We provide the key components of assessment centres
Companies definitely play a key a role in making internal assessments of their most valuable performers, or in bringing in outside consultants to assist. Increasingly, however, companies are also identifying or conforming their high potential employees through the use of independent assessment and development centres. An assessment centre is not always an actual place, but rather a process of looking at individuals using multiple measures and exercises, and multiple assessors. An assessment centre provides an objective way for companies to identify and/or validate their high-potential employees. As Steve Doerflein points out, “Many companies identify the people internally that they think are the ones of who should be the lifeblood of the organization and have the capacity to take the next step up. These companies have used the measurements from their assessment activities to get a fuller, richer look at the individual. What they typically want from an assessment centre is something more structured that can provide a more objective look at the individual.”
Joy McGovern, who is Practical Leader of the assessment practice at Right Management in the north-eastern U.S., and her colleague Steve Doerflein provided me with details on the key components of assessment centres. They began by outlining the multiple purposes served by assessment centres:
Ensuring that the right people are in the right positions
Identifying the people that are most likely to be successful in the organisation
Developing a talent pool for effective succession planning
Targeting the developmental activities for the highest return on investment
The fundamental method used by an assessment centre is the observation of people’s behaviours by multiple assessors as they are put through simulations of “exercises” that resemble situations and problems relevant the job and level under consideration. The following are typical tools for performance observation and evaluation used in most centres:
Feedback on the individual’s 360-degree assessments. These assessments consist of questions on a number of leadership competencies that are either specific to the company or generic to leadership positions. The 360s are usually completed by the person’s manager, a sample of their peers, and a sample of their staff.
Feedback on a battery of assessment tools such as Hogan, Choice Learning Agility, and FIRO-B.
Simulation exercises to allow the individual to try on what it would be like to be in on a higher level role.
Role plays with staff members.
Role plays with managers.
Role plays with peers.
Role plays of customer situations.
Behavioural interviews to ask the individual what they did in specific situations.
A simulated presentation made by the individual to their manager or board, based on complex information, to determine how well they think on their feet.
Leaderless group discussions, in which each person has an equal position, to determine who collaborates and who doesn’t, who asks the right questions, and who takes on the leadership role.
The use of in-basket exercises to assess the individual’s prioritization skills and ability to determine when to involve others in the decision-making process.
Coaching Corporate MVPs: Challenging and Developing High-Potential Employees Margaret Butteriss ISBN: 9780470153123 R650.00
"Coaching Corporate MVPs" provides a very effective guide for developing this small group of high-impact performers within an organization. It makes a compelling case for a customized approach with coaching at its core, and also provides very practical examples of approaches that have been successful across a wide range of organizations and individual situations." -- David Denison, President and CEO, Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board
"For multinational companies, if you have not identified your MVPs at all levels of leadership and put plans in place to develop and retain them, you will not be able to compete in the future. This book provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the theory and application of a talent management strategy as well as countless global examples of successful companies and their practice. This is a must read for executives, HR professionals or anyone in management involved in ensuring the right people in the right roles have a plan for ongoing coaching and development. If you already have a process in place, this book provides a great way to identify best practice to enable you to take your process to the next level! Enjoy!" -- Emily LundiMallett, Director, Global Learning and Organization Effectiveness, Beckman Coulter, Inc.
"The author offers a compelling case to support the organization's MVPs...the 'go-to' people who are every company's most valuable and irreplaceable resources. Her guidance is superb and her examples and cases, excellent." -- Katherine D. Williams, Senior Director, Leadership and Organization Development, Genzyme Corporation
"Coaching Corporate MVPs" presents a comprehensive and elegant summary of not only the best practices - the 'what' - but also the best processes and purposes - the 'how' and 'why' - an organization can use to support the development of their most talented people" -- Larry M. Starr, Director/Chair of Graduate Studies, Organizational Dynamic, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania