Exec Assess Tools

Use a Mix of Tools to Assess Future Executives

C-level turnover is on the rise – up 95% in 2011 compared with 2010, with even greater churn seen in early 2012, according to Liberum Research.This makes it more important than ever for organizations to effectively identify, assess and develop candidates that have the potential to fill leadership roles. There are numerous tools available to aid in this process, but the primary challenges are in determining which of those tools are most effective and knowing how to utilize them to produce bottom line results.

To address these challenges, i4cp conducted a study that queried 610 business professionals from various industries and organizations. Only 54% of those surveyed reported that their organizations had some kind of formal assessment process in place, leaving nearly half of organizations apparently playing a guessing game when it comes to identifying, assessing and developing their future leaders.

Findings from this study are available in i4cp’s new High-Performance Executive Assessments white paper, which is available exclusively to i4cp member organizations.

360 Assessments are the Most Popular

In order to determine which tools are most popular and most used, the survey asked respondents to rate the effectiveness of 25 different assessment tools. The most commonly used tool by far was 360 assessments, used by 77% of respondent organizations. This was followed closely by Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessments with 68% and DISC assessments with 61%.

Beyond being simply the most commonly used tool, 360 assessments are also considered the most effective tool to use. Of the respondents who use this tool, 40% overall find it highly effective in assessing leadership.

High-performance organizations, however, are 22 percentage points more likely to find 360 assessments effective than their lower performing peers, possibly because they’ve figured out how to effectively deploy them. These types of assessments are labor intensive and often require expertise for synthesizing and delivering the results, barriers that high performers may be better equipped to overcome.

The High-Performance Executive Assessment white paper also examines the perceived effectiveness of other tools, including Development Dimensions International (DDI) assessment centers, the Hogan Personality Inventory and Lominger. Although there are myriad tools to choose from, they’re apparently not all perceived as equal.

Executive Assessment Tools Should Not Be Used Alone

One of the most important aspects of these assessment tools is that almost none of them were designed to be used alone. Since they tend to look at different facets of leadership qualities, using even the second most popular tool – the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – would paint a very one-dimensional picture of the candidate. Instead, the i4cp study found that executive assessment tools are most effective when results are combined.

In fact, three quarters of all respondent organizations report that they combine the results of multiple tools when assessing managers and executives. Not only is it beneficial to do so, but it is necessary to properly identify candidates with executive development potential.

C-level turnover isn’t going away anytime soon, and finding the right candidates for leadership positions is an increasingly pressing issue. Download i4cp’s High-Performance Executive Assessment white paper for more information about executive assessment practices in high-performance organizations – including recommended tool combinations, best practices for sharing results with candidates and suggestions on how to measure the effectiveness of the assessment tools utilized.

Corporate membership is required. For more information, visit i4cp's homepage.