Salary.com's Tools Can Help You Figure Out if the Honey Badger is Qualified

Should You Hire the Honey Badger?

The Honey Badger has developed a nasty reputation over the past couple of years, but does that make him unemployable?

The Honey Badger recently applied for an Inside Sales position with Salary.com. In compliance with the EEOC, we at Salary.com have assessed the candidate’s qualifications against the 28 functional and core competencies our researchers have determined to be strong indicators of success in the position. The following is a sample of how the Honey Badger demonstrated his proficiency level in 8 of those competencies.

The Honey Badger was assessed in his capabilities in all of the 14 Core Competencies our researchers have identified as strong indicators of success as an Inside Sales Representative. A Core Competency of an employee describes the abilities of a person in a given role. Core Competencies help establish the fit of an employee within the organization.

You may observe several behaviors in the Honey Badger that could be strong indicators of capabilities in the Flexibility and Adaptability competency. An Inside Sales Representative is expected to demonstrate working experience in the Flexibility and Adaptability competency. To demonstrate working experience in the Flexibility and Adaptability competency, the Honey Badger should be able to demonstrate successful approaches, tools, and techniques for dealing with changes and adapting to a changing environment. This person should have the ability to adapt as needed.

Our researchers have provided three interview questions specifically designed to gauge a candidate’s level of proficiency in Flexibility and Adaptability. These questions are designed to elicit responses that indicate the candidate’s ability to respond to major organizational change, deal with unexpected changes, and adapt work styles.

During the interview, the Honey Badger was asked “Have you ever had to change your work style for a particular project, client, or colleague? Why, how, and what was the result?” The Honey Badger responded by explaining how he alternates between burrowing under fences, breaking through wooden planks, and lunging head-on at encroaching predators as the situations require. The Honey Badger demonstrated extensive experience in the Flexibility and Adaptability competency, which exceeds the Working Experience proficiency level expected of the position.

An Inside Sales Representative is expected to demonstrate working experience in the Conflict Management competency. To demonstrate working experience in the Conflict Management competency, one should demonstrate an understanding of how to anticipate, recognize, and deal effectively with existing or potential conflicts at the individual, group, or situation level.  This candidate should have the ability to apply this understanding appropriately to diverse situations. The following observable behaviors are strong indicators that an individual will succeed in the Conflict Management aspect of the Inside Sales position:

  • Uses active listening skills and probing techniques to understand cause of a conflict.
  • Facilitates reconciliation rather than divisiveness among individuals.
  • Uses a specific methodology for conflict resolution.
  • Under guidance, appropriately confronts others to get issues out in the open.
  • Identifies and maximizes areas of agreement in order to mitigate tensions.

The Honey Badger does not demonstrate any of these behaviors.  On the contrary, the Honey Badger demonstrates an eagerness to escalate conflict rather than ease tensions. When asked during the interview to talk about a time when he helped two colleagues resolve a conflict, in which he was able to stay impartial but still help them reach a conclusion, the Honey Badger responded that he attacked both of his colleagues while they were preoccupied with one another, ultimately eating both. The Honey Badger felt that their conflict was ended when he ended them. The Honey Badger displayed no proficiency in this competency.

An Inside Sales Representative is expected to demonstrate working experience in the Problem Solving competency. To demonstrate working experience in the Problem Solving competency, one should demonstrate knowledge of approaches, tools, and techniques for recognizing, anticipating, and resolving organizational, operational or process problems. The candidate should have the ability to apply this knowledge appropriately to diverse situations.

The Honey Badger was able to demonstrate extraordinarily high proficiency in Problem Solving. The Honey Badger consistently develops alternative techniques for assessing accuracy and relevance of information.  In response to an interview question our researchers provided designed to gauge a candidate’s proficiency in this core competency, the Honey Badger related his experience rolling a log and standing on it to reach a bird stuck up in the ceiling in an underground cave. The Honey Badger was able to demonstrate Extensive Experience in the Problem Solving competency, which exceeds the proficiency level required for the position.

An Inside Sales Representative is expected to demonstrate working experience in the Oral Communications competency. To demonstrate working experience in the Oral Communications competency, one should demonstrate knowledge of oral communications issues and ability to express oneself and communicate with others verbally and appropriately. The Inside Sales Representative should be able to demonstrate the following observable behaviors to establish working experience in Oral Communications:

  • Uses language appropriate to audience.
  • Utilizes techniques to verify that a verbal message was received as intended.
  • Explains issues in alternative ways to accommodate different listeners.
  • Listens without defensiveness or excessive self-reference.
  • Pays reasonable attention to tone and body language.

The Honey Badger expresses itself with a series of rattling noises. When asked during the interview “How do you ensure that your audience understands what you are telling them,” the Honey Badger responded with “rak-a-tak-a-tak-a-tak!” This loosely translates to “why would I care if they understand what I tell them?” Because as we all know, Honey Badger just don't care. The Honey Badger clearly fails to demonstrate an adequate proficiency level in Oral Communications for this position.

