Attracting skilled resources and ensuring that they are ready for future talent requirements is a leading concern for HR as well as business leaders. These responsibilities have put an increased emphasis on the use of assessments for recruitment and organizational development. However, a recent study by SHRM and MeritTrac (2016) suggested that only 58% of surveyed organizations use assessments for talent management in select stages of the employee lifecycle. Also, in the absence of robust assessments, many organizations struggle to identify and select the talent that is the best fit for the job as well as organizational culture. Lack of speed and convenience have been the major limiting factors to adoption of assessments in a large number of organizations. To tackle such issues, the use of technology within the talent assessment space is highly advocated.
Technology is making assessments more objective, quick, scalable and accurate. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, cognitive analysis, social collaborations, Big Data Analytics, predictive algorithms, etc. are presenting huge opportunities within the talent assessment space and paving way for enhanced employer as well as employee experiences.
As new critical technologies mature, the talent assessment market will see enormous growth by 2020. Let’s delve into some of the trends which will influence the nature and scope of talent assessments in the coming years:
Increased focus on AI and Big Data Analytics: There will be an increased emphasis on developing new tools that leverage big data and AI to support predictive decision making. Some companies are already using data to capture a whole-person analysis of candidates to determine if they have the competencies, experience, traits, and drivers to succeed. For example, there are tools that match candidates to a job through a ‘fit score’ based on candidate’s career experiences and skills. HR function will also need to be more proactive in terms of collecting, curating and analyzing data. Currently, most of the organizations are using reactive rather than proactive approach to make predictions. Research by SHRM and MeritTrac (2016) suggests that currently only 6% of organizations review assessment data annually through the use of metrics, indicating the need to have more systems in place to regularly capture data and use assessment tools more frequently.
Simulations for immersive assessments: Within the assessment space, simulations with high predictive validity have an edge over other methods. However, these tools were often very expensive and have not been able to replicate many work environments. Their administration is also difficult and not always feasible. However, advances in technology are allowing the creation of flexible and engaging simulations that are relatively inexpensive and can be operated virtually or even remotely. Industry verticals such as manufacturing, healthcare, and finance will benefit from the use of accurate and engaging simulation tools.
Integrating assessment with other processes: By leveraging technology, HR practitioners are integrating talent assessments with other systems and processes in the organization like performance appraisals, promotions, succession planning and training and development. When coupled with advanced analytics and other technology integrations, talent assessments will open a new vista of predictive insights that can be directly translated into the metrics needed to support strategic and tactical business operations.
Engaging assessment Experience: People engagement is becoming a critical driver of success for the entire gamut of talent management processes. Today’s users, especially millennials expect their experience to be similar to that of social media. With the emergence of new technology and advancements, the focus is on how a users’ experience can be maximized, here are key things to remember:
- Ease of accessibility: Users today want to carry out most of their operations on a mobile device including searching and applying for jobs, giving interviews and taking assessments ‘on the go’. ‘Mobile recruitment’ is fast catching up and it is speculated that by 2017 almost a third of all mobile users in India will own smart phones. In the recruitment space, a recent study by Linkedin revealed that mobile-enabled recruiting adoption will nearly double in the next 12 months. Major mobile-enabled recruiting tactics will include mobile career sites, mobile recruiting apps, recruiting through text and social recruiting. This fact gives major goals to the organizations to embrace technology as early as possible.
- Gamification of assessment experience: Using games for assessments or Gamification is yet another form of simulation which gives users a realistic preview of the job in fun and concise way. Apart from this, gamification also makes assessments immersive thereby allowing the tool to provide more accurate and holistic feedback about the candidates. It is becoming increasingly important for the organizations to explore these diverse elements of assessment to engage the users in the best possible ways.
- Real-time feedback — Users are becoming aware and want real-time feedback about the pre and post hiring assessments. New assessment tools are making it possible to provide feedback to the users which is timely, interactive and retrievable, for an example it is now possible that learners listen to assessors commenting on their work while watching a video screen-capture of the document being assessed Today’s organizations want to get a holistic picture of the candidates especially for the critical roles are looking beyond just seeking select/reject information Technology-led assessments can generate much broader amount of information which will paint the holistic picture of the candidate
Hiring process restructuring: while some companies have started building communities where assessment data will be used as a key cog in matching people to opportunities that are meaningful and relevant, other companies have completely stepped in towards internet and apps based hiring models where job seekers and recruiters are connected with each other 24/7 to ensure more interaction. Some companies are leveraging technology by assessing candidates through video interviewing and social media. SAP, for example, uses cartoons and video games to illustrate life at the company in an engaging way while Hilton5 used a video interviewing platform to cut its recruiting cycle from six weeks to just five days.
Despite the fact that assessments have the potential to yield good outcomes, there are few challenges associated with its usage, like, cost considerations and inability to justify ROI (Return on Investment) of the tool. Faster time to hire, greater accuracy, as well as improved experience that technology introduces, is expected to shift the preferences of organizations. The ability to integrate technologies and processes to offer real-time, accurate information will be a game changer and incentivize organizations to adopt technology based assessments in their hiring process. Startups are opening up to the idea of using new methods of assessments leveraging technology. Some of these methods like gamification are expected to disrupt talent assessment in the future.
This article is written in partnership with MeritTrac, India’s premier pure play Testing & Assessment services company providing innovative assessment services to leading Educational Institutions, Government organizations and Corporate entities.