Research indicates that the most reliable approaches to the assessment of people use a variety of methods to learn about competences and potential derailers. When you use a range of complementary methods to assess leadership potential (for example), you are better placed to come to some working hypotheses about potential, how to target development and concerning placement decisions.
The main types of tool available are:
Simulations: Where people are asked to work together or alone on the resolution of challenges that relate to the known demands of the future role. Simulations can include simple “in box” exercises where people have to assess email/mail and make a succession of decisions about how they will prioritise their time, delegate responsibility and deal with risks. There are more complex and extended simulations which evolve over a period and may attempt to replicate the challenge of a particular role or a team in the organisation.
360 Degree or Multi-Rater Assessments: These provide comparisons of an individual’s self perception with the perceptions of their behaviour that are held by “significant others” – invariably including the individual’s manager(s); their peers; their team members and possibly people they supply services to/partner with or have contractual relationships with. Results are provided on an anonymous basis. These assessments are normally conducted on-line.
360 (or 180) Degree Interviews: These are standardised interviews that may be undertaken by the individual or their coach or mentor and which provide data not dissimilar to the on-line multi-rater assessments but are usually conducted face to face or, sometimes, “virtually” using the telephone/Skype, etc.
Personality Inventories: These provide objective measurements of underlying personality characteristics – usually based on a self report basis. Access to these tools (and often to the more sophisticated and reliable forms of simulation) is usually restricted to those who have been thoroughly trained in their use.
Cognitive Ability Tests: These measure intelligence – a component part of some competencies.
Behavioural Event Interviews: Though strongly associated with job selection these can also be used to investigate how a person’s work experience relates to future role requirements.
Development Centres: Typically residential events where a number of the methods above are used to gather information that is then discussed in considerable detail with the individual in a feedback meeting or meetings.
Performance Assessments: Manager’s assessments of performance are useful particularly where a number of years of assessment data exists and that data has been “moderated” (or calibrated) to ensure that the ratings given by different managers carry the same value.
Need advice about assessment? Contact √itas Consult.