The Mistaken Belief that Candidates Don’t Need to Know Their Talent Assessment Results

Marlon Mai December 9, 2013 4 mins read

Job seekers are frequently unsatisfied with headhunters’ use of talent assessments, or complained, “I answered so many questions, and didn’t get a thing out of it.” Even of those who are eventually hired, few ever see their test report.

In this case, headhunting companies ignore some important uses of the talent assessment. The first use concerns the hiring companies themselves: Modern talent assessments play an important role in HR management and development. Not only can they test an individual comprehensively, they can also assess specific aspects of a person while diagnosing the exact state of HR management at the hiring company. They can help in getting a comprehensive understanding of the existent state of HR, assist in the utilization and management of HR, provide diagnostic information for personnel training, and act as a basis for the construction of the organization. For these reasons, talent assessments can be widely used in the promotion, selection, assessment and training of civil servants, Party and government workers, staff for enterprises and institutions, and non-state-owned company personnel. They can also be used as a guide for employment of graduating students, for job transfers, job changes and career changes of employees, as well as for assessments of the business achievements of those in the leadership ranks. The second use concerns individuals: Modern talent assessments can help individuals in their career planning and development. They can help both current and potential employees get a more comprehensive understanding of themselves, which can help in their development. They can help them orient themselves, identify their success quotient, and get a better grasp on their psychological characteristics, aptitude, and career interests, etc., thus providing them with appraisals and recommendations regarding their employment search or selection of major for studies. Today, many talent assessing companies in our country are conducting tests aimed at measuring students’ aptitudes and interests regarding the work in their chosen major. More and more students have begun using this method to assist in their selection of a major. For these reasons, talent assessments are not just for helping companies better understand candidates, they’re also for helping candidates gain better understandings of themselves. The more seriously the candidates take the testing process, and the deeper they probe themselves for answers, the more effective will be the results of the test and the usefulness of the information gained. Also, the more a candidate puts out during the testing process, the more feedback they’ll want at the end. If they never get this feedback, candidates will certainly get fed up with talent assessments, and develop negative attitudes towards them.

Obviously, if we ignore the auxiliary benefits of talent assessments, treating them only as a portion of the hiring process, candidates will respond by not taking the test seriously, thus skewing the results. At present, there are barely any headhunting companies who actively make an effort to provide candidates with the results of their tests. Headhunting companies have a responsibility not only to ensure that candidates maintain positive attitudes towards the measurement tools, and that test results remain valid, but also to maintain the long-term authority and efficacy of the tools themselves. In this way, talent assessments can succeed in helping both companies and candidates.

Mencius said: “If you’re going to believe everything you read, best to not read at all”. Talent assessments are not a panacea. You can’t look to just one type of evaluation as a basis for scientific, accurate HR management decisions. The talent assessment plays a big role in improving the accuracy of personnel appraisals, but it won’t provide 100% accurate results. For this reason, when using talent assessments, it’s important to consult and bring in other corresponding information before making a final decision—only in this way can the benefits of the test be fully realized. Only by ridding themselves of some of their mistaken beliefs regarding talent assessments, gaining a firm grip on the essence of the evaluation, fully understanding the goals of the assessment tool, and using the tool in a reasonable and accurate way, can talent assessment staff at headhunting companies fully maximize the auxiliary benefits of the assessment tools to increase the efficacy of hiring.

Marlon Mai's picture
Managing Director | Finance & Accounting, IT, Sales & Marketing Recruitment
mmai@morganmckinley.com