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Assessment for Development

Posted  |  by Maria Persico

In today’s environment, as organizations face complex challenges due to continuous business changes, the need for innovation and the uncertainty of the global financial situation, it is imperative that leaders and employees develop new skills, abilities and behaviors and achieve a higher level of self-awareness in order to meet the needs of their company and tend to their own needs – to grow and provide value.

Having been in the field of Career Transition and Assessments for over 25 years, we have noticed that candidates in transition sometimes resist engaging in the assignment of a good self-assessment or are not inclined to do follow-up exercises with their assessment results.  Often times, they do not actively participate in the feedback sessions following the assessment exercises, which are essential for development. 

This tendency can be understood to some extent, as people are anxious to find a new position. For example, consider the case of one career transition candidate we worked with.  His focus, despite our advice, was on selling his boat and securing a new position quickly, not on assessing his current skills to create an effective job search strategy.  After 6 months in a new position, he found himself again without a job.  In his case, his hiring manager had to take an unexpected medical leave.  The company did not have a sufficient on-boarding process and the candidate did not take the initiative to seek an understanding of his role. He failed to communicate with his department in order to solve the problems he faced.

What followed was a call from the candidate asking about the possibility of taking another look at the assessments we had provided for him and utilizing additional feedback sessions.  This time, he really focused on all items that the assessment had indicated for his development.  Had the candidate utilized the original assessments to find a new position, he may have landed in the right position with the right company.

Our belief at Career Partners International is that assessments should be used for career development, whether a candidate is in career transition, a leader receiving a promotion or a group looking to enhance their careers and improve their performance.  We strongly believe in focusing on all of the positive aspects of an individual and building on those strengths.  However, it is also crucial to focus on potential areas of development.

All of us have patterns of behavior that sometimes do not fit the challenges presented to us. Therefore assessing our own patterns and tendencies to act or react is a very good first step. It is said that good and efficient leaders and employees have a higher level of self-awareness. They are insightful about how their behavior affects others. Intelligence and passion for hard work may not be enough.

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