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Benchmarking: All you need to know

February 7, 2022

By: Wendy Sheaffer

Remember when you were a kid, and your little sister (or brother) decided it would be fun to spend the day doing everything you did with relentless commitment. All. Day. Long. “Mom! Deanna is copying me!” By the end of the day, you were beside yourself with rage, and there was lots of yelling and fighting. Your parents may have stepped in, but only to tell you (the victim of this ridiculous crime) that “imitation is the highest form of flattery” so don’t be angry, be honored, and take that noise outside.

Today we realize there is truth to this after all; maybe I should go hug my sister. In business, when something works well, you want to repeat it; you want to do the actions that got great results. Benchmarking is finding out what works and using it as the model for making future things work. That’s my inarticulate, nontechnical definition; you won’t find it in the dictionary. What you will find in the dictionary is “evaluate or check (something) by comparison with a standard.”

So, benchmarking is the adulting, less rage-inducing version of copycatting.

Here at Omnia, we create standards for job roles. We call those standards “targets.” This gives our clients a way to evaluate candidates against a target and it’s another valuable data point for the decision-making process. We do this in a couple of different ways.

Omnia for Selection

Level 1: The Job Questionnaire and Position Description

When our clients use the Omnia Assessment as a selection tool, we start the benchmarking process by collecting a job questionnaire as well as an internal position description. Our “job setup” form helps us build an 8-column personality graph of the job so we can compare a candidate’s 8 columns to the job’s 8 columns. This is the first step towards building a job benchmark that works for you. Our team of customer success managers and analysts review every job questionnaire and reach out to clients with any questions or suggestions. We want to be sure we have an accurate, updated understanding of each job, as well as your culture, peer, and supervisor comparison needs.

Industry Standard Catalog for Target Clients

The setup form and position description is level 1 benchmarking and happens across the board unless you choose to use one of our generic industry standards. With over 35 years in the business, we have a tremendous amount of historical data on successful traits for a multitude of positions.

For example, our data has shown, and continues to show, that certain traits are strong contributors to sales success. The first trait is a high level of assertiveness, which the Omnia assessment measures. Individuals with a high level of assertive, competitive behavior (column 1) are consistently more successful than those with a low level of assertive behavior. The other trait is resilience, the ability to brush off rejection without letting it impact confidence. We also measure that and see it show up time and again in top sales performers. That’s why all our industry standard sales targets have a tall column 1 and the right amount of resilience (column 7).

Level 2: Benchmark Study Using Performance Data

If you want to level up, we also look at your unique requirements by assessing your top performers. This is a benchmark study; it’s one of my favorite things to do. Nothing beats data. By assessing top, proven performers, we build a benchmark that is specific to what is working for you. We copy what works!

Best of all, we make the benchmarking process as easy as possible. We provide you with a unique web link to our assessment site for collecting assessment data. Employees can take the assessment online anytime that’s convenient for them and requires only about 10 minutes of their time. The link is active 24/7 for as long as you want to keep the collection process open. Employees are notified of the project and timelines from your leadership; we can provide sample communication pieces.

While the collection process is underway, if not before, we get the job setup form and internal position description for the job from you. We want to see everything, plus we use your internal job description to write the narratives for your reports.

Upon completion of the data collection, results are compiled using our exclusive benchmarking software and reviewed by Omnia analysts. We recommend the target benchmark ranges based on the position description and the assessment results of your top performers in the role. Next, we present our findings and recommendations to you. Once approved, Omnia analysts prepare custom narratives so every report you receive is aligned to the role description.

Follow-up and Results

Omnia provides training on administering the assessment and interpretation of assessment results via phone call, video conferencing or webinar. Training includes a thorough understanding of the Omnia personality measurements and how to use the reports for selection, coaching and development. In addition, we offer interpretation training via webinar to all clients on the first Friday of every month. Our customer success team is also available to review results and answer questions.

Finally, we encourage a periodic evaluation of results against new performance data to ensure target benchmark alignment.

If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to our customer success team. And go hug your little sister.

Wendy Sheaffer

Wendy is the former Chief Product Officer of The Omnia Group. She is a subject matter expert in behavioral assessments and in using Omnia’s 8 columns as a tool to make more-informed hiring and development decisions and effectively engage staff. For more information, email or call 800.525.7117.

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