Candidate Selection
at Siemens

Defining assessments to measure
Siemens’ Mindset Model


Siemens has witnessed huge market changes, encouraging the company to rethink the products and services it offers as a business. The positions it requires to be filled and the talent it hires all need to reflect these changes.

The starting point for Siemens was to define talent success – the behaviors, characteristics and skills needed by future employees to continue to deliver success in the market. These characteristics are specific to Siemens and form the new Siemens Mindset Model.

With this in place, Siemens sought out robust talent assessments that would identify these competencies in its applicants, while delivering a candidate-centric process which enhances the brand.To ensure assessments were of value to Siemens and straightforward for applicants, the team carried out an internal validation study.

By analyzing assessment results alongside performance scores, it was clear that:

  • High in-post performance can be predicted.
  • Candidates are engaged with the assessments and understand the link between the assessments and the required characteristics.
  • Siemens can be confident in the talent decisions it makes.
  • Managers can make better hiring decisions.

The Challenge

Predicting Future Business Success in Candidates

Siemens has witnessed huge market changes – digital disruption, new competitors and shifting customer needs. As the change in the digital landscape is encouraging Siemens to rethink products and services, it also knows that the roles and talent it hires need to change.

Laura Hill, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Siemens, comments: “We need to understand how skills will lead to success in a more digital and diverse organization. Some of our roles will be known to us, but some will be new, requiring a different approach and fresh ways of thinking.

Business and talent group leaders collectively recognized the need to select individuals into the organization who:

  • demonstrate resilience;
  • deal with ambiguity;
  • act autonomously;
  • challenge when they think something is not right;
  • take a future-focused and visionary approach;
  • show customer centricity;
  • collaborate and influence;
  • think pragmatically;
  • demonstrate emotional intelligence; and
  • have digital, transformation, soft and technical skills.”

New Model for the Future

A new Siemens Mindset Model was developed covering four mindset competencies. This framework is the vehicle to structure, communicate and unify the culture, values and behaviors that are important across all functions at Siemens.

Laura Hill explains the value of this, saying: “The Mindset Model will help our leaders and hiring managers better understand their teams, the dynamics and work preferences. Also, how these can be drawn upon to create an advantage.”

With the new model in place, the team started to reimagine its talent acquisition process. It focused not just on the skills, talents and competencies relevant right now, but also on those that have been identified as vital for the future of Siemens employees. Assessments were identified as an important part of the process.

The Solution

Building an Assessment Process That Predicts the Siemens Mindset

For over 10 years, Siemens has measured the essential capabilities, skills and characteristics of its candidates.

The company knew that, by selecting a new set of assessments that measure the characteristics in the Mindset Model, talent acquisition teams and hiring managers across Siemens would be able to consistently select high-quality talent. However, it was also essential that the new assessments provided:

  • An engaging and relevant candidate experience using digitally-enabled assessments.
  • A greater return for the candidate on the time invested in the application process by providing a feedback report to each candidate.
  • Support to the hiring managers for the interview by providing insight on each candidate.
  • An improvement in the quality and diversity of talent joining teams.
  • Efficiencies for talent acquisition teams.
  • The opportunity for greater talent mobility across businesses and locations.

Mapping the Assessments onto the Mindset Model

Aon mapped assessments onto the Mindset Model to measure the abilities, work styles and preferences needed for the business going forward. Four assessments were selected: a test of numerical reasoning; a test of inductive logical reasoning; a learning/memory capacity assessment; and a personality questionnaire. All assessments were designed to engage the test taker and be completed on a laptop, phone or tablet.

The Four Assessments of the Siemens Mindset Model

Focusing on the Candidate Experience

Siemens understands the time and personal investment made by candidates when applying for a role. It wanted to be sure that candidates felt that the process was fair and valuable. To ensure this, the assessment’s design had to enable a clear, unambiguous and engaging assessment process, with candidates receiving a summary of their results.

Proving the Mindset Model Can Be Measured and Is Linked to Performance

As a final check that the Mindset Model was comprehensive, multiple job analysis groups were run with senior leaders at Siemens. These sessions provided a further opportunity for focus on, understanding of and buy-in to the assessment model by senior leaders.

A validation study was then set up and current employees were invited to take part. Employees from across the business – from all services lines and levels of seniority – took part.

Study details
A total of 148 employees took part in the validation study. Their results were analyzed and correlated with performance ratings already captured. This meant that the link between performance and assessment results could be made and the efficacy of the measure determined. Other biographic data was analyzed to ensure that the assessments were fair, to detect any adverse impact within any of the demographic variables and also to check that a good representative sample was obtained. Participants completed a survey to get feedback on the candidate experience.

The Outcome

Predicting Future Performance against the Mindset Model

The results of the validation study were clear. The Siemens Mindset Model’s components can be identified by completing the talent assessments. This means that the new talent assessment process can be deployed to identify the right talent.

The validation study also highlighted how to make the assessment process even stronger, with a few simple tweaks in the weightings of the personality dimensions and the cut-off scores used to progress candidates.

Higher performance predicted
Applying the cut-off score and analyzing the data for those above and below this score showed that those who score above the cut-off demonstrate a higher level of performance than those scoring below the cut-off. When comparing those with the strongest fit with the Mindset Model with those with the weakest fit, overall performance is 12% higher.

Engaging candidate experience demonstrated
Assessments used in the selection process must be relevant and taken seriously by candidates.

  • A total of 77% of participants gave average or above ratings for the assessment experience.
  • Over 70% said that the assessment process is likely to be taken seriously by applicants.
  • Nearly 60% believed that the assessment will help to select high-quality talent for Siemens.
  • Nearly 60% recognized that the assessments measure the skills and behaviors useful for succeeding at Siemens.
  • These statistics were also backed up in the qualitative comments from survey participants.

“Fun and different, yet challenging. They provide an indication of how a person thinks and operates in their work environment.”

- Participant

Supporting hiring managers to make decisions
The assessment results are used to supplement other information in the hiring process
– including the interview. To support the hiring manager and help structure the assessment feedback conversation, Siemens and Aon developed specific interview guides summarizing the assessment scores. Positive and negative behavioral indicators meant that the interview could be more objective and better recorded for candidates.

Developing the assessment process for candidates
Participant feedback acted as a good source for refining the candidate assessment process further by:

  • Clearly communicating the relevance of the assessments and their predictive capability;
  • Introducing and explaining the Siemens Mindset Model;
  • Making it clear that assessment information is supplementary to other information;
  • Clarifying how those with specific needs can be supported; and
  • Explaining the reason for timing tests and how the tests are scored.

Global Roll-Out

With the validation study now complete, Siemens is in a future-ready position to globally implement the assessment process for new hires.

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