Talent management solutions: Using them to outperform your competitors in the context of digitalisation

One of the most important roles of leaders is to ensure the productivity of their teams. To achieve this, they need to do two things:

One of the most important roles of leaders is to ensure the productivity of their teams. To achieve this, they need to do two things:

  • Firstly, ensure that EVERY JOB IS WELL DEFINED AND ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. This relates to the organogram of the organisation. As the organisation grows or when the organisational context changes, the work that needs to be done also changes and/or expands. Oftentimes, these changes are not incorporated in the role profiles (i.e. job descriptions and role requirements) and/ or performance contracts of the organisation. This results in employees doing what they are comfortable and familiar with, as opposed to what the business needs. Effectively, the business ends up paying for work that is inessential or not required.
  • Secondly, ensure that EVERY JOB IS FILLED WITH EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENTLY PERFORMING INDIVIDUALS, doing all the work that relates to their jobs and roles, regardless of how the environment or the context changes. If this is not the case, the business is paying for work which is not getting done.

The purpose of talent management within an organisation is to achieve effective productivity by defining the following:

  • How to bring the right people into the organisation that has the capability to do all the work at a sufficient level of quality.
  • How to hold employees accountable for performance in the role they have been appointed in.
  • How to develop employees for current and future roles.
  • How to use the available reward budget to drive performance, values and culture in the organisation.
  • How to determine the organisation’s bench strength (i.e. the availability of internal talent needed to implement a growth strategy by means of succession planning).
  • How to engage with your team to motivate them

These factors can be regarded as enablers which a leader can use to achieve the objective of overall organisational productivity.

A key contributor to talent management is the use of talent assessment solutions throughout your talent management cycle. This will ensure that you identify, select and develop the right individuals for the right roles in your organisation. Most leaders can identify with the feeling of “dread” when they realise that they have put an employee up for failure by promoting them from one role, in which they were performing effectively, to a higher-level role in which they do not perform as effectively; or the “frustration” when a new appointee does not deliver the expected level of performance or output.

Equally so, most leaders can relate to the feeling of exhilaration and pride when they have provided an employee with an opportunity in which the employee then flourishes, reassuring their ability to spot and grow internal talent.

What is meant by “talent assessment solutions”? It relates to the tools, technology, process and methodology you can use to help you make better talent decisions and improve talent performance. It includes:

  • Assessments tools that are commonly used to inform talent decisions, for example interviews, personality questionnaires, reasoning tests, situational judgement tests, technical or functional test and case studies, values questionnaires, 360-degree questionnaires, skills tests, assessment & development centres, etc.
  • The technology used to deliver and administer assessments, as well as scoring of and reporting on assessment results. This is the domain in which the most recent innovations take place. The use of virtual technologies and virtual platforms has become commonplace, makes business sense and has a huge impact on the candidate experience. Furthermore, savings in terms of money, time and carbon footprint is substantial. It is now possible to put the candidate and the talent assessment professional in the same room, whilst effectively being on other sides of the world. These savings also allow you to access a bigger candidate pool, which amplifies your ability to identify the talent you require for your business. It provides an accessible (wide range of devices which can be used for administration, like smartphones, tablets, etc.), seamless, consistent, easier (less dependent on synchronising a number of people’s diaries) and brief assessment experience that engages the 21st-century workforce.
  • The process will determine where and when the assessment tools are used. Developments regarding the use of virtual tools and virtual platforms create ample opportunities to streamline and optimise the effectiveness of talent assessment processes. A traditional high volume process (e.g. paper CV screening, telephonic screening, technical tests, panel interviews, personality and ability assessments) can be replaced by a process that starts with relatively cheap virtual asynchronous screening interviews and on-line smartphone ability assessments, followed by more expensive assessment tools. New trends in the optimal use of talent assessment information are being adopted. This includes, for example, taking the individual’s growth areas, identified during the selection process, and immediately feeding them into the learning system which then generates a personalised individual development plan. Assessment information can also be used in the succession planning process to indicate the potential for higher-level roles.

Artificial intelligence is used to a greater extent due to actuarial interpretation and reporting formats being proven to significantly impact decision-making quality.

  • The methodology indicates how to use assessment tools. It starts with defining what needs to be measured (i.e. the factors that will predict success in your company) and how the results will be reported on. Here, artificial intelligence is used to a greater extent due to actuarial interpretation and reporting formats being proven to significantly impact decision- making quality.

COVID-19 has, at most, only accelerated the pace at which new solutions are presented to the market.

Should we use talent assessments? Is there a valid business case? The short answer is YES, for both corporates and SME’s. Why? Because, over the years, studies have unequivocally shown that it substantially improves the quality of talent decisions. And, as new talent assessment solutions are offered in the market, the more cost-effective and affordable the use of talent assessments become.

In conclusion, the talent assessment landscape has changed dramatically, most notably regarding the development of virtual and digital solutions and the use of artificial intelligence. COVID-19 has, at most, only accelerated the pace at which new solutions are presented to the market. Even for a seasoned talent assessment professional, decisions on which tools and technologies to use, as well as how to incorporate them into talent management processes that are cost-efficient and provides for positive candidate experience, may be overwhelming. But it is also extremely exciting and holds the promise of creating new simplified opportunities that are affordable and can undoubtedly improve your organisation’s performance.

For further conversations on this topic please contact Anna Odendal (anna.odendal@mazars.co.za or
082 466 6697)