Choosing a yogurt...or choosing his future ?
I am delighted to share with you today research that I have been working for many months on removing pot luck from the selection process...through focusing on yogurt pots.
Put simply, without going into the reams of academic research that our consultancy has undertaken on our behalf, we have managed to establish some remarkable correlations between talent, future potential, development needs and yogurt purchasing choices.
The experiment all began based on a simple observation I made whilst out shopping with my wife. Watching the time she spent agonising over whether our daughter would accept own brand Mini Munchkin yop pots as compared to the branded version, I got an inkling that surely these kinds of critical purchasing decisions must be linked to personality and competence. My theory was confirmed when my wife engaged another shopper in a heated debate over whether organic biopots where worth the extra 26p. I knew my wife was deeply caring and loved value for money...here was behavioural proof unfolding before my eyes !
Working with one of the UK's leading talent suppliers and thanks to a visionary supermarket grocery section manager I have spent tha last 6 months confirming my flash of insight. The study took place in a large London supermarket identified as a key location for professionals to purchase yogurt. Video cameras were installed in the aisle to continually monitor shopper behaviour. Shoppers were drawn to a promotional stand and left their details in exchange for a free Muller Crunch Corner. Our consultants ran these details through LinkedIn and various other databases creating a clear profile of yogurt shopping behaviour versus professional status and success.
Obviously with such a powerful tool at my disposal, I cannot lift the lid on the full results. However, I can let you have some of the most exciting conclusions the study has drawn:
Extremely robust data has been collected linking intelligence with the time spent agonising over the yogurt choice, knowledge of esoteric fruit and berry ingredients and ability to justify yogurt choice to the family.
To our surprise, we observed frequent predictors for entrepreneurial ability in the aisle including attaching cheaper price stickers to more expensive yogurts and simply stuffing yogurts into coat pockets before walking out of the supermarket.
Ambition and motivation
We have established a clear link between future ambition & drive and a tendancy to buy super deluxe organic fresh fruit yogurt at a high price point in individuals having a low income and a basket full of economy or value items. Working with our in house industrial psychologist we have termed this phenomenon the Yogurt Ego.
Rather than relying on expensive medicals and health screening, we have drawn strong conclusions that the same results can be found by screening out any applicant shopping in the live/digestive yogurt section.
These were most evident in our follow up focus group work where we correlated a strong connection between good influencing skills and not ending up having to eat the pineapple flavoured yogurt.
In the most exciting piece of research we have managed to link creativity to choice of ingredient in yogurt decision making. More creative profiles invariably opted for "Oriental Mango & Lychee" in preference to that staple of the supply chain and finance profiles "Vanilla"
Through our follow up focus groups, we have clearly seen the incredible impact that licking the lid or not has on individual employee engagement.
The practical impact of this research is of course incredibly exciting. We have reduced our preselection costs considerably simply by asking individuals to do the following at interview:
We are looking forward to meeting you. Before the interview, please visit a supermarket of your choice and purchase a yogurt costing less than £5. You should not think too much about your yogurt choice. Please bring your yogurt and a spoon you feel comfortable with along to your interview where your interviewer will ask you to eat the yogurt in your normal way.
The introduction of this YOP test (Yogurt Option = Potential) has had a massive impact on our hiring success and also pleased line managers as particularly generous candidates bring them a yogurt and spoon too.
I am looking forward to sharing more of this exciting research with in the next few months as we move our cameras to the fruit and vegetable section.