Talent Assessments offer valuable insights to HR teams about their candidates and improves selection descion making. With that, HR teams often make mistakes in selecting assessment tools, causing serious financial, talent and efficiency impact. Following best practices while selecting talent assessment tools can help avoid these problems and ensure effective assessment use.
Talent assessment tools are an essential part of HR’s toolkit. These tools provide a robust mechanism for talent measurement, which can then be used to align talent with business strategy.
However, talent assessment tool selection poses some key challenges to HR teams.
First, there are just many options out there, with each tool having its strength and best fit.
This makes the task for HR harder because now you need to research each tool, evaluate fit, negotiate prices, finalize agreements, onboard the solution, get trained on the tool and the report, track invoices, and top-ups, etc.
Which is a lot of work when we already have so much to deal with.
Second, finding a combination of assessment tools that can provide a robust enough measure to which talent decisions can be taken confidently.
Talent decisions require a view that is holistic on candidates to be able to minimize bad hires and avoid wrong promotions. The process of stacking together assessments can be tedious and requires great expertise.
Third, after solidifying the right combination and assessing, HR’s time is spent drawing connections between the different assessment data to be able to tell a coherent story.
This is not only time-consuming and labor-intensive but the manual process leaves room for interpretation error potentially leading to wrong talent decisions. These challenges are why an assessment marketplace becomes an HR savior in the area of talent assessments.
Much like Airbnb aggregates property rentals, an assessment marketplace brings together various types of assessments and gives HR teams the liberty to choose assessments based on their measurement needs, assessment purpose, and budgets.
Larger organizations have found it tough in the past to manage their assessment process, results, and contracts when using more than 1 tool.
HR teams that have used assessment marketplaces typically experience 4 key benefits;
- greater visibility on talents as they are assessed more holistically
- greater control over HR expenditure
- process efficiency in acquisition and talent management
- a reduction in manpower effort
To find the right assessment marketplace, HR needs to look for 3 key features to be present:
- A choice of assessments
- A holistic approach to measurement
- Data consolidation capability
1. A Choice Of Assessments
Talent assessments today vary by many factors such as measurement outcome, candidate experience, job levels, etc hence it becomes beneficial to HR to have a marketplace in which choices of assessment tools are available.
This allows HR to very quickly set up testing for any purpose they may have instead of needing to start a new search and purchase process each time.
Here are some examples of varying testing scenarios in which having an assessment marketplace would help tremendously.
Varying measurement criteria: Many projects call for measuring different criteria or measuring a combination of criteria.
Criteria influencing talent decisions include leadership potential, agility, cultural alignment, engagement, technical competence, digital readiness, sales proficiency, and such.
Each of these criteria of measurement requires different tools and trying to measure a combination of criteria such as a person’s leadership potential, agility, and cultural alignment concurrently requires an assessment marketplace.
Varying candidate experience: HR teams serve a wide variety of audiences and therefore need to always be prepared to create different candidate experiences.
An assessment marketplace creates the perfect opportunity to do this as it houses the more traditional psychometrics for more serious candidate experiences, game-based assessments for more engaging and exciting candidate experience, and simulations for more immersive experiences.
Varying job levels: One of the toughest challenges in assessment management is building and maintaining a process across multiple job levels.
Large organizations tend to have assessment processes across as many as 7 – 8 job levels, from graduate-level hiring to C-Suite testing. HR’s role in this process is to ensure assessments meet the appropriate level of measurement for each of these levels whilst having a central management platform.
The assessment marketplace ensures this happens in one central location.
2. A Holistic Approach To Measurement
An assessment marketplace provides a holistic way to measure talents by taking into account different lenses made possible by combining multiple types of assessments.
These lenses give HR true insights into the gaps and strengths of an employee, empowering HR to make more accurate talent decisions.
Talent acquisition can make use of the marketplace measures by improving hiring accuracy thereby increasing speed to performance.
Talent management, on the other hand, can make better promotional decisions, increase employee movements within the organization, and plan for hyper-personalized development programs.
The approach in the Accendo assessment marketplace is to view talents, internal and external via a Holistic Tri-Factor under 3 lenses; preference, behavior in action, and context.
By combining multiple assessment tools, the holistic tri-factor can provide companies with in-depth details about a person’s personal preference, their ability to display that preference at work, and how well they can contextualize that preference in your organization.
