Sign & Digital Graphics

September '14

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Page 26 of 142

22 • September 2014 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S RUNNING THE BUSINESS of the hiring search are before soliciting resumes and applications. Will you have the time and resources to train the suc- cessful job candidate in key skill areas once she reports to her first day at work? If so, the assessment should indicate if the person has the aptitude to learn to perform the skill in your company's own unique manner. If the time and/or resources to train are not available, the most appropriate assessment tool should measure the ability of the candidate to perform the skill today, not the potential to develop the skill later. Along with identifying the hiring goals and objectives, an analysis of the job itself and the way it impacts the orga- nization's business goals should be com- pleted. This sounds more complex than it really is. Simply study the deliverables— the tangible contributions the company enjoys when an employee does his job correctly—from each work position. For example, if an accounting clerk prepares a tax form and submits it, on time and without errors, to the comp- troller for signature, the tax form is the deliverable and one could identify all of the skills the clerk used to complete the task. Some of the skills the clerk used to accomplish the task include (1) the abil- ity to read and follow IRS instructions, (2) the ability to assemble the correct facts and figures and have the tax form numbers balance and make sense, and (3) the ability to manage time wisely and complete the work on schedule. Without reinventing the wheel, there are assess- ment tools available that could give an employer heightened confidence and predictability that a worker will con- sistently perform at a satisfactory and acceptable level. The second step to adopting a well- developed assessment program is selec- tion. With the desired individual charac- teristics, workplace behaviors and busi- ness outcomes defined, find the right assessment tools to identify the right knowledge, skills, abilities, traits and competencies to fit the position. This can be done for an incumbent employee as well as new hire. Assessments are excel- lent tools to assist a manager in conduct- ing performance evaluations as well as selecting the best candidate from a pool of applicants. There is a wide variety of assessment tools that can easily measure a person's interests, skills, personality and values. There are instruments that can mea- sure such job skills and competencies as listening, critical thinking, mathemat- ics and problem solving, reading and writing, judgment and decision making, customer service, mechanical aptitude, equipment maintenance, operation and troubleshooting, and social perceptive- ness and adaptation. Likewise, there are a number of companies that can connect you with the right test for nearly every situation. The O * N E T OnLine (, the eSkill Corporation (, and Quintessential Careers ( are three such websites that can assist you in selecting the most cost effective means to get the information you need. The pri- mary beneficiary of these sites are job seekers and folks contemplating career changes, but the tests serve an employer's needs as well. Some of the assessment tools are either self-directed—that is, can be used and the results interpreted without a licensed or trained professional—or those that require interpretive assistance, usually accompanied by a fee. The aforementioned Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has been the gold stan- dard for personality assessments, but it is imperative that a MBTI-certified practi- tioner provide an explanation of the test results. A self-directed cousin to Myers- Briggs can be found in the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (, which is easy to use, less time consuming and renders simple type descriptions for free. A more detailed report is available for a nominal fee. The book Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey helps to match with a higher degree of confidence cer- tain MBTI types with certain occupa- tions. Implement and Measure The third—and arguably the most important—step of developing an assess- ment program is evaluation. Unbiased administration of the assessments, proper communications as to the purpose of the instruments with test takers and manag- ers alike, and the validation of the assess- ment results are all critical components of the evaluation of the entire program. Assessment test takers are often not told what the tools are designed to indi- cate until after the instrument is admin- istered. This practice helps to ensure the applicant or employee doesn't give answers that he or she thinks the com- pany is looking for. In fact, most assess- ment tools don't have right and wrong answers—just responses that reveal ten- dencies related to the type of assessment it is. Once a company begins to utilize assessments and the employee has been on the job for a period of time, it should refer back to the interpretation of the tool and see if that worker's perfor- mance measured up to the indication of the assessment. Unfortunately, after the employee begins work, there are many factors that influence his or her eventual performance. The immediate supervisor, changes in the work environment or job demands, and/or the reward/incentive structure of the company can take a high scorer on an assessment and reduce her to an average employee. Still, developing a basic assessment program for any-sized company can reduce the number of bad hires, help develop and manage exist- ing talent and improve the company's chances of realizing its business goals. Good luck! SDG ere is a wide variety of assessment tools that can easily measure a person's interests, skills, personality and values.

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