• Saturday, July 13, 2024
businessday logo


Strategic Talent Assessments: 5 reasons why it is critical to business growth


Organisations who want to fast-track business growth and sustain competitive advantage, must hire talented professionals, retain the best talent, and consistently improve the quality of their workforce. But accomplishing these tasks can be daunting in the daily sprint to satisfy the customer and meet deadlines and benchmarks. To ensure employee development and the resulting service excellence across the organisation, more businesses are turning to strategic talent assessments.

What are strategic talent assessments?

Strategic talent assessments are designed to provide you with a thorough understanding of your employees and potential hires. By utilising a series of behavioural, psychological, critical thinking, and problem solving tools or questionnaires, employers are armed with the knowledge of who their employees are, and how they will best fit into the organisation.

The advantages of using strategic talent assessments are clear. According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, companies that utilised talent assessments experienced a “75 percent year-over-year decrease in hiring costs,” and “2.5 times greater year-over-year increase in profit per full-time equivalent” compared to companies that did not use assessments.

However, even companies that incorporate assessments are not leveraging them to their full potential. While 55 percent of the Aberdeen study participants used some form of assessments for the entire employee lifecycle—pre-hire to post-hire—only 48 percent reported regularly using assessments to evaluate employees against a set of criteria or competencies. This under use and lack of awareness about the full potential of assessments results in losses in efficiency, employee morale, and, ultimately, profits.

There are five major reasons why employers should consider using assessments for the entire employee lifecycle:

Improving the hiring process: Using talent assessments to evaluate candidates prior to the interview achieves three goals. First, you are in a better position to understand the skill set and the personality of the individual interviewing for the position. Second, you can understand if the goals of the potential employee align with your company goals. Third, you save time and money by only inviting the most qualified candidates into the interview process.

Identifying talent sets and competency gaps:  Periodically assessing your employees to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and talent sets allows you to match employees with the jobs and roles best suited for their skillsets. Talent assessments can also help you understand when an employee is ready to take on a management role. Used long term, this strategy results in retention of your best employees, preventing further recruiting and training costs.

Recognising talented employees: Managers can also use talent assessment tools to identify and recognize the top performers in their organisation. Created around a specific set of criteria or behaviours, these assessments will measure whether employees are failing, meeting, or exceeding their goals. Armed with this information, you can create business strategies around your highest-performing employees, moving them into the decision-making process and helping your company grow.

Improving sales effectiveness and customer relationship management: Talent assessments can be employed to identify critical knowledge gaps of your organisation’s products and services. When those knowledge gaps are filled with training or reshuffling of roles, employees are empowered to sell effectively and to take care of the customer in the best way possible.     

Building a high performing culture: Critical to achieving the organisational culture you desire is ensuring a common understanding of your company policies, business strategy, and ethical code of conduct. Objective and reliable scenario-based assessment scan help identify and close gaps in employees’ knowledge in any of these areas. When all of your team members understand your company’s values and mission, and are working together towards a common goal, you’re well on your way to achieving a high performing culture.

The Competitive Edge: While many companies have begun incorporating talent assessments into their hiring process, this step is only the tip of the iceberg. Used across the entire employee life cycle, talent assessments are proven to improve efficiency, morale, retention, customer service, and sales leading to greater profits. In an increasingly global and competitive economy, that’s a competitive advantage that businesses cannot afford to ignore.

Bolaji Olagunju