Panel Welcome | Panel Debate

Dr Alan Bourne
Alan Bourne
CEO and Founder
Sova

Welcome to HR Grapevine’s 2019/2020 Guide to Assessment and Testing

We are delighted to be sponsoring this issue of the Guide, as always, a useful compendium by the Grapevine team for those exploring solutions to their assessment challenges.

It’s an exciting time for assessment at the moment, with a growing number of technological advances that can provide highly customised candidate and management experiences that aren’t too resource intensive. The developments in AI and machine learning mean that, as long as you’re using it ethically, intelligently and responsibly, it can be used to analyse data, generate data-led insights and accurately predict future high performers.

Later in the guide, I’ve expanded on how assessment data can help to tailor assessment processes to an individual organisation’s goals and strategic objectives, ensuring businesses make better, safer, longer-term people decisions that are fair, value-driven, accurate, objective and transparent.

 

Panel Debate

How do businesses use assessment and testing to link their talent strategy to their business objectives?

Chris Ford
Dr Alan Bourne
CEO and Founder

Alan is founder is CEO and founder of Sova. He is a highly experienced psychologist specialising in the development of innovative talent assessments that combine science and technology to deliver the best experience for candidates and organisations. He is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and doctor of Organisational Psychology with over 20 years’ international experience.

Talent must be umbilically linked with business objectives. Any talent strategy should start with aligning organisational goals with the necessary people attributes required to deliver those outcomes at every level of the organisation, followed by the question ‘what does good look like?’.

With change now firmly established as business as usual, ‘what good looks like’ will inevitably shift. Talent strategy should, therefore, be underpinned with agile, data led, recruitment systems that offer an all-important feedback loop, which allows a continuous review of hiring success against business objectives, facilitating real time changes to be made as and when needed.

Recruitment acts as a brand experience – for up to tens of thousands of applicants in high volume cases (where circa 95% could be unsuccessful). To maximise a positive experience, HRDs should offer a recruitment process that is accurate, integrated and treats candidates fairly, offering an enjoyable journey that is as well considered as any customer experience, to enable a business to really challenge and succeed.


Claire Metcalfe
Claire Metcalfe
Senior HR Business Partner

MTR Crossrail’s Senior HR Business Partner has enjoyed an extensive career in HR. Before joining the firm, Metcalfe has previously resumed roles at Heathrow, London Overground Rail Operations and Transport for London.

“In terms of using assessment, the assessment part can help you identify who is the talent in your business and how you best want to support those people.”

So, what are the right kind of interventions that will help them achieve their potential within the context of the organisation and what you have available for them? Without that assessment, it is very difficult to understand your people and to know what it is you can to do to support them.

[Therefore], it really is quite central to that strategy. Also, to be able to put into context people’s ambition, talent and potential alongside people who work in vastly different parts of your business – perhaps in different sites or disciplines – to be able to put them onto a level playing field to see what the common interventions are that you can do, how can you bring those people together to collaborate for the benefit of each other and how to do that across business level [is crucial].


Karen Brookes
Karen Brookes
HR Director and Board Member

Brookes boasts an expansive career within the HR industry having held senior positions with YELL, AMEC, WYG Group and now Sir Robert McAlpine. In addition, she also studied her Master of Business Administration at The Open University.

“You want to make sure that person is a good cultural fit”

“Sir Robert McAlpine has just commissioned a piece of work to try to help us get even better at getting the right culture fit by making our own unique psychometric assessment.”

We’re successful in using assessments for things like spatial reasoning and technical psychometrics and technically making sure people have the qualifications we need, but we haven’t been that brilliant in terms of making that cultural fit – and that’s very important for the individual joining, and for us when bringing a person on board. You want to make sure that person is a good cultural fit, that they’re going to fit in and that they’re going to stay.


James Gillard
James Gillard
Global Head of Talent Acquisition

With extensive experience in permanent, contingent, emerging talent, executive search and global resourcing programmes, Gillard has a proven track record of successfully leading and delivering complex resourcing solutions to blue chip organisations working in a fast paced, global matrix environment.

“Every CEO agrees that people are their most important asset”

And yet too often, the talent function is engaged tactically when a role has become urgent because someone has resigned, or a team can’t take anymore. This is why the people/talent function has to be involved at the executive level, understanding the direction of the business and what the main points preventing the business from moving quicker or pivoting with agility are. If the people/talent function doesn’t understand the challenges of the business, they will always respond tactically to challenges which will make it less effective than if it was helping the business achieve its strategic objectives through its most important asset – its people.


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HR Grapevine
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