“Our audit process is a diagnostic weapon”

Interview with Simone Hartmann

Digital Transformation Leadership Audit is a process developed by Hartmann Consultants which combines Jobfidence® potential analysis with a competency-based interview. Simone Hartmann explains the trends that will confront the industry in the future, and how this exclusive assessment tool will meet the impact of digital transformation.


Simone Hartmann Executive Search Muenchen

Simone, can you sum up your Digital Transformation Leadership Audit in a nutshell?

Simone Hartmann: There are plenty of different audit methods around, but ours has a clear-cut focus. Which executive will contribute the best competitive edge to the company during the process of digitalization? That’s what counts in the end.

How do you go about making your choice?

We combine two different methods––an in-depth interview based on psychological techniques, and a potential analysis program called Jobfidence®. Jobfidence® is a computer-assisted process, which uses a standardized test to deliver results that are comparable at international level and comply with the relevant DIN standards. In global terms, it’s regarded as one of the most informative measurement methods available.

What exactly do you measure with Jobfidence?

We start by measuring two cognitive values: adaptive intelligence and analytical intelligence. They are joined by four personality-based competency benchmarks: flexibility, motivation to perform, stress stability, and persistence in pursuing goals.

And what happens in the second part of your digital audit?

After a break, two consultants conduct a three-hour interview using open-ended questions. The questions are based on a competency model which we developed in collaboration with occupational psychologist Norbert Gantner. We explore in depth whether a candidate has, say, full awareness of the technical implications of new developments and is up to date with the latest core technologies. We can quickly spot whether candidates are well versed in these issues, or whether they get tied up in knots or lost in meaningless waffle. By combining Jobfidence with this interview technique, we can identify a candidate’s digital leadership intelligence. This concept is a priority of mine; it focuses on the area where the most action is needed during ongoing transformation: on leadership, and on the ability to make the most of digital transformation within a company, turning it to the company’s benefit.

What exactly does an executive need to bring to the table?

Executives must be able to identify disruptions at an early stage; they must have the assertiveness to transform business models over the long term, while making sure they take the employees along on the journey. Digital transformation leaders must be highly skilled in using communication meaningfully and convincing their teams to follow them. Most HR decision-makers have now realized that the wrong choice of top executive can have far more dramatic consequences in today’s companies than was the case in the past.

Why is that?

The pace of change and development has increased so much that no modern company can afford to make the wrong choice of executive. Today it’s easy to quickly identify an individual’s level assertiveness, or ability to drive progress or communicate. In the past, three