If you are not effectively assessing a candidate’s ability to perform
you increase the likelihood that undesirable performance will occur.
Having just completed our annual review of the CAES Strategic Plan, we have identified several initiatives that we would like to prioritize in 2017. Recognizing that there are way too many people who do not really understand what CAES does, nor are they aware of the range of services that we offer, we have decided to occasionally reach out with informational articles that will elaborate on our business approach and some of CAES’s performance-related services.
In this article, the focus is on our Assessment and Selection service. I need to stress that, whether you are interested in CAES’s approach or not, you should still consider evaluating the effectiveness of your current external and internal candidate assessment process. Too often managers hire, or promote, the wrong people for the wrong reasons, and thus they are disappointed with the poor performance that follows.
What is the CAES Assessment and Selection Service?
This service is essentially a less expensive sub-component of our specialized recruitment service. Applied from the CEO level on down, in instances where our clients are satisfied that they have suitable potential candidates for a vacant position, Assessment and Selection is simply a way to provide hiring decision makers with key information regarding the presence, or absence, of the non-technical skills that are critical to effective performance. Having this information, in addition to equally important technical skill evaluation, is essential to their selecting and hiring the right external candidate, or when deciding upon internal candidates in the case of a potential promotion.
By using this approach, our clients are better able to accurately compare employment candidates to the pre-defined requirements of their specific position and as well to other competing applicants. And, knowing that people are attracted or repelled based on a ’fit’ with their immediate manager, we have found it valuable to include an assessment of the specific manager’s managerial preferences, so that a comparison between each candidate and the manager can be incorporated into the selection process. In some instances, it is also possible to go even farther and to include an evaluation of the potential fit between a candidate and their prospective team members.
What do we mean by non-technical skill assessment?
We use non-technical skill assessment in every service that we provide. Understanding that individual, managerial, leadership and team performance is dependent on the presence of both relevant technical skills and non-technical skills, we have incorporated non-technical skill assessment into our recruitment, performance enhancement, management and leadership development, career development and assessment and selection services.
Our approach to assessment has grown over the years. Never being satisfied with “off the shelf, one size fits all” programs, we have utilized several methods to develop a battery of assessment instruments, and as well our evaluative skillset, to ensure that we are considering the various components that we feel are important to individual, team, managerial and leadership performance. In other words, we first determine what information we want to know, then we continually develop ways to acquire it. In our process, there is a substantial amount of interrelated performance characteristics to be considered, but we can summarize the data within the following main performance influencing categories:
· Cognitive capabilities
· Thinking preferences
· Concentration skills
· Productivity traits
· Motivational preferences
· Communication skills, and
· Interpersonal skills
And depending on the requirements of the client, we will often expand our categories to include an extensive evaluation of;
· Managerial capability, and
· Leadership capability.
What is CAES’s approach to assessment and selection?
While it helps us to be adaptable to different client requirements, there is general process that we follow:
1) We first interact with hiring decision makers to identify the non-technical capabilities that will be required to achieve performance success in their specific vacancy
2) If required, the immediate manager (and / or relevant team members) can complete our assessments on-line at their convenience
3) We then conduct a brief assessment verification interview with the manager (team) to ensure the accuracy of the assessment results, to acquire additional relevant information that is beyond the scope of written assessments, and to fully understand what they want in desired candidate performance
4) Client identified short listed candidates can then complete our on-line assessments at their convenience
5) We then conduct a brief assessment verification interview with each candidate to ensure the accuracy of the assessment results, to acquire additional relevant information and to fully understand their performance capabilities
6) Next, we create a comparative graphic report which will include all of the candidates under consideration (and also the manager or team scores if required)
7) Finally, we provide evaluative feedback to hiring decision makers to help them understand both the results and the concepts behind the assessment
How is the service delivered?
Depending on the location of the client, all the service components can be delivered face-to-face or on-line. Our assessments are accessible via the internet 24 / 7, and if distance is a factor our client interviews, manager interviews, candidate interviews and decision maker feedback sessions can be conducted at their convenience via computer to computer video conferencing (for up to 24 decision makers / participants).
And what are the benefits of this service?
Obviously, the collection and evaluation of non-technical skill capabilities is critical to ensuring the best hiring decisions and to avoid hiring the wrong people. But this information is also valuable to assist our clients in:
- Helping to identify areas to explore, and relevant questions, when conducting reference checks
- Selecting effective and immediate candidate onboarding strategies
- Determining the most effective managerial and leadership approaches in relation to the new hire
- Identifying “high potential” candidates
- Providing additional information to assist in succession planning / talent bench development
- Determining areas for future growth and development initiatives that are relevant to the selected candidate’s:
- performance enhancement
- managerial development
- leadership development
Effective candidate selection depends on the evaluation of both their technical skills (developed via their education, industry experience and specific technical knowledge) and their non-technical skills, and as well their fit with their immediate manager, their team and the overall organizational culture. The more that you can match candidate capability to your specific requirements, the more likely you will experience superior performance.
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