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May 30

We Can Accommodate Your Assessment Competency Requirements (Part 1)

“The first level is to provide a framework for helping the decision maker clarify for him or herself the ideal candidate against which to measure those who apply. My experience has been that most often the decision makers do not know what they want, but they certainly know what they don’t want when they see it. Thus, I find it helpful to provide tested competencies for them to consider and facilitate their choosing the ones that are most pertinent.

This can be done in two ways.

The first way is by providing an axiological report on each candidate and having them decide, on the basis of the results, which results are deal breakers. Since this relies on the level of completeness in the report, the accuracy level of the report, and the judgment of the decision maker, it has its pitfalls. However, even this is better than blind or gut feel selection. I use an Interview Guide report that provides a summary of each candidate’s general attitude, problem-solving, stressors, and self-mastery. Then, it indicates the key strengths and development areas relevant to the general position being filled, along with interview comments targeting those development areas. The purpose of the interview questions is to assist the decision maker in seeing if the level of problem is significant enough to jeopardize success in the position.

The second way is by providing a set of criteria ahead of time to decision makers and then building a special report based on the criteria they choose. I use the Success Factors framework, whereby the decision maker or makers select from a list of axiometrically-based competencies under several different categories. The candidate is then measured against the environment created by this complex of desired traits.

Some examples of the traits in the pool to be selected from are the following: Axiology’s Advantage: Desired Traits Must embrace and reinforce the value of sharing and cooperation.

  1. Must be open to the ideas and suggestions of others.
  2. Must be willing to listen to others’ opposing points of view.
  3. Must be able to maintain a positive and supportive attitude.
  4. Must be able to keep communications clear and to the point.
  5. Must put the interests of the team/ company above selfish interests.
  6. Must seek feedback from others to improve performance.
  7. Must translate priorities into decisions.
  8. Must monitor progress to keep things on schedule.
  9. Must put the interests of the team/ company above selfish interests.

Traits to be Avoided

  1. Will not let others know what they expect from them.
  2. Will not pay attention to being fair and consistent.
  3. Will have difficulty deciding what is important in relationships.
  4. Will have difficulty dealing with difficult or conflicting issues.
  5. Will have difficulty seeing the forest for the trees.
  6. Would not be effective due to a fear of either success or failure.
  7. Would have difficulty staying focused and on track.
  8. Could not be counted upon in good times and bad. Must track the success and failure of decisions.
  9. Would not be honest with themselves about what they can actually do or accomplish.
  10. Would not have an interest or inclination toward ideas and strategies for improving themselves.
  11. Would say or do things at the wrong time.

These are arranged in axiological categories and a certain number are selected from each column. This process helps decision makers identify whether or not a candidate is able to access his or her talents and translate them into skills in the specific functional environment the decision makers have described. Having the talents and attitudes required for the position is one thing; being able to access those talents as required is a very different thing.

The framework and formula for this was developed by Wayne Carpenter, and produces Thinking Pattern™ reports that indicate all the elements of the off-the-shelf interview guides described above, with the addition of the access rating. This is the score that indicates the degree to which the candidate’s strengths can be accessed in the environment created by the decision-maker’s selection of traits. This kind of assistance helps the decision maker narrow his focus more than a prepared report of the candidate’s results does.

The list to choose from creates a framework for the position as perceived by the decision maker or makers, and the formula applied to their choices establishes whether or not the candidate is able to navigate this framework. A caution is in order here: the well-known GIGO principle (garbage in-garbage out). The results of this process depend, as before, upon the degree to which the decision maker is able to clearly formulate what the requirements of the position are.

On the other hand, the process is designed to help build that clarity. This becomes especially apparent when the consultant is able to facilitate the decision maker through the process of making the selections. The process is also especially useful when the decision is left to several people. There is a real advantage to facilitating a group consensus session based on the selection items. The discussion that takes place, and the clarity that emerges, provide learning in itself for the decision making team.”

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