[IPAC-List] Assessments as "part of the puzzle"

Blair, Michael D[EQ] Michael.D.Blair at Embarq.com
Wed Feb 11 17:48:36 EST 2009

Jamie -

You're describing a variation of the compensatory assessment approach which has long been advocated as the preferred selection method. It's what I call the whole person approach and is the best way (in my opinion) to hire the best employee for the job in terms or job performance, job fit, organization fit, etc. Many private sector organizations use this approach for managerial and executive selection. In fact, we are launching a supervisor/manager process that uses this approach. The one caveat I would add is that minimum requirements are a good idea, even for these high level positions. It is not effective or efficient to administer a battery of assessments to individuals who fail to meet basic requirements for the job.

As a final note, this approach can also be effective for higher volume, lower level positions. However, for practical reasons, it is rarely used because of the necessity to narrow the applicant pool in route to the final hiring decision.

Michael D. Blair
Manager, Recruitment, Selection & Assessment
Voice: 913-345-6334 | Cell: 913-832-6130 | Fax: 913-345-6417
Email: Michael.D.Blair at embarq.com

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-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Madigan, Jamie J
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 1:47 PM
To: IPAC-List at ipacweb.org
Subject: [IPAC-List] Assessments as "part of the puzzle"

Hi all,

I thought I'd throw out a question that's come to my mind recently and which I'd like to get additional input on. What are your thought on using asssessments (e.g., cognitive ability tests, personality tests) not as hurdles with pass/fail outcomes, but just as data points that can be used in conjunction with other sources of information like interviews and applications/resumes to make a hiring decision? Specifically I'm talking about higher level, more complex positions in the realm of executive leadership or or a position where the person manages an entire department or business line.

Based on a few conversations I've had with collegues, there seems to be a few companies out there doing this. To me, the most obvious downside is increased legal exposure --if an applicant sues or otherwise compains about being rejected on the basis of a test, you're going to have a harder time defending it. But benefits include increased flexibility and buy-in from stakeholders.

Any other thoughts?

Jamie Madigan
Talent Selection & Assessment Specialist Ameren Services jmadigan at ameren.com

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