The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals working in diverse industries and disciplines to identify, share, and apply the world’s best communication practices. A career tool that IABC members find particularly valuable is the Career Roadmap, which corresponds business communication professionals to one of four milestones based on their career levels. The roadmap is also beneficial in attracting new members – it is accessible to anyone via IABC’s website and contains helpful career information for anyone working in communications.
While the Roadmap has been useful in providing members with goals to work towards, IABC did not have a uniform way of assessing members’ location on the map. Members were often unsure which programs and services were designed for their career level, and believed there was a lack of clarity around the milestones.
To help individual members determine where they are on the Career Roadmap – and to attract non-members to the organization – a team of volunteers and Smithbucklin IT experts led by Tilden Katz, the Smithbucklin director who serves IABC in the role of Chief Communication Officer, designed the IABC Career Assessment. The online 15-minute self-assessment tool covers key skills and knowledge applicable for each milestone. The assessment features 50 questions and instructs users to rate their proficiency in multiple knowledge/skill statements related to communications.
The assessment provides a unique report for each user, determining their location on the Roadmap and identifying three strengths and three areas for skill building. The Roadmap also provides descriptions of IABC offerings that will be of value to the user. Because each assessment produces a unique report, IABC is now able to better position its resources and offerings specific to the career and professional needs of the user. The self-assessment is available to both members and non-members on IABC’s website, and will continue to evolve through an annual review process.
Since its launch in August 2021, more than 800 people from over 70 countries have taken the assessment. The tool has received nearly unanimous praise, demonstrates the power of collaboration between volunteers and client teams, has brought additional focus and clarity to the Roadmap, and will serve as a lead generator for new and prospective members.