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Steve Roesler | Presentations, Speaking, Business Consulting :: Talent Assessment

Talent Assessment


We all want the right person in the right job. That goes for selecting outside candidates as well as being confident that the right moves are being made with existing, internal talent.

Yet approximately 40% of new hires fail to perform up to expectations within the first 18-24 months of their tenure. The cost of this is in the range of 2-3 times annual salary when you tally the costs of replacement, training/learning and lost productivity are included. The failure of two people earning $200K is in the range of one million dollars.

What’s going on here? There are two main reasons:

Organizations don’t really know enough about who they’re selecting (not only outside candidates, but internal ones as well).

Organizations need to know more about the range of talents already inherent in current management and employees. The nature of roles and responsibilities can mask talents and impact development, “best-fit”, and retention.

The TotalTalent assessment  provides organizations and individuals with detailed profiles in each category to make you more confident in your hiring decisions and development processes.

Prognosis Without Diagnosis is Malpractice

In an age of “Who are the Hi-POs”?, it’s easy to look at current performance and want to totally extrapolate that into another role.

This is a good time to pause and look at the new role as well as it’s accompanying situations and players. Potential isn’t universal; like electrical potential (voltage), you won’t go very far plugging your Volvo into an AC outlet.

How To Do It Well

Executives and HR professionals often  ask: “What tools do you recommend to accurately assess the talent in our organization?”

Choosing the right talent assessment is critical to making sound hiring, development, and promotion decisions. Without this information, decisions can only be based on partial information, personal preferences, or the opinions of others.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend that organizations rely on more than one assessment for critical talent decisions, such as hiring a key player or promoting an executive. The right combination of assessment tools provides a more comprehensive view of the candidate. This approach can remove bias and the “halo effect” in some individuals, and reveal flaws or limitations that were not previously apparent.

The ideal suite of assessments will provide reliable information on the candidate’s track record, pattern of behavior, management style, competency profile, and potential for greater responsibilities as well as where they are most likely to succeed.

How We Make That Happen For You

There are six sources of information that create the most complete assessment; the kind that will give you more confidence when weighing your options.

  1. Performance Evaluations
  2. Psychometric Tests
  3. 360-Degree Feedback Surveys
  4. Employee Engagement Scores
  5. Trait-Based Assessments
  6. Talent Interviews

Here are the pros and cons of each:

1. Performance Evaluations

Most organizations use performance reviews as the basis for measuring individual performance and determining compensation. They are focused on results achieved and job objectives. However, performance evaluations are insufficient indicators of talent for at least three reasons. First, they are highly subjective to the supervisor’s views and grading bias. Second, they focus primarily on one facet of an individual’s contribution-- “the WHAT”, leaving out much information as to “the HOW” a person does their job. Third, performance reviews are generally inconsistent throughout the organization. Some managers faithfully conduct these reviews. Others don’t.

2. Psychometric Tests

Well established psychometric tests provide reliable information that is relatively easy to collect and cost-effective. These tests provide accurate insights on specific traits, together with benchmarks relevant to the candidate’s job position. However, psychometric tests are narrow in scope, and while they add a data point, they cannot provide a full picture of a person’s performance and potential. Care should also be taken to ensure they are correctly administered and interpreted.

3. 360-Degree Feedback

360-degree feedback surveys provide useful measures of leadership competency. 360-degree feedback surveys best measure HOW a person does the job on a series of leadership competencies. 360s are less subjective, as they include multiple relevant points of view on the candidates’ performance. The results are very useful for personal development. The limitation, however, is that 360 feedback is relative to the candidate’s job expectations and rater selection, making 360 comparisons between individuals less reliable. Additionally, 360-degree feedback results are often used for development purposes only, and the resulting data is considered confidential. Conducting a 360-degree assessment is also generally not possible for a new-hire.

4. Employee Engagement Scores

Employee engagement scores are useful, provided you can report the results specific to those employees that report to the manager. Employee engagement is a strong indicator of how well that person leads his/her team. Engagement scores have direct impact on employee motivation, performance, and retention. However, engagement metrics are influenced by the organization’s overall culture and group’s current situation, which may not be completely controllable by the group leader. The main challenge for most organizations is their availability, given the frequency and reporting constraints of employee surveys.

5. Trait-Based Assessments

Assessments that measure personality traits do not predict job performance or potential. But, they are useful descriptors of the candidate’s preferred ways of thinking, behaving, and leading. They describe tendencies in leadership style and potential pitfalls that can be valuable when assessing a person’s fit in the organization’s culture, as well as expected job behaviors. Trait-based assessments are descriptive of the candidate’s style and fit, but should not be used for prescriptive decision making.

6. Talent Interviews

When it comes to critical hiring and promotion decisions, I highly recommend including talent interviews in the assessment process. Talent interviews consist of in-depth review of a person’s work history, patterns of behavior, accomplishments, areas for improvement, and projected growth. An experienced interviewer provides key insights and valuable information through the talent interview report. Keep in mind, however, that a comprehensive interview process can be costly, and will most likely be reserved for key decisions.

Creating The Most Successful Process

We’ll meet with you to diagnose what you already know, what you are trying to accomplish, and determine the best mix of assessment tools and activities for your situation. Note: Although the approach is systematic, each organization is best served by a specific combination of tools. In our 26 years of supporting talent and succession efforts, no two organizations have needed exactly the same assessment support. This makes sense for the investment/value equation as well as the desired results.

What To Do

The purpose of the talent assessment process is driving results, developing leadership capacity, identifying successors, and grooming future leaders. To discuss how to best approach your situation, contact us at +609.654.8977 or email info@steveroesler.com


"Steve is the type of professional that immediately puts you at ease. An excellent coach, he provided me with great insight and creative ideas on ways to better communicate and present myself to others.” 
J. Confaloni, Weber Distribution

"Steve is an excellent judge of personalities and situations. He is able to tailor training and coaching programs to fit the needs of the individual or groups. I would strongly recommend Steve and his partners. . ."
Jeffrey Carlton, Minerals Technologies, Inc.

Steve Roesler Factoids

Steve once made 59 speeches in 63 days while on a business speaking gig across the entirety of  South Africa. He fainted from exhaustion on day 61 in front of an audience of 3,000. When he awoke, he received a standing ovation. Steve is thinking of making this a regular part of his practice.

Steve coached the first African-American finalist, Miss New Jersey, in the Miss America Pageant.



More Curious Facts...

Steve once conducted sales presentation training for Pfizer with the participants being flown in from China and Brasil. Neither group spoke English. The two days were simultaneously translated in both languages and proved that a combination of design, focused graphics, and modeled activities can actually help you to bump up your game.

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