What Is Talent Assessment?

Talent assessment is the process of deciding which candidate, from a pool of applicants, is the best fit for an open position, usually handled by recruiters or HR.

Written by Leyinska Soto
Published on Dec. 28, 2022
What Is Talent Assessment?
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Talent assessment is the process of deciding which candidate, from a pool of applicants, is the best fit for an open position. This process is also known as recruitment or candidate assessment and is more broadly referred to as being part of the applicant experience. Recruiters or an in-house human resources (HR) department generally handle talent assessments. 

How to Create a Talent Assessment Program

  • Learn your company’s needs.
  • Choose your testing methods: skills tests, work samples, structured interviews, job simulations.
  • Execute your tests.
  • Measure the results.
  • Use predictive analytics to make hiring decisions.
  • Keep your candidates up to date on the status of their application.

Related Reading on Built InWill the Whiteboard Test Become a Thing of the Past?


Why Is Talent Assessment Important? 

Talent assessment is highly nuanced and requires intentionality and objectivity in order to reduce or eliminate bias. If done correctly, talent assessments can be a powerful agent of equity. Job descriptions must be written thoughtfully and accurately in order to effectively predict which candidate will actually perform best in the role. Otherwise, the talent assessment process risks being too unstructured, relying too heavily on feelings and gut intuition over data.

As an integral part of the recruitment process, talent assessment has many downstream impacts within organizations, including: 

  • Staff turnover or attrition: When the wrong people are hired, they won’t stay long. 
  • Efficient use of resources: Talent assessment directly impacts the amount of money and time spent on recruiting, interviewing and onboarding
  • Employee satisfaction: Turnover impacts the satisfaction and engagement of existing employees and the perception of stability within the organization.

In short, talent assessment impacts virtually every aspect of your organization, and can ultimately affect the company’s bottom line. It’s expensive to recruit, hire and train employees. When employee turnover is high, it’s probably a good sign that a company’s talent assessment practices should be evaluated more carefully. 

What Is a Talent Assessment? | Video: myHRfuture


Benefits of Talent Assessment 

Talent assessments provide information on behavior, cognitive aptitude for speed and accuracy in learning, emotional intelligence, and leadership traits. When done effectively, talent assessments can help create equity in your organization by reducing bias and identifying opportunities for advancement or investment in career development. Talent assessments can also help a company: 

  • Build a highly skilled team: How a person makes decisions or influences others can be instrumental in thinking about the importance of alignment along with the importance of diversity of thinking and problem-solving. Talent assessments can help the organization bring in the right people in the right positions to be most effective.
  • Remove unconscious bias in your recruitment process: Reporting and interpretation that compares a candidate against the job role, team skills, as well as short and long-term goals can help a hiring manager think more broadly about the factors that make someone successful in their work. 
  • Reduce hiring costs and increase productivity: Every new team member impacts the team around them with their energy, ideas and delivery. The cost of employee turnover is said to range from 33 percent up to 200 percent of a person’s salary. The opportunity cost drives employers to get that employee match right the first time and talent assessments can help achieve just that.  
  • Onboarding: Talent assessments can assist with onboarding planning. Knowing how best to communicate, motivate and set expectations with a new employee can increase the effectiveness of your first onboarding discussions, and ultimately their ability to find success in their role at the company. 
  • Establish a strong employee experience: From onboarding to professional development, talent assessments provide ongoing value from hiring through to promotion decisions.
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