10 Simple Steps To Getting the Most From Assessments

Thoughts from my close colleague, Dave Hendrickson. Dave is one of my biggest fans and loves Assessment Leaders.  How we met?  He called AL to inquire about the use an assessment in hiring a couple of very technical, professional service consultants.  This was a very targeted hire, requiring specific skills.  Dave purchased our validated, pre-hire assessment called the PXT, which measures the total person : can, will and how the candidate do the job. The rest is history, we’ve been friends ever since.  Below is our first blog, written by my friend (and customer).

My dad had an awesome workshop. The walls were covered with pegboard. His precious tools painstakingly outlined to demonstrate precisely where each item would rest between uses.  He didn’t just have one hammer, he had 12 of them and could articulate the differences between them as a symphony conductor would explain why he/she needed both a trombone and a french horn.  As I kid, I was warned not to touch them, but I marveled at them from afar. I could identify the screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers and clamps, but he also had dozens of specialty apparatuses that I still don’t understand. And then there were the big power tools. “Put these on and stand back,” he’d say as he handed me my little pair of safety glasses.  Dad would saw and drill and plane and sand. Watching him create and repair with those tools was very exciting for me, but at the same time, Dad was very cautious to show me just exactly how any one of these tools could separate me from my fingers, toes, eyes, or almost any body part.

Knowledge is power. We use powerful tools to create amazing things, but in the untrained hand, they can wreak havoc and leave a lifetime of scars in their wake.   Assessment Tools are no different. Properly used, they unlock incredible benefit for individuals, teams, and organizations.  On the other hand, we’ve all heard the horror stories of people using assessments for improper purposes, results poorly communicated to individuals (or not communicated at all!), and huge expectations set that could never be reasonably achieved. These regrettable scenarios always lead to resentment, mistrust, and employee disengagement.

Like my dad gave me safety equipment and showed me the ropes, let me run through 10 Simple Steps that will make sure your next use of assessments are as successful as they can be.

#1 Define your assessment goals
#2 Define your assessment audience
#3 Carefully select the best assessment tool(s)
#4 Train personnel on both administration and delivery of assessment results
#5 Fully communicate the assessment expectations and process to participants and management before implementation
#6 Keep an open communication channel for questions & issues as they arise
#7 Deliver results and what those results mean professionally and completely (do not just email a report)
#8 Explicitly answer the “So What?” question. How do results impact individuals, teams and/or organization
#9 Set goals based on outcomes
#10 Schedule a check in to compare goals to achievements

Assessment tools can help you create some truly beautiful things: functional teams, sound succession plans, and employees who are constantly striving to maximize their talents.  Select and use the proper tools with care and the results can be spectacular. Use them haphazardly at your peril.  – Dave.


Assessment Leaders today to see how the experienced team can help you develop the ideal assessment process, or refine the one you have.  1-866-867-8200.