Was Benjamin Franklin an Early Inventor of Talent Assessments?

Rear view of a doubtful businessman looking at various question marks drawn on a grey wall-1.jpeg

When Benjamin Franklin declared his famous quote, “an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest,” he may well have been referring to the power of talent assessments. After all, he is credited with laying out the earliest known description of the decision-making technique, the Pros and Cons list. Decision-making tools and methods have certainly evolved since then, and arguably no more so than when it comes to making critical hiring decisions.

Today, the ability to gain more knowledge about a potential hire, and predict their future success in your organization before you invest in them, is achievable through talent assessments. And, more and more of the world’s leading organizations are investing in talent assessments to gain this critical insight. In fact, pre-hire assessment utilization has grown 18 percent between 2011 and 2013 according to Aberdeen Group.

The growth of talent assessments to better inform hiring decisions isn’t surprising when you consider the amount of time and money organizations spend on the process. As well as the gravity of hiring decisions – it is literally the point at which organizations can most influence the talent they have to execute their business strategy.

Through objective, scientifically-based data around competencies, critical thinking skills, values/culture and behaviors, hiring managers depend less on their “gut feel” about a candidate, and can better evaluate them against a set of criteria that are important to a job and to their organization. The outcome is a more strategic approach to hiring that identifies talent who can fill broader roles; deliver performance and productivity faster; develop and advance quicker; and fit within your company culture.

Making hiring decisions based on relevant job criteria, not instinct, is simply smart business. In fact, 57 percent of organizations know that employing pre-hire assessments enables them to hire the most potentially successful employees. And, using pre-hire assessments has been shown to lower turnover rate among high potentials by 39 percent.

And that puts a lot more Benjamin Franklin’s in the profit column.