It’s easy to focus on what the costs would be to the Service of using an external provider such as VCA to run promotions processes, but what about the costs of not doing so, particularly in light of continued scrutiny of FRS fairness, ethics and culture?
Below we have summarised 3 recent promotions projects we have facilitated for FRS’s using the Career Progression Gateway online tools and developmental support package. Our clients are delighted with how affordable and streamlined the process is by using us. The two biggest improvements from their perspective being the independence of the assessment process, and how significantly it reduced the burden on internal teams (who are freed up to focus on all the other areas their roles cover!)
Firstly, here is a summary from our experience of the hidden costs of internal processes
• Time spent investigating and managing grievances processes post promotions – these are hugely reduced by using the CPG, for a number of reasons.
• Impacts on morale related to perceptions of unfairness and bias – reduced by use of completely independent assessors.
• Pressure on internal assessors of knowing accusations of bias and favouritism are not unusual – external assessors marking anonymously removes this concern.
• Staff over-load with managing the projects, additional administration, logistics and complaints – the CPG reduces internal staff commitment to one internal point of contact with whom our project manager liaises with.
• Time away from normal role for assessors, adding to their workload- our assessors can handle all aspects of the assessment process from candidate briefing to feedback sessions as required.
• Internal assessors needing assessor skills training/ refresher training – our assessors are all highly qualified occupational psychologists, experts in behavioural assessment and feedback.
• Skill fade of assessors and increased time taken to produce reliable, usable evidence as its not a regular task – our assessors can work more efficiently and effectively as they complete these type of assessments every day.
• Admin time spent preparing feedback reports (or this isn’t done) – the CPG system automatically generates personalised feedback reports using the assessor ratings and comments, which are available to download as soon as the assessment is completed and results finalised.
• Lower quality of feedback reports based on limited assessor time and incomplete notes Our CPG marking screens support assessors to provide complete notes and assessments which form the basis of the feedback reports.
• Feedback delivered internally, often adding to line manager workload (and stress if they are unfamiliar with the process they are providing feedback on and how this links to on-going development) Our team of psychologists provide feedback which focuses on development, strengths, well-being and coaching.
• Candidate perception of insufficient feedback to explain results, missed opportunity to discuss use of outcomes in development – our assessors understand the exercises and relate what performance at the CPG means in practice to an individual’s career and role.
• Assessment exercises are not valid i.e. not sufficiently aligned to behavioural frameworks and overly focused on task/ procedure at the expense of leadership, values and behaviours Our exercises are professional designed, valid and reliable, with carefully designed criteria aligned specifically to each exercise developed. Data from thousands of assessments demonstrate that they are fit for purpose i.e. evaluate potential to perform effectively in the next role.
• Inadequate score sheet design leading to unreliable assessment CPG assessment criteria are evaluated using advanced scoring mechanisms and assessor guidance tools.
• Lack of assessor expertise in evaluating behavioural criteria Our team are confident behavioural experts, trained in psychology (the study of human behaviour).
When doing a like-for-like cost comparison, the actual monetary value of these hidden costs, in terms of people resources, are seldom accurately reflected in the budget allocated to a specific assessment process. This can create a false sense of benefit when choosing internal assessments processes.
When one FRS did a thorough cost comparison, allocating staff-hours to the hidden costs of a previous internal process, they calculated they had saved over £100,000 in the last 3 years.