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May 7

Direct Observation of Competency Assessments

The Thinking Pattern Profile™ assessments are all based on Dr. Robert S. Hartman’s work in Axiology and are the gold standard of competency assessment tools. They are objective and they represent the third kind of assessment, direct observation. (View also the articles on 360° and self report assessment tools).

“This is the kind of assessment where actual decision behaviour is observed and recorded. The person taking the profile does not describe him or herself but does a mental task. The system then simply tracks the process used. Before I speak more about Hartman-based observation, let me briefly outline another form of direct observation, the assessment center. This is often seen as a way to address the limits of self report and 360° assessments, and it does indeed involve direct observation.

In assessment center efforts, candidates for hire or promotion are put in artificial situations reflecting work environments and are given tasks.  It should be obvious that assessment centers can be seen as a combination of self report and 360° feedback plus varying levels of expert observation.

In addition to the expense of time and staffing, there are other limits to assessment center efforts. This kind of assessment can still yield non-objective results. The expert opinion, for example, will be only as accurate as the expert’s competence and level of bias allows. Moreover, even if a person can do an in-box exercise in a short amount of time, this does not guarantee they will perform that way in their own, perhaps chaotic, environment. (Or, as financial firms constantly remind us in small print, “past performance is no guarantee of future success.”)

In contrast to the highly expensive mixed solution provided by assessment centers, Hartman based assessments are quick, easy, and accessible providers of direct observations. It takes only a short time to track a person’s thinking through the ranking process, as opposed to assessment centers, and the results are totally objective, as opposed to subjective. Again, the person taking the profile does not describe him or herself but does a mental task. The system then simply tracks the thinking process used. Thus, if one is really looking for an accurate, objective view of the candidate, axiological assessments such as the Thinking Pattern Profile™ becomes a critical component of success in hiring.”

Author Dr. K. T. Connor, Center for Applied Axiometrics http://applied-axiometrics.com