew Ford, a strategist here at Jump. You can find him on Twitter @matthewdford, or get in touch with him by commenting on this post.

After the largest earthquake in 25 years shook the Bay Area yesterday, people both in the area and across the country were left puzzled trying to quantify its impact.

The Richter and moment-magnitude scales, developed by seismologists in the 1930s and later refined in the 1970s, are based on logarithmic functions where each step corresponds to roughly a 30-fold increase in energy released. Understanding the difference between a 6.0 and a 6.9 event is inherently difficult. Many have called for a measurement system that’s more intuitive, but the context and utility of ratings should be top of mind as we consider the value we draw from any comparison.

We’re surrounded by unintuitive and nonlinear rating systems that many of us rely on and assign significant value. Like the increase in each step of the Richter scale, Yelp’s 5-star rating system commands exponential expectations for quality with each additional star. A 3-star rating is anything but average—it’s entirely common to ignore businesses under 3.5 stars and expect 4 stars at a minimum. Similarly, irrational social rating systems factor into daily decision-making with services like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb. Rating a driver below 5 stars can be career ending, reserved only for the most egregious offenses in customer service. The impact of a bad review on Airbnb shows how one bad apple can spoil the bunch, and legal action to curb unfavorable Yelp reviews demonstrates both how culturally resonant and navigationally difficult rating systems can be.

From ridesharing to geology, the proof point for thresholds and nonlinearity in scales resides in how well they are understood and used by their intended audience. Grade point averages are entirely contextual, but schools and employers alike understand that a 3.0 average on a 4.0 scale represents more than a 25% improvement over a 2.0, and that it’s important to factor in the subject matter of courses and where they are taught.

Similarly, earthquake measurement is appropriately prescriptive and descriptive for its intended audiences. For structural engineers and seismologists, the magnitude, frequency, and duration of earthquakes points to geography-driven building standards that balance risk with public safety. For the rest of us, the behavioral impact of these scales is minimal. Unlike categorized hurricanes, earthquake ratings quantify the impact of unanticipated events once they’ve already occurred. It’s less important to know exactly how much energy was released than to have a rough idea of how it compared to a previous event.

If we allow the implications for seismic scales guide our intuitions about their utility, we can rest easily knowing they are rational for the audience they serve—at least until the aftershocks wake us up.

3 Sets of Questions to Get Started on Needfinding Your Career

Posted August 20, 2014 by Editor
Categories: Hybrid Thinking
Career Needfinding Worksheet

This post was written by Joy Liu, Director of Strategy here at Jump. You can get in touch with her directly by commenting on this post.

Here at Jump, we regularly use the tools and methods of needfinding to understand the needs and capabilities of people and organizations, and how they can strategically work together to create value.

The idea behind needfinding is simple: by studying the world around us, we can gain a better understanding of what people need, and use those insights to create meaningful connections across stakeholders. You can imagine how useful needfinding can be for a business that wants to make sure its offerings align with consumer needs, or for two businesses considering a partnership to make sure there is shared value. But it’s also immensely useful for something else: your career search.

In a career search, the value chain includes the potential employee (you!) and potential employers (companies you’re interested in). For promising prospects, there are likely to be opportunities at a variety of companies. By reflecting on your own personal needs as well as researching the needs of the organizations you are interested in, you should be able to help you and your future employer find a great match.

This basic worksheet will get you started comparing your needs to the needs of 3 potential employers. From here, you can also think about other needs that are personally important to you and how you might prioritize the different needs.

You can find a .pdf version of our career needfinding worksheet here. You can also access a preview of the worksheet by clicking on the image above.

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