of Meridien’s services is the assessment of managers and
executives to support selection decisions, leadership development
and succession planning. Written profiles describe professional
impressions and judgments of the individual which are formed during
the course of an in-depth interview, complemented with selective
psychological testing. The purpose is to provide an objective,
thought-provoking resource to the organization’s senior management,
and to the individual, to assist in the placement and development
of the individual in the organization.
The written profile helps explain how the individual compares
to other candidates or employees in ways that are relevant to
success in the position and organization. It is important to
know whether an individual has the abilities to do a job. However,
the profile more strongly addresses the degree of “fit” between
individual characteristics, job requirements, other leaders’ styles
and organizational culture.
While there are similarities in organizational culture, particularly
for companies in similar industries, it is the differences that
pose the greatest difficulty for newcomers. Managerial success
in a previous company does not necessarily generalize to high
performance in a company that has a different culture. To assist
with assessment of “fit”, we must understand the
unique cultural characteristics of the company and have an in-depth
understanding of the individual.
Understand the Requirements
Before interviewing an individual, it is essential
that we understand the specific requirements of the position
the manager to describe the nature of the business and stakeholder
requirements, focusing on factors which are unique to the
organization. We solicit a description of the unique knowledge,
personal qualities necessary for success in the position.
We also explore, with the hiring/supervising manager, his/her
own management style to enable us to better understand what is
expected, and to sense areas of compatibility or incompatibility
between the subordinate (or potential subordinate) and the manager.
The interview is intended as a means of exploring jointly with
the individual his/her characteristics and aspirations. It
is usually from two to three hours in duration. The specific
contents of the interview remain confidential to the interviewee
and the psychologist.
We rely more on our judgments, based on our training as psychologists
and our experience as consultants, than we do upon specific test
results. Specific selection criteria are derived from our experience
and are developed through working with managers in the Client
Management is provided with a comprehensive report summarizing
the key characteristics of the individual. The report is written
primarily for use by managers, not psychologists. The report
is relatively brief, clearly stated, and straightforward in language.
The contents of the report represent the psychologist’s
judgments, objectively derived from the interview with the individual.
It describes psychological characteristics significant to the
understanding of the individual’s organizational, professional
and managerial functioning.
Conclusions are drawn about the individual’s major leadership
strengths, their fit with the organization and the developmental
needs at this point in the person’s career.
Feedback and Development Planning
All talent assessment reports are written so that the individual,
their manager and others (e.g., HR) who are involved with the
individual’s placement and development can review the report
with the psychologist. The usefulness of the report is increased
if the author assists in its interpretation and in planning for
its use. In the review meeting, we focus on the individual’s
future goals and provide concrete counseling on how to structure
and attain realistic objectives. We seek to help the individual
develop productive insights into his/her strengths and developmental
needs. A specific development plan is written with the individual,
based on the assessment.
Development Commitment and Support
Finally, we facilitate a “three way” review of the
development plan between the individual, their manager and the
psychologist. The discussion builds shared understanding and
commitment to the activities and support required for career
development. Ongoing developmental coaching from the psychologist
is often useful to support behaviour change and assess progress.