4 Talent Assessment Tools HR Teams Should Use And Why

Written by Ash

5 minute read

Talent assessment tools have long been a great asset to HR teams. With use cases across the talent lifecycle, these tools help HR make better, faster, and more accurate decisions. Research published in the Harvard Business Review (Groysberg et al. 2009) found that improving the quality and relevance of assessments used during any talent selection process is three times more effective than increasing the size of the candidate pool in finding the right candidate. However, the challenge to HR teams is finding the correct type of talent assessments to use based on their strategic needs.

Traditional HR selection processes, whether for talent acquisition or talent management, heavily relied on old-fashioned interviews. This gave room for many errors in judgment primarily due to bias either consciously or unconsciously seeping in. This then, in turn, leads to wrong candidate selection, which can cost companies up to 30% of the employee’s one-year wage. Hence, the use of talent assessments should not aim at replacing the interview process but rather strengthen it by providing data to either support or validate the interview process

3 Ways Talent Assessments Help

1. Save Resources

The right recruitment assessment tool is powerful enough to reduce time-to-hire by bringing down long, arduous processes and minimizing the strain on the company’s revenue and productivity when critical roles are left vacant for too long. Efficient evaluation at scale enables a company to drastically reduce the time and costs associated with hiring, to hire the best at the earliest while also decreasing its turnover.

2. Improve the quality of hire

A bid to hire the best talent has made it more challenging for HR to find the right fit. Despite spending considerably more time than they’d like on shortlisting the right candidate, they still make hiring mistakes. Talent assessments are a reasonably effective recruitment assessment method that offers an accurate overview of the applicants’ performance and potential. This enables a swifter shortlisting of suitable candidates, improving the quality of hire.

3. Insightful, accurate and unbiased

When candidates are assessed by hiring managers with limited development knowledge, they invariably, albeit unknowingly, select candidates based on unconscious bias. This prevents organizations from identifying and hiring the best candidate for the job. Talent assessments, however, offer validated metrics, helping shortlist and evaluate candidates fairly, without worrying about repercussions or subconscious prejudice. Accurate and in-depth insights objectively determine candidates’ profiles and compatibility with their roles and the organization.

4 Talent Assessment Tools To Use And Why

1. Psychometrics – One of the oldest and still most valid forms of talent assessments is psychometric tools. Psychometrics is the most widely used form of talent assessment trusted by companies of all sizes globally. The reason is, aside from its validity and reliability, psychometrics can measure a range of important attributes that tells HR if a candidate is suitable for the role as well as the chances of high performance. Under the umbrella of psychometric measurements are behavioral, motivators, cultural values, numerical, logical, verbal reasoning, and more. These factors alone can give HR an evident view of a candidate’s leadership competence, alignment with the organization’s values, and cognitive horsepower. Also, psychometrics is popular because it can be applied across the talent lifecycle from acquisition to management. 

2. Business Simulations – Much like how pilots fly simulators for hours before getting their license to fly a real plane, Talent Assessments business simulations provide organizations a way to place the employee’s in a simulated role before actually taking office. They can then try different methods to succeed, and even if they fail, they learn in a simulated environment. Instead of focusing on theoretical knowledge in talent development like in a typical classroom, participants build skills, improve conceptual understanding, and gain a big-picture view of the organization all at once. Some key reasons simulations have become popular are:

  • Imitates Reality 
  • Risk-free environment 
  • Stimulates co-operation
  • Learning by doing
  • Engages learners
  • Accelerated learning

3. 360 Feedback – 360-degree feedback is a method and a tool that provides each employee the opportunity to receive performance feedback from his or her supervisor or manager, direct reports, coworkers, and customers. Most 360-degree feedback tools are also responded to by each individual in a self-assessment. The purpose of the 360-degree feedback is to assist each individual to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to contribute insights into aspects of their work that need professional development. In performance management, when feedback comes from a number of individuals in various job functions, the possibility of bias is reduced. The “horns and halo” effect, in which a supervisor rates performance based on his or her most recent interactions with the employee, is also minimized.

4. Game-Based Assessments (GBA) – GBA has become popular in today’s day and age due to the generational change in user experience expectations. Leveraging the demand for engaging and exciting applications, assessment companies merged the fun element of games with the validity of scientific measurement to produce GBA. GBA has been proven to provide excellent candidate experience and a high completion rate in mass testing, most used in graduate and fresh hiring. Also, GBA has a shorter testing time compared to other tools; their results are available for HR faster, enabling quicker decisions. The most popular measures with GBA are cognitive ability and emotional intelligence.

The nature and variety of Game based assessment tools have evolved considerably in recent years as analytics and data have become more critical in the business environment. Talent assessment tools are now widely used to hire new employees, evaluate current employees for different roles, identify employees with high leadership potential, compare talent within an organization against industry or geographical benchmarks, understand talent strengths and gaps, and develop employees’ long-term value.

Advances in technology mean that more tools are accessible online, on-demand, and with immediate reporting and feedback. Technology has also given rise to more available data on individuals and new tools that enable organizations to mine these data for competitive advantage.

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