Why Psychometric Assessment Can Benefit A Company Business Essay

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1.Background of business

Sasol Infrachem is producing gas from natural gas as feedstock for Sasol Chemical businesses in Sasolburg. Natural gass are produced and distributed on behalf of Sasol Gas. It also provides on site utilities, infrastructure support and support services to other businesses. Sasol Infrachem has settled as a dedicated producer of reformed gas which it produces at Sasolburg through 2 autothermal reformers (ATR's). New technological challenges, such as upgrading the ATR fired-headers to improve plant stability were undertaken succesffuly. On the utilities front, various projects were launched this year to increase electricity supply at the Sasol one and Midland sites.

The business is striving on improving Sasol's evironmental performance at Sasolburg. This is done by addressing legacy waste sites and emmissions to air. Ash is also being removed at a rate of about 100 000 tons a month.

Infrachem is currently providing permanent employment to 1 262 employees and about 5 000 contractors.

Core values consists out of the following:

Customer focus

Winning with people

Safety

Excellence in all we do

Continous improvement

Integrity

Energised by these strong values, Sasol aspire to create an environment wehre teams of dedicated diverse talents can grow to their full potential. Sasol also takes pride in providing a safet and healthy working environment for its employees.

Sasol one Pager (See Annexure A) (http://mybusiness.sasol.com/sbu/infrachem/Pages/OnePager.aspx)

Sasol Infrachem strategic imperative

Strategic objectives is to achieve the following:

Safety - RCR below 0,45

Delivery - FOOT (Full order on time) as per agreement

Cost - Cash fixed cost at 2006 prices

Sasol Infrachem forms part of the greater Sasol and today its operational footprint extends to more than 30 countries. Currently, it is growing international interest in its coal-to-liquids offerings. Sasol is continuing to expand its international presence.

2.Why psychometric assessments can benefit a company

Organisations are engaging in an increasingly globalized and highly competitive environment. This results in them being compelled to rethink their strategies and policies. Today, organisations are working under constant pressures of quick profitibality, constant managing change, continous learning and decentralisation. (http://counsellingpeople.org/organisation)

Organisations are faced by the following challenges: (http://counsellingpeople.org/organisation)

Shrinking margins;

Managing resources;

Talent acquisition and retention.

Organisations need :

New consciousness;

New thinking;

New approaches;

New solutions.

Pushed by the above needs, today's organisations need to be adaptive, innovative and flexible. According to Cindy Hardy (http://www.jobs.co.za/job-seekers/careeradvice/article/98/understanding-psychometric assessments), psychometric assessment are gaining increased momentum in the South African Industry. Job seekers and recruiters use pscychometric assessments for organisational development, candidate selection and promotional procesees.

The success of any organisation depend on the ability to use human talent: to discover it, to develop it, do deploy it to motivate it, to energize it and the ability to manage change.

Based on the above, the key benefits of pscyhometric testing and assessment therefor is to: (http://www.competencesa.co.za/assessment.htm?gclid=CITW6uWy-acCFQgjfAod_EDztA)

To select the most competent person for a position

To identify leadership potential and perform talent pipelining proactively

To identify potential for Employment Equity purposes

To determine the causes of under-performance

To identify the unique training and development needs of each person

To provide career guidance.

Psychological assessment therefor includes psychometric testing as well as any other procedure used to assess human performance or potential. Assessment in industry can be divided into two broad sets: (1) psychological measurement of attributes of individuals in the workplace or (2) assessments of groups or organisations.

Different constructs:

Individual:

IQ

EQ

Personality testing

Aptitude testing

Interest testing

Attitude testing

Groups/Organisation:

Groups/Organisation:

Perception

Interpersonal relations

Communication skills

Decision making

Values, motivation

Leadership

Conflict Management

Stresss- &Time management

Team building

Recruitment and selection

According to Foxcroft & Roodt (2001), if these assessments are well constructed and the psychometric properties are acceptable, an objective assessment with comparable results that yield data which can be statistically analysed.

