How to recruit in a professional way : The ORCE Methodology



I  used to go out in the morning really excited to meet lots of new extraordinary people and …believe me I did that absolutely every day.

I’ll let you guess my job: I serve a lot of glasses of water, visit a lot of different hotels, ask a lot of questions, observe a lot of different behaviors, and have to dress immaculately, be charming and smile a lot.

Now I can imagine you SMIRKING…You got it wrong…I am a PROFESSIONAL….double wrong!!!…I worked in England as an independent assessor on large recruitment campaigns. Now you might wonder what is the difference between the UK and France in the recruitment process?  Competencies are paramount in the UK, where experience is most important in France for a start…hence we ask more personal questions in France.

You might wonder how to define a competency : the name given to “any combination of skills, knowledge, attitude and underlying motivation which can be applied in a way which delivers effective or superior performance on the job”

Here are a few mishappenings that usually sent me to the water cooler pretty quick (YES…more water..). Stress makes you act in really weird ways from time to time.

Candidates unable to speak any English…and using every trick in the book to save themselves time, in order to be able to grasp what the question actually means: “could you repeat that please? …what you mean is …” then he repeats exact wording of the question….is this correct? “ I usually repeat the question once more, and then rephrase the question in Pidgin English: You…preparation for this interview? And… after all this effort, the candidate does not answer the question …

When recruiting Vernetticreative follows the ORCE Methodology, an objective assessment for Selection and Development. The company is qualified Level A with the British Psychology Society and Level B theory.

ORCE : Observe, Record, Classify, Evaluate.

Orce is a four stage assessment methodology used throughout the UK and USA in large recruitment projects.

Unlike traditional methods of assessment that often combine observation and evaluation, Orce includes two additional stages in the process, i.e Record and Classify the evidence gathered during observation in order to permit a more objective final evaluation

The practical advantages of the ORCE methodology :

–          Interview questions relate directly to the skills needed for the role.

–          Candidate’s responses are based on actual experiences and behaviors, meaning the information collected is highly relevant.

–          CBIs (competency based interviews) follow a systematic process which can be repeated by multiple interviewers.

–          It can be used as a benchmarking tool

–          The 4th phase can be moderated according to the number of applications received.

How does it work?

1/ Once the competencies are defined for the role, each competency will then be defined individually.

For example : team skills could be defined as follows:

–          Enjoys working with people

–          Likes to share his/her ideas

–          Takes on board the opinion of others

–          Perseverant in contributing to the ideas of others

Then a list of positive and negative indicators will be precisely defined as follows

Positive   indicators Negative   indicators
Likes to   share his/her ideas Prefer to   work alone
Prefer to   work with others Poor   communicator
Offer   support to other to help them build their confidence Is   critical of other’s ideas
Has an   active role in the team Difficulties   to be clear/understood
Open   minded Keep   information to themselves
Ability to   summarize his and other’s ideas Does not   display logical argumentation

2/ A situation question will be indicated in relation to the competency searched for. This could be : ‘Can you think of a situation when you had to work as part of a team? How did you proceed? What was the end result? What could you have done better?

The expertise of the consultant is to then ask probing questions in order to get enough material to classify and evaluate

3/ the answers are then analyzed in comparison to the positive and negative indicators

4/ finally the Evaluation is taken care of as follows :

A/ grading system

–          Highly acceptable (when all indicators are in the positive side)

–          More than acceptable (when most of the indicators are in the positive side with one in the negative side)

–          Acceptable (when the majority of the indicators are in the positive side with two in the negative side)

–          Less than acceptable (the majority of the indicators are in the negative side)

–          No evidence (when the candidate was unable to explain a situation in particular despite the consultant probing on several occasions)

Each competency must be graded individually and the key is to analyze the answer word by word, hence the importance or recording the answer precisely.

B/scoring system :

A score is then given to the answers for each question

– 1 for fail

– 2 points for acceptable

– 3 for more than acceptable

– 4 for highly acceptable

The beauty of this system is the fact that the passing rate can be adjusted according to the number of candidates interviewed. i.e the passing rate can be moved from 10 to 20 accordingly. It still remains objective and neutral.

Still we must not forget that we are still dealing with people and people can be unpredictable !

During a role play,ie a situation given to the candidate who has to prepare himself for a specific scenario happening… the candidate took the brief so seriously and literally that he wrestled the assessor to the floor shouting: DON’T MOVE… I’ll call an ambulance!!! It was so entertaining that the second assessor (another lady who serves glasses of water and visits lots of different venues…!) observing the exercise, let it proceed for a while before calling for a halt when it became…too dangerous for the assessor’s health!!

Body language is another tool that helps greatly during the interview…

Closed body language: pen and finger pointing…feet inwards pointing…arms crossed. I even interviewed a candidate who had kept his anorak on (it was July…) and… , I realized when I took him back to the reception room….his backpack (which by then had become fairly flat…) on during the whole interview. The candidate was obviously keen to run away as soon as possible.

Talking about unpredictability …

One of my colleagues (that is a chap serving glasses of water (yes, you got it this time…) ran into my assessment room one day and breathlessly described how he had called for a “Sharon Smith” in the reception area unable to identify a lady waiting, when a deep raucous voice answered that she was Sharon. He was so shocked that he could not establish the sex of the candidate and was asking for my help!! His chosen criteria were that the candidate had…small feet and a handbag so she was a lady for sure…I have to admit that it was the hardest ever interview to run and I was glad for the ORCE methodology as I realized that we pass judgment really quickly. We expect the ladies to react in a certain fashion and display certain qualities and men others. In this instance, I could not refer to any of these, thus the interview was highly neutral and the candidate went through the process with flying colors.

And the skills I have acquired you may ask??? Mastering the art of holding several glasses of water at the same time…I am also an expert at tuning in to thousands of different accents and way of speaking…when in the beginning a candidate kept on referring to “we” I was confused about how many brothers and sisters he must have…now I am used to the royal “we”.

I have also learnt to never make assumptions (which believe me can be absolutely nearly impossible sometimes…!).

For more information about this service please contact Vernetticreative :

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