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General Powell on Promote from Within: Assess for Potential

by Joseph Murphy

General Colin Powell  spoke about growing talent in the Army at TaleoWorld 2010.  He asserts that the Army may be doing more than most companies when it comes to grooming and advancing leaders.  Listen to what he has to say, then click here to review a client case study and learn about CVS Caremark and their approach to growing leaders from within for their pharmacy operations.  Great minds think alike.

Assessing potential is essential for both internal promotions and external hires.  General Powell is quite clear in his observations that success in a current position is not a predictor of success in another position.  CVS Caremark set out to achieve staffing process improvement for promotions with the use of realistic job preview, assessment and assessment-based development.

Internal candidates for the role of pharmacy supervisor are able to access a four part overview of the job, its demands, rewards and required competencies.  Through a career interest prioritizing exercise, candidates receive immediate feedback about how their aspirations and interests align with the supervisor role. 

Initiative to come forward after the feedback is left to the individual.  A tailored development plan is created and the individual is invited to complete the Pharmacy Supervisor Virtual Job Tryout to further educate the candidate and evaluate job-fit.  This multi-method assessment lets the candidate take the job for a test drive, completing a series of day-in-the-life exercises.  While in-house validation of the assessment was a critical performance requirement, it was considered table stakes.  The differentiator CVS Caremark was looking for was an assessment that delivered a candidate experience as unique as their brand and as challenging as the job.  They wanted to make better decisions using better data.

Just like General Powell and the Army, the Leadership Development Team at CVS Caremark acknowledges the challenge of making well considered promotion decisions. The combined use of interactive realistic job preview and Virtual Job Tryout has elevated the quality of hire into leadership roles.