A good or a bad choice in hiring can either make or break a company’s productivity. Most companies can’t afford to hire the wrong person, especially in today’s competitive economic landscape.
Talent assessment has become wildly recognized as a critical tool in human resources for selecting the right candidates according to their hiring specifications.
What Is Talent Assessment?
When we say talent assessment, it’s defined as the process used to help employers identify the right job candidates for their company. These tests help the company predict a new hire’s performance and probability of retention.
Though talent assessments are based on case studies and employee data, the tests vary according to the position being applied for. For example, some of these tests can come in the form of a job simulation.
Candidates for clerical work may be asked to perform tasks to evaluate their speed and accuracy.
For a position that requires physical activity or manual labor, candidates may be subjected to simulations to test their strength or endurance. Most of these talent assessment tests, however, are conducted online through a recruiting software.
A big part of talent assessment are online personality tests. These tests are used to assess the candidate’s personality, work style, knowledge, and skills to know whether or not the person would be a right fit for the vacant position or the company’s culture.
In this article, we will identify some tools that can be used in talent assessments and how each one can be used.
Common and Effective Tools for Talent Assessment
Job Simulations and Work Samples
Job simulations test candidates on the spot by giving them work-related tasks or having them participate in a roleplay simulation test. Job simulations are meant to analyze decision-making capabilities and specific skills.
Work simulations differ from job simulations in that the candidate completes work samples by performing a subset of job-related tasks in the actual environment, using the provided tools and equipment.
A job simulation is fictitious and only mirrors the actual work environment while the candidate performs job-related activities.
Problem Solving Tests
Like job simulations, problem solving tests are designed to test a specific aptitude in a candidate.
Problem solving or cognitive tests are used to assess a person’s problem solving, reasoning and logic skills, ability to learn and apply new concepts, and their reading comprehension.
Tests like these have been shown to predict job performance in multiple jobs of varying types in a study conducted by John Hunter, Ph.D. and Frank Schmidt, Ph.D. Additionally, they’re cost effective and can assess leadership potential, insight, and intelligence.
Problem solving tests are also an effective tool in performance feedback and conducting annual performance reviews upon employment.
Personality tests are different from problem-solving tests and job simulations in that they aren’t meant to test the candidate. These are used to assess the person’s thought patterns and emotional and behavioral processes.
In addition to helping employers pinpoint certain sought-after attributes such as leadership and creativity, these traits are also key in identifying which of the candidates would fit in with the company’s work culture.
Personality tests also prove to be effective in predicting future job performance.
However, the accuracy of these personality tests depend on their quality. Personality tests structured for specific industries yield better results than standardized personality tests.
Below are some of the more common tests that can be used in test assessments:
Developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Briggs, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test is based on C.G Jung’s four psychological types.
The test works around the assumption that random behavior is in fact consistent with the basic differences between individuals’ way of using perception and judgment.
In the professional world, the MBTI can be used as a framework to understand a person’s individual differences and characteristics.
Knowing your MBTI personality type can help you better understand your work culture, plus help you develop new skills.
In test assessment and hiring planning, MBTI can be used as a tool to enhance communication and improve employee productivity by shedding light on potential personality conflicts.
Enneagram Personality Type System
Aside from helping a person discover their personality type, the Enneagram can help a person move past the limitations of their personality.
Much like the MBTI, the Enneagram can also be used to predict how a person would perform on the job or within the work environment.
The Enneagram can be insightful for a company—it can be used to encourage a person to be aware of their limitations, as well as provide the tools for moving past them.
Enneagram can also provide a company with tools to help their employees get along, even during the assessment process.
The Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) Inventory, in comparison to the previous two tests, is specifically tailored to help people perform better under pressure.
It’s specifically designed to ensure that employees, and even candidates looking to apply for jobs, can handle the psychological pressures of a job.
According to its developer, Dr. Robert Nideffer, the TAIS inventory gives an easy-to-use exercise that provides an in-depth assessment of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses within a business environment.
Originating in the athletic world, it assesses the psychological components that are tied to work motivation and performance.
Supposedly, it reliably measures whether or not a person can stay focused and keep their emotions under control when a job becomes too stressful.
Conducting Interviews: Structured and Unstructured
Interviews provide employers with the chance to assess potential candidates face-to-face in a way that online tests or assessments don’t allow much room for, if at all. On the part of the candidate being interviewed, it allows them to ask in-depth questions or clarifications.
When we say structured interviews, these are interviews with a predetermined set of questions.
In structured interviews, interviewers ask all potential candidates for the position the exact set of questions. This can help them assess candidates’ different types of skills, such as communication skills. However, this is only effective in the case of a trained interviewer.
A first time manager might have a difficult time coming up with results that aren’t subjective, which isn’t effective in the employee selection process or in predicting job performance.
Unstructured interviews have no set format or questions.
While most managers prefer this method because it allows them to take the interview in any direction, it doesn’t provide much accuracy. Results can be inconsistent and subjective, and vital questions can be missed.
Match Your Hiring Criteria
No two companies are the same; not all of the above-mentioned tools will apply or work for your company’s talent assessment process. It all depends on a company’s overall strategies and goals when seeking out new hires.
With the right tools, measuring talent in new or aspiring hires can help companies identify candidates who will best match their hiring criteria.