This method of assessment and measurement truly investigates a person’s competency proficiency and provides a complete picture.
For example, if a candidate has shown a natural preference toward Strategic Thinking (preference assessed through psychometrics), can she display Strategic Thinking in a work environment (behavior in action assessed through simulations).
And lastly, will she be able to apply Strategic Thinking in your organization (context assessed through a Video Interview). This then completes her measure against the holistic tri-factor.
3. Data Consolidation Capability
Having a central location to manage assessments and a framework to view candidates more holistically is only one of the problems solved.
The biggest challenges HR still faces when dealing with multiple tools and measures is bringing together data points collected easily, yet still makes sense without redundancy.
This is where the feature of data consolidation in an assessment marketplace plays a big role.
A good data consolidation feature brings together interpretations of talent assessment scores to create a coherent story to help make talent decisions.
This feature of an assessment marketplace also helps HR create a larger buy-in from the business for using talent assessments.
Traditionally, talent assessment data remains unconnected and incoherent, and therefore businesses find it hard to interpret this themselves, and therefore they usually fall back to gut-feel.
With consolidated data that offers a business manager the full picture, while highlighting blind spots, they start understanding the value of talent assessments and start supporting HR in the talent process.
Much like how Airbnb gives consumers flexibility in choosing from a variety of rental properties suitable to their needs all in one place by aggregating information.
An assessment marketplace gives HR flexibility and adaptability by containing multiple types of assessments; it sharpens HR’s eyesight by having a holistic view of talent and it gains business buy-in by providing consolidated reports.
3 Best Practices in Talent Assessment Tool Selection
Talent Assessments have long been part of most mid to large size companies hiring and promotional process.
They come in different uses from the “time-pressured” Cognitive Test Suites, to the “discover yourself” Personality Profiles, to the “let’s see what you’ve learnt” Skill Test.
With an array of ways to gain insights into candidates even before interviewing them, it comes as no surprise that many companies have adopted Talent Assessments as a mandatory part of their recruitment and talent management process.
In fact, as of 2019, 75% of Fortune 500 companies use psychometric testing in recruitment (Independent, 2019).
Up to 78% of resumes are misleading and up to 46% contain actual lies!
Benefits of Talent Assessments
So what benefits have Talent Assessment tools brought to companies that have made it go from a World War 1 recruiting tool to an estimated USD2-4 billion industry today?
Talent assessment tools have brought significant improvement to 3 critical areas of business:
1. Business Performance
Increase sales, reduce attrition, extend tenure and improve performance. Get the right people in the right roles.
2. Candidate Experience
Win appreciation with branded and gamified assessments in a quick and engaging hiring process.
3. Process Efficiency
Know your metrics and align your talent strategy. Focus on what matters. Easily and seamlessly present results.
Even more impressive to note is companies that have kept a close eye on measuring the impact of Talent Assessments were able to produce objective figures such as:
- 36% Increase in Revenue
- 40% Reduce in Resources
- 40% Reduce in Time-To-Hire
- 25% Increase in Tenure
Research conducted by the Aberdeen Group has found that companies who use pre-hire assessment tests report a 39% lower turnover rate.
The Single Biggest Mistake in Talent Assessment Practices
With all these impressive benefits it would appear that HR teams could do no wrong when they include Talent Assessment tools as part of their core talent processes.
However, even the best-trained HR teams often end up making one of the biggest mistakes in Talent Assessment practices – onboarding too many Talent Assessment tools.
Just like we often over-indulge in desserts because they taste good, only to later suffer, so do HR teams often end up having too many tools and thereby diluting the original purpose.
Negative Effects of Having Too Many Assessment Tools
If Talent Assessments hold that much benefit, what could possibly be the negative effects of on-boarding multiple tools?
Let’s explore the 3 key negative effects of having multiple assessment tools:
1. Significant increase in costs
The 1st problem is obvious, yet many HR teams still spend redundantly on tools and providers, directly contributing to an increase in assessment costs often by 2 to 3 times, and in turn impacting the bottom-line.
Why would they do that? Often decisions are triggered because of a new buzzword or trend in the Talent Assessment market, which drives a company to rush and onboard another tool in addition to their existing portfolio of assessments, without consideration of long-term use, impact and cost.
In addition to the above, certain tools or providers may also include a hidden cost that only becomes clear as testing volume grows.
