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by | May 15, 2023 | ASSESSMENT

Q: Are Management Assessments still a relevant tool for Selection and Talent-Management Purposes?

A: For sure they are, and they will be in the future.

Q: Why?

A: Because the method as such allows for simulating a variety of different situations a candidate may face in a current or new position. The elements of standardized interviews, role-plays, business cases, leadership cases, self-management exercises etc. can be flexibly combined for supporting the specific purpose of the assessment cause.

Q: Are the results valid? Isn’t it just a matter of who is the better actor?

A: The validity of the results depends very much on the design of the assessment, the assessment process and the qualifications of the assessors.

If one takes a standard design, copied from some other company, one should not expect to gain more insight into specific aspects of a candidate’s qualification or potential.

Every assessment design should also allow room and time to zoom in on specific personal statements, behavior or attitudes. One can only find out, whether or not the candidate is playing a role, when irritating the existing pattern and making unpredictable interventions. Assessors who feel very strongly about a certain candidate in either way, should refrain from participating or giving their opinion during the evaluation.

Q: Don’t assessments have a certain bias for extroverted candidates?

A: Since assessments rely primarily on personal interaction extroverted personalities do have an advantage when they present themselves in an assessment. Nevertheless, the content of presentations, structured working style, consistency in approach amongst others are behavioral aspects that count, and which can be found or not independent of extro- or introversion. And again, a competent assessor is aware of such a bias and can act against it.

Q: The type of managers and leaders companies are looking for now are different from those in the past. How can assessments help identify this new generation of leaders?

A: The method follows the purpose. If one knows what to look for in a new leader, these unique characteristics and behavioral styles need to be specified and put together in a list. This list of preferred criteria forms the basis for designing the assessment process and the elements which shall trigger behavior that reflects how well or not a candidate matches the ideal profile.

Q: Are experienced managers willing and ready to be assessed?

A: In international companies it is common practice to be evaluated as a manager on a regular basis, be it via internal surveys, feedback tools or others. Regular feedback on management style and leadership enhances teamplay and transparency. In traditional corporate cultures open feedback is still seen as a risk for loss of face and thus authority. Transparent evaluation of management and leadership style with impartial feedback can boost a change in corporate culture. Assessments for Middle Management and upper levels are almost always individual sessions and no group assessments.

Q: When do companies run assessments these days?

A: Depending on corporate culture and internal processes, quite a number of big companies use assessments as an element of their internal Talent Management Program. They combine internal performance management tools with external evaluation and set up individual development plans as a result.

Quite often changes on the C-level involve management audits. The new Top Manager wants to get an overview where his managers stand in comparison to international or industry standards before making structural changes. External Management Audits also take place when companies merge and there are more heads than positions to be filled.

Currently, there is a certain trend to use management assessment as a starting point for internal development programs. The results of the assessment are the basis for individual development plans including individual coaching, internal mentoring and tailor-made training programs.

Q: Any recommendations for those who are still ambivalent?

A: Method follows purpose. What is it that I want to achieve with a group of potentials/ managers or individuals? Do I see a performance issue, or is it a matter of personal style, behavior or readiness to learn and grow. Performance issues need to be dealt with in the line. All the other issues, which may also result from the interaction within a certain group, can competently be dealt with by either internal or external consultants. When unsure about how to address a certain issue don’t hesitate to contact:

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