Blog

  • Major HR Challenge for Insurance Companies: Attracting Young Talent to Maintain Their Dynamism

    A woman at her desk talking to her client - Pearson TalentLens

    The insurance sector holds significant weight in the financial industry. Its revenues are projected to reach $7.5 trillion globally by the end of 2025. However, it faces a major HR challenge linked to the aging workforce and the looming threat of an unprecedented labor shortage. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50% of the current workforce in the insurance sector will retire in the coming years, leaving over 400,000 vacancies. Therefore, insurance companies must rejuvenate their workforce to remain innovative and competitive in the market. However, the sector does not appeal to the younger generation, who show little interest in pursuing a career in insurance. What strategies can insurance companies employ to attract, recruit, and retain young talent?

     

    Obstacles to the attractiveness of youth in the insurance sector

    Image problem

    The insurance sector suffers from an unattractive image and reputation among Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) and Generation Z (born from 2000 onwards). It is often perceived as a conventional, conservative, and uninventive professional field.

    Unfamiliar occupations

    According to a survey conducted by The Institutes, 8 out of 10 Millennials have limited knowledge of career opportunities in the insurance industry. Young people may not have subscribed to insurance policies yet, and they have minimal awareness and understanding of these products.

    Insufficiently competitive salaries and benefits

    Young people are attracted to competitive salaries and benefits, but the banking and financial sectors as well as Tech & IT appear more attractive.

    Lack of flexibility

    Young people seek a work-life balance offered by remote and hybrid work arrangements, but insurance companies do not always guarantee this flexibility.

    Lack of investment in skills development

    Another factor affecting the attractiveness of insurance companies is a gap in the understanding of skills their employees will need in the future. Young people are eager to learn and acquire new skills to remain employable in an ever-changing job market.

     

    Strategies for insurance companies to attract, recruit, and retain young talent

     

    Developing an attractive corporate culture

    Valuing corporate culture, mission, purpose, and emphasizing collaboration, career progression, flexibility, and other benefits are important. Additionally, promoting commitment to sustainable development, which young people are highly attuned to, is a plus.

    Promoting career diversity in insurance

    The insurance sector offers a wide range of careers (agent, broker, claims adjuster, risk manager, data analyst, cybersecurity expert, etc.). It is important to promote these career options to young people, so they are aware of all the opportunities available.

    Emphasizing technology

    Insurance companies now offer most of their services through mobile applications (claim submissions, video downloads for claims assessment, inspection planning, claims process tracking, etc.) and utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) to streamline their processes. Promoting the use of technology in the industry can attract tech-savvy young talent.

    Recruiting via social networks

    Social media is important and relevant for the younger generation. Insurance companies can benefit in promoting their job offers, internships, and compelling content about insurance careers on social networks (LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram).

    Prioritizing DE&I in recruitment

    Millennials and Generation Z are highly diverse populations and expect this diversity to be reflected in the workplace. Preserving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in their workforce involves eliminating unconscious biases during the recruitment process. Psychometric tests help in assessing candidates' personality traits, intellectual abilities, behavioral skills, values, motivations, and professional interests independently of their name, gender, age, race/ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic background to better validate their potential.

    Taking care of onboarding

    Once recruited, it is crucial to support and mentor new hires. Having mentors who will help new recruits network and advise them on progressing in the sector is a real asset.

    Investing in training and professional development

    It is essential to emphasize job stability in the sector and enable young people to acquire the skills they need to perform and adapt to market changes, offering them career advancement opportunities.

     

    Millennials and Gen Z have begun to dominate the job market. These dynamic new talents seek the energy and flexibility that many industries offer. It is important for insurance companies to consider their expectations and capitalize on this pool of talent to address their deficits in human resources and skills that threaten their business.

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  • 10 Tips for Successful Retail Recruitment

    Une femmes passant commande à un café aupèrs d'une serveuse - Pearson TalentLens

    The success of a company in the retail sector depends to a large extent on the quality of its teams, especially in a field where turnover is high. Recruiting the right talent is therefore crucial to maintaining sustainable competitiveness. Here are 10 tips to recruit effectively in Retail, to optimise your recruitment process and attract the best talent to strengthen your team and boost your company's growth.

