Knowledge is Power: How Organizations Are Fueling Growth

A deep understanding of employees’ personality and preferences in the workplace can dramatically improve staff performance and boost business growth.

The phrase: “Knowledge is power” may be overused, but it’s never more true than when applied to the world of talent management. Talent insights – data collected through assessments on individuals’ work style behavior, preferences, aptitude, and their overall performance – can increase sales, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce costs. And the more aligned an organization’s HR strategy is to its corporate strategy the greater the benefits become.

There are plenty of real-life examples that demonstrate assessments are genuinely effective. SHL worked with a major public service provider that needed to deliver the same level of service for less money, while avoiding laying off large numbers of staff. Not an uncommon problem. The organization turned to talent assessments to understand more about its workforce. As a result, employees were given the chance to move into roles to which they were better suited. Over the next three years, $162 million was saved, customer satisfaction increased, and fewer jobs were lost.

Operating In The Dark

Many companies state the HR function is essential to their business strategy and we’ve seen that using talent data can deliver tangible benefits. Yet, many organizations still don’t use assessment effectively. Considering how important such measures are acknowledged to be, it’s surprising how sporadically they’re applied.

To take another cliché and turn it on its head: “Ignorance is not bliss”. Half of hiring managers say they lack the right information to make good people decisions, according to our latest Global Assessment Trends Report. What’s more, just 46% capture any metrics or data to show the value of talent programs. This means a significant proportion of HR departments are operating in the dark when it comes to their people. Yet, there are numerous ways for HR to store and collect valuable data, then use the results to improve their organization’s performance.

Talent Measurement In Action

The HR teams at Telecom Italia (TIM) and Microsoft demonstrate the value of gaining an objective insight into the skills and potential of job candidates, as well as the success of employees’ performance reviews.

TIM’s HR team collect talent metrics and can trace a clear line between this information and improved productivity. Sales people who score highly on assessments are shown to be two times more likely to achieve 150% or more of their original sales target. Further still, these sales people are five times more likely to sell additional services to customers on top of standard proposals and 59% more likely to acquire new clients from competitors.

Meanwhile, at Microsoft, metrics have been used to accelerate the hiring of high-quality talent. The average time-to-hire process has been reduced from 30 to 25 days, boosting the recruitment team’s productivity, as well as minimizing the risk of top candidates accepting rival job offers.

Achieving A Better Understanding

Using HR data to provide this kind of insight allows organizations to predict how successful an employee will be in a role. This results in better hiring strategies and improved performance tracked over time. It also avoids what everyone fears – making a bad hire, which is both expensive and time-consuming.

Accurate measurement of workforce capabilities and potential is not some pie-in-the-sky fantasy of the HR industry. It can bolster talent strategies and deliver a tangible return on investment. Using assessment with existing HR technologies, gives businesses a way to align their talent more effectively, with objective data on people informing important decisions. More bosses are realizing knowledge really is power. And not a moment too soon.


Author: SHL UK