You may have wondered what talent assessment tools are and how effective they can be in the hiring process. According to a new report by McDermott & Bull, employers like them because they can reduce the time and cost of recruiting new staff and can result in increased productivity, cost savings and better retention among top employees. Formal assessments can be used to hire new employees, evaluate current employees for different roles, identify employees with high leadership potential, and understand talent strengths and gaps. The term ‘assessment’ may encompass a wide variety of tools, including online test taking, resume review, application processes, personal references, background checks and interviews, said Brandon Biegenzahn, president of the search firm.
“There are some tools available on the market that are expressly designed to give the hiring manager a recommended or not recommended finding for the position at hand,” said Rob Thompson, head of global direct sales and marketing at Birkman International. “These can be used as a hurdle that the applicant must cross to be further considered for the position.”
Mr. Biegenzahn notes that the Birkman Method, however, is not recommended to be used to select out applicants, but instead should be used to help identify those applicants who might best fit a position or organization. “When used for selection, we recommend that the client validate its use within their own selection system and use the Birkman results as a single data point along with other considerations, such as experience, education, and structured interview,” Mr. Thompson said. “We consider the true value of The Birkman Method to be the development of talent.”
When Pulakos, E.D. released a summary regarding the efficacy of various selection tools, Mr. Thompson noted that this study does not mention unstructured interviews, which have low validity and higher adverse impact and are therefore not recommended.