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Elevate Your Talent Game: The Unsung Power of Assessments

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Talent assessments are growing in popularity as a tool for evaluating candidates, making smarter hiring decisions, and helping foster the development of current employees. But how do you know if you’re using the right tools? At the right time? In the right way? This article will help answer your questions so you get the most out of your talent assessment process. 

 

What are Talent Assessments? 

A talent assessment is a tool or technique that evaluates an individual’s skills, knowledge, and potential---most frequently with the goals of filling a vacant position or considering individuals for advancement.  

There are different types of assessments for measuring hard skills such as aptitude in a software platform for example, or soft skills such as problem-solving and creativity. 

Assessments are also a great way of uncovering strengths and talents amongst your current employees. We’ll discuss the types of assessments available and their use cases below. 

 

Benefits of Screening Assessments 

1. Better Hiring Decisions  

The United States Department of Labor says a “bad hire” can cost your business 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings. This, of course, varies by salary of the individual, length of time the position is vacant, and the performance and tenure of the employee.  

When companies make a poor hiring decision, it can also affect the company in a myriad of ways. The employee can make costly mistakes, impact productivity, and even affect department morale. 

Deploying assessments goes a long way toward preventing bad hires. They equip hiring managers with data that cannot be obtained from the candidate’s background or interview. 

2. Improved Diversity

Unconscious bias is inevitable, even for hiring managers who try to avoid it. We quickly form opinions based on our assumptions and then look for reasons to support them, whether we realize it or not. Some of the most common biases are related to candidates’ race, ethnicity, age, disability or sexual orientation. 

Talent assessments aim to reduce bias because they ignore a candidate’s personal characteristics. Instead, they aim to look at only their skills, competencies, or behavior. As such, the process provides an objective view of each candidate’s potential to fill a position. 

And without a doubt, diversity matters. Companies that score in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have above-industry-average returns. 

3. Reduced Turnover

Reduced turnover goes hand in hand with better hiring decisions. If a new hire is a bad fit, either through a skills or culture mismatch, they’re likely to leave. 

A high turnover rate can be very costly. Every time an employee leaves, there are costs incurred for severance or bonus packages, conducting a talent search, training the new employee, and managing the role in the interim. Intangible costs include the impact on remaining employees and lowered productivity. 

4. Increased Employee Satisfaction

Employees who fit well with their job and the company culture are more likely to enjoy their work. The talent assessment process helps achieve this fit by matching the candidate with the role. Employees who work with competent team members also tend to feel more satisfied. 

 

Benefits of Talent Assessments for Current Staff 

Talent assessments are not only useful for selecting new hires, but also for measuring the skills and potential of existing employees.  

Regular assessments are useful in: 

1. Starting employees on a career pathway

Talent assessments help organizations create personalized, data-driven development plans for employees. By offering tailored development opportunities, organizations can help these employees move forward in their careers. 

Development plans provide a path for advancement. This is crucial, because according to the Pew Research Center, 63% of employees who quit their jobs cited no opportunities for advancement as one of the reasons for doing so. Development plans make it clear to your employees that they don’t need to job-hop to learn new skills or get promotions. 

2. Identifying individuals with high potential 

Nearly 50% of companies lack a prescriptive approach for pinpointing high potentials. The right assessments can identify high-potential individuals who are eager for more challenges and higher responsibility, and who possess the right traits to succeed.  

High-potential candidates are important to retain, because they turn into high performers. One study by McKinsey found that high performers deliver 400% more productivity than the average worker. 

3. Discovering Employees’ Untapped Skills

Not every employee wants to continue on the linear path that leads up from their current position. One estimate shows 43% to 53% of the workforce is bored in their career. These people are likely looking outside the organization for a change of pace. 

Through assessments matched with a career mobility policy, these employees may be ideal candidates for a lateral or zig zag move to a different part of the organization. 

4. Facilitating Career Conversations

Regular career conversations provide employees and managers with a framework for measuring their performance over time. And assessments can help them discover areas where they need to improve or explore new possibilities for growth. 

 

Types of Talent Assessments 

There are many different types of assessments to consider when evaluating talent. Here are a few of the most widely used:  

1. Cognitive Ability 

Cognitive ability tests can measure different aspects of cognitive ability, such as numerical, verbal, spatial, logical, and critical thinking skills. These types of tests may show an individual’s ability to reach and maintain workplace goals. The scores can also represent a candidate’s ability to learn new tasks. 

2. Personality

Often, cultural fit is just as important as a skillset match. Personality tests can help reveal how a candidate may behave on the job by asking questions related to traits, values, or morals in the workplace.  

It’s important to note that these assessments are subject, and don’t reveal information about skills or knowledge.  

3. Situational Judgment

Situational judgment tests (SJTs) present applicants with a description of a work problem or critical situation related to the job they are applying for and ask them to identify how they would handle it. 

These tests are particularly effective measures of managerial or leadership capabilities.  

4. Role-Specific Skills Tests

As the name implies, these tests allow you to get granular details of various applicants’ performance and compare them side-by-side. You can combine them with personality and culture or cognitive ability tests to get a good overall picture of each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.  

 

How to Choose an Assessment Solution Partner 

Now that we’ve laid out the “why” of conducting assessments, that leaves the “who,” “when” and “which ones?”  

Right Management has over 40 years of consulting experience, and a vast catalog of assessment solutions. We’re experts at crafting an assessment program to suit your business and your needs. 

If you’re looking to fill a specific role now, or want to jump start your internal development program, we can provide the right assessment program to get you started.  

1. Assessment for Selection 

Assessments can inform your job search, whether internal or external. Our credentialed experts will help you make the right choices for your organization. Well-chosen assessments can assure a better fit, less risk, and improved retention. 

2. Assessment for Development

Research by the Corporate Executive Board has found that 50-70% of executives fail within the first 18 months of promotion. Most of them cited poor or minimal development programs for their performance gaps.  

Investing in an assessment and talent development program reduces a company’s talent shortage by developing current employees for internal positions. This keeps the company’s talent pipeline filled with qualified candidates. 

Without proper assessments, a development program could derail employees and cause them to lose interest, perform poorly, and eventually leave the company. 

Right Management powers careers so that individuals grow and organizations thrive. We can help you engage, develop, and retain your talent. If you’re ready to advance your workforce and accelerate business performance, contact us today! 

 

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