Calibre One Introduces Culture Quotient™, the First Hiring Tool to Improve the Likelihood of a Candidate’s Cultural Success

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Revolutionary Qualitative and Quantitative Process Bridges Hiring Best Practices with Diversity and Inclusion Objectives

NEW YORK, January 14, 2020 – Calibre One, a global boutique executive search firm specializing in building diverse leadership teams for innovators and companies undergoing digital transformation (including broad technology, financial services, life sciences, and media), today announces its proprietary Culture Quotient™ (CQ™) tool. CQ is the first qualitative and quantitative process to measure the likelihood of a candidate’s cultural success from the earliest stages of the recruitment process.

It is well known that diversity in talent is better for business, innovation, and financial results. Yet, diverse hiring practices do not always translate into a more diverse workplace or improved employee retention. Recruiting and hiring diverse candidates is only the first step. Retaining employees is as important as finding and hiring them. The proprietary CQ methodology goes well beyond just presenting a diverse slate of candidates. It is the first tool of its kind that measures the alignment of a company’s diversity and inclusion objectives with those of the specific position and the candidate. CQ then provides the company with recommendations to successfully retain diverse talent through intentional inclusion.

“Many organizations throw a great deal of effort into their recruiting, hiring, and onboarding guidelines, but then fail to consider inclusion factors,” said Amanda Grant, Partner at Calibre One. “If the company and candidate interests are not aligned before hiring, it is often too late and can result in a failed hire and negative disruption of the existing team and performance. We are proud to be the first executive search firm to bring a tool that predicts “cultural alignment” in the early stages of the hiring process, bridging this divide.”

“Our clients have been wrestling with how to effectively advance diversity and inclusion in their own companies and investors are considering diversity and inclusion from multiple perspectives, not only in their own hiring practices, but also as an ESG investment screening criterion. We are excited to now give our clients CQ, which provides a metric that aligns candidates with client diversity and inclusion objectives,” said David Schumer, Partner at Calibre One.

“Inclusion and belonging are what make diversity work,” according to Kellie A. McElhaney, Ph.D., a Distinguished Teaching Fellow at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and the Founding Director of the Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership (EGAL), “Most companies get it wrong by focusing only on diversity, which is counting heads. What they need to focus on is inclusion. Employees need to feel like their voice is heard, their opinions count, and they feel safe enough to bring their whole self to work. If a diverse candidate is placed in a company with a culture that is not strategically committed to and deeply aligned with inclusion, the net result can be negative. Calibre One has solved this issue with CQ. This is the first tool that I have seen that measures the true success of inclusion in the hiring process.”

CQ significantly increases the likelihood of success between a company and the successful candidate, based on the company’s diversity objectives for both a specific position and the broader company diversity and inclusion objectives. Calibre One already has a successful track record of diversity-rich searches. In 2019, 95% of the company’s short lists included at least one diversity candidate, and 49% of those candidates were hired.

The CQ Process

CQ is an additional component to Calibre One’s already rigorous and successful search process. “CQ does not replace our already successful search approach, it enhances it,” said Diane McIntyre, Managing Partner of Calibre One. “We have found this particularly valuable across all of our industry segments, where diverse hiring practices don’t always translate into a more diverse workplace or improved employee retention. CQ harnesses critical decision-making information to bring a new dimension and insight to the hiring company’s culture and the team they join.”

The CQ process involves 3 components: align, execute and measure:

  • ALIGN: identifies the specific diversity objective for the position, as well as the company’s overall diversity and inclusion objectives.
  • EXECUTE: evaluates the potential cultural impact of the candidate and is designed to determine if the candidate aligns with the diversity objective of the search, if there is one, and if and how they align with the company’s overall diversity and inclusion objectives.
  • MEASURE: pulls all of the data together to calculate the CQ score.

The CQ scale ranges from 5 (a cultivator) to 1 (a rejector). The highest CQ score maximizes the probability of mutual success for both the candidate and the company. The successful candidate may not always have the highest CQ score, but CQ provides an essential tool that fills in a larger mosaic illustrating what CQ will best serve the candidate, the team they join, and the company. A candidate’s CQ score may also differ for each search they participate in, since diversity objectives across companies and positions may differ. For instance, a company may be looking for geographic diversity to be added to an existing team, but the company may be trying to expand gender diversity as an overall organizational goal. CQ takes both objectives into consideration.

Another unique feature of the CQ methodology is its innate ability to defuse what can often become a highly charged process. According to Dr. Marcie Beigel, an organizational behavior expert and founder of Behavior and Beyond LLC, “Since every position has a unique CQ score, it provides the space to recognize differences without the stigma of rank, privilege or lack of privilege. Rather than the emphasis being on ‘I’m better than you,’ it becomes ‘What am I going to bring to the table, and what I am going to be met with?’ I believe that this is a powerful tool that will have a significant impact helping companies enable meaningful cultural shift and realize the value of a diverse workforce.”

The CQ process is applied to all candidates being interviewed, not just diversity candidates. Every candidate should bring something different to the team and company – such as perspective, life experience, education and geography. CQ scores can also be applied to existing members of a team that the successful candidate will join. This enables the cultural aspect of a hiring decision to be made in the context of how the different CQ scores of all team members will complement or challenge each other.


About Calibre One

Founded in 1999 by some of the executive search profession’s most experienced recruiters, Calibre One is a leading transatlantic executive search boutique specializing in building diverse leadership teams for innovators and companies undergoing digital transformation, including broad technology, financial services, life sciences, and media. Its team members bring an exceptional level of knowledge, integrity, and tenacity to everything it does. This is underscored by Calibre One’s transparent, consultative approach and proven methodology. Calibre One offers a 360-degree view to the entire process, along with the analytics to help identify the right candidate and reduce risk. The Calibre One process includes a proprietary measure that aligns client and candidate diversity and inclusion objectives, every search, every time. Through its relentless pursuit of excellence, Calibre One leaves no stone unturned. For more information, please visit Culture Quotient page.

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Culture Quotient and CQ are trademarks of Calibre One.