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Talent Assessment: What It Is & Why It Is Important

Get your Hiring Right with Talent Assessment

In all spheres of life, talents are usually available in their numbers. Everywhere you turn, you are likely to find a crop of exceptional individuals among a multitude of people. Such is the way by which humans have been evenly distributed and in diverse ways. What makes them even more diverse is the fact that they are capable of displaying different skills, such that if talent A is good at skill 1,2,3; talent B can be good at skill 3,4,5, etc.

The abundance of talent is surely something positive, right? Of course, it is. However, as with everything, context matters. To make it clearer, different entities are always on the lookout for talent to help them grow. Nonetheless, they are wary that not every talent will fit into their organisation’s context.

In other words, an individual can be very brilliant and promising, but may not be the best fit for an organisation for several reasons such as difference in values, or divergent cultural beliefs.

This makes talent assessment endearing.

What is Talent Assessment?

As mentioned earlier, talent abounds everywhere and can be found among a large number of people. There needs to be a method that allows organisations to identify and select these talents easily and more efficiently.

Talent assessment is a standardised procedure that employers use to find the best job prospects. Talent assessment is usually deployed to evaluate an applicant’s performance and competency for a certain function by combining various types of tests, job simulations, and other assessment activities.

These assessments are used by companies and recruiters to assess a candidate’s skills, knowledge, personality, conduct, and work style. They also aid employers in determining an applicant’s on-the-job performance and whether or not they will stay with the organisation for a long time.

Over the years, talent assessment has been administered in different forms. The traditional method involved using a physical assessment medium. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, some parts of talent assessment are being done virtually.

Why do Organisations Employ Talent Assessment?

There are numerous reasons why talent assessment is used in organisations. They are enumerated below:

Talent Assessment Helps to Add Objectivity to Recruitment

With Talent assessment, organisations can eliminate bias in their recruitment. Talent assessment helps to ensure that the best candidates are hired irrespective of their gender, race, age etc. It also helps to ensure that candidates are hired based on their qualifications, and not necessarily personal preferences.

Talent Assessment Adds Data-Driven Insights to Talent Selection

The datafication of talent has the potential to change how firms approach, attract, develop, and engage individuals in a digitally linked world where an unprecedented quantity of data is readily available. Talent evaluations can help define, strategise, and organise hiring, training, and development efforts by providing data-driven insights.

Talent Assessment Helps Organisations Avoid Hiring Wrongly

Statistics have shown that hiring wrongly can cost an organisation 5 times the annual salary of the wrong hire. Hiring wrongly also has the ability to dampen the morale of employees, while also giving the organisation a bad reputation.

Talent assessment helps to ensure that organisations hire only the right people. The various tests deployed also help to ensure that the best talents are eventually employed by the organisation.

The extent to which the candidates’ skills and talents are linked with the hiring needs is revealed by the results of talent assessments. As a result, it makes recruiters’ jobs easier by assisting them in determining which prospects are suitable for the next stage of evaluations/interviews.

Talent Assessment Has Predictive Capabilities

The results of a talent assessment can assist to anticipate job-related performance and assure an employer that the candidate is capable of doing the job properly. The fact that talent assessments are based on countless recruitment and retention case studies and analysis of employee data provides this assurance.

Talent Assessment Ascertains Candidate’s Culture Fit

Organisations understand that being talented is not enough to show that a candidate will do well in an organisation. Assessing for culture fit is also very important. Employers may incorporate a series of questions, job simulations, and other elements in an assessment to evaluate a candidate’s level of competency for a certain post.

As a result, these tests can be used to assess candidates’ abilities, knowledge, work style, and other qualities in order to determine their fitness for the post and fit with the company’s culture.

9 Common Types of Talent Assessments

There are different types of Talent assessments. They are all deployed to test for different competencies among individuals, which is why a combination of them can be used in a single recruitment process.

Some of the most common ones are enumerated below:

1. Psychometric Assessment

This test is usually deployed because of its ability to assess a candidate’s critical thinking skills, intellect, personality traits, cognitive capacities, motivations, interests, and behavioural style.

Experts in talent acquisition especially use the results of psychometric tests to reveal candidates’ not-so-good sides, which are difficult to uncover during face-to-face interviews.

The major goal of the assessment is to identify applicants who are unlikely to meet the employment requirements early on. This test can easily be administered either virtually or physically. Examples of these tests include Numerical Reasoning Test, Verbal Reasoning Test and Abstract Reasoning Test.

2. Behavioural Assessment

Behavioral evaluation is a tool that recruiters use to examine candidates’ underlying behavioral characteristics. It evaluates individuals’ general personalities, motives, and emotional intelligence in order to determine their appropriateness for particular industries, functions, and responsibilities.

Furthermore, these tests ask individuals to demonstrate behavioral abilities in activities related to their professional roles that are designed to mimic real-world circumstances. A sequence of work-related scenarios with different outcomes are shown to the candidates. They must either select the best choice or rank the potential actions in order of efficacy.

