Blog Series: Part 2 of 7 – The Steep Learning Curve of Using Different Assessment Tools

In our first blog, we talked about the 7 challenges that organisations face when using multiple assessment tools, followed by the challenges of dealing with multiple assessment vendors. Our blog today is Part 2 of the 7 series which talks about the challenges associated with the commitment level needed to learn different assessment tools. This includes the technical proficiency requirements, the training and support for HR teams, and the interpretation of reports. 

Introduction

There are many different types of talent assessment tools in the market today, such as video interviews, simulations, and psychometrics. It does not stop there as more companies are also considering bringing in various kinds of tests to improve the validity of their talent decisions.  

While using assessment tools is an effective way to assess a broad range of candidate skills, learning how to use each one correctly is not without its challenges. 

Technical Proficiency Requirements

Trying to understand the technical requirements of an assessment tool can be like trying to learn a new language. Everything seems foreign to you, as there is a lot to learn, adapt, and understand. 

Similarly, assessment tools come with their own set of proficiency requirements which HR teams need to acquire to use assessment tools effectively. These requirements vary depending on the tools and can often involve training and acquiring knowledge and expertise of the features and functionalities to administer and interpret correctly. 

HR teams and hiring managers need to develop proficiency to use each of the tools. Having said that, problems arise when they leave the company or move to a different role within the company. This results in a new team member taking over, where the process of learning must begin from scratch – with no idea why these tools are used and may want to discontinue them. Finally, companies tend to change tools, often without a clear talent strategy in place, and without thinking through the effort required to onboard a new tool and train team members.  

Training and Support

HR teams need to be equipped with the right training and support to utilise assessment tools effectively. A critical aspect is understanding the applicability of each tool for different use cases. For example, some tools are better suited for graduate hiring, while others are best used for HiPo programs or development insights.

Another important aspect is understanding the best practices when using assessment tools. Certain tools may work better with others to bring out the best insights, depending on the talent acquisition or talent management needs of the organisation. For instance, for senior manager development, a psychometric tool may work best when combined with 360 feedback and a simulation. On the other hand, for higher management levels, a business simulation may be more appropriate.  

In addition to use cases, HR teams need to understand the applicability of each tool according to the organisational hierarchy. Each tool comes with its own set of capabilities and requirements. Using the right tools for the right level helps organisations make informed decisions and design effective employee development programs that align with their goals. 

And doing all of this takes time to learn.

Interpretation of Reports

All assessment tools come with their own unique report format, and all stakeholders require training or certification in order to make sense of the reports. We will dig into this in the next blog, but the result is that the training cost and time commitment are severely impacted by this. 

An assessment tool might rate candidates on a scale of 1 to 10, while another tool might rate them on a 1 to 100 scale. To derive meaningful insights from these results, HR teams must understand the tools and interpret the scores accurately. This involves mapping the results onto a standardised scale and communicating them to candidates in a clear and concise manner. 

Assessment tools
Misinterpreting the results can lead to poor hiring decisions

For employees, these assessments help to identify success factors and translate them into development journeys and career plans. However, misinterpreting the results can lead to poor hiring decisions, such as overlooking qualified candidates or hiring employees who lack the required skills. 

In essence, developing proficiency in using assessment tools and interpreting results accurately is crucial for HR teams and hiring managers. It may be a time-consuming process, but it can help HR teams and hiring managers make informed decisions based on the organisation’s talent acquisition and talent management needs. 

To find out more about the various talent assessment tools, read our blog on the Top 25 Talent Assessment Tools in 2023 and the best practices for using these tools. 

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