Most employees will consider promotion at some point in their career. One of the biggest questions is ‘can I handle the assessment process?’
Currently, employers find themselves in a strong position as job insecurity looms; they can select from a pretty decent pool of willing applicants and apply fairly rigorous methods to make absolutely sure their choices are sound.
What used to be a relatively straightforward way of bracing yourself for an interview has changed in many organisations. Methods used to assess suitability are now more multi-faceted and complex, often described as an Assessment & Development Centres (ADCs).
So how do you successfully tackle an ADC so you can move closer to your hard-earned promotion?
What do the assessments actually measure?
An interesting shift in assessment processes is the emphasis put on underlying attitudes, motivations and behaviours.
Passing an ADC is usually linked to how well you show that your behaviour matches the standards outlined in the organisation’s competency framework.
The competencies are the core behavioural standards, values and priorities for your organisation. Of course these will vary depending on where you work and what your role is; the behavioural expectations for a sales manager will probably be quite different from those of a nurse or an accountant. But despite the many differences, core competencies are often remarkably similar. You’d hope to find decent team working, personal integrity, effective communication and problem solving skills in most roles, wouldn’t you?
The competency definition may vary a little depending on level of seniority but often looks much the same throughout the organisation. For instance at supervisory level, your approach to supporting change may be ‘supports change, adjusting approach to meet changing requirements’, whereas at a more strategic level you would expect a Manager/ Director to ‘manage the change process, driving organisational effectiveness forward’.
Some of the uncertainty about a forthcoming assessment process will be around what is expected of you.
The good news is that an organisation’s competencies or standards are usually quite visible. You should be able to find them on the website or ask HR for a copy. They can be a little difficult to get your head round- but a red pen and some crossing out of unnecessary jargon should simplify them down to a more useable level!