Assessment Forum – Sept2023

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.

19 thoughts on “Assessment Forum – Sept2023”

  1. wpeluso says:

    Within our youth programs, we would use multiple different formal assessments to analyze the youth participant and where they’re at when they enter our program. Specifically, when we start working with the client we use the Interest Inventory from the O*Net Interest Profiler. This interest profiler is the best way to understand what types of interest youth participants have because they usually don’t know what types of careers they want to have, so this helps them see a wide variety of different careers that they might be good at! Plus, since it’s a formal assessment they are able to get data-driven results.

    1. Vivian Santos-Dingui says:

      I worked with at-risk adolescents previously and O’Net was a valued assessment in helping our students to understand the career possibilities available to them based on their interests. I think these assessments should be completed by students in junior high and again in high school. A majority of students I worked with typically had children of their own and playing the parent role to younger siblings in the home.

      The students I served at time were not thinking about college. Most were interested in moving straight into the workforce in order to help support the household. Our career counseling sessions with student, gave students hope that they may be the first generation to finish high school and attend college. Most of the formal assessments these students completed guided and helped them gain understanding of the job market and offered multiple options in various fields.

      1. rgoshorn says:

        My experience is also with at-risk youth. While many high school students have limited awareness of the job market, this population generally has less awareness. Several years ago, we made the mistake of investing heavily in training youth in a specific technology with only passing consideration given to their actual career interests. Our primary concern had to be safety and security. While learning basic welding skills was a legitimate career exploration activity and there were opportunities to use these skills in their home communities, none of the student actually went on to be employed as a welder. We redoubled our efforts in career exploration as it seemed more developmentally appropriate and cost effective.

    2. aresto says:

      I work with the adults and dislocated workers as a Workforce Specialist in my current role and the O’Net Interest Profiler is required for every participant to take once they are enrolled. It has been very beneficial as it is a great starting point to discuss current career paths and shows their interest. I have had numerous participants have a job show up on the Interest Profiler that they might not have initially thought of. I personally took the O’Net Interest Profiler when I was in transition and looking for a new career path. It helped me tremendously and gave me direction to my current role now.

  2. mshore says:

    For my business in career coaching, both for individuals and for the hiring process by a company, we are Kolbe™ Certified Consultants. The Kolbe A™ Index is unique. “It does not measure intelligence, personality or social style. It measures the instinctive ways you take action when you strive.” “It is the only validated assessment that measures a person’s Conative strengths. Unlike any other any other assessments or quizzes you’ve taken, Kolbe gets directly at how people execute (not their IQ or personality).” The result is called your MO (method of operation).

    With the Kolbe A™, we can look at how an individual takes action in 4 areas: Fact Finder; Follow Through; Quick Start and Implementor. We do not disregard the Cognitive (skills and knowledge -as companies we work with use Strength Finders or ASVAB) or the Affective (personality, interests, values- as companies we work with use the DISK or ONet). It is all part of the puzzle for coaching an individual to find the “Right Fit” for them.

    The Kolbe A™ is the backbone. Within our program, we have a Kolbe B™ (this is an individual taking the index on their position based on how they perceive their duties/responsibilities). From this, we can do an A™ to B™ comparison to look for alignment, where there is conflict and adjustments or redirection needed. Also, there is the Kolbe C™ which is an index completed by CEO’s, Directors of HR, Presidents and/or Supervisor on positions for which they are hiring. With this, we can do an A™ to C™ comparison for the “Right Fit” for hire (again still taking into account the Cognitive and Affective). Going a step further, our program can support restructuring withing a company with the various comparisons for job creation, alignment, best movement of personnel, new hires, etc.

    In then end, we meet our goal of alignment for placement and hire with engagement, productivity, job satisfaction and an overall feeling of success.

  3. Vivian Santos-Dingui says:

    In my experience, formal assessments such as skills and personality inventories work best in assisting the student population I serve. This is true whether choosing the right educational program and/or career path. Skills inventories help students identify their technical and soft skills; experiences, educational qualifications as well as career goals. Many individuals have strengths in areas they may not have recognized in themselves. It is important for students to be aware of their strengths; talents, skills, and interests which helps me as Student Facilitator guide students and choose a program or career path that best suits their future needs.

    The ever-changing job market is competitive and having a general idea of which line of work and type of work or educational environment students learn and/or work-in best allows. A good personality test commonly used is the Myers-Briggs and our college uses what we call a “Focus2” assessment which connects students with the several career and/or educational options. Options are vital in order for my students to not feel limited. I enjoy reviewing the results of the assessments to then work together to develop a plan of action as well as short and long-term achievable goals.

    1. ssmith says:

      Vivian, it’s not often that I see personality tests used outside of school classrooms. Using them as a component of your work with youth actually makes sense. In addition to using the skills inventoried you mentioned, they would help give you and the participant a clearer understanding of the careers that would be a good fit for them based on their complete being instead of just a few isolated factors.

  4. rgoshorn says:

    My organization works with justice-involved youth. Career exploration is the primary career development need of this population. We use the PA Career Zone Interest Profiler which is identical to the O*Net Interest Profiler. This assessment is administered and interpreted near the beginning of the youths’ program. The person who administers the assessment attempts to make connections between core academic subjects, on-site vocational programs and the results of the interest profiler. Later in their program, the results of the interest profiler are considered while they develop a Career Plan that identify the immediate steps that must take in order to move toward their identified career. Our goal is to provide a safe place to explore career options and the Interest Profiler is part of that process.

