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Korn Ferry

Assess your people.

Clarify your direction.

Leadership Assessment

The most pressing imperative for businesses today is the quest for impact and growth—with the biggest challenge being the talent and leadership needed to achieve and sustain them. For any business to succeed, it needs people performing crucial roles. But it’s not just people. It is the right people in the right place at the right time.

Korn Ferry offers a comprehensive suite of assessment services designed to enhance your organization’s talent selection, development, and succession management capabilities. Using our experience with some of the biggest and most diverse organizations around the world, our assessments can help you take the guesswork out of your most important decisions.

A clearer view of talent.

With Korn Ferry, you can more accurately identify the abilities of your workforce. While easily quantifiable metrics like sales numbers and conversion rates are important, there are other factors that are just as important when it comes to leadership. For decades, Korn Ferry has been refining its leadership assessment methods to give you a clearer view of the people and leaders in your organization, as well as members of your workforce who could step into a leadership role in the future. Our assessments help you measure:

The most basic measurement of a good leader is their current performance metrics. How are the members of your workforce handling their current jobs? Are they delivering results and achieving their goals? Korn Ferry’s assessment tools will show you which members of your workforce are performing well in their current jobs.

Korn Ferry’s goal is to make sure that your leadership is prepared and qualified for the next position rather than just the last position. To ensure future success, we take a deeper look at each person’s potential to excel in a more demanding role. Potential can be examined at all levels of the organization as your worker steps up into a new leadership position and leaves a new vacancy that also needs to be filled.

In just about every aspect of business, timing is everything. If an opportunity comes along and you’re not prepared for it, odds are high that you’ll end up missing out. You can’t afford to mistake leadership potential for readiness. Putting an employee into a leadership position before they are ready can lead to negative consequences for both your organization and the individual. It is your organization’s responsibility to cultivate leaders so that they are prepared for the job. Before installing a new leader, you need to be certain they are prepared for the next challenge now. Korn Ferry’s assessments will help to determine the readiness of individuals for immediate roles and leadership opportunities.

Even if an employee is performing well in their current position, showing remarkable potential for growth, and even seems ready to do more, it doesn’t make them an ideal candidate for every possible position. There is a difference between being a good employee and being a good leader. Even further, there is a difference between being a good leader and being right for a particular role. Once we have created a whole-person view of a person through our assessments, we determine how well their skillset and personality fit with key positions within your company.

With proven methods for measuring performance, potential, readiness, and fit, we can help your organization make selection and promotion decisions with confidence. To keep the process moving smoothly, we will design targeted development plans that accelerate readiness, so everyone can reach their full potential.

Our approach

Korn Ferry Four Dimensions of Leadership and Talent (KF4D)

Whereas most leadership and executive assessment options available only provide a partial view of an individual, Korn Ferry assessments are based on our KF4D framework and provide the most holistic perspective available in the market today. KF4D studies workers’ potential by observing their profile from every angle. The assessment takes into account their key competencies, the experiences they have accrued over their career, and their personality traits and driving motivations. It then compares those traits with the traits required for success in a specific role.

Korn Ferry’s Four Dimensions of Leadership and Talent plan has been crafted over decades of research, resulting in the world’s largest set of data on talent. The data includes more than 7 million executive and professional candidate profiles and more than 2.5 million assessments. This powerful engine is what drives our entire business. All of Korn Ferry’s solutions and products are derived from this enormous compilation of data and experience.

KF4D can be used comprehensively in order to derive a holistic view of your organization, or each of its quadrants can be analyzed individually to give a more detailed view of each type of quality: competencies, experiences, traits, and drivers.

Competencies are the skills and behaviors team members need to succeed in the workplace. They are observable and relatively simple to recognize. They include factors such as making complex decisions, building collaborative relationships, strategic mindset, being flexible and adaptable, and focusing on performance.

Experiences are assignments, roles, or tasks that prepare a person for opportunities in the future. These experiences can include functional experience in a specific role, international assignments, exposure to turnarounds, and fix-its. These experiences provide individuals with the perspective and wisdom required for future success.

Traits refer to an individual’s natural tendencies and abilities. Their intellectual and emotional makeup. Qualities such as how assertive a worker is and how willing they are to take risks are examples of traits, as would be a preference for logic over emotional decision-making.

Drivers are the “why” behind a person’s actions. They include the person’s values and interests, which motivate and guide their decisions in life, including their career paths. An individual’s needs and desires will guide their decisions and push them to engage, pursuing goals such as power, status, autonomy, or just seeking ways to challenge themselves.

Assessment methodologies

Korn Ferry uses several different methods to measure an individual’s leadership ability, selecting the appropriate assessments and benchmarks for targeted levels of leadership development to ensure you gain the insights you need. The more informed you are about a candidate’s capabilities the more able you will be place the right leaders in the right roles within your business.

Our leadership assessments address all levels of leadership, from the C-suite and executives to first-level leaders and individual contributors. These assessments include:

  • Multi-rater assessments: Delivered online or through phone interviews, these assessments determine leadership behaviors of the employee in their current role. They gather feedback from several different observers and stakeholders,including an employee’s direct reports, peers, and superiors.
  • Market-based interviews: Market-based interviews are performed face-to-face or by video to determine the worker’s functional, industry, and other experience. Theirs experience is then compared against the role requirements for the company.
  • Behavioral leadership interviews: These interviews are also facilitated face-to-face or by video. Behavioral leadership interviews are meant to measure an individual’s leadership behaviors, drivers, and experiences and compare them to those the role requires.
  • Leadership Inventories: Leadership inventories are delivered online for individuals in order to measure their leadership abilities. The assessments ask individuals questions and measures the KF4D dimensions—competencies, experiences, traits and drivers.
  • Business simulations: Business simulations are delivered to candidates in-person. The candidates are presented with different scenarios, and we gather observable data based on their responses and critical behaviors in those situations.


View our assessments:

Why partner with us?

Data-driven insight and talent analytics:

We take a big data approach to talent assessment—drawing on nearly 50 years of analytics and over four million professional assessments—recognizing what separates success from derailment for leaders in any role, function, industry, region, or organizational culture.

Reporting, feedback, and support:

All of our assessments provide results calibrated against global norms and they include feedback sessions—which provide an opportunity to clarify an individual’s or team’s strengths, development needs, and risks against all four dimensions of leadership and talent—and development planning, as well as options for ongoing support, coaching, and reviews.


Intellectual property licenses allow you to tailor our research‐based content to your organization’s business language and culture.

Global operations:

Our Global Survey Center offers a full-service administrative support option for organizations that want to outsource the administration of their assessment surveys. Our services may be utilized for corporate wide programs, large and small scale projects, or one-time events.

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