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Four Innovative Ways to Use Talent Assessment Tools

Hiring and retaining the right employees is easier said than done; companies are turning to a variety of talent assessment tools to help them

In the race to recruit the right people, and armed with the understanding of the benefits that confers, many corporate recruiting teams have turned to an array of talent assessment tools to filter candidates and find the best ones.

In particular, there are four areas where talent assessment tools are helping recruiters make a big difference.

  1. High volume hiring: The average time to fill a job position has increased substantially over the past five years but without any improvement in the quality of hire. This has increased costs substantially for companies, particularly those recruiting for “high volume” roles, which are those where a company is constantly hiring high numbers of candidates (entry-level sales or customer service roles, for example).

    The current recruiting process is hard on both recruiters and candidates. Recruiters are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of applicants and frustrated by candidates that fail to meet basic requirements. At the same time, candidates are dissatisfied at having sat through job tests and interviews but ultimately receiving no feedback on their progress. One-in-four candidates reports having a poor recruiting experience, which harms the company’s brand and affects subsequent job performance.

    Companies can use talent assessment tools in three ways to revamp traditional recruiting methods:

    • Fully automate and integrate applicant tracking systems to take the pressure off both the recruiter and the candidate.

    • Screen out unqualified applicants early on in the recruiting process by providing realistic job descriptions and short questionnaires.

    • Use talent assessment tools that consider specific job expectations and skills so only the best candidates move forward in the selection process.

  2. Predicting potentialHigh-potential employees (HIPOs) are nearly twice as valuable as other employees but, more often than not, companies fail to realize their full value. Most companies (46%) do not have a systematic, data-based process for identifying high-potential candidates so senior managers simply treat their high performers as their HIPOs.

    This is a risky bet. The reality is that high-risk more senior job roles require different skills and levels of commitment, so high performers in lower-level roles are not necessarily HIPOs. In fact, only 15% of an firm’s current high performers are also HIPOs. Simply put – companies are providing training and career opportunities to employees who are unlikely to be effective in more senior positions.

    HR teams should use talent assessment tools to identify three attributes that differentiate high performers from HIPOs.

    • Aspiration: to take on more responsibility in senior roles.

    • Ability: to carry out their duties in leadership roles.

    • Engagement: to commit to the company and remain in challenging roles.

  3. Measuring leadership capabilities: For years companies have lavished time and money on nurturing new leaders and building the “workforce of tomorrow.” The traditional approach relies on performance data and assumes that the performance that got leaders to where they are today is what companies need in the future.

    This is not necessarily true and it’s no wonder that the percentage of companies that would replace their senior leadership team has jumped from 12% to 32% over the last decade, according to CEB data.

    What companies need is a talent assessment framework that considers current and future business requirements rather than the past. The successors for tomorrow need to be enterprise leaders (those that demonstrate a combination of strong individual and network leadership). Assessment tests must identify employees with the capability to fulfil broad organizational goals and not just individual responsibilities.

  4. Finding high-quality graduate hires: Across the world, companies face fierce competition to hire a limited supply of work-ready graduates. But hiring managers quickly find that many graduates don’t have the skills to cope with today’s fast-paced and constantly changing work environment. This leads to unfilled vacancies and wasted investments.

    CEB data show 75% of graduates do not understand what is expected from them when starting a new job. And in the US, only one-in-six hiring managers thinks students have the skills and knowledge they are looking for.

    To improve the outcomes from graduate recruitment, companies should do the following:

    • Reduce the focus on a narrow range of academic qualifications and use assessments that measure students for overall employability and aptitude.

    • Eliminate manual CV screening by automating the whole process using applicant tracking systems and online assessments.

    • Provide feedback to candidates to build engagement, minimize dropouts and help them make better career decisions. This kind of positive experience will also help boost a company’s brand in the long run.

    • Offer graduate hires on-the-job learning and development opportunities so they can reach their potential and improve performance.


More On…

  • Talent Assessment

    Learn more about CEB's work on creating talent advisers, and the importance of talent assessment to creating a modern recruiting function.

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