This year, in preparing to go to “cottage country” for our summer vacation, I brought our vehicle in for servicing (which included an oil change) to make certain we’re all set for the trip.
It’s been a few years since I dealt with this service center. When I got my bill and paid it, I only checked the total because in the past, they’ve always been very good to me and never performed work that I didn’t authorize.
I had a pleasant surprise when I initially looked at the bill because it was about $40 cheaper than I had estimated.
But that “pleasant surprise” didn’t last long. Once I got home, I looked the bill over in more detail. That’s when I saw that I had not been charged for the oil filter.
Since the service center is only a few blocks away, I drove down there to discuss the bill with them. When I queried about the lack of an oil filter on the bill, they apologized and said they forgot to change the oil.
When I look back on that experience, it strikes me that this is a good example of how important “Conscientiousness” is to performance in virtually any job.
It also shows what an impact it has on performance. If only the person servicing my vehicle had been more detail oriented, organized and more of a planner, the oil change would have been done properly.
Now I’m not sure that being proactive or not had any bearing on this job, but if he decided to leave everything to the last minute and rushed through the job, that would definitely have been a contributing factor.
In case you haven’t guessed yet, the single best predictor of many aspects of job and performance training is the personality characteristic Conscientiousness.
Here’s why it’s so important
Conscientiousness measures if the individual is detail oriented or not, organized or disorganized, a planner or is spontaneous and whether he/she is proactive or a procrastinator.
Combining these characteristics in one form or another tells you about the person’s self-discipline, carefulness, thoroughness, organization, and deliberation (the tendency to think carefully before acting).
These are all characteristics that franchisors want in their franchisees to one degree or another. I’ll grant you that some of these characteristics are more important than others depending on the job, but in every job it’s important to to rate high on at least one of these characteristics.
It’s these differences that make Conscientiousness effective in determining performance in so many jobs.
As I’ve mentioned before, there have been countless studies over the years that show that Conscientiousness alone has a significant relationship with performance in most jobs.
Four Sample Questions
Here’s a very small sample of the types of questions you can ask to get a handle on how the candidate will act on-the-job. I’ve listed these 4 parts of “Conscientiousness” with a sample question for each one:
- Detail oriented vs. not detail oriented
- – Q: Describe projects that have required accuracy and attention to detail. How did you handle them?
- Organized vs. disorganized
- – Q: Are you a very organized person? Why do you say that?
- Spontaneous vs. a planner
- – Q: Are you systematic? Why do you say that?
- Proactive vs. a procrastinator
- – Q: Are you a self-starter? Why do you say that?
There are a lot of other questions that aren’t quite as obvious as these. Give me a call and we can talk about what’s important to your franchise and together we’ll come up with a list that will work for you to get you started.
As the candidate moves along in your process, it’s wise to invest in adding a third-party validated, job-specific, selection tool designed to get a more accurate read on eventual performance. For instance, for franchisee selection, I recommend The FranchiZe Profile.
With a 93+% accuracy level, it explores a variety of job-specific situations, attitudes and behaviors like:
- How the candidate will deal with employees and customers,
- Whether he/she will tend to blame you, the franchisor, for any failures, and
- Several other issues.