Data-Driven Talent Assessments: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Talent Assessment

Technology has radically changed the way we do things in business, and recruitment is no exception. We now have a number of different platforms we can use to simplify the hiring process. From resume parsing software to online onboarding, it’s never been easier to recruit. Talent assessment is a complicated process, but technological advances have made it accessible to even the least tech-savvy recruitment teams. Find out the good, the bad, and the ugly of using a data-driven talent assessment during the recruitment process.

What is A Talent Assessment?

Recruiting is how an organization can grow and set itself up for success in the future, making it one of the most critical processes in any company. So, how can hiring managers determine which candidates are the most likely to achieve success in a role, helping the business to reach its lofty goals?

Many recruitment teams are now adopting a talent assessment in recruitment to discover more about candidates and make better hiring decisions. A talent assessment is a type of pre-employment test that measures the candidates on skills required for the role they are applying for. A data-driven talent assessment can provide hiring managers and recruiters with objective data on how the applicants performed, allowing them to make decisions based on fact and not just intuition.

A talent assessment can come in many forms and may test for cognitive abilities, personality, verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, and more. The most important thing is that the test used is highly relevant to the skills required for the position.

talent assessment

The Good

There are many benefits to using a data-driven talent assessment when hiring your new staff member:

Shortlist with Ease

If you struggle to create a shortlist after screening resumes and cover letters, you’re not alone. Many recruiters find it challenging to get the information they need based on these alone, which can make it tough to cut down the applicants to a list short enough to interview. Instead, perform a talent assessment on the best candidates so that you have more data on who may be best for the role before you choose your interview shortlist.

Reduce Bias

One of the best things about data gained from a talent assessment is that it is entirely objective. During interviews and even resume screening, you may have some unconscious bias that sways your decision one way or another. With a data-driven talent assessment, you can’t argue with the facts. This encourages recruiters and hiring managers to make fact-based decisions and reduce the influence of unconscious bias in the hiring process.

Predict Future Performance

With the use of a talent assessment, you can more accurately evaluate candidates on the skills required for the role. Find out more about their cognitive ability, emotional intelligence, and more. This way, you can predict how successful a candidate may be in the position.

If the traits measured are necessary for someone to be productive in that role, these tests can be highly indicative of how successful someone may be in the position, enabling you to hire the right person the first time around.

More Productive Interviews

Without the use of a talent assessment, you would usually not know that much about a candidate when you bring them in to interview. Once you have started using tests in the recruitment process, by the time you interview a candidate, you will already know a lot about them. This can simplify the interview process, saving you time on the most basic questions and allowing you to delve further into the candidate’s potential during the interview.

The Bad

A pre-employment talent assessment is generally a self-evaluation. The reality is that candidates who are given a talent assessment know that this may make or break whether they are offered the position. For many respondents, whether intentionally or not, this means that they may answer the questions in a slightly different way. When an individual is trying to land a new role, it’s likely that they will answer questions the way they think a potential employer wants them to. This can skew the results and make the test a less effective indicator of future performance.

For example, one of the questions may ask how well the respondent copes with change. If they know they don’t cope with change well, they are unlikely to admit to it during one of these tests.

The best way to minimize these effects is to carefully consider the assessment you choose and how susceptible it is to candidates changing their answers. You can also ask questions during interviews to confirm the results of the tests by asking about the same qualities or skills in a different way.

The Ugly

Be careful when providing feedback to unsuccessful candidates. You do not want anyone to feel as though they have ‘failed’ a talent assessment, as this can lead to a negative perception of your employer brand. Instead, focus on how their skills or abilities did not match what was required for the position. Or you can simply say that the preferred candidate had more traits that would be useful in the role. Leaving a positive influence when you provide feedback after a talent assessment is essential for keeping your brand image intact. Even one person talking badly about your company to many others can spread a negative perception.

There you have it – the good, the bad, and the ugly of data-driven talent assessments. These pre-employment tests can be highly beneficial for you as the hiring manager or recruiter when used in the right way. Save yourself time, shortlist easily, reduce unconscious bias, and predict future performance. Be aware that some respondents may not offer completely genuine answers, and be sure to leave all candidates with a positive impression of your brand. If you can do that, then adding a talent assessment can help to simplify your hiring process. No longer does recruitment have to be a daunting process where you blindly choose someone – instead, base your decision on objective data.

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