Executive Assessments Using Simulations

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Andreas Klug
HR Consultant, Germany

Executive Assessments Using Simulations

The success of a company depends on its top managers and executives. Decisions regarding engagements, staffing and positioning in this domain have extensive consequences and strategic impact.
Business projects like the introduction of a new product need time. From planning to accomplishing up to the first earnings, months or years could pass by. Therefore, in many cases executives harvest the outcome of their activities considerably time-shifted.
Likewise it does not become immediately apparent but time-shifted, whether a new executive is successful and if your engagement decision was appropriate or not.
This delay is one of the reasons why a wrong engagement decision can easily cost several annual salaries. So it makes sense to ensure engagement decisions and investments in top managers and executives are right by using individual assessments before you decide if a candidate is capable and will be successful.

With rising level of the position, metadisciplinary competencies (e.g., analytic skills, strategic thinking, management competencies, customer orientation, social competencies, entrepreneurial thinking) are getting more important for the aptitude appraisal and the engagement decision. In typical interviews these criteria are assessable only vague and with low validity. But using advanced work sample techniques and individual assessments, you can achieve a higher accuracy and predictive validity.

If you need more security than trusting in a candidates self report can provide, it is more reliable to perceive and experience the competencies of a candidate through work samples, as opposed to just the traditional interview process. Some candidates may have certain knowledge, but are unable to transfer that knowledge into concrete action.
To make competencies, capabilities and potentials clear, you should consider using management work samples as well as simulations of typical tasks and job specific requirements.
In an intensive one day assessment, future executives and top managers can be observed discreetly and evaluated individually. The candidate gets several fair opportunities to exhibit a broad spectrum of his relevant competencies and aptitude. As an observer you experience your future manager in situations that are close to reality.

  • The risk of expensive hiring mistakes will be minimized and the accuracy of your decisions regarding engagements and staffing will be maximized.
  • Essential requirements such as leadership competencies, analytic and strategic competencies, entrepreneurial initiative and social skills, will become visible and measurable.
  • You can use the results of our individual assessment for a specific initial job training and development or as a first step for individual coaching. In every case you start with actual strengths and fields for improvement of your new staff member.
  • With individual assessments you can support acquisitions, mergers and extensive change projects (e.g., HR due diligence, selection of project managers and change agents).
  • The HR department is involved in the selection of new staff members and cares for selection decisions, which are compatible with the strategy and culture of the corporation.

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