Employability, Hireability and Placeability ~ Got Ability? Need Proof?

To continue on with my post on getting level during divorce, I’m offering working definitions of 3 of my favorite ability descriptors which are Employability, Hireability and Placeability.

Although my vocational assessment and evaluation assignments span a variety of jurisdictions and are designed to meet referral needs, the concepts of Employability, Hireability and Placeability remain constructively intact.

~ Employability ~ Can try to prove

employability

Simply put, employability refers to the capacity for a person to function in a job and to be able to move between jobs the person could actually do considering personal circumstances. There may be an overlay of disability, physical or mental limitations, or specific work-life needs that come into play when determining a person’s employability.

Employability depends on the knowledge, skills and abilities and how these assets are used within the context which work is performed or is sought. To evaluate employability, it helps to break the concept into manageable pieces. I take a look at the skills, attitudes and behaviors the person has developed through their work background and a variety of other life experiences.

To know if those skills, attitudes and behaviors are in demand, I then research and survey the person’s labor market to identify jobs that match the person’s background and capacities.

It works best for me to highlight the person’s skills and capacities in the best possible light! Skills are transferable regardless of disability, especially with creative adaptation and accommodation.

In addition, if there are avenues to match the person more closely with jobs (eg: short term training), further vocational research is performed with the results offered in a helpful way.

~ Hireability ~ Cannot prove

Hireability

The term hireability is a way of describing the likelihood an individual might get hired for a job they are physically and psychologically capable of performing.

The most prevalent method of hiring is the interview, therefore, it is always helpful to view how a person presents their skills in various environments.

Further, hireability is about a person’s soft skills, including their style of communication, level of self-confidence, initiative, tact, and motivation. All these elements are important to a business who has hiring needs!

Throughout my placement experiences, I find businesses look to hire individuals who are responsible, trainable, friendly and able to work on teams. Reliable transportation, good references, a neat appearance, and a pleasant personality are commonly preferred.

Throughout my placement experiences, I also understand often is not necessary to assess an individual for hireability, and to rely on the person’s natural ability to succeed without the need to administer a “test”.

~ Placeability ~ Can try to prove

Best Placement

Placeability is the likelihood that a person will actually access, secure and maintain work within his or her labor market, usually in a specific job or occupation. Placeability is affected by labor market conditions (outside of an individual’s control) and is partly about how in-demand the individual’s transferable skills are and how well she or he can present those skills.

The dynamics of placeability include the availability of jobs in a certain geographic area; employer attitudes and policies, the evaluee’s age and culture; and specific occupational hiring requirements. I’ve had many years of work experience placing people and there are numerous variables!

If the person has barriers to employment, for example a functional limitation that would benefit from accommodation, resources are discussed to avoid unnecessary conflicts in the person’s working world. Please realize all functional limitations are restrictions but NOT all restrictions are functional limitations!

Here’s another rather important variable:

~ Willingness to Work ~ Can definitely prove! I have testified to this several times. If you are a job seeker and need proof that you are validly looking for reliable work, let me know if I can help. 

Thank youThe bottom line for any business usually involves making and/or saving money! Are you doing that? If you are employed, yes you are! I thank you! And I’m sure your business thanks you too.

Need a vocational evaluation consultation? Call me 515-282-7753 or vocresources@gmail.com

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Simply Yet Methodically Defined…Transferable Skills Unfold During Vocational Assessment!

As a fundamental guide, I agree with and adopted a simple definition of “transferable skills” as those versatile skills that can be used effectively in a number of different roles. Good definition!

Unlike job-related skills, which tend to be used only in one type of work, transferable skills are skills that can be used in every occupation, regardless of the type of work! Source


Transferable skills are universal skills — you can transfer them from one type of work to another without much effort on your part or training from the employer (Mullins & Roesslers, 1998).

There are many dimensions to a person’s vocational capacity, and putting interests and aptitudes aside for now, the challenge is how to measure and classify hard skills (motor and cognitive) and those influential soft skills (of vital importance) in a standardized way to underline the skills of a job seeker.

Assessment Info

Because there are literally thousands of skills, my methodology highlights the most “user friendly” skills as a precursor to job placement.

I ask the job seeker to complete a transferable skills checklist, and this link takes you to one example of a useful checklist.

There are many useful checklists on the web that serve as informational aids, feel free to use which one works best. Here’s another example of a transferable skill checklist I like.

From a checklist (example of yet another!), I look for 10-20 checked items and with a focus on placement, the job seeker is encouraged to tell me their story by participating in a discussion filled with open-ended questions such as ~

Why did you check a certain attribute? How did you use that skill in a work-related situation? What where the tasks involved? Was there room for creativity? How could that skill be used in another job?

