The validation of an assessment battery for sales representatives in a telecommunication company
Smith, Antoinette Charlene
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Globalisation yields numerous challenges and continuous changes in the economic environment, rapid technological advancements, and an increased emphasis on organisational competitiveness. The existing practice in the Telecommunications company relied on conventional recruitment-on-vacancy and training. In 1997, a customer contact research programme was launched to review the specific competencies underlying the full range of customer contact roles, in order to understand the constructs which would underlie effective assessment of people for the role of sales and marketing. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of an assessment battery in a telecommunications company. The assessment battery measures the participants' essential skills, behaviour and performance to bring about critical development action. The Work Profiling System (WPS) and Subject Matter Experts in the Sales Division identified the fifteen competencies. The assessment battery consisted of Ability Tests: Verbal Evaluation (VCC3) and Numerical Evaluation (NCC4), and a personality questionnaire: Customer Contact Styles Questionnaire (CCSQ7.2). The Customer Contact Competency Inventory (CCCI) was electronically administered to the sales representatives' respective managers in 2006, to give objective 360" feedback. The study population (n=97) consisted of sales representatives working in a Telecommunication company. The objectives for this research were to validate the chosen selection battery for the sales representatives, and determine its relation to manager-rated performance. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were carried out to determine whether the independent variables (CCSQ7.2 and Ability Tests) hold any predictive value regarding the dependent variable (CCCI). The results of the regression analyses showed that Verbal Evaluation (VCC3) was a significant predictor of: Convincing, Communicating Orally, Results Driven. Problem Solving and Organisation. Modest (R4) was a significant predictor of Convincing. Participative (R5) was a significant predictor of Problem Solving and Organisation. Overall, it can be stated that there is a significant relationship between the test battery and job performance. The results in this study reflect that correlations between personality, ability and performance were small to moderate. This is lower than expected and what is found in similar international research. This is probably due to the flawed criterion. The results should be used with caution to prevent making a Type I1 error. Recommendations for future research are made.