Assessments Are an HR Leader’s Best Friend






Throughout the process of talent management (recruiting and selecting candidates, assessing performance and potential, developing people, and implementing rewards programs) there is a common and critical thread:  the need to assess people.  Today, companies are using a wide variety of assessment tools to screen and assess candidates, uncover strengths and weaknesses, determine job fit and leadership potential, and identify specific development needs which drive success.

In our recent Leadership Development Factbook study of over 350 companies, we found that 360-degree feedback, leadership style and personality are the three most common assessments for managers, regardless of level.  These and many other different kinds of assessments, including competency, personality, potential, and team effectiveness are on the market today.  The application of these assessments can be found across all talent management programs.

Below are examples of the function of assessments within each of the core talent processes.

  • Recruiting – With more candidates in the workforce, companies are restructuring and streamlining their sourcing and screening strategies.  Assessments, for example, are used for screening candidates before they are even brought in for an interview.
  • Performance Management – Often done via a 180 or 360, these assessments indicate standards to measure employees against.  Skill gaps are identified and development plans are put in place to close these gaps.
  • Career Management – Companies employ assessments, such as job fit and potential assessments, so that employees are able to measure themselves against future roles.
  • Succession Management – Companies use assessments to predict future capabilities and potential of its employees.  With this information, companies are able to create succession plans and build strong leadership pipelines.
  • Leadership Development – Assessments help define the critical skills necessary to drive organizational performance. Assessment data can be used to drive coaching and individual development plans for each leader.

The way in which a company manages its talent has become a critical business lever and will provide companies with competitive advantage.  Assessments enable companies to make better talent decisions, prioritize learning agendas, increase employee engagement, and improve employee retention.

For what talent processes does your company use assessments?  Is your company leveraging assessment data for making key talent decisions?

For a more in-depth overview of assessments and examples of real-world applications, members can access the report, “Profiles International: A Multifaceted Approach for Assessments” at

Andrea Derler

Leadership & Succession Research Leader / Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Andrea leads Bersin’s research execution team and also serves as leadership and succession management research leader for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Focused on the continued evolution of Bersin’s research capabilities, her expertise lies in research on business leadership, leadership development and learning, and related talent topics. Her work about leaders’ ideal employee received widespread media attention in Europe and has been published in the journal Leadership & Organization Development. Andrea has a doctoral degree in economics (leadership and organization) from the FernUniversity Hagen (Germany) and a master’s degree in philosophy from the Karl-Franzens-University in Graz (Austria).

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