Some interesting news recently about SHL whose parent private equity firm is working with Morgan Stanley to determine the next chapter in their rapidly changing history.
It was just over 10 years ago that I was working for the first online assessment company, a scrappy Aussie run start-up named ePredix. Since then a dizzying series of mergers and acquisitions have seen the once tiny firm folded into the larger global entity of SHL and positioned to possibly lead the assessment world into the next era. I believe this era will be the golden age for pre-employment assessment. Why is this? because the dawn of big data is upon us and it is going to change everything.
For years we I/O Psychologists have tried to convince organizations that predictive science can make hiring a profit center but when asked to prove it, we are seldom given the opportunity to collect the data that we need and often falling back on the “trust me, I’m a Dr.” strategy to gain buy in. The data required to fuel Business Analytics engines has matured to a nice state of ripeness and it is about to give pre-employment assessment a brand new set of very sharp teeth.
I would not be surprised if SHL finds a new home with a major firm who is looking at the big picture regarding data and predictive science for the business world. It is possible that the next step for SHL could provide them with even more intellectual and monetary capital than deep-pockets rival firms such as Pan/Talx (an assessment company owned by Equifax who is investing heavily in adding HR analytics capabilities to reach across the enterprise).
The progress towards a world where predictive data is used to increase the accuracy of decision making across all areas of business is inevitable. It remains to be seen if SHL will take a big step forward to become a vital cog in moving pre-employment assessment into the big time.
I personally can’t wait to see what happens. While there are many possible options, many of them potentially less exciting than my pie in the sky rant, don’t be surprised if something monumental is born in the near future.