Assessment Forum – MontoCo Works

Instructions:  You have been asked to help design a career assessment program for your customers. What are one or two assessments [formal or informal] you would use with your customers? Make one original post and then respond to one classmate’s post. You will make a total of two posts.

Remember that our learning group works in a full-value environment: We treat our colleagues with respect and professionalism. Our comments should reflect this culture.

32 thoughts on “Assessment Forum – MontoCo Works”

  1. mhockenbrock says:

    Our team uses the SuperStrong which is an interest inventory that helps clients identify careers that match their interests. I would continue to utilize the assessment in programming for our customers when appropriate. The SuperStrong platform connects with the O*Net and provides great resources for the clients to look at career fields and job outlook for a specific career. It also allows the clients to look at educational opportunities. There is an additional assessment for the customers that outlines how a person takes in information and makes decisions. I would use this tool when working one on one with customers.

    I enjoyed learning about the informal assessments as well and feel that the Compass Activity would be a great opportunity to connect our customers with each other. I would utilize this assessment when we are able to bring a large group of our customers together for a training. This is a great opportunity for our customers to learn more about each other while also learning about themselves. It also provides the opportunity to utilize a new teaching method that can help clients with different learning styles.

    1. pscott says:

      Megan, I agree that the SuperStrong Interest Inventory is beneficial for our clients. I also like the other tools of skills and resume building.

      1. jhaynes says:

        Great Stuff Paula. I have not used SuperStrong with a client yet, but I am looking forward to it!

    2. dchominski says:

      The Compass actvity would be an outstanding exercise to do with a group of new participants as they became accustomed to the program or with a new client and a small group of individuals. The information gained from observing this exercise would be very valuable in forming a next step for him or her. For example, knowing someone’s work style and environment preference may not manifest in an inventory or interview, but going deeper with an activity may bring it out in them.

  2. pscott says:

    Our program just began using the SuperStrong and I have several clients that have used the inventory. It is easy to use and not as long as the previous Career Scope we were using. I would continue to use the SuperStrong as it is user friendly and has many other tools available like resume and skill building. The SuperStrong provides client’s with the opportunity to explore career interest and identify those they like and dislike. It also provides the opportunity to explore possible educational fields one would need, outlook of the job and skills needed for that position. Very similar to using the O’Net. I also use the Future Ready inventory to assist the client with identifying how they take in information. If I were asked to use to develop a program I believe I would use this tool.

  3. jhaynes says:

    The Montco Works Now team uses a variety of xt Move, Career Scope and most recently Super Strong.. These assessments help our youth to identify careers and jobs that they have skills for as well as a strong interest in that field.. I am a beginner using these assessments, but through training and becoming familiar with these assessments, I see how very valuable this tool is to our staff and more important our participants. Super Strong provides in depth look at careers as well as provide, much needed resources for our participants.. This is a great tool for meeting with your participant and helping them to understand there career options clearly.
    I am still learning about informal assessments, however they would be good for when we bring our youth in together, and do info sessions and group activities, as well as trainings and Industry tours.

    1. shudson says:

      I have not used the Super Strong yet with a client, but in our meeting with the representative and my trial, I feel that it is more up to date and modern than the CareerScope and has some nice features like a short video that gives a visual piece to seeing jobs of interest. You’re doing great, Jon! 🙂

  4. shudson says:

    If I were helping to design an assessment program, I would suggest utilizing the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). While the assessment is lengthy and typically categorized as a personality assessment, I feel like it’s a more thorough analysis of personality and lends itself to careers that pair well with your MBTI type. I am including just one of the many websites that includes a list of careers that are compatible by MBTI type. I personally am an ENFJ (extroverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging) and careers of teaching, counseling and social work come up for my type (accurate!).

    1. v-gweakly says:

      One factor in choosing assessments that the text didn’t mention very much is the career services provider’s familiarity with the assessment. I think using the MBTI would be a great choice for you because it’s clear that you’ve completed it yourself and can vouch for its validity from personal experience. I have also enjoyed learning about occupations and personality traits associated with my MB type (ENFP), although I’ve only done informal versions, and enjoy talking about the assessment with others, so I believe I could also make this assessment a rewarding experience for clients, provided I had the proper training to administer the assessment.

