Employee and Leadership Development: Job Descriptions and Assessments

Have you been around a table and a leader makes this comment: “I think John Doe can be a great leader and we need to promote John immediately.” Leaders encourage employee development and succession planning while understanding the importance of providing resources to enhance growth. But how can we identify leaders and be successful so it’s not just a “shot in the dark”? We want the best for our employees, and we want to do what is right, so let’s be objective and intentional in identifying future stars.

Identifying possible leaders by using a systematic and objective approach during the selection process will increase the chances of selecting the right candidates. A solid house has a strong foundation and that comes with a job description that identifies key core elements:

  • Knowledge and competencies
  • Skills to be successful
  • Leadership and Behavioral traits to be influential and impactful
  • Roles and Responsibilities that can be measurable

With an effective job description in hand, a framework is established to identify personnel for leadership development. It’s not a complicated process but it needs to be intentional and provide objective measurables in the job description for employee development. Traits and characteristics identified in job descriptions along with roles and responsibilities allow leaders to select the appropriate assessments to evaluate high potential leaders.

There are several different types of assessments that organizations can use to be a part of the selection of potential leaders and drive talent gap analysis(we will talk about this at a later date). Selection assessments can be used as one tool to determine certain characteristics such as strengths, aptitudes, thinking skills, motivation skills, personality and behavioral traits. Assessments should not be the lone decision maker as they are one piece of the puzzle. I’m not in the endorsing business, but I do prefer Gallup StrengthsFinder and The Predictive Index as these two assessments have been around for a long time as they have sustainability with statistical significance.

A goal for assessments is to give self-awareness to the candidate and provide guidance for their next development stage. This includes identifying strengths and opportunities of the candidates and with education and training; greater situational awareness will occur and increase problem solving with better outcomes.

An effective job description, proper assessments and more importantly, the candidate’s strengths and work performances, will increase your opportunity to identify leaders objectively within your organization. “Gut-feeling” and intuition can be a part of your decisions, but let’s use evidence-based methods to help guide your decision on the next superstar!!

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