How Targeted Virtual Assessments Can Help Create Flexible, Digital-Ready Teams

July 16, 2020 Marinus van Driel

First published on LinkedIn


Most organizations need to improve how they support their virtual teams.

Aon’s Digital Readiness survey found that 54% don’t know how teams need to be set up to be successful in a digital environment. Meanwhile, teams working in a virtual environment need to compellingly engage others and understand their needs through digital channels. But only 25% have teams that operate flexibly. While the degree of flexibility varies by industry, with technology and telecom companies providing more schedule flexibility than companies in financial services or transportation and logistics, across the board companies face the need to create flexible, digital-ready teams that can deliver results.

This shift starts with hiring. Through virtual assessment centers using virtual case studies and targeted assessments employees, employers can reliably identify and select digital-ready candidates with the competencies to succeed in digital-ready teams.

Here’s how organizations can use targeted virtual assessments as part of their recruitment processes to create flexible, digital-ready teams.

Virtualize Your Assessment Centers

The recruitment process needs to reflect the environment you want your employees to thrive in. That’s why offering employee assessments in a virtual environment will give organizations an edge in recruiting employees who are digital-ready as well as demonstrate their cultural commitment to remote work.

Case studies, role plays and behavioral and capability assessments can be carried out remotely and within a paperless environment. The logistics of scheduling, organizing, record-taking and reporting can be managed through online systems and require fewer resources. This means you can still run a thorough and valuable assessment day, remotely, with limited resources and know that the exercises are secure and delivered at the right time. This capability can be particularly useful as it becomes increasingly necessary to virtualize recruiting and hiring.

Embedding virtual case studies and assessments that identify digital-ready traits such as flexibility, learnability and agility into your virtual assessment centers allows employers to identify candidates with critical digital competencies more effectively and efficiently.

Test for the Ability to Work in Virtual Environments

Virtual case studies provide time and cost efficiencies, as they can be rated at a time that is convenient for your talent acquisition team.

Our virtual case study tool gives a decentralized assessment of candidates using case study material. This assessment requires candidates to understand, evaluate and analyze written information in a virtual environment.

Following the analysis, candidates will be required to record their answers to questions based upon the case study material presented, which will then be evaluated against set criteria. Virtual case studies provide time and cost efficiencies, as they can be rated at a time that is convenient for your talent acquisition team.

Through this process, candidates demonstrate the ability to work effectively in digital environments and as part of flexible, digital teams.

Assess for Employee Flexibility Traits

Different roles and teams require flexibility to a greater or lesser extent. The ADEPT-15® personality model covers 15 aspects of personality, which are arranged into six broad workstyles. The Flexibility dimension, together with the Conceptual and Mastery scales, forms part of the Adaptation workstyle. The Adaptation workstyle measures how individuals expend their effort.

The Flexibility dimension of ADEPT-15 measures the extent to which a person is adaptable in their approach to work and comfortable with doing something new, as opposed to preferring to stick to an established way. As with scores on all personality dimensions, a score in either direction on the Flexibility dimension has potential positives and potential watchouts.

Individuals who score highly on Flexibility are comfortable being uncomfortable, are constantly pushing outside of their comfort zone to gain new experiences and are eager to take on projects or assignments where new knowledge or skills are required. They will be more likely to seek challenges and new experiences at work for a digital-ready future.

Only 41% of HR leaders say their organizations have a defined set of skills needed for their digital transformation, according to Aon’s Organizational Digital Readiness survey. And just a quarter of executives rated their organization’s digital transformation efforts highly and said that they have the critical competencies in place.

To create the digital-ready teams of the future, flexibility will need to be a core critical competency. Employers will need to measure and select candidates based on their ability to demonstrate flexibility in their approach to work.

Are you interested in knowing more about the Future of Work? We asked over 1,500 HR leaders how they are dealing with it - read our report here.

About the Author

Marinus van Driel

Marinus van Driel, Ph.D. is a Managing Director within the Talent, Rewards, and Performance practice at Aon. His responsibilities include providing strategic, expert advisory, and transition management services to clients related to implementation and maintenance of enterprise-level talent assessment systems. Marinus holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology.

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