An assessment creates confidence in how a vacancy will be filled

02 June 2021

Geert Bonte, Managing Director at vzw De Bolster, explains, “I became acquainted with CPM in a very direct way, as I took part in an assessment in 2007, for my position here at the non-profit organisation. I can’t have been the only orthoagogue who was rather sceptical about testing, but I must say that I was very positively impressed. To such an extent that we now opt for the assessment here at De Bolster not only for management positions but also for vacancies for staff members or cluster leaders. Why? The CPM reports really hit the nail on the head. All the people we have already recruited say they can see themselves in it. And it’s the ideal basis for the further development of someone’s career path – we weren’t doing enough of that previously. Conclusion for us: an assessment isn’t cheap, but by getting everything out of it in this way, it’s well worth the investment.”

Kristel Sijmens, Consultant CPM, says, “We were already familiar with the culture at vzw De Bolster through our long-term partnership. Prior to this assessment, we naturally had an intake interview in order to gain precise insight into the specific job descriptions for which vzw De Bolster had a vacancy. We questioned the competences, asked about specific challenges, asked about the team in which the recruit would end up… After all, the more precisely we can delineate a vacancy, the better we can fill it. This profile has evolved somewhat since the introduction of the system of personal budgets. Of course, the person seeking care wants to spend their personal budget on the help and assistance that is most valuable to them, which is why the context has become somewhat more commercial. And that implies that in addition to a caring mindset, a customer-oriented mindset has become more important.”

The assessment that CPM organised for vzw De Bolster was done in two steps. First, there was the test battery – with personality tests and cognitive-analytical tests – for which the candidates received a link and which they could do online; then there were real-time simulation exercises that were observed by an additional assessor, followed by the interview.

Candidates Bruno Deboosere and Bart Hanssens state how they experienced that assessment.

Bruno Deboosere:
“I always find that an assessment has added value. Whether it’s a non-profit organisation or a for-profit company makes no difference.”

About the preparation:
“This was not my first experience with an assessment and the second time is less of a leap in the dark anyway. The big difference was that I did this assessment from home – we all know why – and that is different. You get up from your breakfast and walk, as it were, to your ‘exam’ in the room next door. For example, I had planned to do the tests in one go, but then something happened that distracted me. It may seem easy to do this at home, but it’s not always an advantage. In terms of focus and mental preparation, an assessment on location is more clearly defined.”

About the process:
I was very well informed about the process beforehand. And the technical aspect went particularly well, including in the second part, in which mails and conversations were exchanged. It was immediately clear to me: this has been set up very professionally, time has been invested here. The atmosphere was also very friendly… Nothing to complain about.”

About the content:
“When I finished, I did feel that I had been able to show who I was. And I was happy to take up CPM’s suggestion to go through the report personally. By the way, that report didn’t surprise me; it was mainly a confirmation of how I see myself and that was nice. The wording of the report was also very respectful, which I appreciate.”

On the choice of an assessment:
“To fill a vacancy or for a promotion, I always find it an added value when this is done through an assessment. Whether it’s a non-profit organisation or a for-profit company makes no difference. It shows transparency and it underpins the decision, whatever that may be. That’s important for the candidates – those who make it and those who don’t – and it’s important for the team. After all, everyone involved knows that the choice was made on the basis of content, not gut feeling. This creates trust, which is especially important for a managerial position. It is also a form of recognition of the seriousness of a job itself when one invests in an assessment. And this investment can also pay off in the long run: at my last assessment, I narrowly missed the job, but was approached a few months later when another vacancy arose.”

Bart Hanssens:
“A classic job application is much more of a snapshot”

About the preparation:
“Immediately during the first job interview at De Bolster, I was told that if I were to go to the next round, an intense and extensive assessment would follow. CPM gave me a clear overview of the format in preparation for the actual assessment. So I was prepared. But because it was my first assessment, it was a bit daunting at the very moment: it was indeed intense and quite tiring. An assessment requires time and energy.”

About the content:
“In preparation for the assessment, I took a closer look at the actual vacancy and the non-profit organisation itself. And a good night’s sleep was no luxury either. Although at first glance, the context of the role-play seemed far removed from the actual job vacancy, CPM managed to capture all elements of the job in the assessment. I definitely felt at the end that I was able to show how I would handle the job if I got it.”

About the feedback:
“In the final interview with the people at vzw De Bolster, the results of the assessment were definitely discussed, without having to go through it from A to Z. I will certainly take up CPM’s offer to do the debrief with them, if only for my own growth process. Only, it hasn’t happened yet. It’s also true that during the role-play itself, because it is live, you as a candidate will receive feedback from the way people react. I believe that this would be even more the case in an assessment in the office instead of online, which is why I would prefer it.”

On the choice of an assessment:
An assessment definitely has added value. A classic job application is much more of a snapshot. Due to the layered nature of the assessment, this gives a much fuller picture. CPM’s attitude really helped me show who I am. It was very open, very constructive. I felt that it was really about finding out together if the job was right for me. Even if it turned out not to be the case, it would still be a valuable experience for my future career. That was very pleasant.”

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