Career assessment is a process of evaluating an individual’s personal attributes, including skills, aptitudes, interests, motivations, values, and personality traits, to help them determine what careers might suit them best. Here, we’ll briefly explore how career assessment is done, how they are used, and some of its benefits for individuals and companies.
How is career assessment done?
Career assessment is performed using one or more questionnaires or surveys aimed at identifying the personal attributes listed above. Despite the use of the word assessment, career assessment tools are not tests—there are no right or wrong answers. Instead, the goal is to create a profile of an individual and then find a job or a career track that matches that profile. Career assessment tools include interest inventories, personality tests, skills tests, and more. There is also often a subjective component, such as an interview, that is performed by a psychologist, a human resources professional, or other qualified personnel.
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How are career assessments used?
- Career assessments can be performed for a variety of purposes and used for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common types of individuals and organizations that use career assessments and why:
- Career and guidance counselors, such as those at colleges and universities, often use career assessments to help students determine their desired career path after graduation. The counselors can then make recommendations and help students identify courses, internships, and other experiences that will help them find a job in their desired field.
- Hiring managers and other human resources staff often use career assessment tools to evaluate prospective job candidates. For example, personality tests are widely used to predict how well a candidate will match the company’s corporate culture and fit in with the team or department.
- Job placement professionals, like recruiters and temp agencies, use career assessments to help their clients find qualified applicants to fill vacant positions, and to help people find work.
Benefits of career assessments
Career assessments have a variety of benefits, for both individuals and for companies.
Career assessments can help people identify the careers that they are best suited for and where they might be happiest. This is especially important today as there is a strong link between job satisfaction and happiness. Most people spend eight hours or more every day at their place of work, so it is essential that they enjoy what they are doing—both for their work productivity and for their personal well-being. Career assessments can also make individuals aware of jobs and career paths they might never have heard about or considered before, opening up the possibilities for their future.
For companies, the main benefit of using career assessments is obvious—it helps them identify the best candidates for jobs. Different types of career assessment can tell businesses many things about a candidate, including their skill level and how well they are likely to work in a team. This can save companies a lot of time and money that might otherwise be spent hiring and training the wrong people, only to have to rehire and retrain for the same positions a short while down the road.
Today more than ever, companies are struggling to fill vacant positions with qualified workers—workers who have both technical and soft skills, who can work independently and as part of a team, and whose personality and values are a good cultural fit for the organization. Tools such as career assessments are invaluable in helping match individuals with the careers and companies that suit them best, which results in a better situation for all parties in the end.
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