  5. dchominski says:

    Two types of assesssments that could be utilized for use with our participants are the structured interview (informal) and the Super Strong assessment (formal). Both could be used in conjunction with each other and an excellent way to assess a client’s interests if used in sequence. For example, you could use the Super Strong to identify strengths, interests and potential careers that match up to their personality type. After they worked their way through the assessment, you could use a structured interview that focuses on the results of the formal assessment itself and dives deeper into the results of the formal assessment. Using this method could give you an excellent baseline of information to form your goals and objectives within the individual service strategy.

    1. v-jkremp says:

      This sounds like a great action plan! I especially think having the two assessments working in conjunction can go a long way towards producing a better relationship with the client, which can project stronger goals and impactful results for a client.

  6. v-jkremp says:

    To help design a career assessment program, I would use a combination of a skills inventory assessment and an abilities test like the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). These assessments are similar to the CareerScope and Workkey assessments we provide for Career Services and these assessments allow us to identify strengths that sometimes surprise clients. The assessments also allow us to gather information and traits that make up an individual as well as gain basic knowledge on who the client we are helping really is. These assessments will also help identify specific skills and abilities in a client to help create a more realistic and concrete action plan for the future.

    1. mhockenbrock says:

      The Armed Services Vocation Aptitude Battery test seems like a great tool to utilize to help your clients get an understanding of where their aptitudes and knowledge lies. I have never heard of it before and had to look it up to learn more. It seems like it goes into more depth than many of the aptitude tests that I have heard of before especially since it has eight subtests. I also find the percentile score result interesting because it is in comparison to others who have take the exam as opposed to a raw score. Is there a way to utilize the exam score to create an educational pathway that might improve the knowledge a client needs for a career?

  7. v-gweakly says:

    If I were designing a career assessment program, I would start with the O*Net interest profiler mainly because of how the results will be used by the client. Because it is an O*Net service, the interest profiler links nicely with the O*Net career clusters and it’s easy for clients to follow up with their results by learning more about specific occupations they are interested in using the website. In addition, the profiler is free, generally accessible for clients, simple to administer for career services providers and the results are formatted in a way that is easy for clients to understand. I would like to learn more about the validity and bias in particular of the profiler before deciding the use it with clients, and would need to make sure it makes sense for the clients that my organization served.

    1. v-esanders says:

      Gareth, yes the O*net profiler is a good one. I find the website just horrific to look at, but the assessment itself seemed to result in careers that made sense to me when I took the test. It is beneficial that the website provides resources to continue learning after completion.

    2. kglouner says:

      We don’t currently use the O*Net interest profiler but it looks like this may be an option for us to incorporate into our program for young people who need help narrowing down their focus. It is similar to the CareerScope in terms of what its purpose is but I like the alignment to the the O*Net career clusters. It’s also pretty quick to complete and free.

    3. v-ksymes says:

      Em I know the user-friendliness could use some work, but the information available has really been helpful to many of my customers. The visual data brings to the conversation the realness of the role.

  8. v-esanders says:

    If I were designing a new career planning assessment, I would want to see interest, value, and personality inventories represented along with ability and skill tests. The first thing that came to mind is the Career Scope Assessment that we administer in office at CareerLink. The assessments asks the customer to respond to a series of questions about their interests and preferences, then moves on to test their motor skills, logic and reasoning based on how quickly and accurately the respond to the skill questions. If I remember correctly from when I took the assessment earlier this year, it does not include questions about the test taker’s values. Through my personal experience, it’s important to find work doing and working with people and institutions that support one’s personal values and beliefs. I believe the Career Scope covers a lot of bases, but the addition of a values portion would be a better assessment in my opinion.

  9. jjenkins1 says:

    I don’t really deal with this in my role. When designing a career assessment program, I would maybe lean towards the informal methods. I would want it to capture what level/skillset the participant has. Have it show the participant what their strengths/weaknesses are. Have it reveal what industry may interest or fit them. The Career Scope Assessment is used at the Pa CareerLink, so I guess that works for the participants here.

  10. jjenkins1 says:

    dchominski I like the combination approach as well, sounds like that would cover a great deal of needed information to get the participant moving in the right direction.

