Large organizations with strong talent management departments are leading a surge in the use of assessments. A recent Journal of Consulting Psychology article reports that 90% of these companies use assessments to identify and develop the next generation of leaders. As the onslaught of Baby Boomer Retirements continue, I predict that so will this assessment trend.
So, how do assessments help? Through assessments, leadership coaches help people enhance self-awareness and increase their effectiveness. Assessments put words to the experiences and challenges we face as individuals, and they leverage the experience of others who have similar personalities. They can also provide a safe way to gather feedback about strengths and opportunities for development (e.g., 360 feedback).
Assessments identify key strengths you can apply in new ways. A good coach can even tell you how to use those strengths to overcome your “personality challenges.” For instance, if you struggle with meeting deadlines due to your personality, but you are a very empathetic person, you might be coached to spend more time thinking about the effect of missing those deadlines on other people.
Assessments identify when positive traits are so strong that they can become blind spots or career derailers. For instance, if you are highly detail-oriented and methodical, this will likely be praised and further developed early in your career. However, when you move into higher levels, this might be seen as overly perfectionistic, and often leads to micromanaging. By highlighting this likely derailer (a very common one, by the way!) and identifying a few strategies to overcome it, personality assessment can help prevent some early leadership mistakes.
There are 2 main reasons Talent Management leaders implement assessments:
- Development: The most common use of assessment in organizations is assessment for developmental purposes, and the most common assessment tool is 360 Degree Feedback. There is movement toward using 360 feedback for making decisions about promotions as well. The combination of 360 Feedback and Personality data is a very helpful way of increasing self-awareness and identifying more positive behaviors to succeed in the workplace.
- Hiring and Promotion Decisions: An increasingly popular use of assessments is for making decisions about placements for leadership roles. This can take the form of high potential identification or promotion and hiring decisions. In this case, personality tools are the most common type of assessment. There has been a great deal of research demonstrating the link between certain personality traits and success in leadership roles. After personality assessment, structured behavioral interviews designed by an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist are the next most common assessment tool. When combined, personality assessments and a well-designed interview have proved to be very effective at predicting performance. In our experience, the combination highlights “red flags” that are often not identified through other recruitment methodologies.
At TLG, we are well-known for our Executive Assessment service, but many are unaware of our management and sales assessment services. For that reason, we are promoting a free trial of our Management Assessment or Sales Assessment products when you purchase an Executive Assessment. If you have any upcoming hiring or promotion decision, call Dr. Liz Roling at 770-270-1723 for more information.