Case study

Introducing Assessments For Selection With An Oil & Gas Client


One of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies engaged YSC to assist with the evaluation of three internal candidates for a key leadership role, after the existing incumbent retired after 25 years. For this role, the key competencies necessary included:

  • Legal competence: to have overall responsibility for legal matters and provision of specialist maritime law advice, as required to other segments and the corporate center of the group. Also, demonstrating passion for the broad legal and business agenda and being knowledgeable of geopolitics and sanctions.
  • Solid leadership capabilities: the new senior leader would act as a trusted advisor to the CEO and they would need to handle leadership responsibilities for the team day-to-day. This role required a leader who was able to identify talent, develop team members technically and more broadly manage performance.
  • Skilled in Risk Management: with a global business and a core value of effective management of Safety & Operating, it was essential that the shipping of products was done under quality management to reduce the risk of negative environmental impact.

YSC partnered with the client to define the leadership behaviors required for the candidates. YSC tailored the assessments to the clients’ needs by including the particular key challenges of the role and emphasizing the priority values and leadership expectations.

In order to ensure that the candidates’ values aligned with the clients, each candidate had an in-depth semi-structured conversation with the YSC consultant to draw out their psychology and provide them with a powerful development plan to support them as a leader. This process was delivered in the form of a YSC executive assessment and entailed:

  • Four hour biographical interview; focusing on revealing the candidates potential and personality via creating a psychological profile which highlighted their interpersonal and individual traits.
  • Assessment of the individual’s strengths, development needs and readiness for the role.
  • Suitability to the role, in terms of candidates’ current performance and future potential.
  • Benchmarking against YSC’s leadership competency framework, which included equivalent leaders from other FTSE 100 organizations.

The results of the assessments were presented in a set of distinctive reports, which described each candidate in detail. This was followed up with a meeting with the hiring manager to provide any required additional detail, clarity or context. After the assessment, each candidate received feedback in a two hour face to face session. This session allowed them to see the full report, including recommendation, strengths and development areas. It was also an engaging coaching conversation led by the YSC consultant, to enable each person – successful or not – to create and commit to a development plan.

The recommendation and supporting evidence allowed the client to make a fully informed selection decision. They understood potential risks and how to mitigate against them – for individuals and for the team as a whole. The feedback sessions gave the successful candidate a clear steer on how to launch themselves successfully in the role via the development plan they created with the YSC consultant.

The unsuccessful candidates were given an experience that treated them with dignity and respect, and that allowed them to find positives and possibilities in what could have been a demoralizing process.