Cultural Agility Assessment Methods for Hiring Managers

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  • 0:03 Cultural Agility
  • 0:51 Why Use Assessment Methods?
  • 1:31 Five Methods of Assessment
  • 4:26 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Joseph Madison

Joseph received his Doctorate from UMUC in Management. He retired from the Army after 23 years of service, working in intelligence, behavioral health, and entertainment.

This lesson explains the importance of assessing a job applicant's cultural agility. We'll discuss five methods of assessing potential employees for cultural agility: resume screening, knowledge assessment, personality assessment, interviewing, and self-assessment.

Cultural Agility

Do you run a company that works overseas or with customers from different backgrounds? If so, you'll want to make sure you're hiring employees who are culturally agile.

Cultural agility is being able to pick up on behavioral cues from different cultures and integrate them into one's own behaviors to work successfully in any environment. Transnational communication has become a simple process, making cultural agility skills even more important than before. Anyone can reach out overseas, which creates more avenues for your business.

So, how do you develop a culturally agile company? The most thorough way is to train your current employees to be culturally agile, and to make sure any new employees you hire already have cultural agility as a skill. In this lesson, we're going to focus on ways to assess whether your potential employees are culturally agile.

Why Use Assessment Methods?

If an organization hires employees that are not culturally agile, then they must expend money to train these employees to learn this skill. Additionally, what if these new hires do not have the aptitude to learn it? Now a company has a workforce without cultural agility, which could cost an organization money in lost contracts and business.

Using assessment methods to determine if your potential employees are culturally agile will enable you to have a workforce ready to go from day one. If you know your new employees possess this skill already, they can start working with your customers immediately, which is the best for the company. Even if these employees are not skilled in specific cultures, if they have the aptitude to learn, then they will fit better within your organization.

Five Methods of Assessment

Hiring managers should prepare some assessment methods before they interview and hire new employees. The following five methods can be used to determine the cultural agility skills of potential candidates:

1. Resume Screening

Make sure to look through candidates' resumes for the following:

  • International clubs/volunteering
  • Study abroad programs
  • Experience working abroad
  • Fluency in multiple languages
  • International education

A resume that includes any of these could demonstrate a candidate's ability to work with people from different cultures, which usually relates to cultural agility. Remember, though, that some individuals will not place these things on their resume, so make sure to ask about them during an interview.

You should also pay special attention to the companies a candidate has previously worked for. Do those companies have an international presence? Has the candidate already worked in a culturally agile environment? These can be good signs that the candidate has this skill.

2. Knowledge Assessment

Creating or using a knowledge assessment can also help you pinpoint culturally agile candidates. Make sure to use scenarios that your current employees experience. Have the candidates write out how they would respond to get an idea how potential employees would work within your current environment.

There are also online assessments that test cognitive and learning abilities, such as: the CHOICES questionnaire, viaEDGE, Wonderlic, and Talent Q Elements. These assessments are not specific to cultural agility but will demonstrate how agile of a learner a candidate is.

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