Heather Mahoney-Slaughter Wednesday, December 21, 2022

A HR director of a rapidly growing manufacturing business wanted to identify high-potentials, at the request of the new CEO.  They needed to review capability and identify the key skills needed to support their specific business strategy.

Starting with 12 members of the senior executive group, Hogan personality and cognitive assessments were used to identify key drivers as well as the likely everyday behaviours and potential for career derailers under pressure.  This along with individual feedback helped the senior team create personal insights for their own performance goals as well as the desire to further define leadership expectations (what does good look like?). Additionally, the senior team undertook a Leadership programme of events using SkillsPilot, a Next-Gen cloud-based Assessment and Development platform, typically used to optimise leadership capability; led by a facilitator, leaders were assessed through relevant online business scenarios that tested the following 10 competencies:

  1. Accountability
  2. Decision Making
  3. Driving for Results
  4. Driving Performance
  5. Driving Strategy
  6. Inspiring Others
  7. Integrity
  8. Leading Others
  9. Managing Resources
  10. Teamwork

These competencies were used to identify appropriate exercises for their customised programme, ultimately resulting in 4 team - based scenarios (i.e. dealing with crisis management) and 3 individual ones (i.e. negotiating with a key flight risk ).  Sessions were recorded and participants invited to self-assess against the competencies.  Professional feedback reports were generated based on the ratings and commentary from trained observers, accompanied by targeted development suggestions. Overall results were further analysed against organisational metrics.

As we started with the senior executive and then moved through the next two levels of leadership, this process paved the way for significant outcomes – leaders were able to agree on what good performance looked like and used the data to cascade a unified vision throughout the organisation, ultimately establishing a more robust approach for succession planning.  They also gained insights into how their leaders might derail, what engages them and what climate they need to create around their leaders to get the most out of their teams.  Conducting these assessments virtually meant they could maintain business-as-usual activities, whilst gathering observable evidence around their skills profile, helping them to balance workloads and development needs.

  • Assessments conducted throughout three levels of management helped them further refine what they were looking for in terms of succession.

  • The online assessment/development programme provided opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills in different scenarios that could be observed and reviewed by the participant as well as other key stakeholders.

  • Professional feedback on leadership behaviour coupled with personality and cognitive results. generated powerful insights for individuals.


For HR directors tasked with the responsibility of finding a reliable process for identifying potential in the organisation,  this project ticked a number of boxes; it combined the rigour of personality data with virtual assessment and development with the following benefits:

  • The company were able to identify business-critical skills

  • Natural strengths were benchmarked to guide their talent pipeline

  • Identification of skill gaps led to more targeted budget allocation for talent development.