Talent Manager Assessment Timelines

 -  9/12/07

Assessment tools generally fall into three categories: selection, development and promotion.


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Assessment tools generally fall into three categories: selection, development and promotion. Talent managers need to apply a high level of critical evaluation to these tools when deciding which to use and when, and they need to look beyond ease of use and the appearance of alignment.

Effective use of assessment tools and procedures saves valuable time, money and resources. As a general rule, you can categorize the assessment strategies usage into three critical areas of talent management: selection, development and promotion.

There are common issues to all three, however, including assessment reliability, validity and efficacy for its intended purposes. Although there are many assessment strategies (instruments, assessment centers, simulations, etc.), the most common are inventories and tools.

General Considerations

Just as you would ruthlessly approach the selection of a physician for your child, talent managers need to apply the same level of critical evaluation to assessment tools. Just because a report is easy to administer and interpret, or its content appears to align to your needs, it doesn’t mean the science underneath has value. Note the use of “ruthless” — keep this in mind when deciding which tool to use and when, as the decision should be based on selecting high-quality tools aligned to program goals.

Recently, a global director of leadership development was adamant his company use a tool that had never been validated nor used in any legitimate research projects because he “found it had practical value and liked using it.” Why anyone in talent management would intentionally select an inferior protocol is a mystery, and the standards that can be applied to this decision should take personal bias out of the equation.

Benchmarks should be readily available from an assessment publisher and are critical to consider. There should be a technical report, manual or guide that provides information on item or question development, reliable results, validity and efficacy.

Reputable publishers and suppliers of assessment tools clearly indicate the level of the instrument, as based on the international test publishers’ standards.

Article Keywords:   technology  

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