Thinking - Pixabay

If the cost of hiring the wrong executive is up to 27 times the executive’s annual salary (according to Brad Smart) and the average contribution for someone who is a high fit for an organization is 144 percent greater than an individual who is a low fit (according to CPP), shouldn’t a company ensure that it is using a robust leadership assessment process? Unfortunately, many organizations do not. Consequently, the assessments that are done end up being educated guesses at best.

As a starting point, make sure the assessment process ties to strategic talent objectives by aligning it with the needs of the business. This ensures that the application of the assessments is the foundation for how assessments are done. With this in mind, there are three applications for the assessment process:

  • Assessment for hiring
  • Assessment for capability development
  • Assessment for succession planning

While designing the process, clarify what aspects (e.g., skills, characteristics, etc.) you want to measure. Once this done, use two key criteria to determine the best method to measure them. First, you want to make sure you are actually assessing the aspects you intend to assess. This represents the validity of the process. Second, you want to ensure that you are consistently measuring these aspects in the people who go through the process. This represents the reliability of the process. By meeting these two criteria, you establish a more accurate and fair assessment process for the people who go through it. This is especially important when assessment for hiring or succession planning is done.

A variety of tools and approaches could be used in the assessment process. Don’t be enticed into using a certain tool or approach because you have used it in the past or because a colleague or consultant suggests it. You want to make sure the process is sound by using the method that provides the outcome you want in the most accurate and reliable way. If you would like to better understand how to do so, take a look at OrgLeader’s AAM framework and/or The Three Pitfalls of Leadership Assessment.


Ryan Lahti is the founder and managing principal of OrgLeader, LLC. Stay up to date on Ryan’s STEM-based organization tweets here: @ryanlahti

(Photo: Thinking, Pixabay)