Monday, November 12, 2007

Are You the Obvious Choice?

Perceived performance is an innate assessment technique used to evaluate an individual's skill capability. Having the means to objectively measure perceived performance can mitigate subjectivity from an internal or external perceptive. For example, if John Doe an intermediate professional in his career updates and submits his résumé to a new instructional design job posted in his organization – ABC Corporation. His résumé will provide detailed examples of his work experiences based on the job description delineated in the company’s job posting. Jane Doe, also an experienced professional in the field, may also respond to the same job posting as a potential new hire. Both candidates believe that their knowledge, skills, abilities, and work experiences have prepared them well for the new job opportunity. This belief will most likely be supported by previous work related performance. A résumé serves as a screening method used by employers to invite a job candidate to an interview. It is also an effective advertisement of a person's skills, experiences, and knowledge presented in a positive light. This is the first level of perceived performance and it is highly subjective.

Each job applicant must deal with the daunting task of making a good impression, and musing about his or her level of expertise and capability to meet new job requirements as he or she writes the résumé, while the hiring manager must be concerned with making the right decision about which candidate to select as he or she reviews each applicants’ résumé. The manager is most often concerned whether the applicant has the intellectual capacity and practical skills to perform the job; able to solve complex problems and devise appropriate solutions; motivated to do a good job, autonomous, capable of working solo or in teams; and also able to perform well in agile work environments under pressure. These issues plague the average job applicant and hiring professional in any industry, regardless of his or her profession, and the impetus for applicant selection usually centers on qualitative measures rather than quantitative ones.

The hiring manager, presumably an objective individual, may review each candidates résumé and come to believe that both candidates are highly qualified and have equivalent work experiences that seem to convey their individual capabilities. Who should the manager hire and why? What conspicuous attributes does one possess over the other? Who is better prepared for the job? How does one really know? Interviewing each candidate is one well-established method for providing assistance in this area. Yet, how reliable is the interview method? It too possesses some degree of internal and external subjectivity. Assessing whether to select candidate one or two becomes a hit or miss gamble when it comes to quantifying and aligning individual skill capabilities and a person’s fit to a specific job role because the manager will have to rely on each candidates ability to influence his or her decision.

Alone, the interview method can end up being a measure of a person's skill to persuade and convince rather than a measure of his or her skill capability to perform the job. Even still, both the résumé and interview methods are ubiquitous, qualitative measures for assessing human performance and are established components of a practical selection system. Hiring the right people and aligning them to a specific job role requires the adoption of a more holistic screening and selecting process. Effective assessment of human performance must utilize both qualitative and quantitative measures.

In the instructional technology (IT) field, professionals must adapt to extant and emerging trends while maintaining a diverse and flexible skill set. This is a daunting task given the constant change of technology, new methods, and tools (e.g. Web 2.0, Learning 2.0). Performance assessment measures that align to industry standards provide a means for professionals, employers, and educators to effectively measure and track performance, across job roles in such areas as instructional design and development, eLearning, multimedia, and emerging learning technologies.

Watch for the latest ISD Performance Inventory Spotlight Updates.

The ISD Performance Inventory provides a way for employers to match job candidates with the right job or provide guidance to assist with maintaining and improving performance. Professionals would be able to regulate their own performance as an ongoing process for personal and professional development. Educators would be able to make effective placement decisions regarding educational programs. What is more, a mixed measurement approach to measuring human performance can mitigate subjectivity that is inherently apart of traditional assessment measures when applied as individual measures. The synergy between quantitative and qualitative measures would provide for better alignment and consistency between the individual, the job, and the organization and this synergy would also mobilize and fuel innovation within an organization.

No comments: