The impact of competency assessments on the placement and work performance of senior managers.
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The use of competency assessments for the recruitment of staff has been around for some time. The benefits of conducting competency assessments has been discussed and debated by many Human Resources professional but not so much by managers who require the placement of competent people in vacant positions. With tights costs and operation budgets, companies are starting to question the activities and work practices that do not obviously seem to be adding any value to the bottom line. One of the practices is the competency assessment for staff recruitment and placement. The purpose of this research is to determine whether competency assessments are beneficial to the placement of staff in critical managerial positions. It is aimed at demonstrating if there is value add in the time and money spent in conducting these assessments. The main aim of the study is to determine the usefulness of competency assessments in the recruitment of Senior Managers within the South African Public Service. To facilitate the research, a case study design approach was selected. This approach was selected because a single situation was selected to allow an extensive investigation into the problem statement. The case study method also allowed the use of a mixed method approach to help obtain information using multiple data collection methods. The sample of this study consisted of a total of 160 Senior Managers in the National Treasury. This sample was the total number of Senior Managers who have been appointed and placed with the aid of competency assessment processes. The information for the research was contained through a number of techniques namely, the questionnaire to the Senior Managers and their subordinates, the interview process with the Senior Managers, and secondary information from the competency assessment service providers and National Treasury employee personnel records. Data obtained through the above method and techniques was statistically analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The salient findings of the study indicate strong correlation between competency assessment scores with the current performance of the Senior Managers within the National Treasury. There are also strong signals of job satisfaction amongst the Senior Managers, suggesting that the placement of these managers informed and assisted by the competency assessment process has been a success. Recruitment experts and Line Managers within the Public Service will derive major benefits in using the competency assessments techniques in recruiting and placing people in critical positions. It is recommended that further research be conducted to assess and determine the usefulness and value add of competency assessments in the recruitment and placement of managers across the broader Public Service namely at a National, Provincial and Local government level. Once this study has been conducted and the results proves and support what has been found by this study, the Government must then prescribe the use of competency assessments for recruiting and placing people in all Senior Management positions. This will aid in making sure that the Public Service recruits people who can champion excellent service delivery on behalf of government. The Public Service will benefit by employing the right person for the right job. All the elements of effective job placement will be realised.