Zero Talent Waste and online candidate screening
Zero Talent Waste turns traditional recruitment on its head by using an uncapped model to conduct unlimited online assessments before manual screening and interviews.
The Zero Talent Waste model of assessment does not utilise a per-person cost criteria, and therefore the number of candidates assessed does not necessarily increase administrative cost. There is well established research evidence to indicate the efficacy of assessment over traditional screening methods, such as job experience and years of education. Assessing first ensures that you consider those individuals that have been scientifically determined to possess the innate traits, characteristics and GMA required for the role.
A comprehensive overview of volume candidate screening is available on our website: click here. From this page, you can also download a product sheet with more information about the online platform and assessment tools.
Recruitment best practices
Within a pandemic context that often requires individuals to work remotely, virtual interviews may actually contribute to the validity of the interview as it approximates current working conditions. However we are more accustomed to face to face interviews which experienced interviewers often use to intuitively determine culture/ team/ values/ motivational fit.
Research by organisations such as the World Economic Forum clearly demonstrate the changing skill requirements as the world of work evolves. Some of the key skills deemed necessary for the next 3 -5 years are critical thinking, collaboration and creative problem solving. These are likely to continue to change as we progress towards the fifth Industrial Revolution. What is emerging is the need for individuals to embrace change and remain effective - also referred to as agility. We predict that Learning Agility will become the core focus of recruitment over the next five to ten years.
While there is a high unemployment rate in South Africa, there is also a perceived talent shortage, particularly in industries such as ICT. Compounding this is the high emigration rate of skilled professionals. However, we also believe that organisations may be overlooking candidate potential and cognitive ability due to too many hard criteria requirements, such as education level or years of experience. Research demonstrates that high potential, in terms of personality fit and cognitive ability, plays a larger role in predicting future job performance than biographical and CV criteria. For each role, we should critically evaluate our list of hard criteria to determine if they are truly essential. In that way, we open ourselves up to the largest talent pool available.
A perfect candidate will be necessary for a perfect organisation. Perhaps we should ask "how do I identify the perfect candidate for my organisation right now?" A good start would be to define the "perfect" candidate. This would need to be done across a number of facets, e.g. technical, experience, qualifications, personality, aptitude, potential, agility, interests, values, motivations, aspirations, to name some. You would then need to conduct measurements and determine suitability against established benchmarks.
Use of assessments
Research indicates the best predictive validity comes from personality, cognitive ability and structured interviews. More recent research also shows a very strong positive correlation between Learning Agility and leadership success.
Assessments are a scientific and objective way to ascertain an individual's potential and strengths, and are the optimal way to undercover talent when an individual is unable to "sell" themselves. This is, of course, unless being able to "sell" oneself is integral to the role being considered!
Both add value to the process. However assessments offer objective, defensible decision-making data. Furthermore, as discussed in the webinar, assessments significantly reduce costs and increase ROI if implemented at the very beginning of the recruitment process. Interviews are actually more valuable when conducted together with the insights offered by the assessments.
GMA is an acronym for General Mental Ability, also referred to as cognitive ability or intelligence. GMA tests generally answer the question: Does the candidate have the mental horsepower to perform in this role/ learn new skills?
Assessments are designed to be robust and to withstand the effects of day to day situations. Assessment results may be impacted by traumatic or life changing events.
As is the case with all validated assessments, there are guidelines with regard to the results and their period of validity. It may therefore be necessary to reassess if a candidate is reapplying to your organisation after a considerable amount of time. However, it may be prudent to focus on those candidates that have a good to fair fit with their current assessment results, as it is unlikely that an individual will change from a poor fit to a good fit, given the stability of personality and cognitive ability.
One of the risks to consider is learning or memory effect. This does not impact on personality results as we employ a self-report methodology to measure personality. If anything, repeatedly taking the assessment may improve an individual's self-awareness and therefore produce more accurate results up to a point. The abstract nature of the cognitive assessment means that candidates are far less likely to remember items, as in the case of verbal or numeric items. As with most platforms, assessment data belongs to the organisation that has paid to gather the information, and would require permission to be shared.
Recruitment ROI and employee retention
Measuring ROI varies widely by industry, organisation and job role. ROI also includes qualitative elements that are very difficult to measure, such as the positive impact of a good hire on the team and contribution to the growth of the organisation. However, one classic method of establishing ROI is to quantify the benefits brought by the individual in monetary terms minus the total cost of recruitment. Another method is to track turnover rate over time and compare these results with your recruitment strategy.
Probably the best practice is to acknowledge and promote the understanding that talent management is not the responsibility of the HR department alone. An integrated recruitment strategy that feeds into a larger talent management journey is key to ensure alignment with the mission, values and goals of the entire organisation. Secondly, modernising recruitment processes and getting the most out of technology and data is key to be able to track performance over time, measure impact and feed these back into your talent strategies.
An organisation cannot be attractive to all talent. In fact you may not want to be. An organisation that has clearly defined its purpose and values is better able to attract and retain talent that is aligned to its purpose and values. Development initiatives for retention are therefore better aimed at the organisation itself rather than at an individual level.
Retention is not just the recruitment and selection department's concern but should be addressed in a more systemic manner. Questions you can ask yourself: are we able to define the right candidate for the role, team, department, organisation and sector? Why do employees leave the organisation? What is our employee value proposition? What are our values and ideal culture? What is our leadership culture? If you can answer these questions, you are in a far better position to retain good hires.
Research, norms and assessment fairness
The use of valid, reliable and fair assessments is legislated in many parts of the world. These properties are built into the construction of the assessment. When an assessment is normed, standardised and validated for a particular population, it ensures fairness across criteria such as gender, ethnicity, employment status etc.Disability would have to be considered on a case by case basis due the the varying nature of disabilities; it is advised to seek the advice of a psychologist/psychometrist when dealing with test takers with disabilities to ensure no adverse impact.
Inclusivity is not a property that is formally considered in the development of a psychometric instrument, while fairness is. Fairness refers to the levelling of the playing field for all in a target population to reduce prejudice for that group. Inclusivity on the other hand involves proactive measures to compensate for the disadvantages of specific groups. The two terms may therefore actually be mutually exclusive.
Legal frameworks will differ from country to country. However, it is generally not best recruitment practice to base a decision on any single source of information, but rather a collective overview of all relevant insights. Interviews are subjective and it may be difficult to establish their inter-rater reliability. Therefore they could be difficult to defend if legally challenged.
Comprehensive validation studies were conducted to review the statistical properties of the Assessio tools in the South African context, and local norms are available for both MAP (Personality) and Matrigma (Cognitive ability). Research is ongoing to add additional data and expand the validation studies for these two assessments. For more detailed insight into the norm groups and research findings, get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, the Ascend online platform has both local and international norm groups available. The platform offers API integration with many external software providers. Please email us on email@example.com with your specific ETS for us to provide you with more insight.
Screening at the beginning of the recruitment process offers all candidates the opportunity to display their potential. The results of the assessments offer the opportunity to identify the best among the target group to consider for placement.