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5 (More) Steps to Improve Talent Assessment

HR teams can make a big difference to their company by improving the way they assess job candidates

Over the past five years, companies have spent millions on assessing job candidates. But as the costs of failing to hire the right employees continues to rise, only one in three managers is satisfied with the impact the recruiting function has had on their part of the company.

The heart of the issue is that traditional hiring processes are inadequate for recruiters who now need to do more than quickly fill empty roles with people. And, with big data making its way to all aspects of HR operations, using data and analysis for talent assessment should be a part of any company’s hiring strategy.

There are 10 best practices that can help any firm improve their talent assessment process; the previous post in this series covered the first five, and the remainder are covered below.

Five More Best Practices

  1. Create an engaging candidate experience: The candidate experience – the process of applying, interviewing and (if hired) starting at a new company – is often overlooked in the recruiting process. This is a mistake.

    One-third of candidates who had a negative experience (33%) will tell their friends, 12% will denigrate the company on social media, and 18% will stop using the company’s product or service, according to CEB analysis. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of companies to create a positive candidate experience throughout the assessment process, which requires managers to look at the recruiting process from the candidates’ point of view.

    One way to do this is to consider candidates as customers and create a seamless process that engages candidates while also providing transparency about the company, role requirements and job fit. Many companies lose their best candidates through frustrating and burdensome application processes that require a great deal of effort from the applicant while providing little value in return.

  2. Adopt global best practices with local flexibility: Global companies should have a uniform talent strategy across business units and locations with the flexibility to make exceptions where required. For example, if candidates need to be tested on their English language skills in certain locations, there should be scope to add that to the recruiting process where necessary.

    The biggest benefit of creating a unified global HR process, from recruiting to succession planning, is that companies will be able to identify and tap into high-performing talent in other geographies. Standardized processes also make global benchmarking and analysis possible, which makes it easier to roll out company-wide talent management initiatives.

  3. Evaluate the assessment process and “performance”:For companies, evaluating talent assessment tools regularly ensures that their hiring, promotion and talent development decisions are on the right track. This should involved three steps:

    • Plan: It’s not enough to simply implement a new assessment tool and then forget about it. Assessments tools have to be validated every few years – once the company has a certain number of employees or when job roles change. To do this, HR has to plan for the future and allocate resources for monitoring and validating the tool’s performance.

    • Monitor: Keeping an eye on changes in the company such as restructuring, new strategies or job roles will help HR managers determine if an assessment tool is still relevant.

    • Validate: Validation uses statistical methods to correlate the assessment tool’s performance with the business outcome. Validating the assessment tool will ensure hiring processes are updated and relevant based on prevailing methods of measurement.

  4. Continually adapt the assessment approach: Today’s business environment is more complex than at any time in the past. Two-thirds of companies now recruit in new or different labor markets than they were just three years ago, according to CEB data. As companies move deeper into the digital space, job requirements routinely change and roles have become more specialized.

    Talent assessment strategies must also reflect this new reality and ensure tools and processes remain relevant over time to shifting trends in the global economy. HR managers must seek feedback from internal stakeholders so talent assessment parameters are realigned as job families and role profiles are created or changed.

  5. Extend the value of talent assessment for the company: Traditional assessment processes are focused on short-term outcomes, such as what kind of candidate is right for a particular role. But assessment data is more than just a byproduct of the hiring process. Leading companies now use this data to create development opportunities for individuals and teams.

    At the individual level, assessment results can point to the strengths and weaknesses of new hires, which can then be used for training purposes or to create tailored development plans. At the team level, companies can use assessment data to design coaching and development activities for maximum effectiveness. For example, if the data shows that this year’s graduate hires require training in teamwork, then HR can focus its resources in that area.


More On…

  • Talent Assessment

    Learn more about CEB's work on building a talent assessment function.

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