Session 01

#1 Proving the Business Impact of Talent Assessment

Meet Our Experts

Melissa Champine, Global Head of Operations

Melissa is global head of operations at Aon’s Assessment Solutions in North America and has been in the assessment and leadership industry for 25 years. Her special field of interest is the impact of this industry on overall business objectives.


Karoline Bergem, Organizational Psychology Consultant

Karoline is an organizational psychologist consultant for Aon’s Assessment Solutions in Norway. She focuses on both recruiting and organizational development and has a background in employer branding.

Want to Find out More about Proving the Business Impact?

We have pulled together two great pieces of helpful collateral:

1. For a short, snackable insight have a read of our article published in Human Resources Headquarters on Why your executive team should value assessment. It outlines necessary actions executive teams should undertake to attract, recruit and retain young talent and why assessment impacts the sustainability of organizations.

2. If you are looking for a more hands-on guide, read our whitepaper How to conduct a business impact study. It gives guidance to the pros and cons of different types of business impact studies and step-by-step recommendations to conduct a best practice business impact study.
Why your executive team should value assessment
How to Conduct a Business Impact Study

Session #1 Video Transcript

Karoline: Hello and welcome to our Assessment Essentials session on ‘Proving the Business Impact of Talent Assessment’. Today I’m joined by our expert, Melissa Champine, who can give us a great introduction to this important topic. Welcome Melissa and thank you for being with us today! Can I please ask you to introduce yourself?
Melissa: Thank you all for taking the time to listen and watch. I am the global head of operations for our Assessment Solutions group at Aon, located in North America. 
I have an MBA and want to bring focus to how our industry can help impact overall business objectives. If you are like me, pragmatic and want things to run as efficiently as possible, the thought of introducing or revamping an assessment process may make your eyes roll. You just want to hire people. Have you ever worked with someone who is not a good fit for the job? Ever worked with someone who is a good fit? What if you could make a great hire, each and every time? Would you see value in that? Let me help you see that there is not just value in HR in a solid assessment process, but in each and every function of your business.
Karoline: Perfect, thank you, Melissa. Although our focus for today’s session will be on proving the business impact of talent assessment, before we jump into how to measure the impact, let’s start by briefly reviewing the areas in which assessment can impact business. Melissa, can you tell us a little bit about the value assessment provides business?
Melissa:  Sure. A good assessment process is efficient, effective and has a positive candidate experience. It can and should have a positive impact in many areas of your business. It should allow you to get the most out of your resources. Save money and time - and make better-informed decisions. It allows you to get the right people in the right roles and ensure success; in other words, hire top performers. A positive candidate experience transits into a great employer brand. One that will help attract more great talents and perhaps increase your customer base at the same time. Your candidates can be your customers too.
Karoline: Those are all great benefits and I think it is important to note that a good assessment process can also protect you from adverse impact. It can help you create a more diverse workforce and can also save you from legal issues, by having a standard and objective process for all candidates.  

Melissa: That’s right. Something else I think is very important is that you don’t have to be a large, multinational company to reap benefits from a standard assessment process. Small- to middle-sized companies can benefit as well, because the number of employees these groups of companies have ensures that a hire is a good fit culturally and with the right skills will be especially crucial.

Karoline: Yes, thanks Melissa, that is helpful. So, we understand how talent assessment impacts the business. What about proving it? Almost all organizations face pressure to do more with their budget and their resources to report their program’s ROIs. Can you tell us how we can measure the impact and which metrics help us do so? Let’s start with saving time.

Melissa: Yes, of course. I am happy to share some examples to show how we have helped clients measure the impact and that the value we see is significant. This isn’t about just demonstrating benefits for HR, this is about achieving business results. Sure, we can save time by reducing time to hire; in other words, finding the right candidates quicker and not spending time on candidates who aren’t a true fit.
For example, the average time to hire in the professional and business services industry is almost 25 days. That’s one month if you think of it in business days. Think about what happens in your organization in one month. If an empty seat is at the table for one whole month, how much production are you missing out on? How much strain do you put on the other team members who must fill that gap? Think about it with this example. A fire hose is not working. That means, there is an empty space on a firetruck that needs filling each and every shift, because being short-handed in a fire is not an option.
A good assessment process can supply your manager with the names of two or three really good candidates in a short amount of time in order to interview. That month just got a whole lot shorter and your production has increased.

Karoline: Wow, that makes a huge difference. So, what about saving money? What are the metrics we can use to evaluate that?

Melissa: We have used one in the past: saving money by reducing your cost per hire. An assessment process streamlines your overall hiring process. We have seen $9.6M savings in selection and training costs. In addition to direct cost savings, a bad hire can be expensive. Think of the time it takes not only to hire an employee, but the time and investment it takes to bring them up to speed and contributing in the matter you need them to in order to be successful. If that hire doesn’t work out, isn’t the right fit or can’t perform, that investment is wasted, and you have to start over.

Karoline: What about measuring productivity and performance? How do clients you have worked with measure those benefits?

Melissa: Increase productivity and performance by hiring talent with the skills, abilities and traits needed to succeed in the role. The way this is measured really depends on your company’s goals and also the role’s goals. A couple of examples, one is sales. Increased sales for sales team: $200M more annually by selling $64 more per hour. Also, saving on injury-related costs for commercial drivers by reducing workers’ compensation claims by nearly 50%. And a little more esoteric example: in the college game of basketball, finding the right coach for your team is critical for the success of your program. They need to be able to recruit the right players, they need to have the ability to motivate, be an advocate for the school, but also have game strategy. There are ways to assess for these skills to provide insights, because a bad hire in this situation can set your program back years and will keep you from reaching your goals.

