Assessing your workforce: selection and development

As organisations continue to struggle with finding the skilled talent required for success in a changed world of work, assessment should be playing a pivotal role in recruitment and talent management across all industries and sectors. Whether it’s hiring from an external talent pool or exploring scope for internal redeployment opportunities, having an unbiased and comprehensive assessment process in place is key to identifying the right person for each role, while enabling greater diversity, equity and inclusion.

Despite this, CIPD research found that just 68% of organisations report line managers as having followed objective assessment and scoring criteria when recruiting, while only 54% actually provide managers involved in the assessment process with the necessary training. And so, even with a third of organisations developing more talent in-house compared with the previous year, it’s clear to see why many organisations are still struggling to identify the right people for their business.

In today’s world of work where the talent shortage is the worst it’s been in 15 years, and nearly two-fifths of organisations are receiving an increased number of unsuitable applicants for their vacancies, it’s crucial that business leaders understand what assessment is and the value it brings to both the recruitment and development of their workforce.

How assessment makes a difference

To prevent employers having to sift through a mass of unskilled applicants, it makes business sense to first establish the skills and competencies required for the role, and to explore whether the gap could be filled by developing talent internally. Understanding the key criteria required to succeed in the role is essential to enabling robust assessment. The knowledge and skills that are needed, the experience and personal attributes required, and the level of development the organisation is willing to invest in the appointee, are all important areas in need of consideration.

Once the key criteria have been established, a combination of assessment activities, which may include psychometric testing or competency-based questioning, can provide organisations with insight into which individuals possess the behaviours and skills that they’re looking for – streamlining the initial sifting process and identifying the best possible candidates to take forward to the next stage.

Then, more detailed assessments for those short-listed candidates become the next logical step; whether it be a one-to-one structured interview or a larger-scale assessment centre for multiple candidates. Either way, a well-constructed assessment process will identify a candidate’s strengths and development areas against the key criteria, helping organisations establish who has the skills, ability and mindset to undertake the role in question.

By establishing the right ‘fit’ early on in each employee’s journey, business leaders are better positioned to combine this with future ongoing learning and development opportunities – helping to enhance talent retention and employee satisfaction.

The digitisation of assessment

As with every other profession and industry, assessment has been impacted by the pandemic. From providing socially distanced assessment centres, to running assessment and development events entirely online, the way assessment is carried out has had to remain adaptable and agile in order to support businesses in finding the talent they need for success.

Recent research found that 73% of employees across the globe want flexible remote work options to stay post-pandemic. And as employees begin spending a larger portion of their time away from the office, it’s important for business leaders to ensure that remote and hybrid workers have access to the same opportunities as office-based employees, when considering recruitment and development strategies.

The ability to provide virtual assessment and development processes increases accessibility for employees and applicants. Not only does online assessment save money on expenses, travel and time, but individuals who are based remotely or who find it harder to attend in-person events due to disabilities, can now benefit from equal opportunity. And with 80% of employees placing increased impetus on DE&I, businesses who are embracing these new assessment initiatives are demonstrating their credentials as inclusive employers who care about their existing and future workforce.

If you’d like to find out how Right Management can support your organisation’s assessment needs, learn more here.