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Profiling for Performance at BMW Gillian Hyde

There were two reasons for this: • Firstly, the original template was already

BMW New Car Sales BMW New Car Sales

BMW Sales The BMW Sales scale is a

a Sales Certification Scheme to train the Sales

scale identifies individuals who are likely to sell

composite scale identifying individuals who

Executives in specific sales and customer

more new cars. High scorers on this scale will

are likely to sell more new and used cars. High

service techniques. Asked what he thought

Our basic premise

4 years old, and BMW, its products, its

seem edgy and driven but at ease and self-

scorers on this scale will seem even-tempered

BMW were looking for in a sales person, Jeff

Almost a decade ago PCL researched and

aspirations and its market were changing –

confident when talking to others. They will be

and consistent in mood, they will have a

felt that they needed people who are more

published UK editions of the three Hogan

BMW has dramatically increased its range

able to negotiate without worrying too much

positive outlook on life, appearing upbeat and

self-actualising, the kinds of people who are

personality questionnaires. During this period

of cars and its sales revenues.

about other people's sensitivities and they are

happy, and they will be socially self-confident.

“learners in charge of their own destiny”.

probably well-informed about products and

They also enjoy being the centre of attention,

This view coincides with several of the themes

their technical specification.

are able to negotiate without worrying too

that emerged from PCL’s research and the

we have developed a style of organisational research, based on the premise that performance

• Secondly, much more detailed and objective performance data was now available.

in any role is likely to be facilitated or impeded

much about other people's sensitivities,

general finding that personality has a

by an individual’s temperament as reflected in

The objectives of this second wave of research

BMW Used Car Sales The BMW Used Car

and are not afraid to act on their own

significant role to play in distinguishing the

their personality profile.


Sales scale identifies individuals who are likely

initiative even if it means risking others'

most effective BMW Sales Executives from

to sell more used cars. High scorers on this scale

disapproval.The selection system was

the rest. Clearly, in recruiting staff as with

will seem empathic, even-tempered and

subsequently implemented and managed by

anything else, you need to know what you are

consistent in mood, and they will be socially

BMW’s independent recruitment agent KHA

looking for to have any chance of finding it.


who have been extremely successful in selling

Perhaps the greatest benefits of the approach

the system to the dealerships.

illustrated above are (a) that it helps to

• To reflect the current and future sales BMW project overview As part of its recruitment process for sales executives, BMW partnered with PCL to create a customised selection profiling system based on the Hogan Personality Inventory. The original

Gillian Hyde

executive roles at BMW • To review the linkage between performance and personality • To identify necessary changes and to update the template

BMW scoring template was based on an initial

Gillian is a chartered occupational psychologist who has worked in the field

BMW Corporate Car Sales The BMW

of assessment since 1989. She has been

Corporate Car Sales scale identifies individuals

A word from BMW

identify the key characteristics (knowing what you are looking for) that can consistently be

validity study carried out in the year 2000

This phase of the research involved 94

involved in the UK development of a

who are likely to sell more corporate cars. High

Earlier this year I asked Jeff Jennings,

targeted across all aspects of the selection

involving BMW sales executives. This was

sales executives for whom we had both

number of tests – for example the Watson-

scorers on this scale will seem even-tempered

Manager, Centre for Development at BMW,

process and (b) that it establishes a feedback

refined through further validation work in 2003

performance and personality data. The

Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Form

and consistent in mood, they will have a

what he felt were the biggest challenges facing

loop that ensures continuous learning based

– again comparing the performance of sales

performance data had been collected through

C and the Hogan suite of personality

positive outlook on life, appearing upbeat and

the sales executives at BMW. Jeff felt it was

on the performance of those appointed

executives against their Hogan Personality

the BMW Centre for Development as part


sociable and outgoing – people who are likely to

the soft skills part of the job that was the

against the back-drop of an ever changing

Inventory profiles. For the dealership network

of a wider performance management project

enjoy being in the company of others.

most challenging, and he has implemented

commercial environment.

to benefit from the logistical advantages of the

and was particularly detailed.

