The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) established its own secretariat in 1976. The mandate of the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) is to coordinate the efforts of various ASEAN bodies and oversee the general implementation of its directives.
As the secretariat of a high-profile intergovernmental organization, ASEC particularly needed leaders who could reliably mediate between the different member states and give focused direction to ASEAN initiatives. Thus, it was vitally important for ASEC to find and place candidates for directorship who exhibited the best possible fit in terms of culture, interests and professional competencies.
EXPERD helped ASEC evaluate the competency profiles of candidates for Director of Market Integration and Corporate Affairs in 2009. The process was repeated in 2010 for the position of Director of External Relations and Socio-Cultural Cooperation.
EXPERD began by working with the ASEC Department of Human Resources and related directorates to conduct preliminary studies. These studies generated comprehensive data regarding the organization's culture, work ethic and work evaluation, which was used to develop a description of the job, its specifications, expectations and projected future challenges.
As an organization with international standards and employees from various cultural backgrounds, ASEC required an appropriate method of measuring the competencies of candidates from many different member states. Based on information from the preliminary studies, EXPERD implemented an assessment process to determine the most suitable candidate for the available positions. The assessment process took place over a single day and was conducted in English by a trained assessor. In this case, the assessor had to consider not only the personal characteristics of the candidates, but also their cultural backgrounds in order to holistically understand their personality profiles and competencies. EXPERD then reported their recommendations to the ASEC managerial team, based on candidates' stated ability to perform in the role and their compatibility with the organization at large.
The ASEAN Secretariat obtained personality profiles and competency reports on each directorship candidate. These reports were then used as one of the inputs for the decision-making process. This activity enabled more accurate placement of individuals within directorates to support continued ASEAN growth and operations.