It is important to understand that psychometric test is not the sole instrument for selecting candidates. It should be used with other procedures and not as the only one element of the selection process. These tests can further be used to compare two or three shortlisted candidates or to assess the preferred candidate for a position. (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/hr/policies/polbrowse/recruit_conds/recruitment-toolkit/selectiontools.html

There are a number of factors that impact on the success of these tests. These include:

investigating the validity of the test being used the better tests are supported by extensive research and data that allows comparison of results to relevant reference groups

defining the critical characteristics needed for success in the position - to determine the match between the candidate's profiles and the "ideal" profile for the position

Psychometric Tests may be used in conjunction with Aptitude Tests.

3. Implementation plan

Human Resource Management focuses on methods of recruitment and selection and highlights the advantages of interviews, general assessment and psychometric testing as employee selection processes. The recruitment process could be internal or external or could also be online and involves the stages of recruitment policies, advertising, job description, job application process, interviews, assessment, decision making, legislation, selection and training (Korsten 2003, Jones et al, 2006) Successful recruitment methods include a thorough analysis of the job and the labor market conditions and interviews as well as psychometric tests to determine the potentialities of applicants.

According to Foxtrot and Roodt (2009), the use of pscyhological assessment measure in South Africa is under statutory control, namely the Heath Professions Act 56 of 1974. By implementing these strong controls, the following is ensured:

tests are administered by a qualified, competent assessment practitioner

feedback is vonveyed in a sensitive, empowering manner

purchasing of psychological assessment measure is restricted to those who are registered to use and store these tests

prevent test developers to prematurely release materials before validity and reliability has been established

the general public do not become familiar with the contents of the tests

Fair and ethical parctices should be followed when administering these tests. Professional practices should be followed (e..g consent form, informing test takers about their rights, maintaining confidentiality, etc.)

HR Managers there for should be guided by the value of:

professionalism

ethical conduct

unbiased decisions

promoting fairness and equity

enhancing contribution of assessment to company performance

The responsibility of the organisation with regards to fair assessment practices will be the following: (Foxtroct and Roodt, 2009)

ensure that an assessment policy is in place to gaid fair and ethical practices

employ competent assessment practitioners

ensure that valid assessment measures are used

results are used in a non-discriminatory manner

information to be used to build a research datashe

review the policy on a regular basis

The International Test Commission's International Guidelines for test use (version 2000) suggest that the following be included and covered in an assessment policy: (Foxtroct and Roodt, 2009)

proper test use

seucrity of materials and scores

who can administer test scores and interpret tests

qualification requirementss for those who will use tests

test user training

test taker preparation

access to materials and security

access to test results and test score confidentiallity issues

feedback of resutls to test takers

responsibility to test takers before, during and after test session

repsonsibilities and accountabilit of each individual user

Based on the above, my implementation plan can be illustrated as follows:

Phase 4:

Feedback to candidate and management & decision making on selection of suitable candidate

Recruitment budget

Recruitment budget

Storing of documents

Phase 1:

Implement assessment policy to guide Psychometric assessments & Recruit competent assessment practitioners

Phase 3:

Conduct interview, assessment centre and psychometric tests (Administration, venue, etc)

Phase 2:

Understand job profile & select psychometric test for vacant position

Imlementation model: Recruitment and psychometric testing

Phase1: Implement assessment policy to guide Psychometric assessments & Recruit competent assessment practitioners

During phase 1, the assessment policy will be compiled as per the International Test Commission's International Guidelines for test use (version 2000). The company will recruit competent assessment pracitioners who is registered by the Health Professions Act, 56 of 1974.

Phase 2: Understand Job profile & selection of psychometric tests

In any sample recruitment plan, you will find details regarding the requirements for the job. These involve the expectations from candidates and the knowledge which they should have for getting the job. The company HR can prepare a list of qualifications and skills set which he will be looking for in the candidates before recruiting them. Naturally, those who fulfil these requirements shall be recruited and the ones who do not, will not be considered fit for the job.

Phase 3 Conduct interview, assessment centre and psychometric tests (Administration, venue, etc)

During this phase, the interview will be conducted by recruitment panel with shortlisted candidates. Psychometric test will be decided on & conducted. Assessment centre for senior staff will be included in recruitment plan. Suitable venue (free from noise, well lit, proper ventilated, etc.) will be booked.