Then I ask myself research related questions, such as ~

What could change if the work appears to be unrelated to the past employment situation? How can we be sure you can be productive in a new job? Who should get to know your best transferable skills? Why would your skills be valuable to others? And so on!

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Get to the best skills through open dialogue!

I recognize the personal qualities of the job seeker and understand those transferable skills she owns in comparison to the specific job-related skills and hiring qualities employers often look for.

Assessment Info

During an evaluative interview, I continuously assess any influential “soft skills” that rise to the surface. How does the person communicate?

What is her body language telling me? Is he exhibiting an open or a closed style? And of course, the environment and the context is accounted for. I look for indicators of creativity, flexibility, change readiness, leadership, team building, and so on.

If the person is able to build rapport with me and openly discuss their work attributes, they should be able to interview well, or at least feel a degree of comfort marketing themselves and become an effective seller in a job interview [with or without job seeking skills training]. If you’d like help now, here’s a link to Job Interview Questions and Answers, a free, interactive video app that helps you practice your answers to tough interview questions in an easy-to-use mock interview format.

Once solid assessment information is gathered during the interview, through completion of vocational worksheets, along with a generic application and a self-rating scale, the individual’s educational and vocational history is processed. The assessment process continues to unfold!

Assessment Info

I detail all the occupations and job specific skills, roles and responsibilities that appear in the individual’s background and pay particular attention to those skills the individual has the capacity to reintroduce. Starting with one job or volunteer experience, I break down 3 major tasks and then divide those into skills acquired from performing that job. This process is eye-opening!

***Read on! ***

I’ve written about my background earlier in my blogging days titled ‘How did I Get into Rehab Counseling? Here’s a Little Story.’ The link I just provided sends you to the first in a series of parts of my story. But today, here’s a little bit about one of my first jobs.

 Are you using transferable skills from your past in your current career?

Did you work in the food service industry as one of your first jobs? I did and many people do! Back in the early 1980s I worked as a waitress (ugg, thankfully now food server) at a restaurant called the Red Rooster Grill (as of May 2016 she remains open to hungry customers!) on the corner of Oak and Rocksylvania in Iowa Falls. (Trivia: Iowa Falls used to be Rocksylvania!)

As a waitress, I gained many skills!

Following the methodology I describe above, here’s a chart listing the transferable skills I used at Red Rooster with the skills I continue to use in my present job many moons and late night munchies later as a vocational counselor and life care planner.

PAST EMPLOYMENT AS A FOOD SERVER:

Three Main Tasks ~

1.) Explain Menu & Suggest Menu Options to Guest (Interpersonal Skills)    

2.) Take & Place Food Order  (Marketing & Sales)

• Relay Orders to Cooking Staff (Communication & Teamwork)

3.) Deliver Food to Table (Customer Service & Quality Assurance)

• Accurately Distribute Food (Accuracy & Organization)

• Take Payment / Make Change (Accounts Payable/Receivable)

• Manage various types of payment (Invoicing & Follow-Through)  

The soft skills I acquired as a waitress were learned from serving the after Dan’s Place bar crowd (and late night drivers!) who were out in the streets after 2:00 AM. More on soft skills in another post!

Sorry!! I tried hard not to spill coffee on my customers!!

When the evaluee or the job seeker sees how simple diagramming a chart can be in relation to their transferable skills, they often become more interested in the job search and in working with me in general! Good job!

Let me know how I can help with a vocational assessment to include transferable skills! Here’s another link to a great resource for help identifying transferable skills.

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

People and Their Pets….Got Cat? Why I Ask About Pet Ownership During an Assessment

When I meet with an individual to perform a vocational assessment, I ask many questions to gather information about their work and life background. One question I ask, underlying other questions regarding psychosocial factors, is about pet ownership. Asking about pet ownership during an evaluation can tell a lot about a person.

Got Cat?

Of course pet ownership is not for everyone, but if the individual is a pet owner, and a discussion develops about the topic, it offers me insight about the person. Pet ownership allows for psychosocial benefits accruing within an individual from the one-to-one type interactions with their pets.

Pet ownership can also influence broader social interactions and perceptions, experiences of sense of community, and social capital at the neighborhood level. In addition, a pet owner’s sense of health and well-being often emerges as a valuable and positive feature of daily living.

SamiJo The Love of My Life!
SamiJo The Love of My Life!

This is SamiJo, the Love of My Life!

