By Pippa Cronk, Senior Consultant — Right Management UK
The shift towards digitisation has forced organisations across the globe to rethink their talent strategies. As the world of work and ways of working have changed, so too have the essential skills and characteristics needed for success.
Workers have had to become increasingly flexible, adapting to and evolving with the changing needs of their employers, and businesses are facing new talent shortages as they transform to meet the needs of a changed world.
Understanding what - and who - they need to invest in, is key for organisational success in times of transformation, and talent assessment tools are growing in importance as employers look for objective ways to develop their workforce capabilities internally.
Why invest in talent assessment?
Organisations need to ensure they’re investing their capital wisely, especially following the turbulent times of the pandemic. Assessment provides business leaders with an insight into the talent already present within the business, compared to the talent needed for future success – enabling them to identify skills gaps and make more informed workforce development decisions.
Whether an organisation invests in a full-scale development centre, or opts for a lighter-touch approach using just one or two assessment tools, the key factor is understanding the criteria they want to assess against. Failure to do so would mean that critical capabilities and behaviours may not be properly developed, resulting in employees being ill-equipped to deliver and meet business goals.
The benefits of effective assessment
When assessment is deployed correctly, and business leaders have a clear understanding of what they want to assess and understand, organisations will begin to see the benefits of their investment:
Data driven development – As organisations become increasingly data-driven and look to understand the skill-sets of their employees, business leaders must answer some key questions. What capabilities and behaviours do we need to drive success? What talent have we already got within the business? And where then are our development gaps? Well run assessment processes, that start with establishing clear assessment criteria, can ultimately help business leaders make more informed talent decisions. Organisations will be better placed to invest in the right people and provide employees with the opportunity to develop the capabilities and behaviours required to bridge crucial skills gaps in the workforce. And considering 60% of employees feel that learning makes them more capable of adapting to change, and 76% of Gen Z learners believe access to continued learning to be key to a successful career, assessment for development becomes an increasingly smart business decision.
Improved career mobility – Research has found that 60% of employees are planning a career change as a result of the pandemic, with 87% of under-25s re-thinking their careers. So it’s important that organisations utilise assessment as an enabler for internal mobility, ensuring employees can identify alternative, internal roles suited their individual capabilities. Personality/cognitive tools provide a scientific method whereby employees can better understand themselves – their strengths, values, drivers and transferable skills. And this self-reflection can provide each employee with an insight into what it is they want from their career, and where they best ‘fit’ within the organisation. With this knowledge, employees are able to take greater ownership of their development and begin learning and refining skills that align with their career aspirations and the needs of the organisation. Individuals can then move between roles permanently, or on temporary secondment: simultaneously exploring alternative career paths that are of interest to them while supporting the changed needs of the business – and therefore encouraging a culture of internal mobility.
Diverse & inclusive development – From an employee perspective, appropriately designed assessments are a fair and valid way of ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to develop and progress within the business. By establishing clear, non-biased assessment criteria that focus solely on the attributes and capabilities required for organisational success, businesses can mitigate the influence of unconscious bias in their success planning decisions. A fully-trained and diverse assessor pool will then need to assess individuals against the pre-defined criteria; working to create a fair and structured assessment process that facilitates a level playing field. And it’s through implementing these practices that business leaders can remain as objective as possible, improving their organisational brand by operating as a diverse and inclusive employer.
These are just a number of the benefits associated with talent assessment. And as organisations continue to adapt to the new reality, the need to understand and develop workforces, building skills and talent from within, will be key.
Learn more about Right Management’s Leader Assessment solutions here.