The Buzzword is "Assessment!"

Behavioral Assessment and Training Needs Analysis remain at the forefront of today's critical HR issues. Since the early conceptions and proof of value dating back to World War II, behavioral assessment continues to gain steam and job-specific validity! More than ever before, "off the shelf" instruments are readily available to pinpoint character traits. More than ever before, world class companies are formalizing the assessment of training needs prior to the investment of corporate training!

I'm certain that any of us would love to discover the magical ability to literally manufacture employees. In this tight employee market where competitive wages spiral upward, our need for customer service and quality becomes frustratingly more difficult to satisfy as we minimize labor costs. As close as we can get to manufacturing employees is this:  we need to hone both our training and training needs analysis skills. Job-specific behavioral assessment will pinpoint trainability. Any labor intensive company's bottom line is certainly dependent upon the ability to minimize turnover while avoiding wasteful training expenditures.

Each of us here in the HRS Assessment Center (HRSAC) announces more than 20 years internationally accredited experience specializing within this research and discipline. Baselines have been established over these years for each job-related criteria. Probabilities for successful corporate training efforts coincide with these baselines. HRS and HRS clients continue to advocate and offer testimonial to the customized job-specific method of "Assessment!"

Our highest profile clients continue their favoritism toward "job-specific" in-baskets and written situational exercises, as these are actually predictive in nature. As compared to off-the-shelf profile assessments, the scored analysis of the customized job-specific instrument reveals more precisely how behavioral traits would actually manifest themselves in a specific job setting. That is, interpretation decisions become substantially easier...and more legally compliant.

I believe we can all agree upon the value of pre-employment candidate assessments, and an increasing number of employers are reaping the rewards of pre-training assessments! A wealth of decision-making knowledge now exists. A few examples of norms within specific candidate pools follow... of the 7 universal criteria for customer service, 5 are trainable and 2 are not; of the 5 Level 1 Teambuilding skills, the "Respect" criteria is missed in 60% of baselined testing for candidates without formal training! In the global assessment of Performance Management, 76% of managerial candidates fail to meet criteria with regard to "Motivation Enhancement" skills, yet a significant number can be easily trained.

Jessica L Ollenburg, CMC, CPCM


As printed in the HRMA Resource, 1999