Talent Selection: The Year in Review

Posted on December 17th, 2014

4727662 Throughout 2014 the Talent Selection blog has discussed the practical and strategic issues and challenges associated with identifying, evaluating, and onboarding new employees. Over these 12 months I have covered what I consider to be the building blocks for talent selection programs.

In January I talked about Why Talent Selection Matters, including covering economic trends (e.g., falling unemployment, government downsizing) as well as data (e.g., increasing consumer confidence, sustainable economic growth) that put a spotlight on talent selection. These trends suggested the need for companies to focus on designing and maintaining rigorous, yet practical talent selection processes.

The February discussion targeted Why Companies Struggle with Talent Selection, including outlining the pros (high volume at low cost) and cons (high back-end cost) of internet candidate screening. I also summarized the four areas that companies need to focus on (i.e., criteria, techniques, integration, research), which would be explored over the ensuing months.

The March blog post, Key Criteria in the Talent Selection Process, addressed the four criteria companies should consider when evaluating and hiring new employees, including education and experience, cognitive ability, personality characteristics, and competencies (core and functional). I reminded readers that these should serve as the foundation for evaluation tools and techniques.

In April, I began the topic of evaluation techniques with an overview of the key principles of job relatedness and consistency.  The former refers to the concept of “validation”, which is a research process designed to demonstrate that performance on an assessment tool is related to performance on the job. The latter refers to the extent to which standardization and structure have been built into the talent selection process (e.g., via defining assessment tools in advance, treating all candidates in the same way, documenting scores).

The May blog post continued the discussion of evaluation techniques by providing an overview of selection hurdles, including data describing companies’ use of common hiring tools over the last 25 years. I also provided a sample matrix to BLD088454explain how to target key criteria using multiple assessment techniques.

In June, I described the importance of stakeholder identification and engagement as a means of anticipating challenges and smoothing project execution. Stakeholder groups typically include an Executive or Steering Committee, whose members (e.g., Executive Champion, HR, Legal, Operations) approve goals and timelines and help make critical decisions; and the Implementation Committee, whose members (e.g., HR, job experts, IT/Systems) facilitate project design and implementation.

The July blog post (Making the Hire: Wishful Thinking or Objective Decision Making?) covering best practices in scoring provided an example of how to rate and then combine competency-based scores from a business case and a behavioral interview. I concluded the post with a few recommendations, including basing hiring decisions on key criteria (such as competencies) and using the data to inform the transition from candidate to new employee.

In August, I described how to evolve talent selection into an ongoing research program, including questions that the program should be able to answer as well as the requisite factors for the program (hint: criteria, evaluation techniques, consistency). I also outlined the keys to success, including identifying stakeholders, collecting data, having analytical proficiency, and being able to present results practically and efficiently.

In September and October I covered the topic of onboarding. In the first, Connecting Talent Selection and Onboarding, I called out the high failure rate of new hires – and then outlined seven questions that companies must answer correctly in order to facilitate the candidate-to-new-hire transition. In the second, Connecting Selection Results to Training and Development, I talked about why most companies fail to leverage selection data to inform new hire development – and then follow-up with an example that takes readers from assessment scores to ideas for a personal onboarding plan.

implementationLast month I discussed the importance of using customers (e.g., hiring managers) to help evaluate a company’s talent selection program. I also provided 10 key questions for companies to consider when evaluating their hiring processes. I wrapped up the post with advice on where to begin the evaluation process (e.g., high volume/high turnover jobs).

Readers: Thank you for following along throughout 2014 and for your questions and comments. It has been an enjoyable journey through talent selection. As always, I encourage you to leave your comments and questions in the text box below and to participate in a 3-minute anonymous survey.

To discuss your specific talent selection issues and challenges, please contact me at 203-817-7522.


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