Halloween in our rear-view mirrors can only mean one thing (besides stealing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from our kid’s candy stash for the next week): holiday shopping season is upon us. It’s time to hit the shopping malls and see what the big department stores have on display.

Or is it?

One of the great symbols of American culture circa 1985 was the shopping mall, with its 100+ specialty shops bookended by 2-3 “anchor” department stores, such as Macy’s, JC Penny, and Sears. Mall operators believed anchor stores so essential for drawing traffic that they virtually gave pricey floor space away to lure the giant-sized retailers.

In the 21st century, however, anchor stores are falling out of favor with shoppers. Consequently, they are falling out of favor with mall operators, who have found that booting anchor stores, carving up the space, and filling it with restaurants, theaters, and larger specialty retailers is more profitable both in collecting rent and drawing customers.

Business models evolve and are always in flux. Successful leaders know that, to stay in the competitive mix, they have to pay attention to trends and operate strategically. Leaders who are tuned in also recognize that job responsibilities continually change along with those business models. Which means that whatever qualities made for a good performer in a given role in 1985 might not be the qualities that are needed for success in 2016.

This is why Caliper continues to research, analyze, and refine the way we assess the dynamics of job applicants. And why we develop and revise behavioral competencies and job models to make certain we are evaluating top performers in today’s business climate, not that of 35 years ago. Or even 10 years ago.

An obvious example is the Sales position, which has become more complex and diversified in an age where customers can do their own product research, read and write online reviews, and actively involve themselves in the sale rather than sit back and hope they’re getting good information. Caliper has built multiple scientifically validated Sales models in recent years to offer more hiring-assessment options and even greater predictive accuracy of sales effectiveness for our clients.

There are plenty of leadership, service, and technical roles that companies need to fill as well. Caliper is on top of those positions, applying the latest data to reveal job candidates’ performance potential in today’s market. In short, we work across all industries to help clients identify and develop performers that reflect current needs, and our continuous data collection and refinement will help ensure smooth sailing into the future. No one benefits from being, well, “anchored” to the past.