The hidden value of your network – The NQ Score

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“If you don’t have any facts, we’ll just use my opinion.” Poetic as this last part of Jim Barksdale’s quote might sound, (former President and CEO of Netscape) I have to say lately I’m not only happy, but very relieved to be relying on facts and future outlook when taking decisions. Especially when hiring new employees, which I’ve always though to be one of the biggest gambles a CEO can take.

Yesterday, for example, I found myself having to pick one sales person out of a short list of 3.

The process of hiring new staff should be fairly simple, ever since psychologists theorized in the early 80’s that decisions made using good professional objective decision making models will always be better than expert intuition. Knowledge is power, and as long as you have a complete file on all candidates, you can’t go that wrong, right? Well, kind of.

Knowledge only solves half the problem, because it only gives you relevant and palpable information for the past. In this day in age, when trends in business are changing by the minute, when companies need to secure their future through long term sales and CRM strategies and, most importantly, when cold calling is almost dead, every decision making should also be taken from a broader, future perspective.

Ok, we’ve analyzed all relevant information about what the candidate has done so far, but what if there was a way to predict how the employee will fit in the organization? Well, there is. It’s called NQ Score, and it’s the kind of tool that helps you sleep better at night, knowing that you’ve really covered all your bases before taking the right decision.

To put things in perspective, I will go back to my example. All 3 candidates for my open sales position had been thoroughly vetted. They all had at least 5 years experience in sales, they had all proven good results at previous companies and all their references were impeccable. All past knowledge criteria had been met, and that’s no wonder – basically, that’s the point of a short list.

Now, normally, the decision making process in this case always goes subjective. Only I was fortunate enough to have another ace up my sleeve, the predictive tool, the sneak peak into the future: the NQ Score. The system gives a scoring of one’s network, based on the number of contacts (friends and business partners) from all social networks. The secret lies in it’s simplicity. It gives one point for each connection, offering companies an idea on how well connected the candidate is.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I would have hired Justin Bieber to sell CRM if he had joined me in the interview room yesterday on account of his millions of followers on Twitter, because the system behind NQ Score goes one step further and matches the candidate’s contacts versus the company’s prospect list. I want my sales people to be well connected, of course. That’s why, if you get on my short list, having a big network will get you far, but being well connected where it matters to me will get you hired.

So is NQ Score inevitable? It’s a no brainer, actually. In the social big data driven world where we have huge amounts of information at our disposal, the next logical step is to try and grasp it’s importance, map our overall connections, understand who knows who and who can help us achieve our goals. So yes, NQ score is inevitable. But is that bad? No. It’s just part of the future. And the sooner we embrace it and understand it can help us as much as it can help our company, we’re all going to be better off.

Andrei Postoaca
Andrei is the founder and CEO of Clintelica - the first company to offer a Predictive CRM application, giving companies the opportunity to take full benefit of the gathered network of all employees. Companies sit today on thousands of leads through their employees' connections. We make these leads visible. Previously he ran IMRI and IIS, two companies later sold to Ipsos (Market Research), becoming Ipsos Sweden and IIS (Ipsos Interactive Services). He is also the author of the only book in the area of online research panels, "The Anonymous Elect."

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