The Four Fundamental Aspects to Measure When Assessing Talent

Imagine the consequences of not assessing someone seeking to join the police force, or someone aiming to join an airline as a pilot. Seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? While the impact of hiring the wrong person in those roles can be dire, the consequences of not assessing job candidates and employees in less complex jobs are also significant. The outcomes for businesses hiring or promoting the wrong person can range from poor performance, high turnover, lackluster customer service, to even lost business.

The four fundamental aspects to measure when assessing talent

However, even for some organizations that have invested in talent assessments to select and develop their workforce, they may not be gleaning the best possible outcomes. The fact is, not all talent assessment solutions are equal. Many business and HR leaders believe assessing for knowledge, skills and abilities is sufficient. Others believe in measuring for personal attributes such as, behavior, values and motivation. And, there are plenty of talent assessment solutions that sufficiently measure one of those aspects. Yet, when aiming to hire or develop the most equipped, best-fit person for a role, don’t they need to have the skills needed to do the job AND the motivation to do it well in your specific environment?

For example, a mid-manager is being considered for a director role. She is assessed to determine if she possesses the right knowledge and skills to do the job. After demonstrating she is qualified to perform the job, she is promoted to director. Three months later, the department she oversees is under performing and experiencing a spike in turnover. Why? The newly-appointed director it turns out, does not score high in the required competencies to manage a larger team, and her behavioral style conflicts with many of the team members causing a wave of turnover.

Why Not Assess for Competencies, Values, Behaviors and Critical Thinking Skills?

Considering the vital nature of hiring and developing the right talent in today’s labor market, why wouldn’t hiring managers look to talent assessments that are more comprehensive? Best-in-class talent assessment solutions should measure four fundamental aspects that determine performance and satisfaction in the job – competencies, values, behaviors and critical thinking.

The competency assessment is designed to understand what competencies an individual performs at “below average,” “average,” and “above average” levels, and is useful for both selecting capable employees, as well as identifying important areas for development. It addresses the skills that enable a person to perform job-related tasks, and uncovers underlying characteristics that predict behavior and performance on the job.

Assessing the values of an individual provides deep insight into the strongest influences on that person’s decisions and actions. As important, a values assessment allows managers to gain important insight into the type of work and the culture that motivates an individual to engage in, or move away from, job-related tasks. This understanding of a person’s values also provides insight into what drives thought and behavior.

To gain even more insight into a person’s behavior style, a behavioral assessment measures how individuals will approach problems and challenges. This model is used to teach employees at all levels, how to recognize another person’s communication style and to more effectively communicate with others.

Finally, the critical thinking assessment measures the ability to solve problems, be innovative and analyze information. It assesses the extent to which various aspects of critical thinking are important for the specific job, and provides insight into an individual’s thinking style. Furthermore, the best-in-class critical thinking assessments measure items that are business-related and job relevant.

When it Comes to Development Assessments, the More, the Better

As today’s business environment becomes more complex and competitive, people – not technology or processes – will be the differentiator for organizations. As such, it has become increasingly important to utilize the best, most comprehensive, development assessment solutions in order to select, develop and retain talent.

From the perspective of organizations, the use of assessments in the development process offers huge financial benefits because the information will lead to better promotion decisions and higher performance. The talent being assessed also benefit. Employees are more satisfied and advance further in their careers when their skills and personal attributes match the requirements of their jobs. In order to achieve these outcomes, the development assessment must take into account the competencies, values, behaviors and critical thinking skills.

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