Last month I was was listening to an HR expert during a radio interview share his advice on the roll of independent assessments in identifying each employees strength and weaknesses. He was recalling an un-scientific survey he conducts in ALL of his consulting engagements where he opens his presentations with this question: "How many of you consider yourself an Above-Average employee"!?
He was declaring that without hesitation more than 95% of attendees in the room raise their hands! According to this HR expert, he consistently gets similar results from this poll of his in ALL of his client company's regardless of industry, size, age and location! So, his conclusions are that 95% of us are very poor judge of our own skills and need independent assessments.
Guilty as charged! In fact, I was under the impression that after years of working at Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, HP, EDS and some start-ups, I was a decent Business Development and Sales Rep. But it would have been nice to find a way to quantify these assumptions that I was indeed a decent sales rep. And that's when I discovered a SalesCheck Business-Business (B2B) assessment from a company called International Knowledge Management to see how I would score me in following categories:
- Computer Literacy
- Numerical Skills
- Team Work
- Sales Call Qualification
- CRM Process
- Negotiation of a Contract
- Closing a Sale
These skills are very critical for a B2B Sales Manager to posses if your company is in an expansion stage where each sales is instrumental to your success. So, I decided to take the B2B SalesCheck Assessment myself. Even though I rushed through the test and was annoyed by some questions about the current time in China; it was neat to see the results which ranked me in 3 different categories:
1) Work Speed Accuracy: This part of the assessment determines if a candidate is responding to the questions in within the standard deviations based on the historical performance of others who have taken the exact same tests.
2) Subject Coverage: This section of the IKM assessment determines if the test taker has demonstrated proficiency in the subject coverage. In this case, I scored highest in the "Professionalism", "Computer Literacy" and "Business Networking". The score were :
3) Application Ability: This section of the assessment ranks the candidates application knowledge which in this case was B2B Sales. The score options are :
The beauty of these Assessments are that they can be used as broad guidelines for hiring staff and prevent on-boarding hires that do not meet the certain threshold in these Assessments. For instance, you can use the Application Ability as one criteria where if anyone does NOT score in
"Significant" or above percentile, then they should not be considered. Using these Assessment results remove the guess work and subjective measure most companies now use to make their hiring decisions.
This is why I strongly believe in the power of these assessments in pre-screening identifying the right talent. But why isn't everyone using these Assessments then!? There is good news that the number of companies using Assessments has risen 22% over the previous year. And we are doing our part with recent partnership with SmartRecruiters where companies will be able to access Cloud based IKM Assessment on their way to screen for better talent.
Finally, the recent announcement that Smartere landed a $1.6M to bring it's Assessments to Enterprise is yet another validation that Skills Assessments have finally arrived.