Karoline: You mentioned the increase to retention. How does an organization measure that value?

Melissa: If you can increase your retention or average tenure, as a result of a better fit with the culture and the role, then we are seeing as much as an $8.7M reduction in those costs. It is not just the cost saving, however, that is important. By keeping your employees, you don’t have critical knowledge and expertise continually walking out your door. You can grow from within. Retention becomes even more of a focus in a time of low employment. Anyone with a hot skill set (for example, a data scientist) has many options. It is not always solely about pay - it is also about your company’s culture.

Karoline: Yes, I think you are right. So, this last one might be the most challenging to measure or one that many people may not be familiar with tracking: what about measuring diversity?

Melissa: A good assessment process can increase your diversity and inclusion. It can reduce or eliminate your adverse impact. An assessment process takes the bias out of it. One client saw zero adverse impact for woman or ethnic minorities using our ADEPT Personality Assessment in their process to identify best candidates.

Karoline: Perfect. That all makes sense and I think those are very impressive results. I’m sure everyone would agree that those are all important factors to measure and optimize. It seems like there are a lot of different ways to use metrics to prove the business impact of talent assessment. So many, in fact, that it could become overwhelming. How would you recommend prioritizing and choosing the right metrics to prove the business impact for an organization?

Melissa: Well, you need to start with asking yourself, Karoline, what are the challenges your business is facing? What problems are you trying to solve? Different groups within an organization have different priorities. Recruiters need to fill empty positions quickly and with qualified candidates. If they receive 100 applications (or maybe just 50) for one professional job opening, the time for them to narrow that funnel can be so overwhelming. With an upfront assessment process, those same 50 to 100 candidates can take the process and help narrow the funnel to only candidates who have the right skills and ability for the position, as well as a culture fit for the organization. When you need great sales individuals, an assessment process can help you determine who has the highest potential to be that high-performing salesperson and has the potential to be successful in your organization. We touched on some sales metrics earlier that show just how successful an assessment process can be. So, focus on your organization’s biggest pain points . What would ‘good’ look like and measure against those needs. Even within the same industry, across companies what ‘good’ looks like can be very different. Take the hospitality industry for example: one brand might choose to focus on really catering special needs and requests by their customers, while another might choose to focus on being hip and trendy and provide local experiences. Both have pain points, but the focus is very different Therefore, how you measure success for their assessment and selection process needs to be different too.

Karoline: Thanks Melissa. So, often selecting and sourcing the data is only a part of the puzzle of demonstrating the business impact. What about telling the story? Do you have any guidance on how to best approach that?

Melissa: Well, the question is what you want to find out and prove and why. This will depend on the jobs you are trying to fill, what are the business goals you are hoping to improve. Tailor your story to focus on the impact on different areas of the business. Like we said, it’s just not HR and finance. Each function has its own metrics that can be looked at and have a story to tell. Overall, any organization has a story to tell. Perhaps the organization was restructuring how those functions work together, maybe through an agile model. Using an assessment process and doing a business impact study can help determine the success of the restructure. What are the metrics? They are probably already being tracked. Don’t worry that they may be incomplete. You can start off small and simple. A good way to tell the story about the tangible ROI is through a business impact study.

Karoline: Can you tell us more about what exactly a business impact study is? And is it difficult to do?

Melissa: It certainly doesn’t have to be difficult. A business impact study can be done very efficiently and doesn’t need to be complicated. So, let’s say you are using the assessment process for hiring store managers. About six months to a year after going through an assessment process, these are being placed in a store and have a chance to be fully functional. You can look at store data (for example, sales), customer service for the time prior to that manager being employed compared to the time that they were in charge. You can also compare store-to-store data (for example, managers who have not taken the assessment process versus those stores with managers who have taken the assessment process). There are many ways to approach a business impact study. It all just depends on which business factors you are hoping to improve and see a return on your investment by selecting the best candidates for the job.

Karoline: Thanks. I think this is all great information. Is there an example we could walk through to see how another company has approached proving the impact of talent assessment?

Melissa: Yes, I think a really powerful example is a case with a global auto manufacturer to transform its business and culture through engagement and leadership. There is mass disruption in the auto industry - driverless cars, Tesla, a whole new way of thinking, mindset and skill-set is needed for this workforce. Our client asked: how can we get our workforce to move to the new world? The company needed a high-quality, data-driven model that assessed its talent both coming in the door and talent already in the door against what ‘great’ looks like. We helped them move the needle even in their early stages. Early results showed that high-performing, individual contributors were 1.5x more likely. Their high-scoring people leaders were 2x more likely to be high-performing leaders.

Karoline: Thank you very much, Melissa. You have given us a lot of helpful information in this session and I would like to sum up. First of all, there are different areas in which assessment can impact the business. Secondly, it is an important factor to measure and optimize the business impact with. Thirdly, there are different approaches to tell the story about the business impact. So, if you, dear listener, would like to learn more about this very important topic, please take a look at the materials provided within this webinar. If you would like to read more about how to conduct a business impact study, please check out our whitepaper. Thank you so much for listening and thank you so much Melissa for joining us today. It’s been a pleasure.

Melissa: Thank you, Karoline.

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