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Behaviors, Attitudes and Personal Skills - Recommendations on Using
Let me start by saying that assessments do work. They are powerful tools that
have helped organizations in making countless selection decisions, and in
improving communications, reducing turnover and improving retention of top
people. Assessments represent an opportunity to do all these things while
returning the highest ROI of any single people directed investment you can make!
Regardless of your past experience with assessments, the following
recommendations can help you better utilize these very valuable tools in a
variety of ways.
Recommendation #1: Use assessments to provide information in the areas
that are most likely to result in success or failure in your position.
Assessments add to the elements of experience, technical skills, accomplishments
and education, by adding another element to the decision making process. They
can identify Behaviors, Values and Personal Skills that are the real drivers of
success in your organization. Assessments can provide as much as 33% of the
information used in the decision making process – a critical 33%, since
experience has shown that most people succeed or fail in positions because of
their Behavior Fit, Value/Culture Fit and Personal Skills Fit.
Recommendation #2: Choose assessments that are designed for business
use, so that your managers and leaders can use and trust the reports. If your
managers don’t feel the information is specific, directed to their interests,
and delivers value to them in their relationship with the person assessed, you
will lose most of the leverage the assessment could have. Choose carefully based
on the question ”How can our managers use this information?” Use assessments to
help make business decisions.
Recommendation #3: Use assessments after candidates have passed the
technical skills, education, experience, accomplishment and intuition phases of
the interview process. Do not use assessments as early knockout tests, unless
there are specific criteria that are absolutely essential to the success in the
job, and that can be measured by very specific assessment tools.
Recommendation #4: Choose an assessment that provides the ability to
benchmark a position using stakeholders input as a key part of the front end
process. The term “benchmarking” brings forth perceptions ranging from” a
bureaucratic activity that keeps staff people busy “ to “ a process to help
define the critical elements of the job that we need to hire to”. Make sure you
select to the job requirements and not to the experiences of the candidate pool
– don’t let the candidate pool dictate the position requirements!!
Recommendation #5: Choose an assessment that can be handled
administratively with little added burden to your people. Nothing will ensure
the slow death by strangulation of a process more than the perception that it
adds work out of proportion to its value. Ensure that the means for completing
questionnaires and communicating results is as seamless as possible, and is not
handled as an exception item in the process.
Recommendation # 6: Choose an assessment that has multiple uses for
your organization. Many of the assessments available have little value beyond
providing specific information about elements of a person’s “personality
profile”. Look for assessments that can help in establishing development plans,
benchmark positions, create constructive talking points for performance reviews,
create the climate for proactive development discussions, as well as help with
the selection decision. In other words, do the assessments you use or are
considering result in the kind of information that can be applied in many ways?
Are they designed to make it easy for you to develop, among other things,
benchmark profiles of people who have been successful – and unsuccessful, in
Recommendation #7: Choose assessments that have fast turnaround and
interpretation by a qualified professional. If you have a person on your staff
trained and skilled in interpretation, great. If not, make sure the assessments
you use gain you 24 x 7 access to professionals qualified in interpretation, and
who have a business orientation. There are a lot of assessments available on the
Internet that provide quick turnaround of superficial information that looks
good when first seen, but that doesn’t stand up to the hard light of day when it
comes to using the information in the decision making process – the information
falls under the heading of “Gee, isn’t that interesting.”
Recommendation #8: The price of the assessment should be the last
thing looked at. If the process does not add value to your selection and
development decisions and plans, any price is too high. On the other hand, I can
guarantee you that the $20 Internet assessments fall short of giving you the
level of information you could expect, given the effort required to take, review
and administer them. Look at value first, then at price. In the overall scheme
of selection and development, assessments, if they are right for you and used
with leverage, are by far the best, most cost effective people related
investment you can make.
Recommendation #9: Choose assessments that have validity studies
completed. Many organizations become concerned about the use of assessments
because of what they see as a potential problem with the EEOC. In my experience,
inconsistent use of any selection tool can cause problems. The real issue is
consistency of use, but validity is one of those insurance items that can make
you feel just that much surer.
Recommendation #10: Try before you buy. Have people in your
organization take the assessment or assessments you are considering, then review
the results with one question in your mind – “ What value will this information
have in helping me make future selection and development decisions?” You must
personally experience the process to understand what it can do for your
About the Author
Andy Cox and the Cox Consulting Group have helped many organizations in
designing and implementing change. To reach the Cox Consulting Group, go to
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-11-06 14:31:50 in Employee Articles