3. Cognitive Ability Assessment

This is a branch of psychometric test. They usually consist of numerical and verbal reasoning tasks, as well as logic exercises, but they can also involve memory, problem-solving, attention to detail, and other skills. These talent evaluations assist you in determining a candidate’s general intelligence and ability to comprehend and solve fundamental difficulties.

Make sure cognitive aptitude tests are credible and well-validated before using them. You can try out providers who specialize in these types of evaluations for this.

Particularly in complex jobs, cognitive intelligence is one of the best indicators of training proficiency and work performance. Unlike typical recruitment procedures, which evaluate candidates solely on their present skill sets, hiring candidates based on cognitive ability results in the best pool of candidates with the most brilliant minds and analytical abilities.

These tests examine present and potential employees at all levels and predict an applicant’s on-the-job performance. Employers can use the exam results to find the best candidate for the job.

“Intelligence tests” or “General Aptitude Exams” are other names for cognitive ability tests.

4. Job Simulation Assessment

This talent evaluation is comparable to the work sample in that it requires more on-the-spot effort. During the interview, or using online hiring evaluation tools, a job simulation can be performed. You can give applicants exams that ask them to handle an angry client through chat, give a presentation, or sell a product or service related to what the organisation deals in, etc.

Situational interview questions are similar to job simulation examinations. In these questions, the candidate is asked to explain their reaction to a hypothetical workplace scenario. The answers provided insight into each candidate’s thought process and how they would address a difficult scenario.

5. Personality Assessment

Many roles benefit from determining a candidate’s mental processes and behavioural attributes. You may simply identify desirable qualities such as inventiveness, punctuality, and leadership, and compare them to those of other candidates.

Employees and applicants contribute more to work than just their skills and experience; they also bring their personalities, including all of their preferences, proclivities, and styles.

Personality assessments are considered ineffective as a sole means of identifying a candidate’s suitability for a position and should only be used as a supplement.

When conducting a personality assessment, there are usually no right or wrong answers. This is because candidates are expected to answer the question based on their own personal characteristics, and not what they think is ideal.

6. Technical Assessments

Technical Assessments are critical in determining a candidate’s functional knowledge for a specific job role. In technical tests, the questions are centred on the skill requirements of a certain employment role. As a result, technical evaluation competencies differ depending on the work function, employment role, and industry.

Using a combination of application-based questions, to measure job-relevant skills, these exams allow recruiters to weed out technical brilliance from a large pool of candidates.

7. Communication Skills Assessment

Pronunciation, fluency, grammar, and listening comprehension are all assessed as part of the communication skills assessment. The pre-employment test has evolved into a crucial component of the hiring process.

It’s the greatest filtration tool for evaluating prospects in customer-facing roles and industries including sales, hospitality, media, branding, and so on.

8. Work Sample

A candidate’s work sample is a piece of genuine work that they will do. It’ll almost always be relevant to the job they applied for. A salesperson, for example, could be asked to sell a product or service to a potential customer, while an accountant might be asked to apply a few formulas and a developer might be asked to construct a brief bit of code.

These talent evaluation systems have been proven to be the most accurate at predicting job performance. The reason is not far-fetched. Work samples assess the ability to perform a certain task on the job.

9. Competency-Based Interview

Structured, behavioural, and situational interviews are all terms for interviews that are used to assess one or more skills or competencies. The interviewer will ask a series of questions, each concentrating on a different ability, and the candidate’s responses will be compared to pre-determined criteria and graded appropriately.

Competency interviews, which are based on the idea that past behaviour is the best predictor of future performance, can be utilized by employers in any industry, but they are especially popular among graduate trainee recruiters, who may use them as part of an assessment centre.

Best Practices in Talent Assessment

Acquiring the right talent is critical to the continuous growth and success of every organisation. As a result, there are things that need to be put in place to ensure that talent assessment delivers the right results.

Talent assessment best practices are listed below.

Use The Right Combination of Assessment Tools and Methods to Test Competencies

In order to ascertain that a candidate is a right fit for the role, it is virtually impossible to use only one type of assessment. Therefore, the right combination of tools must be used to properly assess competencies.

The assessment deployed must be able to test not only soft skills, but also how well the candidates can adapt, how innovative they are and how conversant they are with the business environment, and so on.

Deploy Different Assessment for Different Roles

There are different roles in an organisation. It is impractical to test for the competencies in candidates for different roles using the same assessment tools. When formulating the selection strategy, organisations must properly analyse the role to determine the best assessment tools to be deployed.

Consult Qualified Assessment Administrators

To properly administer assessments that deliver the best results, you need to ensure that you consult qualified assessment administrators. They understand the best tools you need to be able to test for the required competencies, and they even have the technical know-how to execute a successful talent assessment that helps you hire the right candidate. 

Make use of Trained Assessors in Your Assessment Centre 

One of the most common talent assessment methods is the assessment centre. The assessment centre comprises series of exercises used to test various competencies among candidates. Such exercises include competency-based interviews, group exercises, presentations, analytical exercises, role play etc. To effectively execute this, you must ensure you use only trained assessors. 

Our next article examines how to use assessment for effective talent selection.

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