Effective talent management has a significant impact on overall business performance and psychometric assessments can play an important role in this process. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract and retain talent in light of increased job availability, the changing face of careers and a new generation of employees entering the workplace. It is also more complex to manage talent effectively than ever before, following advances in technology, analytics and a more global workforce. This highlights a frequently overlooked consequence of current employment trends: how can you possibly manage your talent effectively when the people with the knowledge and skills to do so are also leaving your organisation?

The financial benefits of effective talent management  

Findings suggest that talent management has direct benefits for an organisation’s bottom line, with a clear relationship between the performance of HR teams and overall business performance1. This demonstrates the important role HR professionals play in maximising the value of people to an organisation through practices that support employee development, engagement and recruitment2

Psychometric assessments, such as personality, motivation and ability tests, are a fundamental part of all of these activities. They provide a robust and scientific way of assessing for talent and can measure attributes that are often hard to assess by other means. In a recruitment context this enables organisations to make more accurate and objective selection decisions. In development, they provide individuals with the self-awareness needed to promote behaviour change. They are also a powerful engagement tool, helping organisations to understand what motivates their employees. Moreover, ‘big’ assessment data can help organisations to manage talent effectively at a macro, as well as micro-level. 

It takes talent to manage talent

Current employment trends pose two key issues for organisations in finding and retaining the talent they need to design, deliver and embed their talent management strategy, including the use of psychometrics. 

1. The current employment landscape 

There has been a sharp rise in the number of job vacancies over the last 5 years3. Furthermore, in a recent CIPD survey, 82% agreed or strongly agreed there was increased competition for qualified talent, with managerial, professional and technical specialist roles proving the hardest to fill. Whilst the longer term impact of Brexit on the UK labour market remains unclear, this illustrates the general increase in job opportunities for highly-skilled HR professionals. This war for talent can leave organisations exposed, as they not only struggle to navigate through the difficulties in attracting and retaining talent more broadly across the organisation, but risk losing the very people who can help them respond to the challenge. 

This trend also looks set to remain, given the changing face of careers in the 21st century and the entry of millennials into the workforce. Most employees now move across a number of roles and organisations throughout their careers, rather than seeking linear progression within a single organisation as was historically the case. This is particularly pronounced for highly skilled workers and professionals, where retention difficulties appear steadily on the rise4.There has also been much commentary about the challenges of retaining millennials, who appear to stay in high paying roles for a far shorter period of time than many of their predecessors5. Whilst there are steps organisations can take to help buck the trend, they also need to prepare themselves for the impact this can have on effective talent management, especially as millennials become the new face of the HR profession. 

2. Increased complexity in talent management  

Talent management practices have also become increasingly complex and as such, demand an even greater level of expertise on the part of HR professionals. Factors such as globalisation, greater use of technology, social media and analytics require a skill set that is more technical and specialised than ever before. Furthermore, a rethink of existing talent management practices appears key to retaining potential, especially given the likely tenure of a new generation of employees5.  This necessitates deep levels of expertise on the part of HR professionals, who in many cases will need to go back to the drawing board to devise talent management strategies that work in the current employment landscape.

This same expertise is also required for the effective use of psychometrics within talent management. Without possessing the skills and knowledge needed to effectively apply, interpret and feedback assessments, practitioners run the risk of misusing these powerful tools and in turn, mismanaging their talent. At best, this reduces return on investment and at worst, damages employer brand and exposes the organisation to legal challenges. For this reason, the British Psychological Society and International Test Commission advises that anyone using psychometric assessments is trained in their use6.

Korn Ferry Hay Group: Helping you guard against the loss of key talent

So how can organisations prepare themselves for the loss of key HR talent to ensure this does not derail their wider talent management practices? A recent article by Korn Ferry Hay Group7 highlighted how organisations are increasingly looking inside their organisation to identify their hidden talent and nurture potential. Whilst this starts with finding the individuals with the right attributes to develop and progress, it is also reliant on developing your HR professionalsin the right way to ensure they have the expertise and technical skills required. This includes psychometrics training, which will ensure your future HR talent has the toolkit they need to support effective talent management. This in turn enables organisations to retain their HR talent for longer, by investing in their skill and career development.

At Korn Ferry Hay Group, we support our clients to overcome the loss of key talent and develop their next generation of HR professionals. Our accredited training courses can help ensure you have the right team in place to effectively use psychometric assessments to inform talent decisions. Contact our training team to find out more about how we can help you and your organisation.