Okay: I have 3 cats (Felix, SamiJo and Alaska), a dog (Bella), a guinea pig (Peggy), and a fish (Bluebee). Oh, and a hedge hog (Sandslash). My beloved rabbit, (a mini rex named Patches) died last week.

It’s a big responsibility to own a pet. You must provide basic care which includes food, water, shelter, veterinary care and exercise for your pet. And you must abide by the City’s bylaws around pets and animals.  For Bella’s 5th birthday awhile back, she received a dog pass to the Riverwalk Dog Park!

Patches
Patches

Patches was a grateful rabbit

Patches had plush, velvet like fur and a happy personality. A mini rex is known as “The Velveteen Rabbit”. Patches was small, weighing 3-4 pounds. He liked to lunge out of his wooden hut when his cage door was opened. Some people (like my husband) got a little frightened of this burst out thinking they were in danger! But I saw his behavior as a great show of energy! I also loved his happy hops!

 Patches loved rose petals….He ate them! 

Patches always was thankful when he was fed (and especially when he received a treat!) with a little snorty sound. I had noticed he was getting very thin, however he still was eating. And then one morning, he was not lunging out of his hut, and he was very still, yet he was breathing. I checked on him several more times.

Later in the afternoon he did lunge out, although it was a very unusual lunge. He bonked off his litter box and landed on his side. I started to pet him……continuing to stroke his very soft fur….until he died.

Think about pets you’ve known and understand why I find it important to ask about pet ownership. Have you ever gone to a dog park and learned dogs’ names, but never asked the owners for theirs? And observed their behaviors (both dogs and owners) to compile evidence about your theory of dog parks!?!

In a previous post on April 2nd 2012, I blogged about another question I ask about the person’s nutritional intake and habits. Want to Heal that Injury? Focus on Your Nutrition!  Healthy nutritional intake is just as important for your body as it is for your pets. Please feed everyone well!

For You Patches. I Love You!

Let me know if you have questions about how I perform a vocational assessment. You can also click over to the right under documents for download to see a sample vocational assessment and evaluation report.

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Vocational Evaluators: 3 Roles in 1. Germs, Competitors, and a Shredder Help!

In my Iowa State Days and into the Fall of 1994, one course I recall quite well was Microbiology. Here I am, a new mother, messing around in a laboratory with germs. Okay, microbiology is better defined as “The branch of biology that deals with microorganisms and their effects on other living organisms.” Luckily I had a smart lab partner who knew what needed to be done with the microscopes, dyes, stains, aseptic procedures, identification, etc.. My partner helped me to learn and helped me to keep myself and my new baby at home safe from bad germs!

My Grade for the Microbiology Course ~ B+

I believe my grade proves I took the course seriously and I tried my hardest! This leads me to discuss the topic of the serious nature of my role and function as a vocational evaluator.

Because there is a need for vocational evaluation services to persons with or without disabilities, I continually expand my professional capacities in these areas:

1)   Vocational/Career Expert     2)   Disability Specialist     3)   Educator

A Vocational Evaluator has 3 roles in 1!

I work with a wide variety of people and provide a mix of services to improve and expand my 3 in 1 role as a vocational evaluator.

I’ve come across several “competitors” vocational evaluation reports and found they served the best role shredded in the bottom of a recycling bin. Of course, I learn from reading them and can apply data from them, only if it makes sense to me!

In fact I’ve read two reports on two separate people by one vocational evaluator. Boy they read similarly! These reports were canned, used computer generated data, laced with irrelevant statistics, tossed with strange jargon, citing outdated sources, sprinkled with wording that all sounded the same.  Both reports concluded the same thing: this person is totally and permanently disabled from all work. Wow! Was I missing something? Were there germs lurking?

The “competitor” reports I’m referring to did not contain important information (that I include in my individualized reports) such as:

  • detailed information about the workers’ vocational background
  • an analysis of the person’s transferable skills
  • what type of work the person is interested in
  • a look into current employment opportunities that match those interests and skills
  • a review of reasonable accommodations and/or other ways to perform work efficiently
  • real life job placement perspectives and actual comments from local employers
  • recommendations for skill enhancement or ways to learn a new skill
  • offering of job placement or referral to community sources for help!

The information I include is based on the context surrounding the individual and the goal of the evaluation.

Poorly written reports get shredded!

I’ve performed hundreds of vocational evaluations (and have shredded many, too)! When I combine my educational abilities and career counseling expertise while providing disability specific resources when needed, my goal as a good rehabilitation counselor is fulfilled!

I’ve posted several times on the subject of vocational evaluations ~ which happens to be one of my favorites! ~ Please take a look around my blog and let me know how I can help you.

