Every year I really look forward to reading SHL/PreVisor’s assessment trends report. It is an excellent compliment to our own work in trying to get a handle on how pre-employment assessment is used. This type of information helps all of us to understand the current state of the art for best practices around assessment, showing us how far we have come and how far we have to go. This year’s report is chock-full of great info about how testing and assessment is used across the globe. Rather than parrot back details you can read for yourself, I want to highlight a few trends that I find interesting and which are consistent with my own work as an assessment analyst. Most of the things I find interesting have to do with disconnects between what companies are saying they value and the actions they are using to prove it.
Finding 1: Hiring is coming back! We have all been seeing evidence of this trend and PreVisor’s data shows that firm indicate that they have more open positions this year than last, and that they anticipate retaining employees will become increasingly harder. To me this means assessment will be more valuable then ever since there will be more applicants for every open position, the ideal situation for assessment’s value prop to shine.
Finding 2: A majority of respondents use some form of testing or assessment and feel it is a valuable part of the hiring process but few are evaluating the value they add. This is directly in-line with our research indicating a huge disconnect in the fundamental foundation driving the use of testing. Without proper ROI evaluation, testing will continue to fall well short of its potential. Companies are also failing to measure applicant reactions despite indicating that they are important.
Finding 3: Remote testing is here to stay. Despite concerns about security and differences in effectiveness, remote testing is simply too efficient and will not be going away anytime soon. While the use of mobile devices for testing is predictably low, we cannot deny that remote access is king.
Finding 4: A wide variety of tools are in use, and help cover the entire funnel. There are tons of options for screening and assessment and most of them seem to have a place and time where they are most effective. Firms considering using testing should take the time to create a strategy that collects useful predictive data down the entire funnel. Unfortunately few companies take this mindset, instead choosing to slap a testing band-aid on gaping wounds.
Finding 5: While employee development and succession planning are seen as important, few companies have strategies to leverage these tools for increasing performance. Again this is a huge disconnect and we wonder if companies realize the value assessment can have in helping to create an effective strategy for measuring employee performance. PreVisor has coined a new phrase “People Intelligence” to describe the idea of measuring and evaluating individual characteristics pre and post hire, and using this information strategically, to optimize the alignment between persons and jobs.
Let’s hope that organizations can learn to be more “people intelligent” and begin to see the big picture.
I strongly suggest that anyone interested in the issues discussed here, download a copy of PreVisor’s excellent report.