How to Conduct a Leadership Assessment in Six Easy Steps
In the popular comedy-drama series Ted Lasso, the main character was hired to lead a soccer team as head coach. In reality, he had never done this before and knew very little about soccer.
While the main character eventually went on to see his team achieve glory, this isn’t the ideal path for business. Hiring for leadership roles should be done with a bit more precision and a well-conducted assessment.
That goes for hiring and promoting from within too. Leadership assessment helps identify high potential future leaders,, skill gaps, and training needs.
Keep reading to learn how leadership assessments can help your business management.
What Is Leadership Assessment?
Leadership assessment is the process of determining whether an individual has the qualities needed to be an effective leader. The assessment looks at factors such as previous experiences, education, personal qualities, and skills.
These assessments are vital in job recruitment to ensure the right person is in the right role within your company. If this person already occupies a leadership role within your organization, then it can include a 360-degree feedback process to provide a more holistic on-the-job assessment from peers, reports, and bosses.
And in today’s very fluid workforce, a leadership assessment is an excellent tool to help identify individuals with the potential to move into leadership roles as they become available.
Why Is Leadership Assessment Important?
There are several key reasons why leadership assessment is so important, not just for the candidate but also for the business itself.
Firstly, it provides an opportunity for the organization to identify any development areas that their leaders may need to focus on. They can then invest in training and development programs to ensure their leaders are equipped to meet the demands of their role. This goes for leaders hired from outside the organization. Rather than waiting months or years to identify vulnerabilities or leadership missteps to occur, coaching or training can be put in place proactively.
Assessments also allow businesses to ensure their leaders are best placed to achieve organizational objectives and goals. They have the added benefit of fostering a culture of trust and transparency between leaders and their teams.
Another benefit of leadership assessment tests is that they allow for succession planning. This is where organizations can identify potential leaders within the company who may be best suited to step into larger roles as they become available.
Finally, these tests can help with your job recruitment. By conducting a leadership assessment as part of your recruitment process, you can be sure that you are hiring the right person for the job and the culture. This can save your business time and money in the long run.
How to Conduct a Leadership Assessment
There are a few different methods you can use to conduct a leadership assessment. Here are six steps you can take to get started:
Define What Success Looks Like
The first step is to establish criteria for what makes a successful leader within your organization. This will vary from company to company but should be based on values, culture, and business goals. Once you have established these criteria, you can begin to identify which skills and traits are most important for leaders in your organization.
Hire Competence, not Personality
While personality certainly plays a crucial role in how people approach leadership, it is more important to hire for competence and potential. For example, many hiring managers and consultants rely on a personality trait like extraversion to assess fit for effective communication, coaching, and relationship management. But not all extroverts are skilled at communication or building trust. Make sure when selecting the right leadership assessment, you focus on leadership competencies.
Define the Purpose of the Assessment
Once you know what success looks like to your organization, it’s time to define the purpose of the assessment.
What are you hoping to achieve? Do you want to identify areas of improvement for an individual or team? Are you looking for a way to measure KPIs? How well the individual will fit in and contribute to the company culture and community?
Having a clear purpose will help you create more targeted and effective questions.
Questions Behind the Questions
The leadership assessment should never be used as a pass or fail. Think of the assessment (with the exception of a 360 multi-rater assessment) as computer hardware. In order to get it to do what you need it to do and perform at its peak, you add software. For humans, education, experience, and leadership development are the software. The leadership assessment should reveal the strengths and expose the vulnerabilities. The questions you ask should then be based on areas of concern as well as how your candidate or employee approaches problem-solving, decision making, and motivating others. Some examples of leadership assessment questions include:
- What are your motivations for wanting to lead a team?
- How would you handle a situation where two members of your team are in conflict with each other?
- How would you handle a situation when you lost the trust of your peers or reports?
- What are your thoughts on delegation?
- Tell us about a time you lost your cool. How did you handle it and make amends?
Analyze the Results
After you have collected all of the data including the interview and reference checks, it’s time to analyze the results. How comfortable are you with the candidates’ responses? Did the candidate seem to approach the future with a fixed or growth mindset? This will help you to identify any areas of improvement for your leaders. You’ll also spot any potential candidates suitable for future leadership positions.
Finally, once you have determined the strengths, skills and culture fit, and areas for improvement, it’s time to create the development plan.
This could involve additional training and coaching for your leaders. You may also need to adjust your hiring and selection process if you’re attracting candidates and employees with a lot of skill gaps.
Who Should You Test?
You might think that leadership style assessments are for top-level executives only, but this isn’t the case.
In fact, anyone who is in a leadership position or who aspires to be a leader can benefit from taking a leadership assessment. This includes managers, team leaders, and even front-line supervisors and employees.
Leadership assessments can be used for both individual and group development. They are an effective way to identify areas of improvement for leaders to help them reach their full potential.
When used correctly, leadership assessments can be a powerful planning tool for organizations. By taking the time to assess your leaders, you can ensure that they are best placed to achieve your organizational objectives.
Tools and Tests
Popular personality tests can help you to get a better understanding of your leaders and their suitability for leadership roles. Some of these tests used in leadership assessment include DISC Profile, Harver, and AQai (Adaptability Quotient)
There are also employee assessment companies that specialize in tools that analyze your management team.
Partner with Us for Your Leadership Assessments
Working with an experienced performance solutions company takes the guesswork out of identifying suitable leadership candidates. Recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers enjoy using our leadership tests for their needs. You may also craft a tailored assessment with our expertise.
Contact us today. Let us help you capitalize on the leadership strengths within your organization or recruit the right people to lead your teams.