With the C-19 pandemic forcing many of us into full-time remote working, and businesses still needing to move forward in recruiting and developing their leaders, we have received a sharp increase in demand for and questions about virtual leadership assessment. Indeed, you could argue that developing and supporting leaders is most critical now, in a time of crisis.
In this article, we have drawn on our experience of assessing over 1000 leaders through our virtual assessment delivery platform – KaPture - and input from a recent roundtable on the topic, to share answers to the questions we’ve received.
Are virtual and in-person assessments comparable?
By this, we mean do they offer similar insight, and do leaders feel they have been fairly assessed?
In short, yes. We strongly believe that virtual assessments offer similar and comparable value to in-person ones. In our impact analyses, we have found no difference in participant or client feedback on the accuracy of our conclusions, the depth of our insight or the utility of our recommendations between the two methods.
However, there are some nuanced differences to be aware of.
We feel this insight is just as valuable. It’s a valid piece of feedback. What’s more, if virtual working is going to be new normal, there is no better way of assessing how well an individual can turn up and show emotional compassion over the internet.
Another nuanced difference and benefit, alongside the obvious savings of cost and time in travel or scheduling, is the opportunity to assess candidates more objectively. Virtual assessment enables us to use a wider range - culturally, geographically - of assessors who need not be in the same location as each other, or the participant.
Then comes the more insightful question for those who are naturally inquisitive…
Should we be assessing the same criteria virtually as we have done previously face-to-face?
We question if a C-19 or post-C-19 world necessitates different behaviours, skills or traits from our leaders.
Your leaders have just been thrown into a situation that the best assessments aim to simulate. We encourage you to reflect on whether the leaders you previously identified as high potential are the ones shining in this crisis. Humility, the ability to show emotions, the propensity to check in with people more are some of the behaviours increasingly important today.
But, are you assessing for these when identifying your future leaders? And will they be behaviours that are here to stay? We will address this question in a future article.