Dr. Lowell Hellervik – Reddit AMA Questions and Answers – Part 2

By Posted in - Other Topics on May 6th, 2013 0 Comments

On April 24, 2013, Dr. Lowell Hellervik of OMNIview conducted an “Ask Me Anything on Reddit,” where for two hours he held court and answered questions ranging from talent management to how best to be recognized for advancement … all the way to who is better, the Gophers or the Badgers! OMNIview will post Dr. Hellervik’s responses in a series of blog posts over the next few weeks, but if you’d like to see the whole conversation, the complete AMA with Lowell Hellervik is available at Reddit.

Questions are in italics. Part one can be found here.

Mentors and Inspiration to Start PDI Ninth House

Who were your mentors and what inspired you to start up PDI?

Marv Dunnette was my mentor and partner. I had a double major in counseling psychology and industrial psychology, so he was intrigued in the range of my abilities to perform in a consulting capacity. In 1966, he was elected president of the American Industrial Psychologists and later he suggested we start the business where he basically stayed at the University and I worked in the consulting business. His fame both nationally and locally helped us land our initial clients.

How to Convince Companies of the Need to Change Hiring Practices

Hello Dr. Hellervik, I have worked with Mia on the OMNIview interviewing solution last year. My question is this: Companies most often are short-sighted in the interviewing process, rushing it to fill a need, only to discover that skills or knowledge deficiencies are present later.

We know having this system trains managers and accurately qualifies candidates, but how do we HELP “THEM” KNOW if they will slow down, to speed up, working a bit more on the front-end, they’ll have less on the development end.

My need is one of persuasively presenting a business case for changing their hiring paradigm. Can you advise on how to improve on the approach to this solution?

Do you have the data collection capability to actually study the impact of your selection decisions? For example, can you have your senior leadership team estimate how much more valuable it would be to them to have an above average performer than an average performer. In some organizations that is easily worth a $150,000 per individual! Likewise, do you have turnover data on your employees? Or performance information on recent hires? There are many indications of performance that might, if studied, reveal a better ROI on good selection than on what they might be spending for improved technology or other capital investments.

Another useful approach is to have them reflect on bad hires they’ve known about or done in the past that were particular damaging … wouldn’t it have been better to avoid that bad hire? A better interviewing approach could accomplish that.

Availability of Dr. Howell’s Books and Advice for Family and Friends in a Start-Up Environment

Are your books available on Audible? Amazon? Also, what are your thoughts on hiring close friends/family in a start up environment? I went through it and it was miserable. I didn’t like the idea and eventually had to fire the guy. He was my partner’s best friend (like a brother) and the guy didn’t think he had to listen to me even though I was co-founder/president. Anyway, to make something like this work or is it a better idea to just avoid it at all cost?

Yes, the books are available on Amazon. Some could even be out of print, but I just got a check from Pearson for the now rather ancient “Behavior Description Interviewing” book! I’ll look into Audible. (Behavior Description Interviewing, Successful Manager’s Handbook, What and Why of Assessment)

Business, especially a service business, can definitely put relationships to the test – whether friends or family. Some consultants, of course, make a practice out of working with family businesses because of all the tensions that exist within them. In initiating a business, when capital is in short supply, I think it’s possible a husband and wife team or small family enterprise can be successful – maybe the only way it can be successful. But in a larger enterprise, I think it’s oftentimes frought with landmines and requires skillful negotiating of those mines.

So I don’t see that it’s necessary to avoid it at all costs, but the more one can structure current roles and roles under scenarios of high-medium-low success in the future, the better off one will be.

Mia Saldaneri

About Mia Saldaneri

Mia Saldaneri brings the real life view to OMNI.  She has owned her own small transportation company (yikes!), sold children’s dress-up clothing to boutiques and toy stores, worked for Personnel Decisions ...
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