Executive selection & talent management: I conduct in-depth Senior Manager selection exercises for organisations as diverse as DHL and Amnesty International; and 'high-flyer' management audits for firms such as Bayer. I have also managed large scale graduate and apprentice recruitment projects for Balfour Beatty Rail. In addition I have particular expertise in profiling prospective entrepreneurs.
These sort of activities involve the use of competency based interviews, online psychometrics, management exercises and simulations. The aim being to objectively assess, for example, problem solving capability, strategic thinking, planning & organising, results orientation, interpersonal skills, leadership preferences, resilience & flexibility - as well as the potential for management or leadership 'derailment'.
Assessment & development centres: I have experience of designing, running and acting as a lead assessor on many different types of Assessment Centre. I have been involved in centres for construction & engineering companies (eg: ARC, General Dynamics), science & biotech (eg: STFC, Galapagos) and retail (eg: John Lewis, Waitrose); and have recently delivered a series of twelve Development Centres for Associate Research Fellows at a leading UK university.
Centres of this type use the full range of assessment tools, with the addition of group tasks, and of course, the involvement of a number of suitably trained assessors. Development Centres include extensive feedback to participants and can kick-start a coach-led development or engagement process.
Leadership programmes & change consultancy: At Exeter University I have managed a 360-degree feedback project and a series of development workshops as part of an extensive change and leadership identification programme. Working with Reading University, I have provided influencing skills courses to Contract Managers and Heads of School.
I specialise in helping managers develop effective leadership skills, through an appreciation of the practical & psychological aspects of successful leadership, and its close cousin, 'followership'. I can also deploy a range of assessment tools specifically aimed at leadership development, such as emotional intelligence (EI) questionnaires, Type indicators, and leadership focused feedback systems.
High stakes selection systems: I have worked as a Managing Consultant, with Team Focus Ltd, on a wide ranging aircrew selection project for the MOD. In the past I designed selection tests for the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC) at RAF Cranwell. Since 2006 I have supported the development of a University Admissions Test taken by 25,000+ prospective students each year. Check out the free App.
High stakes selection situations are those where the consequences of making a wrong decision are particularly costly in terms of disruption to the organisation; or where essential training & development are extremely expensive; or where it is important to keep the selection process highly secure. I have expertise in analysing complex selection processes and looking at their overall utility.
New online assessments & diagnostics: I design questionnaires and surveys and help organisations review their current assessment toolkit (e.g. United Nations), source new measures or develop tailored diagnostics. For example, I produced a series of three career development questionnaires for CXK Ltd and have recently completed a special project for BTL.
Fresh assessments & development tools give organisations (commercial & careers orientated) a genuine USP, allowing them to differentiate themselves from their competitors, or provide employees and clients with an innovative development experience. In addition well constructed questionnaires can be used in marketing & advertising campaigns.
Production, Advertising & PR: I have worked with a number of production companies and broadcasters, for example Chrysalis Visual Entertainment and the BBC, to develop ideas for TV and radio programmes.
These have included game shows involving psychological tests & puzzles (Carol Vordermann's Big Brain Game, Hanrahan Media) and advertising campaigns (Virgin One Account - Uncommon Sense, TBWA). Most recently I have been working with consultancy, House PR, on a promotion for a well known hotel group.
© MMXVI Mark Parkinson
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