Organisations who want to fast-track business growth and sustain competitive advantage must hire talented professionals, retain the best talent, and consistently improve the quality of their workforce.
However, accomplishing these tasks can be daunting in the daily sprint to satisfy the customer and meet deadlines and benchmarks. To ensure employee development and the resulting service excellence across the organisation, more businesses are turning to strategic talent assessments.
What are Strategic Talent Assessments?
Strategic talent assessments are designed to provide you with a thorough understanding of your employees and potential hires. By utilising a series of behavioural, psychological, critical thinking, and problem solving tools or questionnaires, employers are armed with the knowledge of who their employees are and how they will best fit into the organisation.
The advantages of using strategic talent assessments are clear. According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, companies that utilized talent assessments experienced a “75% year-over-year decrease in hiring costs,” and “2.5 times greater year-over-year increase in profit per full-time equivalent” compared to companies that did not use assessments.
However, even companies that incorporate assessments are not leveraging them to their full potential. While 55% of the Aberdeen study participants used some form of assessments for the entire employee lifecycle — pre-hire to post-hire — only 48% reported regularly using assessments to evaluate employees against a set of criteria or competencies.
This underuse and lack of awareness about the full potential of assessments results in losses in efficiency, employee morale, and ultimately, profits.
There are five major reasons why employers should consider using assessments for the entire employee life cycle:
1. Improving the hiring process
Using talent assessments to evaluate candidates prior to the interview achieves three goals. First, you are in a better position to understand the skill set and personality of the individual interviewing for the position. You can also understand if the goals of the potential employee align with your company goals. And you save time and money by only inviting the most qualified candidates to the interview process.
2. Identifying talent sets and competency gaps
Periodically assessing your employees to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and talent sets allows you to match employees with the jobs and roles best suited for their skill sets. Talent assessment can also help you understand when an employee is ready to take on a management role. Used long term, this strategy results in the retention of your best employees, preventing further recruiting and training costs.
3. Recognising talented employees
Managers can also use talent assessment tools to identify and recognise the top performers in their organisation. Created around a specific set of criteria or behaviours, these assessments will measure whether employees are failing, meeting, or exceeding their goals. Armed with this information, you can create business strategies around your highest-performing employees, moving them into the decision-making process and helping your company grow.
4. Improving sales effectiveness and customer relationship management
Talent assessment can be employed to identify critical knowledge gaps in your organisation’s products and services. When those knowledge gaps are filled with training or reshuffling of roles, employees are empowered to sell effectively and to take care of the customer in the best way possible.
Critical to achieving the organisational culture you desire, is ensuring a common understanding of your company policies, business strategy, and ethical code of conduct. Objective and reliable scenario-based assessments can help identify and close gaps in employees’ knowledge of any of these areas. When all of your team members understand your company’s values and mission, and are working together towards a common goal, you’re well on your way to achieving a high performing culture.
The Competitive Edge
While many companies have begun incorporating talent assessments into their hiring process, this step is only the tip of the iceberg. Used across the entire employee life cycle, talent assessments are proven to improve efficiency, morale, retention, customer service, and sales — leading to greater profits. In an increasingly global and competitive economy, that’s a competitive advantage that businesses cannot afford to ignore.
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