Matching Assessment to Future Need: Designing the Selection Process at Siemens

September 7, 2020 Skye Trubov

assessing future talent


Huge market changes are the norm for many organizations – and well before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital disruption, new competitors and shifting customer needs all play a significant role in re-shaping business strategy.

Aon’s Assessment Solutions has been working with organizations as they seek to define what they need from their future workforce. All the while helping them rethink how best to hire and develop these skills and behaviors. Our work with a global brand, Siemens, is a good example of how we approach this.

Recognizing market changes, Siemens began to rethink its products and services. The company knew that while some roles would remain untouched, others would require a new approach - a fresh way of thinking and a different set of behaviors and skills. The challenge would be to define these and then be able to measure and develop them in its candidates and employees using talent assessment.

Starting Point: Defining the Siemens Mindset Model

The team at Siemens worked with leaders across business and talent groups to define success behaviors which, in turn, formed the foundation of four Mindset competencies: the Siemens Mindset Model. To ensure the Mindset did not miss anything crucial and prove that it could be measured and linked to performance, multiple job analysis groups were run with senior leaders. A validation study was also set up using the newly created assessment process. Current employees were invited to take part.

Checking out the Assessment

A total of 148 participants took part in the study with each individual completing the four Aon assessments that were mapped onto the new Siemens competencies. Assessment results were analyzed and correlated with performance ratings, as well as other biographical data to detect any adverse impact.

The study confirmed:

  • Higher performance can be predicted – those with the strongest fit with the Mindset Model have an overall performance which is 12% higher than those with the weakest fit. 
  • The hiring team could be confident in their decisions - calculating a ‘hit rate’ provides a measure of the success of predicting high (or low) performance against those future skills, talents and behaviors needed by Siemens. In addition, the analysis of the test results alongside the performance ratings and biographical data showed that there was no bias in favor of or against gender, age or ethnicity.
  • The new assessment process offered an engaging candidate experience - 77% of participants gave average or above average ratings for the assessment experience.
  • Employees could see the link between the assessments and success at Siemens –
    • 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.

Celebrating Excellence

For me, the Siemens team took an exemplary approach. Indeed, it is no surprise that it has been shortlisted in the Excellence in Assessment award category by the Association of Business Psychology Workforce Experience Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in the application of psychology in business.

Siemens considered its long-term business strategy and defined those people characteristics needed to achieve these plans. The company achieved this by bringing together key stakeholders from across the business. The team then sought to redesign its selection process to make sure that it assessed for the essential competencies. The team also wanted to ensure that the approach taken was candidate-engaging, digitally-enabled, recognized and respected candidates’ time investment by providing feedback. It also supported the hiring managers when it came to making good decisions.

Proving the validity of the process was important and the validation study took care of that. Importantly, the Siemens team continue to seek improvements and make adjustments to their assessment process i to ensure they are selecting the very best candidates for the business.

If you would like to find out how we can support you as you look to define your organization’s future needs, please get in touch.

About the Author

Skye Trubov

Skye is an organisational psychology consultant with years of international experience in designing effective talent solutions for clients across industry. Her areas of expertise focus on digital assessment, transformation and change, talent strategy, and talent analytics; measuring capability to drive performance. As a senior consultant with Aon’s Assessment Solutions, Skye works with clients on selection and development initiatives to drive organisational growth and productivity. Throughout her career, Skye has delivered scientifically-driven solutions translating into real returns for individuals and for the business. After moving to London in 2014, she led the psychology function for a technology company delivering app-based assessment and has worked on a number of assessment-focussed projects as an independent consultant.

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