Busting 5 Myths About Talent Assessment

Good decisions require objective data and sound judgement, so why should decision-making about people be any different?

Millions of talent-related decisions are made in workplaces every day. Yet, less than 50% of these important choices – about who to hire, the best candidate for promotion or who should receive further training – is informed by objective data, SHL research has found. Why is this?

Science-based assessment tools are proven to be more reliable both in choosing the right person and in deciding how to develop them once they’re hired. Assessment processes – with human interpretation of the results – can also spot those with the potential to succeed to the highest levels. Yet, too many businesses dismiss the value of assessment due to some common myths about how it really works.

Myth #1: Assessments don’t add value.

FACT: The evidence is clear – decades of research show assessments are the strongest predictor of job success. And they’re still the most accurate way to identify the best-fit and highest-potential candidates.

Assessing candidates’ knowledge and skills is just one aspect. Increasingly, companies use assessment data to gain a more holistic view of the workforce. Individuals are evaluated in terms of ability, capacity for change, aptitude for collaboration and leadership. This is then aligned with the values and goals of the organization.

Myth #2: Assessments are hiring tools.

FACT: Fifty percent of HR professional say they lack the right information to make good decisions about people. Assessments do minimize the risk of making the wrong people decisions, but not just when recruiting. It can help with promoting, developing or reshaping teams, too.

Assessments give insight into the capabilities of both individuals and groups of employees. They can be valuable for identifying strengths, limitations and development needs. This can be useful at an organizational level when deciding how a firm takes on a new challenge, expanding into a new market, for example.

Myth #3: Assessments scare off candidates.

FACT: Assessments aren’t what upset candidates. It’s the lack of transparency in the application process that people say deters them from applying for a job. Applicants want to know why assessments are used, what steps are involved, then be sure they’ll know the outcome of any tests. Once they understand this, most are happy to undergo the testing process.

Too many recruits have been given wrong information about a role or, worse still, no details at all. A major gripe is candidates not hearing back from an employer after submitting an application or taking a test. Companies must be transparent with applicants, explaining what is expected of them at each step of the recruitment process.

Myth #4: Assessments can be faked.

FACT: It’s not easy to cheat an assessment. In fact, they’re designed to detect and expose cheating. While it’s possible to embellish a CV or lie in an interview, if candidates manipulate their responses or try to hide their true preferences during tests, their consistency score will be low.

Credible assessment providers have built-in safeguards – randomly drawing questions from a vast database so no two candidates complete the same test, for example. They also evaluate response patterns to check whether an individual is trying to mislead.

Myth #5: The return-on-investment on assessments can’t be measured.

FACT: HR teams must demonstrate the business impact of talent acquisition and mobility programs.  Assessments can help by collecting data on employee productivity, job performance, future potential and employee engagement. The material benefits of assessments to a business can be clear, for example, by showing the links between positive test results and those employees who perform well in their role and are ripe for promotion.

In the longer term, aggregating assessment results provides crucial intelligence on the capabilities and limitations of a workforce. This is information companies can ill afford to ignore. Objective assessment tools can boost employee performance and maximize workers’ potential, both of which will cement a business’s competitive advantage and drive growth.

 

Author: SHL UK

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