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  • Cross Insights on Talent Acquisition and Retention Strategies in the Tech and IT Sector

    An IT engineer working in a server room - Pearson TalentLens

    With their experience in the Tech & IT sector, working at a digital services company (ESN) and then as a partner at a digital sector-focused headhunting firm for Estelle Calestroupat, currently a Work Psychologist and Key Account Consultant at Pearson TalentLens, and 5 years at Cisco, a globally renowned IT company, for Anna Ballerand, current HR Manager of Pearson France, they have agreed to share strategies to better attract, recruit, and retain employees in this sector.

     

    7 Strategies to Better Attract, Recruit, and Retain Employees in the Tech & IT Sector

    • Strategy #1 - Highlighting Company Culture: Employer branding must align with the company's values and reality on the ground. "To attract Tech-IT talents, a company must assert its difference, its added value," asserts Estelle Calestroupat, supported by Anna Ballerand, for whom it is essential that the company clearly showcases its corporate culture, its DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) policy, and its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives. Estelle Calestroupat also emphasizes the importance of developing a managerial culture aligned with the company's values and ensuring it is deployed at all levels of management.
    • Strategy #2 - Anticipating Future Needs: Being visionary and proactive. The tech and IT sector is continually evolving, HR leaders need to work alongside their business counterparts to proactively plan their talent needs in order help reduce skill shortages in the future and reduce the risk of increased pressures on current staff workloads while new roles wait to be filled.  Modelling future business models HR leaders can see in advance any need for training and development giving employees time and the valued investment to develop. 
    • Strategy #3 - Building Internal and External Networks: Creating a community of former employees and a pool of candidates for potential future employees. The value of networking both internally and external to the business cannot be overestimated. Former employees who have felt valued and invested in can be brand ambassadors for your organization and provide a much-needed route for recommendations. Consider networking events from graduate fairs to community groups. 
    • Strategy #4 - Improving Recruitment Processes: "Recruitment processes are often too lengthy and discourage many," laments Anna Ballerand. "Streamlining processes is necessary to increase efficiency and enhance the candidate experience," she recommends. The skills sought in candidates are also evolving. "It's no longer possible to recruit solely based on technical skills (hard skills)," explains Estelle Calestroupat. "Adaptability and learning ability, as well as the ability to analyze complex, multiple, or even contradictory data, having a broader perspective, as well as pedagogy, interpersonal skills, and teamwork, have become strong success criteria in Tech-IT professions. Values and commitment also play an essential role in the alignment between an employee and the company."
    • Strategy #5 - Investing in Training: To address the challenge of skill development, which is even faster in this sector than in other fields, it is important for companies to invest in employee training. "It involves supporting employees both in constantly evolving technical skills to ensure a solid foundation of expertise within the company and to meet the strong technical appetite of some employees (e.g., investing in certifications), and in the development of certain behavioral skills (especially for career advancements in project management, management, or sales)," specifies Estelle Calestroupat. Anna Ballerand gives the example of Cisco, which offers several training initiatives, including renowned technical certifications in the sector. Their "Graduate Program" (recent graduate program) that she herself implemented at the European level is another example, offering several days of training abroad for new recruits.
    • Strategy #6 - Offering Attractive Working Conditions: The Tech-IT sector is known for offering relatively high salaries to its employees. "There is a fierce battle among digital players to attract the best profiles," testifies Estelle Calestroupat. "This power struggle is reflected in salaries and benefits (company cars, bonuses, profit-sharing, installation bonuses for remote work, proposals for company stock options, etc.). "Competition is such that differentiation between various sector players involves offering additional benefits such as greater work flexibility or a recognition program," confirms Anna Ballerand. "In the technology sector, a culture of pure onsite work makes no sense," reminds Estelle Calestroupat. Flexibility in working hours and formats (remote work, hybrid, onsite) is essential.
    • Strategy #7 - Encouraging Career Development: Managing professional advancement. For Estelle Calestroupat, it is important "to support mobility within the company without confining employees to predefined career paths, provide visibility on advancement opportunities, and support mechanisms in place."

     

    An 8th Strategy - Using Psychometric Tests

    To better recruit talents in this sector, support their skill development, and career progression, HR professionals can use psychometric tests: personality and values inventories, intellectual aptitude tests, critical thinking assessment tests, as well as motivation and professional interest questionnaires.

