Choosing the right assessment process - a 6 step checklist



The use of competency frameworks represent the starting point for many organizational wide development and workforce planning initiatives. The need to develop leaders is now widely accepted as a critical element to remaining competitive, and according to Deloitte's 2016 Human Capital Trends Report, organizations need to raise the bar in identifying, assessing and developing their leaders. This week, we cover choosing the right assessment process for your enterprise.



Don't choose the wrong assessment platform


With such a strategically important initiative, it's unsurprising that many large organizations invest significant funds in building a competency assessment process. Yet so many companies stumble at the finish line by choosing the wrong technology platform. Making the program inefficient and worse still; ineffective. 


These days, it's not acceptable for organizations to use systems that do not offer automation, effective reporting and tailoring to key business procedures. Accounting platforms must comply with necessary regulatory requirements and reporting. Sales and marketing platforms track and predict buyer behavior and predict a pipeline of revenue with relative ease. Yet when you are looking for a platform to measure your people's capabilities, the options are few and far between.


As an example, let's take a small capability assessment initiative:


Completing a 360-degree assessment for 100 participants and their raters. If each participant nominates 10 raters, that’s 1,100 people (not considering raters common to multiple participants) that will be asked to complete a task in this project. In many cases, HR teams will collect rater data manually, usually by distributing spreadsheet templates to participants. Inevitably, this creates a knock-on effect, the participant data is inaccurate, email addresses are wrong, and survey roll outs become time consuming - along with a myriad of other headaches associated with dealing with manually created information.



The assessment process itself


Using a mainstream talent management platform may be tempting - the thinking goes "well we’ve paid for it, so let's use it for everything" - but it's usually an inefficient way of managing this task when it comes to:



  • automating the reminder process,

  • keeping stakeholders up-to-date with completion rates,

  • enforcing rules around what to display in reports if different participant don’t respond, 

  • producing useful feedback reports quickly.



Most HR teams look at this daunting list as a huge chore and are happy to put it behind them once completed. We once worked with a large bank who had been promised an easily customized feedback report from their talent management provider, only to finally admit defeat 5 days before leader debriefs were scheduled.


Lastly, contemplating any form of group reporting or data analysis is usually seen as a pipe-dream, but that's a tremendous shame as the insight to be had from such reporting is a significant bonus that can deliver a real advantage.



A 6 step checklist for your competency assessment


So here's a simple checklist. You should be able to answer "Yes" to all of these. If you can't, then your wasting precious time and resources managing your assessment process.


  1. A new competency survey should take 1 day or less to build and prepare to roll out.

  2. Participants should NOT be completing their rater nominations on spreadsheets or any other off-line tool.

  3. Email communications should be automated and reminders should never be sent manually.

  4. Participants should not need any support from HR to complete their survey. They should also be able to complete their survey online and on any device; desktop, tablet or mobile. 

  5. No manual intervention should be required to generate a feedback report. Reports should be available the moment a survey is completed, not a week later.

If you want to see group and aggregate reports, or slice data in different ways, it should be available at the click of a button...literally.



If you answered no to any of the checklist items above, we encourage you to download our complimentary eBook for some immediate advice: 'Designing a Successful Competency Assessment Program'. 


If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more on the topic of competency assessments and it's related processes, we encourage you to subscribe to the 'Insights Blogs'.


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'Designing and Implementing a Successful Competency Assessment Program'

This eBook focuses on the core challenges faced by talent managers when implementing assessment initiatives and aims to answer the questions raised when designing the process.

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