The real impact is felt when the business asks HR to defend these costs and as the redundancy becomes apparent, what do you think happens to next year’s budgets?
2. Significant increase in execution time
The 2nd problem is not hard to imagine. Your company has onboarded its 5th Talent Assessment provider because of which your team will need to be trained on new tools and reports, thereby increasing the time needed for training.
Building further on this – as Talent teams hand Managers a new report, which has a different format from the ones they have been using previously, more confusion arises.
Finally, significant manual effort and time spent on collating data from multiple reports to convert that into a single source of truth.
This of course also carries the risk of manual errors creeping into the data. All this has already stretched your time, making you miss your KPI targets.
So remember that every new tool, report or provider necessitates in-depth knowledge and training, or else results will not be optimum.
3. Too much data, no information
A Forrester report stated that between 60% to 73% of all data within an enterprise goes unused for analytics. This includes talent assessment tools data that often gets collected but does not get turned into information.
Having multiple assessment tools often causes data to be plentiful, but too varied for HR to turn into meaningful information and insights needed for effective decision making.
This is mainly caused by each tool having its own logic behind the data leading to conflict of data points and therefore HR not being able to draw a definite conclusion.
3 Best Practices to Follow in Tool Selection
Now that we have understood the detrimental impact of having too many Talent Assessment tools, we will identify 3 steps HR teams can take to avoid falling into this trap.
1. Clearly identify what needs to be measured
A recent study by McKinsey & Co rightly stated that “Simple advice—if there isn’t direct science linking the assessment to job performance or to the characteristic you’ve determined matters for the job in question, don’t use it.”
HR teams must start by clearly identifying what factors will tell them if a candidate will or will not be a right fit for the role in question.
These factors can include anything that will predict performance such as leadership traits, technical skills, cultural alignment, cognitive ability, etc.
Only once this has been set should HR start to evaluate assessments tools that are able to accurately measure the criterion set, thereby increasing the relevancy of each tool.
By practising this, your HR team may find that having 4-5 types of assessments should be able to cover all testing needs.
2. Customise and Contextualise Outputs
Often, the journey leading into onboarding multiple tools doesn’t begin with the search for a better test, but a search for a better output.
Many talent assessments today have reached similar levels of validity, making differences in input very minimal.
With test validity being standardised and controlled by industry bodies, assessments have now turned their attention to improving outputs.
The toughest job HR teams have in the introduction of a new talent assessment tool is to convince business managers that this new assessment will give them better results.
The biggest challenge stems from the fact that talent assessment outputs generally speak a more psychological language which is unfamiliar to business managers.
HR’s strategy to win this is to work with talent assessment tools that are able to customise and contextualise their outputs to language familiar to their organisation.
By using terms familiar to the business (e.g. internal frameworks) and avoiding jargon when producing assessment outputs will increase the familiarity effect, and increase adoption rates by the business.
3. Consolidate when multiple tools are unavoidable
With many organisations going through transformation and diversification, the need for evaluating varied and complex types of traits and skills leads to multiple tools becoming unavoidable.
When faced with this situation, HR teams should always search for talent assessment tools that can consolidate output as far as possible.
This will ensure that problems 2 and 3 either do not occur, or their impact is minimised.
Additionally, with data interpretation and consolidation being done by AI-driven platforms today, insights produced can be more in-depth and non-conflicting, which is a big challenge when done manually.
Talent Assessment Tools List
- Mercer | Mettl
- Aspiring Minds
- Cappafinity (Koro)
- HR Avatar
- Predictive Index
- The English Quiz
- Hogan Assessments
By understanding the 3 impacts of multiple assessments tools, we now know the cost of making the biggest talent assessment tool mistake.
If your current company’s approach to talent assessments needs to be reviewed, remember the 3 best practices to ensure you get the most out of your talent assessments.
Interested in knowing how a single integrated platform can help you consolidate multiple data-points from talent assessments to make better talent decisions? Send an email today to [email protected]
Additional Resources for Business Simulations
- Succession Planning
- Succession Planning E Book
- Succession Planning Ultimate Guide
- Succession Planning Checklist
- Succession Planning Model
- Succession Planning toolkit
- Succession Planning How To Avoid Promoting the Wrong Person
- Succession Planning HR buyers guide
- Succession Planning needs
- Succession Planning white paper
- Poor Succession Planning
- Challenges of Succession Planning