internet, questionnaire administration was

Gillian has served on the Steering Committee for Test Standards for The

online and scoring, report generation and

Findings 1 – HPI scales predictive of

British Psychological Society and has co-

Continued from page 5

Continued from page 19

dispatch were fully automated.


reviewed a couple of personality

We know that the applicants find the online

• Minority groups achieve greater

Analysing the data at the personality scale level

questionnaires for the ‘Review of

assessment process very user-friendly and easy

representation: As a result of changes to

Original research

we were able to identify a number of aspects of

Personality Assessment Instruments (Level

to engage with too.”

the process, the proportion of candidates

In the original validity study in 2000 the ‘ideal’

personality that could contribute to prediction

B) for Use in Occupational Settings 2nd

BMW Sales Executive profile was that of a well

of performance. The Adjustment, Ambition

edition’, published by the BPS.

Store perceptions have also indicated that

stages of the assessment process has

adjusted person, someone who was fairly self-

and Managerial Potential scales of the HPI all

At PCL since 1994, Gillian’s responsibilities

online assessment is a huge improvement on

increased. Despite a considerable proportion

confident and untroubled by self-doubt, a

positively and significantly correlated with sales

encompass research and development,

the time-consuming psychometric tests which

of candidates being screened out at the e-

reliable and conscientious worker, someone

figures while HPI Prudence was positively

designing bespoke selection systems for

had been used in previous years. The reports

Tray stage of the process, there is no Adverse

who was well-informed and keen to take on

correlated with separate ratings of employee

clients and delivering training in the HDS,

are widely viewed as user friendly, with

Impact against females and the Adverse


performance that were largely based on good

an assessment of derailers.

from minority groups reaching the later

minimal time and space resources required at

Impact against ethnic minority groups is

attendance and punctuality. So the general

store level. Steve Bryan, Store Director and

less than typically found with reasoning

There was remarkable enthusiasm and wide

profile of a more successful BMW Sales

JVP at Specsavers in Liverpool, said: “Having a


acceptance of the instrument and it was rapidly

executive is a well adjusted, calm, composed

screening procedure is a good starting point

established as a key recruiting tool. It is

individual who is achievement-oriented and

for the face-to-face interview. When we were

Efforts to improve the e-Tray exercise element

estimated that two thirds of the dealerships

socially self-confident. Such people tend to be

of smaller subthemes and when we analysed

opening a sister store in Liverpool we were

of the Fast Stream process have not stopped

have used it at some time and half the

hard working individuals who are keen to take

the data at this level we were able to build

recruiting for five staff at once, and the online


dealerships always use it when selecting sales

on responsibility, are self-motivated and will

customised scales to predict performance for

assessment system helped get numbers down

executives. Over 2000 administrations were

take the initiative. Those Sales Executives who

different sales roles within BMW. Specifically,

to a manageable level.”

completed between 2000 and 2003 and the

prove to be more reliable employees from the

for New Cars, Used Cars and Corporate Cars –

process was extended, with modifications to the

attendance and punctuality perspective tend to

as well as a general customised BMW Sales scale

Adopting a bespoke, integrated online

security risks of over-exposure of content, each

template, for other operational posts such as

have personality profiles that suggest they are

to be used when applicants are being assessed

recruitment process at the application stage

year changes have been made to minimise

Managers and Dealer Principals as well as for

more conscientious, conventional and

when their exact role designation is not known

helps maximise efficiency without losing

Adverse Impact and improve the validity of

MINI sales executives.


prior to assessment, or for smaller dealerships

out on rich and valuable information about

the exercise. An example e-Tray exercise has

where they may have to sell across these

applicants’ suitability. Both ASDA and

also been created, and is available on the Fast

Not only has a new version of the exercise been developed each year to minimise any

Reasons for the re-analysis:

Findings 2 – HPI customized scales

categories. These customised scales and the

Specsavers were able to maximise the

Stream website, to help ensure that all

In 2003 we carried out additional research to

predictive of performance

inferences that we would draw from them are

efficiency of their selection processes

candidates have similar levels of familiarity

further refine the system.

Each of the HPI scales is made up of a number

detailed below.

without compromising on the quality

with this novel type of exercise.

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