20th November 2018

When (and how) to use Effective Talent Assessment

Talent Assessment is often used as the first phase of the development and execution of an integrated talent strategy. When used effectively, it can be a powerful way to understand the capabilities of individual leaders, cadres of management or operating functions within an organisation. 

For the last 10 years, we’ve assessed more than 700 executives. In doing so, we have developed highly reliable and valid methods to assess talent. Whether its in one-off settings or across groups of leaders, we’ve learnt some things along the way. We have a deep understanding of the best ways for an organisation to leverage the value of Assessment, for both the executives’ involved, and the organisations’ benefit.

Why do Assessment?

The benefits to any Board, CEO or Executive Team that we’ve seen from Assessment include:

  • Validating any internal calls on talent, with independent data and insights.
  • Identifying latent potential in emerging leaders so development steps can be proactively planned.
  • Providing valuable insights to where talented individuals sit, as well as their relative strengths and development needs.
  • Delivering credible data to make informed decisions on internal appointments, promotions and succession planning.
  • Targeting the development investment to improve on the specific capabilities required to succeed.
  • Enabling organisations to prioritise their investment in those with the greatest potential and proactively manage those who are under-performing.
  • Getting buy-in to an organisation’s integrated Talent Management processes.

Here’s what we know

A range of Data Points are important. We combine Psychometric Testing, 360 Feedback, data analysis, structured simulations, interviews and referencing. Along with the applied judgment and intuition of our program leaders in understanding, calibrating and assessing talent. We blend art and science in arriving at an accurate and insightful picture of executive talent through 6-8 data streams. These provide us with multiple data points against each capability aspect of the person being assessed.

How to Manage the Process

A robust and fair Talent Assessment process comprises five key stages:

  1. Establish the Leadership Model for the Organisation. Including the design and development of underpinning leadership competencies. These will focus in on what competencies are relevant, how they will be assessed and how the report back process will work.
  2. Communicate the Assessment Initiative. This is important for the participants to both manage their engagement and to outline the purpose, expected outcomes and integrity of the process. This is where an independent and experienced Assessment partner will bring credibility to the process.
  3. Assessment of Individual Capability, Potential & Performance. This step is designed around the level of executives involved (individual vs group assessment) and the outputs required. Its where experience in designing, identifying and applying the right methods to measure and articulate talents is critical. 
  4. Individual Reports. This step involves the creation of Individual Assessment Reports (including Development Plans) that are used during feedback to participants in the form of a draft report. Before we finalise any reports, we capture participants’ feedback and input, and make the relevant changes. We then deliver a final report to the participants and the commissioning client.
  5. Group Talent Mapping. Based on the data collected from the individual assessment processes and clients’ performance data, we can aggregate these into group outcomes, analyse patterns and development need trends, and unlock group-level talent and capability.
  6. Support an ongoing process of Talent review & monitoring. We ensure clients have established the relevant processes to implement their integrated Talent Management approach as an ongoing process. This could include our Executive Search practice undertaking external Talent Pipelining and Intelligence work to source ready to move external Talent to complement or augment internal succession plans.

What makes our approach different?

Our Assessment practice has worked with leaders across Australia, New Zealand, USA, Europe and Asia. Our experience tells us that there are some core leadership capabilities you should assess that don’t change over time. In addition, we explore emerging themes like learning agility, curiosity, flexibility and resilience. All factors that are becoming increasingly important in VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) environments.

We understand that Assessment can be confronting and unsettling for individuals. Our independence, the robust process we use, and our no surprises, personally engaging approach ensures that the Assessment process is insightful and valuable to individuals. Within an industry or function, there will be unique bespoke requirements. To meet that need, we can tailor our approach to capture the differentiating skills, knowledge and experience needed for leaders in different organisations. 

Generator Talent Group are external and independent experts at Talent Assessment. We assess talent without internal or political agenda. We can map, articulate and develop Talent within organisations. It’s in our heritage, and it’s in our name.

Glen Petersen

Glen Petersen

CEO at Generator Talent
With more than 35 years in business, working in large global businesses and consulting, Glen has a wise head set firmly on experienced shoulders – a good thing to have as Generator Talent’s founder and CEO. He is in demand by clients who value his pragmatic advice and ability to positively influence people and improve business outcomes.
Glen Petersen

Categories: Developing Talent

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