Assessment: the bread and butter of hiring and developing

Visiting the local bakery on a recent trip to Spain, I found myself asking for ‘Pan’ – the word for bread in Spanish. Being a new starter at PAN—Performance Assessment Network, that then created a link in my mind between assessment and bread! As I got to thinking about this more, it struck me that process of baking bread can be a useful analogy for the value of assessment when making critical people decisions or identifying the right people to develop further.

Baking delicious bread is not something that can be rushed – similarly with making quality hiring choices – it pays to follow a methodical and ‘proven’ approach. With bread, you know what ingredients you need – flour, water, yeast and salt. But for the job role you’re recruiting for, do you know what you will need in the ideal candidate? Have you performed a thorough job analysis so you have a clear recipe for hiring?

When asked, managers commonly provide a lengthy list of competencies needed for a role – but we would say that whittling this list down to 6 – 8 core competencies can bring clarity, precision and more successful outcomes in recruiting. Tools like the 16pf® assessment allow you to efficiently discover core competencies critical to your roles and then immediately apply this to your selection process through comprehensive personality assessment.

Rise and shine

Once you’ve got your basic ingredients covered and you’ve recruited the right person for the job, you can then use the information from your assessment process to get one step ahead with development. A recent Harvard Business Review article on ‘Learning to learn’ surmises that learning faster than your competitors is the way to competitive advantage and that ‘learning’ is about doing new things and having a growth mindset:

“Over decades of coaching and consulting to thousands of executives in a variety of industries, however, my colleagues and I have come across people who succeed at this kind of learning. We’ve identified four attributes they have in spades: aspiration, self-awareness, curiosity, and vulnerability. They truly want to understand and master new skills; they see themselves very clearly; they constantly think of and ask good questions; and they tolerate their own mistakes as they move up the learning curve.”

Using a reliable and highly researched assessment like the 16pf questionnaire can ensure you know an employee’s development needs and understand whether they’re likely to have assets such as “aspiration” or “self-awareness” or a growth mindset. Going back to the bread analogy – the bread doesn’t knead itself but gets timely and skillful input from the expert baker: an employee with potential ‘kneads’ input too – from a skillful manager or coach – and the 16pf assessment can ensure they know the raw ingredients that they have to work with along the way. Using a proven recipe will allow your key employees to rise to the top, shine in their role and give your business a competitive advantage.