My head of resourcing and I sat down and discussed what assessment processes we should have in the organisation. We started at board level, and agreed that it was appropriate for us to do some assessments at senior level, then to train HR and line managers to do them further down the organisation. However, we agreed that at board level it was critical to have a more objective approach, because of the significance of those roles.
We were restructuring at board level, and I was working with the chief executive to ensure that we had robust information for decision-making processes. I recommended that we use HR consultancy A&DC for senior recruitments. We came up with a recruitment process that didn’t substitute the interview – candidates would undertake a first interview, then undergo A&DC’s part of the process before attending a final interview. It provided much more in-depth information.
We sat down with A&DC to brief them on what we were looking for. We were very clear on what the core competencies look like at this level. They used this to design a process which uses psychometric tests and looks at personal relationships. They used competency-based, structured interviews, based on our criteria, along with the Watson-Glaser critical reasoning test.
Using a combination of these methods, their occupational psychologist, who is very experienced, had an open and honest discussion with the candidate, ensuring that they got feedback there and then. He produced a report that was agreed with the candidate. This has been really helpful.
We’d planned ahead, so the process didn’t slow us down. It was quite intensive for the candidates, but I think that they expect it at this level. They were impressed with our thoroughness, and they felt that they learned a lot about themselves.
We’ve since adapted the process to use at lower levels. There are about half a dozen people in the HR team who are qualified in psychometric testing, so we’ve got together as a group, to discuss using what we’ve learned from this process. It’s all about return on investment. This has cost us money, but at the end of the day, it’s a very important process.
Ruth Mundy, group HR director, Mouchel