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7. Executive & Candidate Assessment
CEO and Senior Management Level
At a recent meeting with the CEO of a large company, the writer was told by the president that today was going to be very difficult and stressful day for him. The president said that a year ago he had promoted, what everyone agreed at the time was the best Controller the organization had ever had, to the position of Chief Financial Officer of the firm. However, after a year's performance in this position, it was evident that this chief financial officer had to be removed form his position. He was simply not able to function successfully in the role of chief financial officer for the firm.
The president said that he had made the mistake of promoting an outstanding Controller, who was, "an excellent historical recorder of facts," to the position of Chief Financial Officer without giving sufficient thought to the technical and behavioral demands of this new assignment. In working with his new Chief Financial Officer over this past year, the president said that it became abundantly clear that this individual was a "tactician" but not a "strategist," an "expediter" but not an "innovator," and an individual who lacked the ability to deal with conceptual type problems.
The president said that he should have recognized that the skills of a Controller were different from the skills needed in a Chief Financial Officer. He said that he should have spent more time in assessing whether this individual had the skills necessary to make the transition. "Ten years of successful experience as a Controller," the president said, "are no years of experience as a Chief Financial Officer."
The L. F. McManus Company, Inc. assists clients in the assessment of candidates for senior management positions. This affords the selection committee of the hiring organization to compare its observations and evaluations of a candidate's growth potential with the results of an independent interview and psychological assessment of the candidate's personality style, motivating values and problem-solving ability. The assessment process the L. F. McManus Company, Inc. conducts, is job and management competency factors oriented. While it deals with such areas as personality and values it does so in terms of the behavioral demands of the position, as well as how the individual is likely to approach management and leadership responsibilities. It is not, however, a clinical evaluation of the candidate's behavior or emotional characteristics.
The Management Assessment Process
In the selection and/or promotion of a management candidate there are eight significant factors that impact how successfully an individual is likely to function in a given individual professional and/or managerial assignment. Four of these can be described as "Competency" type factors and four can be defined as "Growth-Oriented" type factors.
"Competency" type factors are ones that can be more easily measured as they have to do with educational background, work experience, specialized skills, and record of performance in prior positions. They deal with the major entry-level requirements for the position under consideration.
Assessment of these four factors rest primarily with the hiring organization who is best equipped to determine what is needed in each of these "Competency" areas in order to meet the basic requirements of the position. If the hiring organization does not find that the candidate meets the basic requirements of the "Competency" factors, then there would seem to be little reason to proceed to an assessment of the "Growth-Oriented" selection factors.
The Assessment Program:
"Competency" factors are the Knowledge, Experience, Skills and Record of Achievement the candidate brings to the job and these need to be evaluated relative to the demands of the new assignment the individual is expected to perform. "Competency" factors should take on major importance when the position the individual is being interviewed to fill, is a continuation of what the candidate has already been doing. The best single indicator of success, is prior success, assuming the job demands remain essentially the same.
"Growth-Oriented" factors deal with such issues as:
Personality Style: how the individual is likely to function in such areas as communications, interpersonal skills, time control, decision-making as well as developing and directing people.
Values: what personal and career values are important to the individual and how relevant these issues are in the culture and priorities of the hiring organization and the position under consideration.
Problem-Solving Ability: how the individual is likely to deal with tactical as well as strategic issues, how quickly the individual grasps ideas, and functions when dealing with conceptual concepts and ideas.
Life Style: describes what is important to individuals in terms of where they want to live, how they want to function in terms of their work environment and how compatible these desires are with how the organization wants to function in terms of its internal and external culture.
Sometimes managers within an organization are so used to working with their people, that they begin to lose their ability to step back and objectively assess their staff members in terms of their strengths, weaknesses, and future potential. An outside professional assessment of a candidate can give selection committees or managers the opportunity to compare their assessment of the individual with those of an independent, third party.
Once the assessment process described above has been completed, results are discussed with the client by phone within 24 hours of the assessment session . The client is then able to compare its own observations and evaluation of the candidate with an independent assessment based on our experience over a thirty year period of time and an extensive management normative data base. If the client decides to go ahead with an offer to a candidate, a written report will be sent to the client to assist in the candidate's management and career guidance.
1. Meeting with your selection committee to discuss the position requirements, meet key members of the
management team and learn more about the organization, its objectives, and culture.
2. Candidate interview and assessment process (usually one day in our offices)
3. Oral or Written Report to Management
4. Feedback interview with the candidate which can be completed by phone or in person
5. Six month follow-up conversations with management and the newly hired manager or professional
specialist in order to monitor progress and help with a successful transition into the new assignment.
6. Coaching and Counseling can be provided as needed.
For more information on Assessing CEO and Senior Management Candidate programs with the L. F. McManus Company, Inc., please use our e-mail address to contact us.