Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The recruitment and assessment team

Recently Lou Adler posted an article on ERE about how to create the ideal corporate recruiting team.

Great idea, I think, with one major reservation.

Only one position is devoted to assessment--the "Assessments leader", devoted to "skills-based" assessments. None of the other roles appear to cross over with traditional assessment activities, such as job analysis or developing job knowledge tests.

So in the spirit of building a fantasy sports team, and with an acknowledgement to Mr. Adler for suggesting that a large amount of resources need to be devoted to recruitment and assessment, I suggest my own assessment roles. In line with Adler's proposition, these do not have to be performed by one individual, and in larger organizations you may have more than one person devoted to each role. (In fact, if you pigeon hole people into these roles they may burn out)

Each of those roles requires the following competencies:
1. Reading comprehension
2. Written communication
3. Analytical skill
4. Knowledge of assessment best practice
5. Knowledge of relevant laws and rules
6. Creativity
7. Working well with a variety of individuals
8. Facilitation skill
9. Interviewing ability
10. Attention to detail

That said, I present my fantasy team:

1. Job Analysis Expert - this person should be familiar with a variety of ways of conducting job analysis that meet the requirements of the
Uniform Guidelines as well as the needs of the organization.

2. Written Test Developer - Although on-line training and experience measures seem to be the current golden child, written measures of job knowledge, situational judgment, biodata, and personality (to name a few) aren't going away. This role requires fluency in item analysis.

3. Interview Developer - Interviews are the most commonly used form of assessment, as well as the most accessible by stakeholders. This person needs to work well with hiring supervisors and be able to create a variety of questions and rating methods.

4. Simulation Developer - Simulation, work sample, performance, high-fidelity--whatever you want to call them, these tests share with interviews the one-two-three punch of typically working well, being accepted by candidates, and having less adverse impact than written tests. This role requires a lot of creativity, flexibility, and a certain amount of risk taking.

5. Systems Specialist - The marriage of IT and assessment is here to stay. This person needs to remain constantly on top of the latest developments in applicant tracking and computer/internet-based assessment tools. They must work hand-in-hand with the rest of the team to help decide how and when to use technology to enhance assessment activities--and when not to.
6. Statistical Expert - Every assessment team needs as least one person who can speak fluently about item analysis, regression, correlation coefficients, standard error, significance testing, and factor analysis (to name a few). And it's not enough to know these things--you have to be able to communicate them to lay audiences in a way that doesn't scream "ivory tower."

7. Reference checker - Some people are good at checking references, some are not. A good reference checker is assertive, excels at listening to others, and is very perceptive.

8. Outreach specialist - This person is responsible for preaching the gospel of sound assessment and doing things like attending conferences, making presentations, and producing newsletters. Role-specific skills include oral presentation skill, agreeableness, openness to experiences, and assertiveness. A primary outcome is establishing the reputation of the assessment group to attract highly qualified individuals and reinforce the value of their work.

9. Recruitment Liaison - Recruitment and assessment functions are often treated separately when they are fundamentally intertwined. This person communicates constantly with the recruitment side of the house to talk about needs for planning purposes, gathers customer satisfaction information (both internal and external), and is available for consultation.

10. Trainer - Last but definitely not least. The best trainers have both content knowledge and the ability to engage and teach their audience. This person must be able to present information in a way that is accessible and usable. They must have skills in the area of curriculum development and be fluent with presentation technology. A sense of humor is a must, as is the ability to constantly gauge the audience and switch directions when needed.

I think that about covers it. All we need now is an assessment olympics.

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