We are regularly asked by our clients to advise them on promotions and the selection of the best candidates for a specific position. For personnel selection procedures, we use our value-based assessment center approach.

This enables us to evaluate not only the job-relevant competencies but also, in particular, the personality aspects and behavior-determining values of a person. We had such a case with a company from the watch industry, in which the internal succession plan of the CEO was to be confirmed and, if necessary, supporting measures were to be proposed.

The promotion of suitable internal candidates offers numerous advantages, in particular the appreciation and development of human capital. At the same time, the savings in time and resources are also significant, as the candidate does not have to be recruited first and already knows the company with its culture, values, and processes. This significantly shortens the familiarization period. However, in order to avoid miscasting and related frustrations as much as possible, it is very important to carefully evaluate hard and soft skills and especially the candidate’s attitudes and values.


The request of our client

In the context of this internal succession plan, the board of directors asked us to provide a detailed assessment of the proposed candidate based on an assessment center and in particular:

  • To evaluate the relevant competencies and skills, but also his attitudes and values with regard to this task. 
  • To identify his strengths and weaknesses so that the candidate, in case of promotion, can continue to develop positively.
  • To formulate recommendations for concrete actions so that the assumption of the new function can be implemented in the best possible conditions.


Our assessment

The first part consisted in carrying out a personality inventory and a leadership behavior assessment test. These tests aim to identify the candidate’s strengths and development needs compared to a broad reference population. These tests were administered online prior to the face-to-face event.

The second part, which took place on-site, consisted of various exercises conducted by our team of experienced assessors. We select these on a case-by-case basis with regard to the function and specific situation of each mandate. In this case, this second phase included:

  • A structured interview to analyze the candidate’s background, values, and expectations.
  • A role-play to manage a crisis under stress, in order to evaluate his management skills and behavioral preferences.
  • The presentation of his vision of the company to assess his view on the CEO role he is aiming for.
  • An interview to evaluate the two tests previously conducted.


Our results

The assessment conducted allowed us to confirm the candidate’s strengths for the targeted position. Thus, we were able to establish that the candidate:

  • draws on sound analytical skills to make a decision. He has a proven ability to quickly grasp complex situations in a logical, systemic, and rational manner. He or she does not disregard any detail, looks at every element, and hypothesizes based on sound reasoning. Then takes care to enlist the support of others. Based on this, he quickly proposes a structured action plan.
  • Has a very good resistance to stress. His main sources of stress are: an overly insecure work environment, boredom, and lack of follow-through. In these cases, he may become anxious and careless in his decisions.
  • Has a great need for structure and organization. His very good stress resistance and great emotional stability make him very pleasant to deal with.
  • can be perceived as inauthentic and very reserved. He sometimes appears as someone who has difficulty empathizing with others and dealing with emotional situations.
  • Has a rigidity-based, rather directive leadership. He sets the course, giving more weight to tangible elements than less tangible ones. 


We also made our client aware of the values that are important to his flourishing:

  • His desire to balance professional career and family life.
  • His desire to participate in an ambitious and sustainable project where his word carries weight. 
  • His need for independence and entrepreneurship.


Our recommendation

Based on the assessment, we identified a need for development in better onboarding employees with a clear and personal vision of the company. By being a role model of the company values he can share his human side and show emotion. Our recommendation was to accompany the candidate in developing these competencies through coaching.


The positive decision

Based on our report and a feedback meeting between the various people involved, the appointment of our candidate as CEO was confirmed by the Board of Directors, along with a transition period and coaching. We are convinced that all factors for a smooth transition are in place. This will enable the company to continue its development successfully!


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