Talent development demands fuel the growth of online assessment

HR and recruitment teams around the world are increasingly using online assessments to predict which candidates will be successful in the role, according to a new study.

International assessment specialist cut-e questioned 2,776 HR, recruitment and talent practitioners across 14 countries for the report, Global Assessment Barometer 2016It provides a snapshot of the key issues and trends in psychometric assessment, offering insights into its role and value.

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The study shows that the global market for online assessment has grown 18 percent in the last three years. It also found that 52 per cent of organisations now use online assessments, predominantly to recruit and develop key employees such as managers, white-collar workers, graduates and apprentices.

Dr Achim Preuss, Managing Director of cut-e, said: “Assessments are also helping to achieve greater diversity, as employers strive to make faster and more objective selection decisions. 

“We’ve been monitoring worldwide trends in psychometric assessment since 2010, looking at how HR practitioners, hiring managers and L&D teams use different tests in different countries.

Assessment used to be about reducing the risk of making a bad hire but this year, we’ve seen a marked change. Shorter, more customised, brand-relevant tests are now being used earlier in the selection process to identify the right people. Increasingly, employers want to predict which candidates in their applicant pool will ‘fit’ their organisation and be strong performers who will add value to the business.” 

According to the study, the fastest growing assessment tools are development centres, assessment centres, integrity and values questionnaires and Situational Judgement Questionnaires.

The key topic areas for assessment are ethical working (loyalty, honesty, integrity, commitment), leadership, creativity, cultural fit, emotional health/ability to cope with stress and long-term potential. Two new trends have emerged this year: pre-application assessment and testing via mobile devices. 

“Pre-application assessment is about educating potential applicants on the role and the organisation, before they apply,” said Dr Preuss. “This helps employers to find the right people and it stops browsing candidates from applying for jobs that aren’t suitable for them. Mobile assessment, via smartphones and tablets, allows candidates to complete their assessments whenever they want.

However, employers need to ensure that their tests can be taken on mobile devices without compromising the user experience and fairness.” 

With the growth of mobile assessment, organisations are now adopting a ‘packaged approach’ that combines a range of assessment measures.

The study also reveals that organisations are becoming savvier in the way they utilise assessment data. “Over the past two years, it has become much easier to measure and evaluate the impact of psychometrics on business outcomes.

“There’s now a greater demand for accessible and interpretable analytics which can give fresh insights about all aspects of an organisation’s talent strategy.

Employers want to ask sophisticated questions and get real-time answers from their pre-hire data and their employee performance data. Talent analytics and using validity studies to establish the best predictors of success are likely to be the growth areas in assessment in the future.”

When choosing an assessment supplier, the study shows that evidence of validity and reliability are the most important factors. A stable and state of the art IT system is also important.

“Clients need to be able to rely on the fact that a supplier can support the volumes of data needed for large scale and international projects,” said Dr Preuss. “They also want guarantees about data protection and data security.”

For a free copy of cut-e’s Global Assessment Barometer 2016  and to order a specific country report for the UK, visit www.assessment-barometer.com.

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