The American Shoe Size Won’t Fit The Nigerian HR Feet

Being in the talent measurement and management space, I was curious to see the standardized tests used by Nigerian organizations. These assessments were offered by talent measurement organizations headquartered in America or UK and are deployed widely to assess middle and senior management in Nigeria. I wrote a 30 minutes Leadership Personality Test and I could not help feeling amused after the assessment came to an end.

A particular section of the assessment probed me on my behavioural attitude towards a game of baseball and rugby. How can I relate to the sport for which I have mere fleeting ideas? How can a homegrown, Nigerian leader serving the Nigerian business context answer situational questions about baseball? The assessment intended to assess my leadership skills in a game of baseball. I am still wondering as to how could I be the intended audience for these questions.

This is where we need a correction. Nigerian organizations that deploy assessments which probe respondents on West-specific scenarios can never be valid for assessing the white collared Nigerian audience.

Simply put, the American shoe size does not fit Nigerian feet.

Yes, we need to come home.

Let’s talk if you are considering localizing your talent management to be in touch with local reality.

Free Tool: The Employee Skills Matrix

Free Tool: The Employee Skills Matrix
Free Tool: The Employee Skills Matrix


The Employee Skills Matrix is an EXCEL tool used for assessing employees gaps based on predefined skills/competencies rated 1-5. You can change the parameters as you wish. The color codes helps you to view the skew of skills and gap in your organisation.


The Employee Skills Matrix is a very simple but very effective tool to assess the training needs of your organization, it is also a great guide as to the suitability of individuals for:

Additional tasks
Promotion (to a higher role)
Team/group participation
Suitability for a newly created position

And the employee skills matrix is a great discussion tool for performance reviews when used as an employee evaluation template, where the employees training needs can be assessed, reviewed and mapped out for the coming year. Also the level of skills attained may assist in the salary review of the individual compared to other employees, making this an important part of the overall performance evaluation forms.



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Joel Omeike! | Lead Consultant
P4PE Limited | Institute for Professional Excellence
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