Helping You Get the Job and Promotion You Deserve

Hiring is a difficult process. People are complex, multifaceted, and in a relatively short time the employer needs to factor all of the candidate's characteristics into one large "general impression" and make a hiring decision: an unenviable and incredibly subjective task.

The challenge is equally daunting from the job seeker's perspective. They need to realistically and objectively sum all their characteristics and achievements and present their resultant level of professional competency without sounding ludicrously boastful: another unenviable task.

To overcome the intricacy of evaluating a person's level of professional competency, both job seekers and employers have resorted to highlighting only one major threshold criterion as a (hopefully) definitive indicator of the person's level of professional competency. Common examples of threshold criteria include "studied at an Ivy League university" or "over fifteen years of solid work experience" or "worked at a major multinational company". But these threshold criteria can only serve as filtering variables for reducing the number of candidates in the applicant pool and they do not reliably reflect the person's level of professional competency.

In support of this assertion, using statistical formulas to calculate the prediction accuracy (how accurate the predictions given are in the long term) shows that years of education (validity of 0.10) and years of experience (validity of 0.18) as threshold criteria, respectively give only a 5% and 9% better prediction accuracy than a chance guess.

Given these conditions, employers have reluctantly turned to personal interviews, a slow and expensive process, as the primary tool for qualifying job candidates and establishing their suitability to open positions. Unfortunately, the validity value of unstructured interviews is 0.38 which means a prediction accuracy that is 19% better than a chance guess. The prediction accuracy rate for personal interviews is clearly higher than for threshold criteria but this rate remains unsatisfactory to properly classify a candidate's suitability for a job. The dreaded cost of hiring the wrong person for the job is very high.

In the Best International Human Resource Management Practices Survey, leading scholars and practitioners in human resources management from thirteen countries were asked what should be the primary tool for qualifying job candidates and establishing their suitability to open positions. Most respondents cited "The person's ability to perform the technical requirements of the job" as the most crucial criterion. However, the experts from the USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico and Latin America admitted that in their countries far more consideration was placed on impressions formed during personal interviews as a hiring factor. Recruiters and hiring managers in reality are overloaded with information and consequently rely on their own personal judgments (subjective impressions) more than on the information provided by other sources (psychometric test scores, references and other documentary sources).

Regardless of how hard people try to be objective, interviews are open to subjective and personal interpretations. Realizing this, hiring managers, recruiters and HR managers regularly seek means for recruitment that provide better validity, consistency, fairness and efficiency than plain unstructured interviews.

There are essentially two ways to achieve the better way to recruiting – (1) jointly discuss each candidate's characteristics and performance data in a consensus meeting and make a collective decision; or (2) use arithmetic to combine the candidate's characteristics and performance data to indicate merit. A consensus meeting takes a lot of time and effort and, therefore, can be considered rather costly. By contrast, the arithmetic approach is consistent, relatively quick and inexpensive, and requires little in the way of human resources.

The most recent meta-analytic study based on a sample of nearly five thousand managers shows that even the simple summing of the scores obtained by different assessment techniques provides a much more accurate indication of a candidate's future performance than the collective decision of a selection committee.

Also worth noting is that a meta-analysis of eighty-six studies that surveyed a total of 48,750 job candidates, shows that job seekers who perceive selection tools and processes as procedurally fair and job-related, hold more positive perceptions of the company, report better word-of-mouth intentions with peers, and are more likely to accept a job offer from the company. Thus, using a fair, comprehensive selection instrument also helps companies to create a positive public image and therefore attract better candidates.

For some time now hiring managers and product management professionals have approached Blackblot in search of a tool to reliably classify a product management or product marketing practitioner as belonging to a certain professional competency level. The motivation for hiring managers in search of this tool is to uniformly evaluate and qualify competent product management or product marketing practitioners who could potentially fit company needs. In parallel, the practitioners' motivation for this tool is to be able to objectively determine and showcase their professional competency level to current and future employers.

Hiring managers and practitioners both seek a qualification process that would consider, weigh and sum all the relevant parameters that practitioners, team leaders, job candidates, human resource managers and recruiters would themselves consider relevant to establishing the individual's professional competency level. This includes parameters such as academic education, years of experience, type of professional training, level of industry certification, psychometric suitability, workplace achievements, demonstrated thought leadership and more.

In response to this need, Blackblot has developed the Blackblot Qualified Professional™ (BQP) program that provides an objective tool to reliably and consistently assess a particular individual as belonging to a certain professional competency level, as defined by Blackblot and according to the Blackblot PMTK methodology™.

The BQP Qualifier is based on primary and secondary research data and employs a statistically-valid classification algorithm that is periodically calibrated to reflect current HR, recruiters and market preferences in the classification criteria.

The BQP Qualifier is provided free of charge and administered online over the internet via the Blackblot website. This tool presents the individual with a series of parameters with a drop-down menu that contains the values to be attributed to each parameter. The individual selects the values that apply to them and after completion the BQP Qualifier's classification algorithm presents the calculated classification level. The grading levels used by the Blackblot Qualified Professional™ program are: Entry, Foundation, Advanced and Expert.

After the grade is generated, the individual can optionally provide their full name and email address to receive a PDF report which they can attach to their curriculum vitae and LinkedIn profile (certifications).

Today's job market has become immensely competitive. Product management and product marketing professionals are obliged to invest in themselves and make every possible effort to increase their chances of success in the job market. The Blackblot Qualified Professional™ program assists employers in finding competent product and marketing professionals and helps practitioners get the job and promotion they deserve.