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Challenges in Talent Assessment
For organizations, hiring the right people with the right skills for the right job represents an ongoing challenge. Poor hiring decisions, particularly for key positions, can have serious negative consequences for an organization's culture and its bottom line. An important factor contributing to this challenge is keeping pace with emerging assessment technology and scientific advances for selecting employees. As part of a project for a large Federal agency, HumRRO identified several trends that are expected to significantly impact how successful organizations will be in meeting their talent needs in the near future.
What We Did
To identify these emerging trends, HumRRO (a) extensively reviewed information on existing assessments, as well as the latest developments in the science and practice of employee assessment; and (b) interviewed more than 60 assessment experts and representatives from private and public-sector organizations.
What We Found
We identified five trends with implications for the future of employee selection. They are:
- How to develop and validate the minimum qualifications and search requirements organizations use to identify and screen prospective applicants.
- How to implement and capitalize on new models for validating and refining assessments (e.g., streaming validation as a method for improving the validity of a measure over time).
- How to build multifaceted assessment platforms whose content can be readily customized to specific jobs within an organization.
- How to develop and score increasingly complex assessments afforded by advances in technology (e.g., computerized simulations, automated scoring of essays).
- How to incorporate assessments of applicants' fit with the work environment into the hiring process.
Finding effective solutions to these issues will greatly determine an organization's success in securing the employee talent it needs. Further, with the increasing mobility and movement of employees from organization to organization, the implications of these trends are not limited to either public or private sector organizations. Consequently, knowing how best to address these issues will be critical to a wide variety of organizations, and will become ever more important coming years as the US workforce and the very business of hiring changes.
A common theme across all five trends is that they represent areas where organizations' needs, as well as the assessment technologies available for hiring employees, are currently outpacing what organizational scientists and assessment experts know. This situation creates the potential for a serious disconnect in what organizations actually do versus what they should do to best maximize results.
Every day, organizations compete for talent. One of the aims of this work was to identify trends in employee selection that carry important implications for organizations in the near future. In doing so, this work outlined a potential agenda for future research in employee selection and identified areas where closer collaborations between organizational scientists and HR professionals and their clients would be mutually beneficial.
With increased demands to demonstrate the return on investment and legal defensibility of their selection practices, organizations' need for evidence-based solutions has never been stronger. Only through a blend of science and practice can we begin to realize the rich opportunities that advances in technology and assessment have to offer.
RESEARCH NOTESare intended to update our friends and colleagues about recent work performed by the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO).
Established in 1951, HumRRO is an independent, nonprofit corporation dedicated to the development and application of state-of-the-art scientific principles and technologies to solve the real-world challenges facing private and public sector organizations and educational institutions. Our professional staff is composed of psychologists with diverse expertise in strategic human resource management, personnel selection and classification, performance assessment and compensation, training and instructional design, educational research and evaluation, survey design and analysis, credentialing, and program and policy analysis. Our client base includes the military, government agencies, private industry, and professional associations. We are proud of the reputation we have for providing responsive, high quality, and cost-effective services.
Further information regarding HumRRO can be obtained by calling Dr. Bill Strickland, President and CEO, at 703-549-3611.