Assesing Candidate Potential – Part 2: The Conditions for Effective Assessment

Assessments handled the wrong way for internal candidates will be counter-productive. So what are the conditions that will lead to effective internal assessment processes?

Key words are transparency, consistency and completeness.

‘Assessment’ in a company or organisational context should be systematic, documented, supported by policies and procedures, and well communicated. Focus on ‘conditions’ exposes another benefit for organisations that adopt a systematic approach to assessment. It is not only the ‘report’ on the individual that is the outcome, but visible use of systematic consistent processes to form conclusions and make decisions is a powerful leadership message that reinforces the values and principles of the company. It sends a clear message of a meritocracy.  The specification of conditions includes:

  • The nature of the target job or assignment,
  • The personal values, traits, behaviours that will lead to successful performance
  • The background knowledge, qualifications and experience needed
  • The use of an assessment tool and process that embraces the above

These build up a complete job specification that allows objective measurement of competing candidates against the job.

It’s interesting to note that many companies are striving to be ‘world-class’. In the Human Resource Management field, there are two factors that consistently lead to the companies generally seen to represent ‘World-Class’ HR.

  • The first factor is that World Class HR functions focus on measurement as a credo – seeking measures for every activity and endeavour, so that success and weakness may be accurately assessed.
  • Secondly, World-Class HR Functions use technology to very good effect to support their activities. A thoughtful and informed approach to assessment, enabling use of measures for staff decision-making, and using technology (Online Assessment, self or Multi-rater) are good examples of this.

Finally, a condition for effective use of assessment tools is a tough but trustworthy management style and culture. That culture expresses the consistent belief that objective assessment and decision-making benefit both employees and the company. Use of transparent assessment tools and processes reinforces those values.