  11. kglouner says:

    I think it’s important to use multiple assessments when working with clients as no single assessment can possibly provide all of the information needed to help clients make informed decisions about career choices and next steps. We currently use the Super Strong which provides a good starting point that includes personality types and interests that align to certain careers. I think that the Super Strong is a great start but an additional assessment like the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) would be a great next step. I think one could develop a well informed ISS with the clients from the results of both. While both assessments could be useful, the role of the career advisor to interpret the results and to formulate good follow up questions to engage the client is a crucial part of the process.

    1. gstone says:

      I agree that the use of multiple assessments can be beneficial to supporting our customers. We interact with and help many different kinds of individuals and the same assessment will not always be beneficial to each person we are helping. If we find that a certain assessment was not impactful (perhaps it did not align with their learning style), it would be helpful to be familiar with other types of assessments we could administer that would be more meaningful to a customer.

    2. hjones says:

      Different people might excel with a different assessment / approach. Sometimes its good to issue an assessment based on your participants needs. I have experienced participants do better with one assessment over another as some can be complex or to the point. We also have to consider a client’s disability or need for accommodations in which some assessments do a better job at addressing.

  12. V-wgarris says:

    I do not feel that assessments should be one size fits all. I agree with V-esanders that it is important to assess a person’s values when helping them find an employer that will be a good fit. That can make a difference when it comes to job retention. If I had to choose a formal or an informal assessment, I would choose the formal structured interview method. I am sure that it would be lengthy and take some time, but it would give the case manager so much more insight when helping with job search. I would only use that with a customer who has time before they need to find work and as a case manager, we would need to be sure we have time to truly give quality time all the questions involved in the interview.

  13. gstone says:

    If I were creating a career assessment program for my customers, I would like to use a combination of an interest/value inventory and an abilities assessment. The interests and values inventory assessment can be beneficial to help identify patterns or themes that spark interest in an individual. When participating in activities related to career exploration and decision-making, I believe it’s important that the person has a genuine interest in the career/educational pathway they plan to pursue. A value inventory can also help align the personal values of the customer to the work values in a certain field. Super’s Work Value Inventory would be a useful tool to help a client explore their values and explore career options that best align with their personal values.

    An ability assessment can help affirm strengths or abilities that someone possesses and also identifies new possibilities or pathways they could pursue. These assessments can be helpful to see how their abilities align with the career/occupation they are considering. If there appears to be an abilities gap, the customer may need continued training/education to build upon their abilities. Conversely, they might want to consider a different direction after understanding their abilities more and what kind of occupations they could consider. Perhaps they were unaware they possess a foundation for another occupation they hadn’t considered based on an ability they already possess.

  14. v-ksymes says:

    I personally like O*Net. The added feature of looking at wage information narrowed down to the specified industry really allows the user to see the salary potential and growth potential. Seeing the metrics brings to focus what the requirements and/or experience is in the industry.

    1. v-trobinson says:

      Great point. I also like the wage information feature. It projects the possibility of wage growth over time and with different levels of education. That feature is certainly useful for the clients to browse through as well as advisors who are assisting clients with information on roles that interest them,

    2. v-kfrancesca says:

      I have to agree with Kelly. I think O*Net is a wonderful resource for our participants, as they are able to see updated information on their chosen profession, as well as what they can potentially make. Also, as Kelly mentioned seeing what the training requirements are helps individuals figure out if they are willing to move forward with the training.

  15. jlord says:

    I am a fan of O*Net because it is readily available in my current role. In addition, the CareerScope Assessment helps individuals evaluate their options. I believe all of the assessments I’ve read about or used have value depending on the situation.

  16. v-trobinson says:

    An assessment I would use to help design a career assessment program would be a skills inventory assessment. Utilizing a skills inventory assessment will allow clients to identify skills they were not aware of that they had. Once the client becomes aware of the skills they have, they can then explore different avenues of job search and overall career exploration.

  17. hjones says:

    I would use the CareerScope Assessment with a client which outlines not only the clients interests but shares their attitude and what they are capable of.

  18. v-kfrancesca says:

    I would say that any assessment used in career development should absolutely measure each each individuals strengths and weaknesses, as well as their unique interests in order to determine what career path will bring them the greatest satisfaction. It should also measure their individual personality traits, so that the work environment feels supportive, and allows them to bring to their talents to the table.

Leave a Reply