The Honey Badger was assessed in his capabilities in all of the 14 Functional Competencies our researchers have identified as strong indicators of success as an Inside Sales Representative. A Functional Competency describes a job-specific capability one must have in order to perform required job-specific tasks, duties or responsibilities in a competent manner. Because they are job-specific, Functional Competencies tend to focus on operational or technical skills that require training or experience.

You may observe several behaviors in a candidate that could be strong indicators of his or her capabilities in the Competitive Environment competency. The Inside Sales Representative is expected to demonstrate basic understanding in the Competitive Environment competency. To demonstrate basic understanding in the Competitive Environment competency, one should demonstrate knowledge of and ability to utilize the processes, tools and techniques for gathering, analyzing, and communicating information about the competitive environment.

The Honey Badger certainly is aware of competitors; however the Honey Badger is not known for its assessment of competitors’ strength and weaknesses, nor for its preparations to safeguard against competitive encroachment. Rather, the Honey Badger is known for ferociously attacking any encroaching competitor head-on—regardless of its relative size or capabilities. When it comes to the tactical nuances of dealing with competitors, the Honey Badger just don’t care.

Whether or not the Honey Badger exhibits the behaviors indicative of a basic understanding of one’s Competitive Environment is subject to the interpretation of the interviewer. For the record, the interviewing manager for this position believed that the Honey Badger did display this competency at its required level.

An Inside Sales Representative is expected to demonstrate a basic understanding in the Sales Function competency. To demonstrate basic understanding in the Sales Function competency, one should demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to conduct daily tactical and strategic activities in an organization's sales function.  This may be indicated by a candidate’s ability to describes the contributions of a sales function; list the main activities that are involved in a sales function; identify a sales function's policies and procedures; and identify the basic tools used by sales professionals in own organization.

The Honey Badger was not able to articulate the significance of the sales function or how it fit into the overall strategy of the organization.  The Honey Badger was unable to demonstrate even the basic proficiency of the Sales Function competency expected from the role.

An Inside Sales Representative is expected to demonstrate working experience in the Telesales competency. To demonstrate working experience in the Telesales competency, one should demonstrate knowledge of and ability to utilize processes, tools and techniques for effectively qualifying prospective customers, closing sales and maintaining quality service relationships over the phone. The ISR must demonstrate an ability to sell products or services by phone; assess common customer reactions and provides appropriate responses; and adhere to telesales laws and regulations.

During the interview, the Honey Badger was asked to describe common telesales laws and regulations. The Honey Badger seemed to take a defensive position when the interviewer asked him about an understanding of the law.  The honey Badger then lunged across the table and attempted to eat the interviewer. The physical attack aside, the Honey Badger failed to answer the interview question in a manner that sufficiently displayed working experience in the Telesales competency.

An Inside Sales representative is expected to demonstrate basic understanding in the Marketing Strategy and Positioning competency. To demonstrate basic understanding in the Marketing Strategy and Positioning competency, one should demonstrate knowledge of and ability to use business models to develop and implement marketing strategies, objectives, and tactics as well as establishing communications plans.  An ISR should be able to identify major initiatives, key issues, and benefits of product positioning; cite a variety of marketing positioning systems; describe elements of and approaches to marketing strategy and positioning; and identify factors that influence marketing strategy and positioning.

The Honey Badger was asked to tell the interviewer about a specific marketing strategy he used to successfully market a difficult-to-promote product or service. The Honey Badger responded by explaining how it was able to establish a foothold throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and India, despite the fact that its species is reviled by the indigenous population. Further, the Honey Badger went on to explain its intent to enter the far more lucrative US market and its strategy of leveraging product placements in non-traditional media such as film, viral video, video games, and children’s movies, as well as co-branded partnerships with rugby and American football players to enhance the brand awareness of the Honey Badger, while capturing market share from its largest US competitor, the Wolverine. He explained how he utilized product placement in the films The Gods Must Be Crazy II and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Shipwrecked, as well as viral marketing in Crazy Nasty Honey Badger to further enhance the brand awareness of his species in non-traditional markets.

In this respect, the Honey Badger displayed Subject Matter Expertise—the highest level of proficiency—in the Marketing Strategy and Positioning competency, far exceeding the basic understanding expected to be displayed in this role.

Salary.com carefully examined the Honey Badger’s responses to the 117 interview questions he was asked during the formal interview process. While the Honey Badger displayed proficiency levels that met or exceeded those expected in several of the 28 competencies expected from an Inside Sales Representative, he demonstrated a complete lack of competency in many, many more.  While Salary.com generally believes that it can train its employees in most functional competencies, if needed, the Honey Badger proved incompetent in nearly all Core Competencies, which would make adequate training difficult and unlikely to succeed.

Salary.com decided not to extend an offer to the Honey Badger for the position to which he applied; however, the organization will keep his resume and results on file should it ever have an opening in the Heartless Killing Machine role.

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