Talent Assessment is the process used by organizations to evaluate and measure skills, knowledge, abilities, personal traits, conduct, work style and potential of individuals.
Talent abounds everywhere but has to be identified.
Assessments are a standardised procedure that helps employers make efficient decisions in hiring, promoting, and developing talent as well as in the structural development of workforce.
They can take place at various stages in the employment cycle, each serving different purposes:
Before hiring assessments are used to screen candidates. The idea is to shortlist those who best match the job requirements and company culture. Methods in this first stage are psychometric tests, skill-based tests, and initial interviews.
- During the hiring process
After initial screening, more comprehensive assessments occur. They help evaluating candidates´ abilities in scenarios similar to those they would encounter in the job. In-depth interviews, assessment centres, job simulations, and case studies are the applied methods in the hiring process.
For new hires, assessments may be conducted to identify training needs, help them integrate into the team and company culture, and align skills with job expectations. Orientation programs and initial performance reviews are typical during this phase.
- Promotions and Internal mobility
When considering promotions or internal transfers, assessment centres determine readiness for new roles. This might involve leadership assessments, interviews, and performance history reviews.
- Periodic Performance Reviews
In most companies annual or bi-annual performance reviews are common. Ongoing performance, productivity, and professional growth are assessed.
- End of Probationary Period
At the end of a probationary period of a new employee an evaluation to decide if he or she will be retained takes place. Performance and fit will be considered.
- Organizational Change
During restructuring, mergers, or downsizing, assessments may be used to identify roles where employees can be most effective.
- Career development and Succession Planning
For long-term planning, assessments can identify potential leaders and plan for future organizational needs.
Learn more about our tailored talent assessment services here.
Assessments have different goals, from selection and placement to development and strategic planning. They take place continuously.
An assessment evaluates the applicant´s performance and competency for a certain function by combining various types of tests, job simulations, and other assessment activities.
Talent assessment helps to avoid biases in recruitment, so that the best candidate is hired based on qualifications, irrespective of gender, race, age. However, the practice does still show biases as the gender pay gap and a clear age discrimination, evolving even more nowadays.
Talent assessment is based on data-driven insights and selection, and thus helps efficiently to strategize and organize hiring, training, and development.
Talent Assessment helps avoid inefficient or wrong decisions. Wrong hiring decisions have a cost, dampen morale and motivations of employees, and spread a bad reputation.
Talent Assessment helps understand and align a candidate´s fit to company culture. To predict if a candidate will do well in an organization skill evaluation is not enough. The candidate must become part of a whole to succeed on the long run.
Talent Assessment can predict job-related performance. Talent assessments are based on recruitment and retention case studies as well as on employee data.
What can you expect as a talent when assessed, what do you have to know and be aware of? How can you possibly perform best regarding your and the company´s goal?
To answer this question let us have a closer look at the different methods and understand the crucial point of each.
Interviews are a primary method for assessing talent. They can gauge from communication skills to experience, cultural fit, and others. Interviews may be structured or unstructured, they may be aptitude tests, personality tests or cognitive ability tests.
Aptitude tests are evaluations that will show a candidate´s potential for growth in a job position and how likely they are to develop capabilities and learn new skills. An aptitude test may check a candidate´s ability to process a workplace situation or to identify patterns in an arrangement of images. The duration is usually 20 to 30 minutes, mostly multiple-choice questions.
Personality tests help evaluate if a candidate has the right character traits to fit a workplace culture. You will learn if somebody is self-aware and has the potential for personal growth, the capability to resolve conflict and work within a team. When you need someone who is positive or detail-oriented the assessment will ask questions targeting those traits during the screening session. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) for example will evaluate Extraversion / Introversion, Sensing / Intuition, Thinking / Feeling, Judging / Perceiving. This test consists of questions and statements where the individual indicates preference or agreement. The test is self-administered.
Cognitive ability tests find out about the right knowledge and qualifications for a job position, the general mental capability. Intelligence tests and mental ability tests are cognitive tests. They evaluate cognitive skills as problem-solving, memory, logical reasoning, and numerical ability. They often consist of multiple-choice questions. The element of time pressure is usually a part of the assessment. These tests must be interpreted with care and in context.
Assessment tests in the workplace can vary greatly depending on their purpose and context. There are standardized methods and questions, but tests will often be personalized and aligned with the task, context of the company and the employee. ‘Standardized’ means that the tests are administered and scored in a consistent manner for all test-takers, ensuring fairness and comparability of the results.
Standardized tests are developed by experts and undergo rigorous testing and validation to ensure reliability and validity. Some tests, tailored to specific roles or organizational needs, might not be standardized.
This is important to know for your self-awareness, the possibility of transfer of results and as for generalisation of test results.
Apart from standardized or personalized specific tests there are several possibilities to assess in the workplace, a wide range of methods and tools is applied:
- Performance Reviews
Regular evaluations on an employee's job performance, often a meeting between employee and manager to discuss achievements and areas of improvement.
- 360-Degree Feedback
Collecting feedback like employee´s performance from a range of sources, including peers, subordinates, supervisors, and clients in certain jobs like customer care.
- Skill Assessments
Tests or practical tasks designed to assess specific skills related to the job like technical skills, language proficiency, industry knowledge.
- Psychometric Testing
These are the tests that measure and evaluate personality, cognitive ability, and emotional intelligence and how these traits may impact the performance.
Employees are asked to evaluate their own performance. This is useful for self-reflection.
- Career Development Assessments
Focusing on potential and aspirations, promotions, and career progression.
- Peer Reviews
Colleagues assess each other’s performance which can provide different perspectives.
- Objective Key Results (OKRs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Specific, measurable metrics used to track an employee´s performance against predefined objectives.
- Assessment before and after Training & Development Programs
Understand the effectiveness of training and learning progress of employees.
- Compliance Testing
For roles that require adherence to regulatory standards, compliance testing can determine how well employees understand and comply with these standards.
Find out how we can assist in shaping your organization's future leaders with our career development assessments here.
It is beneficial for employees to be aware of the different methods used in the workplace as understanding those can help them prepare effectively and engage more meaningfully in the assessment process. Also, it helps employees to develop self-awareness, which is all over important, in work, privately and as responsible members with common sense within a civilized society and community.
They will perceive and understand expectations and can adapt accordingly. Knowing the targeted skills, they can focus on their development in relevant areas which is also more future proofing.
Anxiety and stress will be reduced during an assessment process when knowing how it works. The outcome will be less biased and more accurate.
Employees who better understand assessment methods are better at interpreting and accepting feedback and at transforming it into practice.
When preparing for assessment make sure to understand the assessment criteria. Find out what specific skills, knowledge, or competencies will be evaluated. You can obtain this information from job descriptions, performance review guidelines, or HR policies.
Seek informal feedback from supervisors or colleagues before the process in order to identify areas of improvement.
Review past performance to align.
Develop relevant skills, engage in training, self-study!
Practice for specific tests in case of standardized tests.
Reflect on your goals and achievements, where you seek growth. Especially in performance reviews and development-focused assessments.
Be aware of company goals and developments so that you understand why certain competencies and skills are being assessed.
Understanding methods and preparing for assessment is very important. However, to be relaxed and stay authentic during an assessment process is crucial to succeed. Too much knowledge and preparation, trying to adapt where impossible will not work out!
Assessments are valuable for both, company, and employee.
For the company assessments foster a culture of excellence, innovation and they align individual goals with organizational objectives.
For employees assessments provide clarity, direction, and the opportunity for self-awareness and growth.
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