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As part of the employee selection process, applicant assessment is an important stage of the hiring process. Assessments should also occur as part of an organization's workforce development plan, as applied to current employees.

Broadly speaking, assessments can be formal or informal, standardized or ad hoc, objective or subjective, reactive or interactive-e.g., written answers to set questions or open interview, rigorously designed/validated/implemented or unsystematic, on-site or remote (to mention but a few of the possible contrasting forms that are possible).

When conducting or being subjected to assessment, participants should be alert to the limitations and benefits of the method chosen, e.g., with respect to possible bias, inconsistent or otherwise variable application of the assessment standards, and the general validity and reliability of the assessment method and its results.
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In order to ensure a company's productivity and performance does not fall into decline, it is necessary to perform regular maintenance and check-ups on the basic framework of the organization's infrastructure. This includes periodic or ongoing evaluations of the workforce that culminate in assessments.

An assessment is an overall evaluation of an employee's working performance and attitude after a period of time, usually a business quarter or a full year (less if the employee is working under probation for any reason). An employee may become less enthusiastic about his or her work over time, leading to a drop in work ethic and standards, or an employee may show great improvement or skills that would be better suited in another role, or with more responsibility. In this way, the assessment process is able to identify these shifts in employee performance as time goes by.

Similar to assessments, screenings are usually made to gauge a potential candidate's persona, health and other attributes prior to selection for recruitment. They may also be carried out in tandem with assessments of existing employees as well, in order to gather data for the purposes of HR, any health insurance plans, etc. Some companies have a vested interest in keeping their employees physically and mentally healthy and so utilize screenings for this purpose.

It is important that assessment be carried out fairly and intelligently, as the outcome of an assessment will have ramifications, as it provides part of a picture regarding the stability of the workplace. Decisions will be made on the findings of assessments, which can lead to dismissals, rotation, or promotion-all of which change the dynamic of the workforce.