In my previous post, I indicated that I would provide updates on Gartner's initiative to use assessments for hiring analysts. Last Friday, I participated in an exercise to measure intellectual as well as behavioral characteristics of existing analysts. The next step will be to take that data and correlate it with analyst performance data to better understand what knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (often called KSAOCs) matter for performance. Based on that analysis, an assessment instrument will be created.
I would characterize the exercise I participated in last week as one part SAT Test/IQ Test and two parts eHarmony Compatibility Profile (from what I know based on the TV commercials -- my wife will be happy to know that I do not have any personal knowledge). In the first part, we had to answer 100 questions in 20 minutes. These questions ranged from mathematical word problems to analogies to antonyms/synonyms to pattern finding in a sequence of numbers. Needless to say, it was challenging (to complete the test, you had 10 seconds in which to answer each question). I wish I could say I completed the whole test in the time alloted, but I did not. I do not know if we will get our scores back (I would like to see them). The behavioral parts are a little harder to describe. Frankly, there were a lot of questions (close to 250) and, though there was no time limit, they were not particularly memorable.
I hope at the end of the exercise we find out how well current analysts compare to the ideal profile generated by the analysis. In addition, it will be interesting to see if the profile really will be a good predictor of whom will make a good analyst. As the initiative progresses, I will continue to post what I can.