What is a Career Assessment?
A Career Assessment is essentially an evaluation of the primary factors that influence a person in their career. Work styles, personality preferences, values and other relevant areas all play a role.
These types of assessments are undertaken for particular purposes, such as to help with a career dilemma or support a hiring process.
What Does a Career Assessment Entail?
Career assessments usually involve a recognised, evidence-supported way of gathering relevant information about a person’s strengths and development areas.
These strengths and development areas are usually defined in relation to something, such as a particular work environment, role expectation, or career-related question.
There are no "right" or "wrong" results in a career assessment. An individual's combination of tendencies can be a strength in one context, but less so in another. Similarly, what is seen as development area in one environment might actually be a desirable characteristic in another.
The type of information gathered can tell you what would enable a person to thrive in a particular career field or role. Conversely, it can also tell you what their individual challenges are likely to be, based on their unique personality and ability profile.
What is a Career Assessment Good For?
Individual Career Assessment
A career assessment offers useful information for anyone seeking ways to make the most of their existing strengths and to manage the tendencies that sometimes trip them up at work. For example, to:
- Perform optimally in a given role
- Prepare for a promotion
- Adjust to a work change or transition
- Resolve a question about career-fit
- Help choose a different career direction / confirm a career choice
- Deal with work challenges (such as a personality clashes, communication issues etc)
- Grow out of a work issue by learning and implementing new approaches
Corporate Career Assessment
In a corporate setting a career assessment (or review) is a valuable tool for:
- Hiring and selection processes
- Succession planning and managing existing talent
- Developing staff
- Building and developing high performing teams
When making selection decisions, hiring managers usually consider information from various sources in order to determine whether a person is a good match for a role. However, interviews and CV’s on their own are proven to have low reliability when it comes to predicting performance.
A career assessment provides a more objective source of information that can confirm / corroborate or offer a different perspective on what hiring managers feel they see in a candidate.
Psychometric assessments are also designed in such a way that the data can be used to objectively compare candidates with each other on specific requirements. For example, analytical ability or leadership style. This is difficult to do without an objective set of data.
Usually assessments of this kind are used on a shortlist of candidates in order to weigh up nuanced individual differences that are not necessarily evident from other sources. It is a good tool for gaining both a 'broad' and 'deep' insight into a person's approach to life and work.
The form a career assessment takes depends very much on the purpose for which it is used.