Three Opportunities to Strengthen Your Workforce Strategy with Talent Assessment

Three Opportunities to Strengthen Your Workforce Strategy with Talent Assessment
July 19, 2023 7 Min Read

Three Opportunities to Strengthen Your Workforce Strategy with Talent Assessment

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In a tight labor market, people leaders are relying more on talent assessments for pre- and post-hire candidates. The resulting data and insights lead to more informed hiring and retention decisions.

Key Takeaways
  1. Even though more organizations are using employee assessments, it’s still an underused tool that can boost retention.
  2. Assessment data helps leaders understand the candidate pool — including age and gender distribution — and aligns hiring with DE&I goals.
  3. Talent assessments provide objective benchmarks and save internal resources through data-driven decisions.

When in-person hiring stalled during the pandemic, more organizations turned to talent assessments to provide key information for hiring decisions. In the past four years, over 48 million people have completed an Aon talent assessment — an increase of 50 percent on the previous period. Since then, organizations continue to use data from assessments to objectively measure potential, deliver goals related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) and develop future skills.  

Analysis from our four-year study of 48 million assessments shows that there are several opportunities for HR to drive talent strategy using talent assessments. 

Build Retention by Assessing Current Employees

While many companies use assessments to inform hiring decisions, fewer organizations use assessments with existing employees. Our data shows a rise in certain sectors like healthcare, but across the board, there are opportunities for a greater impact.  

Assessments provide an objective and fair way to gain real insights into the skills and competencies of the workforce. They can be used to boost retention in several ways, including: 

  • Spotting potential: Building internal talent pools based on objectively assessed transparent criteria help employees and the company understand the potential for growth. Assessment results can form the basis of career development plans.
  • Promotion decisions: Assessments provide an objective, fair and transparent basis for decisions, often widening the applicant pool and mitigating any possible unconscious bias. 
  • Identifying inclusive leaders: People with the right behaviors to support a welcoming and attractive workplace are easily identified through assessments. Firms should focus their investments in the future career growth of these individuals. 
  • Professional development: Assessment results can be a starting point for career conversations between managers and workers — empowering individuals to develop themselves and self‑manage their own career path. 

Understand and Build Diversity in the Talent Pool

Our assessment data shows that there are differences in candidate age and gender between regions and sectors. Understanding these differences can help an employer target broader diversity in their talent pool. Checking whether diverse talent is represented throughout the application process is a great way to identify where in the cycle there may be opportunities to be more inclusive.  

Consider accommodations for individuals that request or need adjustments to the assessments, such as time extensions. In fact, the number of organizations allowing time extensions has increased 22 percent since 2019, according to our research. Examine how the design of the test may resonate with certain candidates and whether there are changes that can make the assessment more inclusive. Such design elements may include the ability to complete it on a mobile device, gamified elements and making the test shorter. Our data finds shorter assessment tests have higher completion rates. 

Our study also shows a large increase in the number of companies asking feedback from applicants. This data helps identify opportunities for improvement to drive inclusion and diversity — leading to a greater sense of belonging and, therefore, retention.

Save Internal Resources Through AI‑Assisted Assessments

Artificial intelligence (AI) provides another means to assess participants that can remove bias and save employers’ time and money. For example, Aon’s vidAssess‑AI tool asks candidates to record their replies to the hiring organization’s specific interview questions. Responses are transcribed to text and then analyzed by an algorithm trained to evaluate and score various competencies. This method still uses human expert scoring but removes some of the biases that human interviewers can bring. 

Such interviews can take place prior to an in‑person assessment center or interview, which frees up internal HR resources to work on more value-added activities. Remote proctoring technology, which has steadily increased in recent years, allows confirmation of the participant’s identity during offsite assessments. 

While we recorded the number of Aon assessments that use AI to have doubled, the potential of AI assessments is still largely untapped given the benefits it provides. 

To learn more about how organizations can leverage assessments and trends we uncovered from our four-year study, looking at data from 48 million assessments, download: A Guide to Making Better People Decisions with Talent Assessment.

General Disclaimer

The information contained herein and the statements expressed are of a general nature and are not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information and use sources we consider reliable, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

Terms of Use

The contents herein may not be reproduced, reused, reprinted or redistributed without the expressed written consent of Aon, unless otherwise authorized by Aon. To use information contained herein, please write to our team.

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