February 20, 2023
Making the wrong talent decisions can be quite costly for organizations. The Society for Human Resource Management estimates that a bad hire or promotion decision can cost 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary. Unfortunately for talent acquisition and talent management functions, there are many factors that determine whether an employee will be successful or not. Because of this, they often turn to talent assessment tools to try to take as much guessing out of the process as possible.
What is a Talent Assessment Tool?
Talent assessment tools systematically measure the knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or preferences of people based on what is related to job success. Let’s look at each component of this description:
Systematic measurement – This means that talent assessment tools should capture information about people in a way that is planful and consistent. This is important because it helps create an even playing field and makes it more likely the tool will yield trustworthy results.
Job-relatedness – In order for a talent assessment tool to be useful, it should measure something related to job success. For example, imagine a sophisticated device designed to measure running speed. While this device would likely be useful for assessing athletes, it wouldn’t help at all in assessing talent for a desk job. The job-relatedness of a talent assessment tool is typically helped by a process known as job analysis. In a job analysis, the various duties and expectations for a job are looked at and the things required to fulfil each duty and expectation are determined. Then, talent assessment tools are chosen or created to measure these things.
Knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or preferences – These are all the things that people carry in their heads that influence the type of work they will enjoy and be good at. Talent assessment tools often focus on one or more of these things to help leaders and talent professionals make more informed talent decisions. Sometimes these decisions relate to whether to hire or promote a person; sometimes they relate to identifying the training or development needs of the person.
- Knowledge – Learned information a person needs to possess in order to do their job. For example, a phlebotomist needs to know proper blood drawing techniques, and a retail worker needs to know how to operate a point of sale machine. Some talent assessment tools are designed to measure how much job-specific knowledge a person possesses, often to identify the amount and type of training they need.
- Skills – Learned capabilities people use to perform a job. For example, call center workers often use computer skills to quickly navigate between different software systems while speaking with customers. Some talent assessment tools measure the level of skills a person possesses, sometimes to determine if the person is qualified to be hired and often to determine the training needs of the person.
- Abilities – Lasting capabilities that enable or help a person to do a job. For example, an engineer needs to be able to quickly process numbers, while a warehouse worker might need to be able to easily lift and carry heavy loads. Since abilities take a long time to develop, talent assessment tools that focus on measuring abilities are most often used as part of the hiring process.
- Preferences – Lasting interests, motivations, and values people have that determine the type of work they will most enjoy. For example, many salespeople enjoy competition and seek opportunities to feel that they have won, and nurses tend to feel a sense of service and be drawn to opportunities to help others. Like abilities, preferences tend to change very little over the course of a person’s career. For this reason, talent assessment tools focused on measuring preferences tend to be used most often as part of the hiring process. However, they can also be quite useful in helping identify why a person might be struggling in a certain area of work.
The Infor Talent Science Assessment Tool
The Infor Talent Science assessment is primarily focused on ability and preferences. Specifically, it measures cognitive ability and a set of 24 different motivations, interests, and values related to work. We chose to focus on these areas because they are the most difficult for leaders and talent professionals to learn about without the help of an assessment and they are the most challenging to develop on the job. We use a patented Custom Performance Profile creation process to statistically identify the relationship between each of these ability and preference factors and success on the job. This leads to a better alignment of talent to jobs and better business results.