Phase 4 Feedback to candidate and management ,decision making on selection of suitable candidate & recruitment budget

After pscyhological assessments has been intepreted, feedback needs to be given timeously. Feedback regarding psychological assessment resutls needs to be conveyed to the person being assessed in a caring and sensitive way so that he or she does not suffer any emotional or psychological trauma. Management to consider all data (interview, assessment centre and psychometric testing) before making final decision.

An ideal recruitment plan should comprise of a recruitment budget which will help the company senior management know how much money they will have to spend on the entire recruitment process. With the help of this data, if the amount to be spent on recruitment is too high, then cost cutting methods can be used to bring down the company expenses.

Recruitment is almost central to any management process and failure in recruitment can create difficulties for any company including an adverse effect on its profitability and inappropriate levels of staffing or skills. Inadequate recruitment can lead to labor shortages, or problems in management decision making and the recruitment process could itself be improved by following management theories.

Recruitment is however not just a simple selection process and requires management decision making and extensive planning to employ the most suitable manpower. Competition among business organisations for recruiting the best potential has increased focus on innovation, and management decision making and the selectors aim to recruit only the best candidates who would suit the corporate culture, ethics and climate specific to the organization.

4.Detail plan for job level 1 (Annexure B)

The detail plan for job level 1 will focus on all practical orientated positions. (e.g. electricians, mechanical operators, fitters, computer programmers, etc.). For the purpose of this exercise, I will focus on the position of Artisan/Snr Artisan Fitter Pumps at Sasol Infrachem.

Phase 2: Understand Job profile & selection of psychometric tests

I will focus on Phase 2 - 4 of my implementation model in more detail.

It is crucial to understand the job before any decision can be made regarding psychometric tests.

Job requirements:

Grade 12 with Maths and science or N3

Qualified as Artisan Fitter - NQF level 4

Valid drivers license - code 8

3-5 years hands on experience on positive displacement, centrifugal singel and multistage pumps

General:

Knowledge of basic process of plant

Understand the criticality to focus on detail

Understand link between rotating equipment and process

Work overtime and standby

Specific experience needed:

Experience in all types of centrifugal (single and multi stage), positive displacemnt pumps, gearboxes, fans and blowers.

Knowledge of ISO 18000 safety standards & ISO 9001:2000 quality system.

Personal Attributes necessary for this job:

Good physical health

Good Interpersonal relations and leadership skills

Customer focus

Support Sasol values

Good communication skills

Ability to work independently

Computer Literate (MS Word/MS Excel)

Enquiring mind

Required outputs:

Operational &Technical:

Maintenance of all pumps and gearboxes, fans and blowers

Work according to plans and work procedures

Adere to quality protocols to privde end of job record

Fault finding on rotating equipment

Financial:

Work according to SAP work orders, ensure completion of job on time

Leadership:

Support Sasol values, share knowledge with colleagues, adhere to PDP, live safety.

Management:

Comply to safety standards and codes. Identify unsafe condidtions and perfor basic job execution planning.

Customer:

Do customer reporting and feedback on job site.

Communicate with customers on regular basis

Innovation and Improvement:

Suggest and implement ideas to make work safer, faster and simper.

Based on the above position, the following tests are recommended:

Personality (to assess opions, feelings and interests) e.g. 16 PF. This will test if candidate prefers to work independently, has enquiring mind, comply to standards and codes.

Technical Reasoning test: (to assess technical comprehension, fault-finding, spatial estimation and other technical aptitudes that may be related to the specific requirements of the job.)

The following will also be considered:

Practical (assembling/disassembling a mulsistage pump and fault finding on positive diplacement pump). This exercise will be held in the workshop under supervision. Scoring will be done by skilled observers/supervisors. This will demonstrate if candidate has experience as requested.

Phase 3 Conduct interview, assessment centre and psychometric tests (Administration, venue, etc)

An interview will be conducted by recruitement panel to check education (qualification), valid drivers license, and experience indicated in CV. Knowledge of ISO systems will also be tested in interview. A standard set of questions will be asked. Interview room to be well lit and ventilated.

A medical exam will be arranged to test for physical health based on the requirements of the job.

