At Omnicor we’ve been helping organisations get the most from assessment data for more than 15 years now, so it’s safe to say that we’ve seen just about everything the world of assessments can throw at you.
We’ve seen assessment professionals who liked to scare their candidates by sneaking up behind them while they were doing an assessment and surprising them with a loud shout (we told them to stop doing that). Another client didn’t want to believe us that asking interviewees difficult arithmetic questions wasn’t a valid measure of numerical aptitude. One of our consultants even got a marriage proposal from a candidate one time (she declined). Other stories are best left inside the Omnicor vault of secrets.
But in today’s post, I want to talk about things you should do in conducting assessments, rather than things you shouldn’t (as entertaining as some of these examples are). Here are a few assessment best practices that we’ve acquired and honed over the years:
• Go beyond the job profile: Job profiles certainly have their place in talent management, but we often find them coming up short when used to guide assessments. While the average job profile is a good starting-off point for deciding how to assess for a particular role, it is usually not enough. Best-practice assessment professionals go beyond the profile by consulting extensively with managers, incumbents, and HR to get to grips with what a particular role is all about.
• Handle the admin: Assessments can be a logistically complex operation. Candidates have to be scheduled for assessments, various people have to be notified, and so on. We have found that assessments work best when we, as the service-provider, handle all the admin. Our clients also love the fact that they don’t have to get bogged down in the details or logistics of setting up assessments or dealing with candidates.
• Management feedback is key: Assessment results are only as useful as the feedback the client receives. We’ve learnt that unless managers really understand and appreciate the relevance of assessment results, there is no point in using assessments for talent management. That’s why we put particular emphasis on our management feedbacks. We make the results easy to understand and action-orientated.
• Take the science seriously: The science of assessments is mature and ever-developing. We see it as our duty to advise clients about the latest trends and directions in assessment science. That’s why we’ve often steered clear of fads or assessments that seemed popular but had little empirical credibility. Sure, it sometimes costs us the odd fan or two, but we pride ourselves in following the science, wherever it may lead.
If you’re interested in our assessment solutions, please visit the assessment services page and get into contact with us. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!