Capability Assessment Triangle

The Benefits of Understanding this Concept:

  • You can consistently and easily match people to jobs.
  • You can quickly narrow your candidate pool by understanding the minimum requirement for any role.
  • You can avoid promoting someone too soon.
  • You can avoid underutilizing an employee.
  • You have a basis for diagnosing the root cause of performance issues.
  • You gain additional perspective on competencies.

The perfect candidate for any job has the right combination of three things:

  1. knowledge and skills,
  2. values and preferences, and
  3. complexity of informationprocessing (CIP).

Another way of looking at this is:

  1. What we know
  2. What we like to do
  3. What we can currently handle

The first two components are fairly straightforward and relatively easily measured. The third component, our ability to handle complexity, is not widely understood. Hence, it is assessed intuitively but not in terms that can be articulated, consistently applied, or measured. PeopleFit can help you choose the best candidates by helping you assess all three points of the triangle.

Knowledge and Skills – What We Know

Defining Knowledge and Skills

These are things we know and can do as a result of experience, education, or training. For example, reconciling a balance sheet, determining defect rates, interviewing candidates, troubleshooting a piece of equipment, or negotiating sales contracts. Many refer to this topic as competencies; however, we believe this is only one piece of the competency puzzle and that assessing a candidate’s true ability to perform a job must involve looking at all three points of the capability assessment triangle.

Determining Knowledge and Skills

Determining the knowledge and skill level of a candidate can be assessed via interviewing or specific testing.

Developing Knowledge and Skills

If a candidate is lacking in certain knowledge and skills, they can be gained via training or experience.

Values and Preferences – What We Like to Do

Defining Values and Preferences

These are things we like to do. They seem to come naturally for us. For example, face-to-face sales, proof reading, managing people, writing proposals, working with numbers, or working with our hands.

Determining Values and Preferences

Determining the values and preferences of a candidate can be done via interviewing or by administering specific assessment instruments such as the Strength Based Leadership Inventory.

Developing Values and Preferences

Values and preferences tend to be fairly stable. If a candidate is lacking an innate affinity for certain job requirements, it should be discussed prior to his or her being hired. He should be asked if he or she is willing to commit to those behaviors necessary for the job. Another option is to renegotiate the parameters of the job to reduce or eliminate the “undesirable” aspects.

Complexity of Information Processing (CIP) – What We Can Currently Handle

Defining Complexity of Information Processing

This has to do with our own personal ability to handle complexity. Having the ability to handle complexity at least at the level called for by any given job must be a minimum requirement for that job

Simply put, we all know intuitively that some jobs are more complex than others. (See Level of Work and Role Complexity) For example, planning an annual, three-day national professional conference is more complex than organizing a local luncheon for a professional group’s monthly meeting.

We also know intuitively that some people are capable of handling more complexity than others. (See Potential Capability) Meaning, there are certain people you would trust to lead the national project, others you would trust with the local luncheon, and others you wouldn’t choose to lead either. When our intuition fails us and we assign an overly complex project to the wrong person, disaster looms.

Matching People to Jobs

What you may not know is that you need not rely on intuition to make these judgments. It is possible make an apples-to-apples comparison between a certain job’s complexity level and any given person’s ability to handle a certain level of complexity (what we call CIP). (See Judging Current Potential) PeopleFit® can train you to make these judgments.

Determining CIP

There are two ways to determine one’s CIP or Current Potential. One method, Talent Pool Evaluation , is used to judge potential of current employees. It involves PeopleFit’s coaching the employee’s current manager and manager-once-removed through a structured process to arrive at an accurate judgment.

The other method, Observation of Current Potential, can be used when considering external candidates. It involves an assessment being made by a PeopleFit expert after interviewing a candidate.

Both methods, Talent Pool Evaluation and Observation of Current Potential, have both been found to be scientifically reliable and valid. PeopleFit offers both services to its customers.

Developing CIP

One’s ability to handle complexity is not static. It matures with age in a predictable manner. A way to accelerate the maturation has not yet been found. Meaning, if one does not currently have the ability to handle complexity at the level required of a certain position, no amount of training, coaching, or personal will can change it. The person will simply be unable to do the work required by the job until he matures to that level over time. (See Level of Work and Role Complexity) For reasons not yet understood, some people mature to a higher level of capability by the end of their careers. This is why some people desire to move up the corporate ladder (high potential mode), and others are content to stay within one job throughout their career (expert mode). (See Progression Chart)

Talent Management

If one’s current age and current potential is known, you can make a fairly accurate prediction of when the person will be capable of handling the next level of work. Meaning, you will know when the person is or is not ready for promotion and whether his development and training should be geared toward increasing depth of knowledge (expert mode) or breath of knowledge (high potential mode).

Internal Talent Assessment, Succession Planning and Employee Development

Creating your succession plans or training and development plans with this knowledge is essential! Let PeopleFit® help you make the most of your succession planning and employee development process by training you in its three-point, capability assessment process.

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