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What Are Talent Assessments and How Do Companies Use Them?

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Question: What Are Talent Assessments and How Do Companies Use Them?
Some companies test applicants for employment to determine if the candidate is a good match for the jobs they are hiring for. Companies who conduct pre-employment tests (talent assessments) are seeking applicants that match their hiring criteria.
Answer: Talent assessments, also called pre-employment tests or employment screening tests, are used to help employers identify candidates that will be a good fit for jobs at their company. Talent assessments help predict a new hire’s on-the-job performance and retainability, so, in theory, applicants that pass the screening test should perform better as employees if they're hired.

Talent assessment tests are based on hiring and rentention case studies and analyzing employee data. The test results will give the company an indication of how close a match the candidate taking the test will be to the company's hiring specifications.

Companies Using Talent Assessment

Talent assessments are used as part of an online screening process that help employers decide which candidates to interview and are given online or in a company or store office via computer or a hiring kiosk.

Many large companies like Macy’s, PetSmart, Bloomingdales, Sears, Express Scripts, Radio Shack, Walmart, and Burger King, just to mention a few, use pre-employment testing.

Online Talent Asssessments

While applying at one of the companies that use online talent assessments, the entire hiring process is handled via the Internet. Job postings are listed online, candidates apply online through the company web site, and then take the talent assessment.

Applicants either take the test when they apply online or are directed, via email or the company web site, on how to take the test. Tests may be hosted on a third party web site. If they are you'll be given instructions on how to access and take the test.

Talent Assessment Outcomes

After you take the test, you may be told immediately (Walmart's test give you information right away) whether you passed or failed or you may not know how you did.

In some cases, you wiill be notified if the company is intested in hiring you. In other cases, you may not hear back at all, depending on company policy regarding notifying applicants for employment.

By the way, pass or fail is a relative term. It's based on how the employer thinks a candidate should answer, which doesn't necessarily correlate with your qualifications for employment. In many cases, the company is looking for a certain type of employee that is a fit for their organization structure.

Companies often have waiting periods before applicants who don't pass the test can take it again. Details on retaking assessments should be available on the company website.

Sample Talent Assessment Questions

What best describes your experiences providing feedback to others at work?

  • You do not have experience
  • You have provided feedback to co-workers
  • You have provided feedback to people working for you
  • You have given feedback to direct reports about their performance
  • You have set standards to achieve optimal format

Select matching terms for: ___________ is to water as eat is to ___________

  • dog - cat
  • foot - hand
  • woman - office
  • drink - food
  • ocean - mountain

It is best to analyze all the facts before making a decision.

  • Strongly Disagree
  • Disagree
  • Neutral
  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree

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