5 Steps to Make Better Hires and Boost Performance: Part Two
5 Steps to Make Better Hires and Boost Performance: Part Two

Despite focusing on hiring and retaining top talent, individuals with valuable skills are overlooked. Talent assessment could be the solution.


Recruitment is taking longer and costing more, but the hires made at the end of it are often still unsatisfactory. Traditional hiring processes aren’t satisfying the growing need to fill roles quickly or delivering applicants with the multitude of skills and aptitudes the modern workplace demands.

SHL has decades of experience helping hiring managers find applicants who are the best fit for the role, as well as enabling organizations to get the most from existing staff. Here are some more of the lessons we’ve learned over the years to make better use of assessments and talent insights to inform better decisions about people in the workplace:

Step 1—Think like a job candidate. How a person feels while they’re applying, being interviewed and starting a new job is often overlooked. This is a mistake. Candidates who have a negative experience of applying for a job are likely to spread the word, which can seriously harm both the employer brand and reputation with existing and potential customers.

Managers should put themselves into candidates’ shoes. However, only one in four organizations shapes their recruitment process based on applicants’ preferences, according to the 2018 Global Assessment Trends Report. Yet, 94% say they know this is important. Most recognize a positive candidate experience will boost a company’s reputation.

Start by being transparent. Make communication and processes clear and ditch burdensome application procedures. The best candidates will walk away if they have to put in a great deal of effort but receive little value in return. A company that’s transparent about itself, the requirements of a job role and the sort of person who will fit into its organization is a very attractive prospect.

Step 2—Identify and measure what underpins business success. If a business is global, a uniform talent strategy across business units and locations makes sense. But regions should be allowed some flexibility. For example, if candidates need to be tested on their English language skills in certain locations, allow that to be added to the local recruiting process.

Of course, the benefits of a unified global HR process are clear. Identifying high-performing talent across geographies becomes easier, which can help with recruitment and succession planning. Standardized processes also make worldwide benchmarking and analysis possible, which facilitates the rolling out of company-wide talent management initiatives.

Step 3—Check assessment works. It’s vital that companies regularly ask themselves if talent assessment is working. This involves three steps:

  • Plan. Assessment tools and processes should be tested frequently to check whether they’re fit for purpose. This means allocating resources to monitor and validate any tool’s performance from the very beginning.
  • Monitor. HR managers should watch changes in a company – restructuring, new strategies or increased headcount – to determine if an assessment tool is still relevant.
  • Validate. Validation uses statistical methods to measure an assessment tool’s performance against business outcome. This ensures hiring processes are up-to-date and relevant based on current measurement methods.

Step 4—Always adapt. Today’s corporate environment has never been more complex – business is global and technology changes the way we work at a lightning rate. Our 2018 Global Assessment Trends Report shows that two out of three companies are concerned about the impact digitalization will have on current and future roles. This includes the need for new specialized skills, tech-led jobs, as well as recruiting in new labor markets.

Talent assessment must ensure tools and processes keep up with these shifting trends. It’s a big challenge for the HR manager. Communication with all areas of a business is vital to keep abreast of changes in jobs and departments so assessment can be realigned accordingly.

Step 5—Extend the value of talent assessment. Traditional assessment processes focus on short-term outcomes – is this the right kind of candidate for this role? In fact, assessment data is more than just a by-product of the hiring process.

Information should be used to develop individuals and teams. Assessment results can highlight the strengths and weaknesses of new hires, which can shape their training needs. For groups of people, assessment data can help to design coaching that will produce effective teamwork.

This article is reposted from SHL's Blog.