    1. lily says:

      rgoshorn, I like this method. Providing a safe space for clients to explore career options is what it’s all about. We often forget that some of our clients have no one else to talk to about career choices.

  5. ssmith says:

    When thinking about a career assessment that would be beneficial to use with the participants we serve, it would be best if it were formal, free or cost effective, and produce valid results. The assessment would also be a combination of an online instrument and one on one interviews. The online portion of the assessment would be designed to ask questions related to abilities, skills and interests. Completing the formal online assessment would help produce official results, and the interview with the participant would give you additional clarity and detail about the participants interests and goals. It would be imperative that the combined assessments provide information to assist with providing information about any and/or all of the following; career exploration, career decision-making, educational planning, and career adjustment. This will provide you with the necessary information to help guide you in your support of and work with the participant.

    1. bev says:

      I find that my one on one interviews usually lead to discovering interests and strengths as much as online instruments. We are a non-profit organization and usually only use free assessments to help direct students to find opportunities. I used Career Scope assessments in the past and I found that they were not cost-efficient or as useful as free resources such as ONET.

  6. bev says:

    I work with adult GED and ESL students as a support specialist. I first complete an informal assessment to determine current interests; we discuss student’s family life and past employment history to determine their strengths. We then use the ONET interest profiler to begin forming a career path. We research the results with a bright outlook and investigate job openings and local trainings that are available.

  7. ecamargo-ground says:

    When I was in the position of a Case Manager, I used the MBTI for 3 of our programs. I got the MBTI certification. The MBTI is a Psychometric formal tool. It is not a test but an indicator of personality type and/or preferences. Since, the reliability is about 75%, I used to give an explanation to each of our clients for them to understand the difference and to own their type/strengths. I could tell when they got it when a smile was on their faces confirming the pros and cons of their strengths when they were reading a short description of their type.

  8. ecamargo-ground says:

    We all encounter different assessments thru school, applying for a job or working with clients. Different assessments are available in the market, and these keep getting improve for a better outcome for a specific situation. Or new ones also come in the market. I think it’s good to experience different types of assessments to provide a service to clients. Only trial and error can tell us the one that will work best for staff and clients.

  9. at says:

    To design a career assessment program, I would use an informal assessment with customers first. Unlike an informal assessment, using a formal assessment will make people feel uncomfortable and nervous like going back to school. Informal assessments create more welcoming environments so customers will be open-minded and be willing to share their experiences. The informal assessment is useful with diversity groups/cultures too. There are so many free online tools that we could provide to customers, I would pick O*Net Interest Profiler to begin forming a career path for them.
    At the individual intake, we can use informal assessments to help ourselves help customers understand their career development in a one-on-one setting. We could help customers choose the right path from the beginning either education or career by having the structured interview questions.
    In the larger group, they could do Forced Choice or Card Sorts activities. We could break them into smaller groups and customers could have a group discussion. This way they can learn from each other too because there is no right or wrong answer. It is based on each individual experiences.
    After that, we could provide formal assessments for those who need them. For example, if they prefer to take more education or advancement in career they could take TABE test.

  10. lily says:

    I would start with a formal assessment, preferably free or low-cost. These types of assessments give you scores and structure. Most clients like to see the areas that they need to work on, hence the reason they come to us. Once we determine what is needed, they can take an informal assessment to ease the anxiety. Something fun such as a strengths finder or an activity that can be discussed in a one-on-one setting. People love to know their strengths.

  11. nmiller says:

    I work entirely with students who tend to be juniors and seniors in high school, these students are a bit more receptive to informal assessment to begin with, conversations about where they are headed after graduation and how I can be of assistance helping them achieve their goals. With any students that are unsure of their future trajectory I use more formal assessment like a skills and interest assessment, or the school districts provided Xello assessment. These can help give us a picture of the things a student is good at or might be interested in, which can help them shape their thoughts about their future.

    1. mshore says:

      While you work with juniors and seniors is the high school started sooner in the freshman or sophomore year with Xello? I know in PA the districts are “following” PDE’s College and Career Readiness program with the collection of artifacts to job shadowing/employment in a position of interest for a career. From what I have been able to gather, it really depends on the district or high school for how well they are implementing this program to the supplemental assessments out there like, ASVAB or ONet. The other piece of the puzzle is how serious or what level of attention any student gives to any assessment. I am sure you come across a variety of needs and experiences with the students.

  12. aresto says:

    In my current role as a Workforce Specialist, I use the formal assessments and informal assessments. Before a participant is enrolled in my program, they are required to take a Family Needs Assessment. There are numerous questions on this document in reference to the participants housing, employment, food, transportation, and child care needs. This helps new participants enrolling in our program to see where their current needs are not just for finding employment but for their personal needs. Based on their answers we can then refer them to other resources and other programs that we work with. After the Family Needs Assessment is done, we then make all new participants complete the O’Net Interest Profiler. Like with the Family Needs Assessment, this helps define the participants’ interest and helps with finding new employment opportunities for them. I believe that both are very beneficial for new participants and helps set the parameters for ongoing meetings.

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