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Vision vs. Execution: A Dual Perspective on Talent Assessments

Danielle McClowApril 17, 2024AssessmentsEmployer BrandingQualificationRetention

In the ever-evolving recruitment marketing landscape, one tool has garnered praise and skepticism: talent assessments. Assessments, designed to provide invaluable insights into candidates' skills, competencies, and potential, have become a cornerstone of modern hiring practices. However, despite their clear benefits, a palpable sense of uncertainty lingers among talent acquisition professionals and candidates.

Talent assessments promise unbiased evaluation and objective decision-making, allowing organizations to identify top talent and make smarter hiring choices. Yet, beneath this promise lies a complex web of challenges and perceptions that shape how talent assessments are perceived and utilized in recruitment marketing strategies.

Evaluating talent: Despite clear benefits, skepticism persists  

A majority of organizations are jumping on the talent assessment train in today's skills-based hiring landscape – 59% of organizations use talent assessments pre-hire. By utilizing targeted talent assessments, teams can access impartial and objective insights about their talent pool and workforce, empowering them to make informed hiring decisions and enhance the retention of top performers. 

Nevertheless, numerous organizations encounter difficulties with talent assessments, including candidate drop-off or incomplete assessments, limited resources to administer assessments, and challenges in reviewing responses. As a result, a dichotomy exists regarding talent assessments' efficacy in the recruitment process.

While C-level executives recognize the value of incorporating talent assessments to enhance the quality of hires, talent teams often grapple with integrating assessments seamlessly without disrupting their workflow or delaying time-to-hire. 

Both perspectives hold validity. However, when implemented correctly, the benefits of talent assessments far surpass any potential time constraints added to the hiring process. Moreover, when seamlessly integrated, talent assessments offer significant return on investment by elevating the quality of hires and reducing turnover rates.

Related: The current state of assessing talent with talent assessments. 

The friction of manual talent assessment processes

Traditionally, assessments involve several manual steps, from deciding which candidates should receive them to sending out the evaluations and tracking completions. This manual intervention not only consumes valuable time; it can also lead to inconsistencies in how assessments are administered, affecting the reliability of the evaluation process. 

Given in the wrong context, assessments can hinder recruitment efforts. Candidates can feel disconnected if the process is cumbersome, lacks clear communication, or doesn’t appear relevant to a position. 

Because of these bottlenecks, recruiters are hesitant to implement assessments into their already busy recruitment process. When asked what the challenges are with talent assessments, talent leaders cited

  • 60% note candidate drop-off or incomplete assessment 
  • 27% cite a lack of bandwidth to administer 
  • 27% cite a lack of bandwidth to review responses 
  • 17% are unsure how to incorporate talent assessments into the process 

The strategic advantage of talent assessments 

Talent assessments have emerged as indispensable tools in the arsenal of recruiting teams, offering substantial benefits that directly impact full-funnel recruitment success — from reach to retention. According to Symphony Talent’s recent data, a staggering 73% of C-level executives credit talent assessments with facilitating higher-quality hires. This statistic underscores the crucial role assessments play in identifying candidates who not only possess the requisite skills but also align with the company's culture and values, ultimately driving long-term success. Moreover, with 53% of vice presidents reporting increased retention rates, it's evident that talent assessments contribute significantly to employee engagement and satisfaction, fostering a cohesive and productive workforce.

Talent assessments have the potential to yield considerable, tangible cost savings; however, only 14% of talent leaders see the connection between minimizing turnover costs and optimizing resource allocation. Organizations can minimize turnover costs and optimize resource allocation by streamlining the hiring process and pinpointing the most suitable candidates. Ultimately, executives appreciate talent assessments for their ability to enhance decision-making, improve retention, and deliver a strong return on investment, solidifying their position as essential tools in modern talent management strategies.

The truth behind talent assessment benefits 

Talent assessments clearly indicate candidates’ capabilities to do the job and predict if they will be a good fit for organizational and/or team culture and, therefore, retention. A well-designed and well-managed candidate journey helps ensure the right candidate gets hired. 

For 59% of organizations, that involves pre-hire assessments. Assessments provide talent acquisition teams with the objective data to make informed hiring decisions. However, many organizations need help with their assessment strategy.

Related: Benefits of virtual assessment for talent selection 

About Symphony Talent’s talent assessments

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to assessing candidacy. To reduce potential friction and candidate drop-off, a carefully curated, science-backed assessment strategy is key. 

The impact of Symphony Talent's assessment solutions is strategic and measurable. According to a third-party research firm that conducted independent research, Symphony Talent Assessment clients generated a 1000% ROI in one year.

Learn more about how assessments can integrate into your talent acquisition processes here.

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