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Career Leadership Plan for Assessments

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With the growing intensity of market competition, human resources have become the most valuable source of competitive advantage for firms. Organizations hunt for talents and are willing to make enormous investments in developing and maintaining an effective staff. Employees remain the most inimitable organizational resource, and organizations struggle to select and acquire the most prospective workers. In this quest for talent, human resource managers play one of the central roles. Selecting the most suitable employee is a difficult process, which is impossible without effective utilization of various assessment tools. Personality assessments, cognitive and behavioral assessment tools, as well as the tools for assessing applicants’ cultural and conflict-handling features have become a normal practice in selection and hiring. Unfortunately, as assessment tools become more diverse, human resource professionals find it more difficult to handle them properly. The purpose of this paper is to develop a workable plan for using a variety of assessment instruments in human resource management.

Literature Review

The current state of literature provides rich evidence that assessments are a popular tool of employee selection and recruitment. Still, many controversies surrounding the utilization of assessment instruments in human resource management should not be ignored. According to Morgeson et al. (2007), the history of assessment utilization in selection and hiring contexts can be traced back to 1965, when the first research on the use of personality assessments was published. The results of that research shaped a common belief that the results of personality assessments could readily inform employment decisions made by human resource managers (Morgeson et al., 2007). Yet, even in the presence of valid research results, most HR managers found it inappropriate or unreliable to use assessments for selection and recruitment decisions. As Hurtz and Donovan (2000) write, it is not until 1991 that HR professionals became much more otimistic about the utility of assessments, including personality assessment instruments, in their selection decisions.

The past years witnessed the growing optimism regarding the use of assessment instruments in HR practice (Hurtz et al., 2000). This optimism is driven mainly by the desire to obtain more detailed information of employee personality and workplace characteristics (Saari & Judge, 2004). Firms turn to assessments, in order to create a better view of applicants’ knowledge, skills, and abilities in relation to unique organizational characteristics (Saari & Judge, 2004). According to Ryan and Tippings (2004), “there is a considerable body of knowledge regarding what works well across jobs and organizations and what does not, as well as substantial research on tools for specific types of positions” (p. 306). Nonetheless, as new methods of assessment emerge, HR professionals become more concerned about the potential utility of these methods and their effects on the quality of selection decisions made in HRM. For instance, Piotrowski and Armstrong (2006) raise the question of effectiveness in relation to online testing. Moreover, even in the presence of diverse assessment tools and methodologies, many HR professionals retain an implicit belief that they can never be absolutely precise in predicting applicants’ job performance (Highhouse, 2008). This belief leads to the development of an inherent resistance to using analytical tools in selection and hiring and causes an overreliance on subjectivity and intuition in employee selection decisions (Highhouse, 2008).

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Overview of Five Personality Assessments

For this assessment plan, the following personality assessment tools have been chosen: (1) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory (MBTI); (2) Reasoning and Decision Making behavioral and personality assessment tool; (3) Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test Appraisal; (4) Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode (TKI); and (5) Problem Solving and Self Control assessment instrument. The choice of all these assessment tools is justified by their relative popularity, substantial evidence supporting the validity and reliability of their results, and their almost universal applicability in a variety of organizational settings. Certainly, due to the high costs of utilization for some assessment instruments, they may not be appropriate for use with each and every person applying for a job. The plan below indicates how and why these assessments will be used to enhance the quality of selection and hiring decisions.

Plan for Assessment Use in HRM

1. Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test Appraisal will be used to test all candidates applying for skilled positions prior to interviewing them. The test will be administered in an online format. The cost of the test is reasonable enough to allow for effective utilization in all selection processes. It measures employees’ cognitive ability, which remains the strongest predictor of their effectiveness and success at work.

2. Walter McBride's Reasoning and Decision Making tool will be used as a supplementary element of selection and hiring decisions following interviews. It will be administered in an online format only to those applicants, who pass the interview successfully. Its results will complete the picture of applicants’ personality and facilitate the development of more productive ties with the new employees.

3. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator inventory will only be used to select applicants for management and supervisory positions due to its cost and complexity. Given that its results should be processed by a qualified administrator only, the use of the inventory should be saved for exceptional purposes, such as hiring a new chief financial officer.

4. Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode and Problem Solving and Self Control assessments will not be used for selection. Rather, they can serve the needs of HRM in other situations, such as team work and conflict management. Problem solving assessments will be used to evaluate employees, before they engage in a group or team project. The Thomas Kilmann assessment will be the most suitable in evaluating employees’ skills and abilities in organizational conflicts.





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