MS Word and MS Excel test will be written on computer. This will demonstrate if candidate is computer literate. Scoring will be done by skilled observer/asessor.

Phase 4 Feedback to candidate and management ,decision making on selection of suitable candidate & recruitment budget

Assessment practitioners to give feedback regarding assessment results to individual and later to management. Management will then based on the results of the interview, pscyhometrics, medical results, practical and computer assessment decide on best candidate for position.

5.Detail plan for job level 2 (Annexure C)

The detail plan for job level 2 will focus on a management position. (e.g. Financial manager, Production manager, etc.). For the purpose of this exercise, I will focus on the position of Manager Reliability Engineering at Sasol Infrachem.

Phase 2: Understand Job profile & selection of psychometric tests

I will focus on Phase 2 - 4 of my implementation model in more detail.

It is crucial to understand the job before any decision can be made regarding psychometric tests.

Job requirements:

B degree - NQF level 6

M degree (Engineering/Asset management) (wish)

Valid drivers license - code 8

5 years experience in general plant maintenance and engineering with experience as a discipline engineer (reliability engineer)

General:

To lead the development and application of reliablity engienering businesws processes in the Sasolburg environment to improve operational stability.

To ensure sustainability of the STAR work management process in all Sasolburg business units.

To provide conditioning monitoring function to Sasolburg plants and external customers.

Work overtime and standby

Specific experience needed:

High competency in using standard relaibility

Experience in the integration of production and maintenance

Demonstrate technical and professional expertise in reliability engineering

Personal Attributes necessary for this job:

Entrepreneurial Leadership

Change Management

Influencing and networking

Energy

Customer service

Execution

Required outputs:

Operational &Technical:

Be part of design and implementation of reliability engineering strategy and culture. Idintify the links to improve plant performance. Integrate project STAR with reliability engineering as continous improvement in Asset management. Analysing problems and negotiate winning solutions.

Financial:

Marketing and selling of relaibility concepts.

Leadership:

Demonstrate technical leadership in Reliability engineering function. Manage and coach the Reliability Engineering department staff.

Management:

Form integral part of STAR work management governance function for sustaining STAR.

Customer:

Teaching, mentoring, coaching reliability engineering best practices. Using reliability engineering tools to demonsrate and coach improvement. Facilitate technical networking. Consult, tean and train reliability principles to wide spectrum of staff. Achieve results through influencing and interaction with leaders and specialists.

Innovation and Improvement:

Identification of reliability improvement opportunities and the development of solutions.

Based on the above position, the following tests are recommended:

Personality (to assess opions, feelings and interests) e.g. OPQ. This will indicate candidate's personality trait.These results can also be used for future development.

Cognitive potential: (to know what a person's potential is)e.g. CPP. It also assesses the level of complexity that a person is comfortable dealing with when taken out of his/her comfort zone, albeit, operational on the one hand or more strategic, on the other. This provides valuable information for succession planning purposes.

Emotional intelligence: (to assess an individual's degree of emotional and social functioning) e.g Bar-On's EQi questionnaire that assesses 5 broad areas of emotional functioning to help pinpoint areas of strength and areas of development.

Phase 3 Conduct interview, assessment centre and psychometric tests (Administation, venue, etc)

An interview will be conducted by recruitment panel to check education (qualification), valid drivers license, and experience indicated in CV. Knowledge of STAR system & Reliability will also be tested in interview. A standard set of questions will be asked. Interview room to be well lit and ventilated.

A medical exam will be arranged to test for physical health based on the requirements of the job.

Assessment centre will be conducted to assess leadership competencies: such as the applicant's managerial skills and potential. In-basket exercises typically provide a rich source of information about a participant's ability to analyse, solve problems, plan and organize, as well as to network. Role play can be used to assess customer service, influencing and negotiating skills.

Phase 4 Feedback to candidate and management ,decision making on selection of suitable candidate & recruitment budget

Assessment practitioners to give feedback regarding assessment results to individual and later to management. Management will then based on the results of the interview, pscyhometrics, medical results and assessment centre decide on best candidate for position.

People are, undoubtedly the best resources of an organization. Sourcing the best people from the industry has become the top most priority of the organisations today.

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