Contact me at 515-282-7753 or vocresources@gmail.com

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

 

Assessment, Assessment, Assessment and More Assessment! Need Your Client Assessed?

I performed a self-assessment and wrote a paper titled “Self-Assessment of Competencies for Entry Level Health Educators” for the School Health course I took while attending Iowa State University in the fall of 1994.

Self Assessment

I remember typing my paper on a Power Mac and using a dot matrix printer! Remember how to carefully tear the sides off after you gently folded at the seam?  I read the old paper (it was yellowed!) scanned it in and recycled the paper (one of my goals of blogging is to clear out my office of lots of paper!)…updated May 2016: Goal achieved!

I won’t bore you with the entire paper, but here’s the original cover page, the introduction and the conclusion:

INTRODUCTION

I am a non-traditional student (if there is such a term) who has worked for 12+ years and made the move to return to school to fulfill a personal goal. Please keep in mind as you read my self-assessment that I have based many skills and competencies on activities I have performed in the past at the workplace.

I have been employed as a nurse’s aide, a medical records clerk, an agricultural statistics gatherer, and a secretary for the State of Iowa. Currently, I am a medical transcriptionist and a placement specialist.

My position as a placement specialist has offered me many skills that can be related to a health educator. This position is for a rehabilitation consulting firm, and as a placement specialist, I work with individuals who have been injured on the job and are now receiving workers’ compensation benefits. My objectives involve offering the client job seeking skills training to return them to meaningful employment as outlined by their personal goals and health history. My education nursing school, secretarial science, liberal arts and community health education. I have many credits!

The paper then focused on how my skills / competencies (including those I would need to acquire) and related life experiences help in the following areas:

  • Assessing Individual and Community Needs for Health Education
  • Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Health Education Programs
  • Acting as a Resource Person in Health Education
  • Communicating Health and Health Education Needs, Concerns and Resources.

And the … last page … the

CONCLUSION

This self-assessment is an excellent tool to use when identifying your strengths and weaker areas of professionalism and room for growth. I put a lot of work into this assessment, as it let me seriously look at why I took various courses and which ones pertain to my future as a health educator. This assessment will help me compile an up-to-date resume, and also gives me a tool which I can use when interviewing for a job.

Although I feel I have many useful skills, I need to refine many of them. With the incorporation of all the knowledge I have gained through my community health education major, I am VERY MUCH looking forward to finding a position where I can utilize all my skills and competencies.

The professor, Dr. Frank E. Shabel, made comments in red ink throughout the assessment, and on the last page of the paper he wrote:  Amy, This is the most thorough assessment I have had in two years. You have gained much through the process. Save a copy for future employers. A+ 35/35 4 pages? (Note it need have only been 4 pages, but mine was 9…typical me.)

The paper is a blast from the past and I see that I did a pretty good job of doing what I said I needed to do!  That being to utilize and develop the skills and competencies I wrote about in the fall of 1994!  And very importantly, since then, I focused in on developing my assessment skills.

An assessment is the estimation of the quality or ability of something or someone.  It is imperative to gather complete, reliable and valid information from the person who is the recipient of an assessment.  

Image result for clip art assessment image

I perform vocational assessments, transferable skills assessments, job assessments, educational assessments, employability assessments, job seeking skills assessments, job search assessments, labor market assessments, educational / training assessments, small business assessments, independent living assessments, life care planning assessments, motivational assessments, occupational health assessments, plus more assessments.
If you’d like to learn more about my vocational assessments, click to the the sample vocational assessment link.  For information on any of the others, please give me a call at 515-282-7753. I’m happy to help assess your client’s assessment needs!

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

Vocational Assessment Has Many Benefits & Is Used for Many Different Purposes

A vocational assessment is an integral component in vocational rehabilitation. Depending on the perspective, vocational assessment has many benefits and is used for many different applicable purposes.

Image result for benefits

A vocational assessment can be used to:

  • determine a person’s potential for work, the content of a vocational training program, his or her employability or ability to adapt to different work environments.
  • assist an individual to make realistic job training and career choices based on their interests, abilities, aptitudes, and the realities of the job market.
  • help counselors, rehabilitation professionals and employment placement specialists work more effectively with their clients.
  • help trainers and instructors adapt to the needs of the person with a disability.
  • help administrators use resources more wisely.
  • help employers make better hiring selections.
  • make recommendations about the person’s work-life!

Image result for recommendations

For a detailed look into how I perform a vocational assessment, please take a look at the Sample Vocational Assessment & Evaluation Report on my website.

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.