HR’s Quest to Predict Success and Get Meaningful Talent Data Fuels Growth in Online Assessment Industry

HR and recruitment teams around the world are increasingly using online assessments to predict which candidates will be successful in the role and to enhance their talent strategy with assessment analytics, according to a study by international assessment specialist Aon's Assessment Solutions.

After questioning 2,776 HR, recruitment and talent practitioners across 14 countries, Aon's Assessment Solutions has published a report called the Global Assessment Barometer 2016. It provides a snapshot of the key issues and trends in psychometric assessment, offering insights into its role and value.

The study shows that the global market for online assessment has grown 18 percent in the last three years. 52% of organisations now use online assessments, predominantly to recruit and develop key employees such as managers, white-collar workers, graduates and apprentices. Assessments are also helping to achieve greater diversity, as employers strive to make faster and more objective selection decisions.

“We’ve been monitoring worldwide trends in psychometric assessment since 2010, looking at how HR practitioners, hiring managers and L&D teams use different tests in different countries,” said Dr Achim Preuss, Managing Director of Aon's Assessment Solutions. “Assessment used to be about reducing the risk of making a bad hire but this year, we’ve seen a marked change. Shorter, more customised, brand-relevant tests are now being used earlier in the selection process to identify the right people. Increasingly, employers want to predict which candidates in their applicant pool will ‘fit’ their organisation and be strong performers who will add value to the business.”

According to the study, the fastest growing assessment tools are development centres, assessment centres, integrity and values questionnaires and Situational Judgement Questionnaires. The key topic areas for assessment are ethical working (loyalty, honesty, integrity, commitment), leadership, creativity, cultural fit, emotional health/ability to cope with stress and long-term potential. Two new trends have emerged this year: pre-application assessment and testing via mobile devices.

“Pre-application assessment is about educating potential applicants on the role and the organisation, before they apply,” said Dr Achim Preuss. “This helps employers to find the right people and it stops browsing candidates from applying for jobs that aren’t suitable for them. Mobile assessment, via smartphones and tablets, allows candidates to complete their assessments whenever they want. However, employers need to ensure that their tests can be taken on mobile devices without compromising the user experience and fairness.”

With the growth of mobile assessment, organisations are now adopting a ‘packaged approach’ that combines a range of assessment measures.

The study also reveals that organisations are becoming savvier in the way they utilise assessment data. “Over the past two years, it has become much easier to measure and evaluate the impact of psychometrics on business outcomes,” said Dr Achim Preuss. “There’s now a greater demand for accessible and interpretable analytics which can give fresh insights about all aspects of an organisation’s talent strategy. Employers want to ask sophisticated questions and get real-time answers from their pre-hire data and their employee performance data. Talent analytics and using validity studies to establish the best predictors of success are likely to be the growth areas in assessment in the future.”

When choosing an assessment supplier, the study shows that evidence of validity and reliability are the most important factors. A stable and state-of-the-art IT system is also important.“

Clients need to be able to rely on the fact that a supplier can support the volumes of data needed for large scale and international projects,” said Dr Achim Preuss. “They also want guarantees about data protection and data security.”


Aon’s Assessment Solutions is part of Aon’s global Human Capital business, helping clients achieve sustainable growth by driving business performance through people performance. Aon’s Assessment Solutions undertakes 30 million assessments each year in 90 countries and 40 languages.

About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

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About the Author

Aon creates smart measurement solutions with valid and innovative online assessment products. Aon is globally the preferred partner for organisations who demand the best.

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