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How to Use Assessment at Every Stage of the Employee Life Cycle

When it comes to effective talent management strategy, aligning the employee life cycle is a critical component. The employee life cycle is a model used to visualize how an employee engages with the company they are a part of.  

What many of us may have been missing is how assessment can be incorporated into all the stages of the employee life cycle to deliver a supportive talent management strategy that ensures that you have a productive organisation. 

Note there are different models of the employee life cycle but we have adopted this simple framework that shows how business strategy aligns with the business result. I am going to tell you how assessment can be used at the different stages of the employee life cycle. 

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Stage 1: Plan and Acquire

This stage involves workforce planning and the process of finding and recruiting the best talent to join your organization.

The importance of workforce planning cannot be overemphasized as it helps your organization find and keep enough staff who have the right values, skills and experience to provide high-quality work now and in the future.

Diagnostic tools, such as Job Analysis and Success Profiling, to find out the roles that are really needed, the ideal person for the role, the key responsibilities of the role, and the skills and attributes required to succeed on the role should first be applied at the planning stage.  

This will help answer questions like;  

  • Who are we looking for? 
  • What are they coming to do? 
  • How do we know they are doing well? 

It is after this that you should progress to acquiring the right people.

Here; Aptitude Tests (Verbal, Quantitative and Abstract Reasoning Test, Technical Reasoning Test, etc.) and Assessment Centres (Role Play, Presentation, Competency-based Interview, Group Exercise and Situational Judgement Test etc.), and Personality Test can also be adopted to measure the presence of specific soft skills, technical skills and competencies present in your candidates. 

Stage 2: Engage and Develop

Engaging and developing employees should remain a constant priority for every organization. To achieve business goals, organizations must continue to engage and develop the most talented people through continuous learning and performance reward programs.

Engagement and development are critical factors in employee retention, internal promotion and exceeding business goals.  

Forms of assessment that can be incorporated at this stage include;  

  • Employee Surveys: This can be used to obtain employee opinions and reviews and also evaluate employee mood and morale. Employee surveys also help you see the organisation through the eyes of the employees. It helps you understand their pain points, interests, and their thoughts around the work culture and values present in your organisation. You also get a good idea of their accomplishments. 
  • Product Knowledge Tests: This can be used to check knowledge gaps, identify how well your employees know about the product and their level of confidence to market these products to prospective clients, and lastly, 
  • Development Centres: This can be used in mapping the competencies of your employees and defining their future development plans.  

Other assessments that can be incorporated include Policy, Process and Procedure tests and Function Specific Assessment. 

Stage 3: Deploy and Lead

At this stage, organisations start to consider their employees for higher-level positions. This could be either through deploying them to another department or promoting them in their current department. 

However, just because your employees have been performing well in their present role doesn’t automatically mean they will perform well in a higher role.  

This is because the responsibilities will differ, the required competencies are at an advanced level, and their leadership skills will also be put to test.  

In addition, you need to be sure they have the right personality to take up this new role. Another important activity at this stage is building a pipeline of successors for your critical roles. 

Some assessments that organisations can deploy to ensure they choose the right people at this stage include:  

  • Promotion assessments: New roles usually require new sets of responsibilities. Therefore, organisations cannot use past performances to judge when promoting new employees. Promotion assessments are conducted to ascertain that an employee is the right fit for the new role, and to also eliminate bias on the part of the decision-makers when deciding who to promote. 
  • Behavioural profiling: This provides better insight into your employees’ behavioural traits by helping you evaluate their preferences and characteristics. 
  • Succession planning assessment: This helps you identify and develop the future leaders in your organisation. 
  • 360-degree evaluation: Here, your employees are appraised by their colleagues, superiors, subordinates, and sometimes, clients, anonymously in order to get feedback on their performances. 
  • Personality assessments such as the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator.

Stage 4: Retention and Evaluation

The ability to keep employees in the organisation is important to the talent management process. Continuity is essential so also is being able to raise future leaders. Assessment has been used at different stages of the employee life cycle to facilitate retention such as culture or value audit at the acquiring stage. Assessment is however still a dedicated part of the retention and evaluation stage of the cycle. 

Assessment is therefore needed to ensure that the retention rate remains high. 

Assessment exercises to deploy include:  

  • Stay Interview, where you discuss their motivations and interests, and why they will want to be in your organisation etc. 
  • Value Assessment, which reveals their motivations and the reasons why they make the decisions that they make, and also their core values. 
  • Skills Audit, which helps identify their skills gaps and strengths, 
  • Review Meeting 

However, you don’t just keep any employee for the sake of it. It’s important to be able to evaluate that the employee has actually been delivering above expectations, or your retention plan may not be worth it. Through assessment, you can effectively evaluate your employees. 

The assessment exercises include; Performance Management, Knowledge Test, Exit Interviews, in the event that they decide to leave and you want to get their feedback on how they felt working with you, and procrastination test. 

Workforce Resourcing is the end-to-end recruitment, assessment and development arm of Workforce Group, Nigeria’s leading business and HR consulting firm. 

With Workforce Resourcing, you have the opportunity to deliver highly immersive and interactive simulation exercises to facilitate the selection and development process of your job candidates and employees at all levels of the organisation. 

Visit our website to learn more about our Assessment offerings. If you are interested in speaking to an expert about your Staff Assessment needs, you can schedule a free consultation here and we will be in touch with you.

You can also send a mail to hello@workforcegroup.com if you have any enquiries or suggestions.

Good Read: 5 Common Assessment Centre Exercises and How to Administer Them

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