Employability Skills Profiler (ESP)

by 10 Nov 2007

Society as a whole has historically not placed a great deal of value on aligning people with their perfect jobs. When it comes to disciplines such as science and engineering, professional selection and development processes are exacting and clearly structured. But when it comes to recruitment, there has never been one particular system or process for getting job fit right. Recruiters and hiring managers are mostly left to make decisions based on gut feel and, if they’re lucky, a variety of selection tools that can vary significantly in their effectiveness.

In 2002, the Federal Government commissioned the Business Council of Australia and Australian Chamber of Commerce to conduct research into more than 200 companies in order to identify the employability skills required for specific jobs. These skills are the foundation of what it takes for any individual to be successful in a job and achieve their full occupational potential.

This research resulted in the development of a nationally consistent employability skills framework, and the Federal Government then appointed Chandler Macleod to build on this framework with the development of the Employability Skills Profiler (ESP) –a “next generation” online assessment tool for improving job fit.

ESP uses psychological testing to capture information about a candidate’s ability and personal style. What is unique about ESP (a world first, in fact) is that it can then use this information to gauge a candidate’s subsequent fit against an unlimited number of custom job profiles for specific companies, or more than 1,000 standard jobs from the Australian Standards Classification of Occupations (ASCO).

In July 2007, Chandler Macleod launched the commercial version of ESP. Increasingly, businesses are switching onto the numerous benefits of getting job fit right, and ESP is the first real, practical and large scale foray into helping companies and recruiters achieve this.

The ESP tool itself is relatively straightforward and easy to use. Each candidate profile assessment takes about 90 minutes to complete, and consists of a number of tasks and questionnaires designed to measure specific competencies, skills and aptitudes. It assesses ability to understand written and verbal instructions, numeracy skills, literacy skills and also includes a personality profile.

ESP is constantly undergoing development (now at version and a recent addition to ESP is a career guidance tool with an interests filter wizard. This wizard hones in on the specific positions that candidates are not only most suited for based on their inherent competencies, but also their natural interests as a person.

ESP then generates a number of reports from each assessment: a job options report (how well a candidate fits with a number of jobs); job fit and development report (how well a candidate fits with a specific job, plus areas for development); shortlist report (the best candidates for any job); and a strengths report (a candidate’s strongest competencies).

ESP has a number of uses. The first and most obvious benefits can be reaped by recruitment and HR professionals. It can provide accurate assistance in making decisions across areas such as selection and recruitment, talent management and succession planning, training and development, promotion and internal mobility as well as career guidance, retention and outplacement.

Having tried a number of job assessment tools over the years, I was most impressed with ESP. The assessment process itself is straightforward, while ESP as an online tool itself is very well designed. Functionality is simple, design is attractive and the interface is easy to follow and understand. ESP is remarkably accurate in its assessment, and I believe it has the potential to make a significant difference to both organisational productivity as well as employee engagement and job satisfaction.

More information: Tel: (02) 8913 7777. Email: esp.enquiries@chandlermacleod.com. Web: www.esppathways.com.