    They allow them to:

    • Identify individuals most suited to the position and the company's culture.
    • Predict job performance.
    • Reduce turnover rates by fostering better alignment between employees and their work environment.
    • Implement personalized development plans encouraging talent retention.
    • Improve engagement by creating a positive and productive work environment conducive to personal and professional growth.
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  • Managing Professional Burnout: Strategies for Healthcare HR Professionals

    Two medical professional discussing in a staircase - Pearson TalentLens

    Due to increased demand for care, healthcare staff face high workloads, irregular schedules, and stressful situations. This often leads to professional burnout and high staff turnover rates, compromising care quality and job satisfaction. What strategies can be implemented to preserve the mental health of medical personnel? 

     

    Healthcare: A Stressed Sector

    According to the WHO, professional burnout is "a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed." Several factors contribute to this:

    Staff shortage: In the medical sector, all positions must be filled to care for patients. Staff shortages result in overtime and increased workloads to manage a higher number of patients, leading to physical and mental fatigue, decreased productivity, medical errors, absenteeism, and departures.

    Innovation: Besides constant advancements in medications and treatments, the medical sector increasingly relies on technology to modernize equipment and surgical techniques. Staff must adapt to these innovations while maintaining transparent and connected patient relations, adding to stress.

    Exposure to risks: Staff are continually exposed to health risks (infections) from contact with sick patients in overcrowded facilities where protective equipment, safe facilities, and prevention measures may be insufficient. Psychological risks also exist due to the emotional burden of the job. Patient deaths or verbal abuse can be stressful and traumatic, influencing staff well-being.

     

    Professional Burnout: A Problem in Healthcare

    Alarming Figures

    According to surveys, nursing has the highest professional burnout rate at 70%. Nurses often feel they can do more than permitted or are unable to provide adequate care due to high patient loads. Overwork triples the risk of professional burnout, leading to intentions to leave the job. About one-third of nurses (32%) consider leaving the profession, while over half of physicians and other healthcare professionals feel exhausted, stressed, and ready to quit due to factors such as staffing shortages, low salaries, mental and emotional strain, job insecurity, inflexibility, and lack of support. 

    Cause and Effect

    Staff burnout results from both staffing deficiencies and high turnover rates, causing a cumulative effect. Burnout affects patients as medical staff struggle with emotional, mental, and physical fatigue, impairing patient relations and care.

     

    Tips to Prevent Healthcare Staff Burnout

    By actively listening to staff, considering their needs, and supporting their learning and career development, HR managers can prevent burnout:

    • Encourage open dialogue to assess well-being, understand needs, and listen to improvement suggestions. Tools like 360-degree surveys or motivation and satisfaction questionnaires for employees or teams are useful for empathy. 
    • Provide recognition and rewards (praise, bonuses, promotions) for highly engaged employees.
    • Invest in training and professional development to keep staff up to date on industry trends, best practices, medical and technological advancements. Motivation and satisfaction measurement tools help tailor career development and training programs.
    • Reduce workload: Use advanced analytics to anticipate care demand and align resources in real-time; rethink roles and processes with new technology (digitization, automation of administrative tasks) to reduce working hours; explore reliable and efficient recruitment methods. Psychometric assessment tests (personality inventoriescognitive ability tests) can assist in this.

     

    "Every member of the healthcare team is crucial to patient outcomes and experiences," says Dr. Lisa Rotenstein, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "It's vital to remember this as we strive to optimize both patient outcomes and our staff's experiences." Healthcare staff burnout is a significant issue facing healthcare facilities and HR professionals in this sector. It is imperative to address it to preserve employee mental health and ensure exemplary care quality.

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  • Cross Perspectives on HR Challenges in the Tech & IT Sector

    2 engineers working on a robotic arm - Pearson TalentLens

    Estelle Calestroupat, Work Psychologist and Key Account Consultant at Pearson TalentLens, and Anna Ballerand, HR Manager of Pearson France, share a common background: experience in the Tech & IT sector. They have agreed to share their experiences regarding the specific HR challenges in this field.

     

    A Dynamic Sector in Full Expansion

    Estelle Calestroupat and Anna Ballerand agree that the Tech & IT sector is highly dynamic and constantly evolving. While this trend isn't new, it has accelerated significantly in recent years. "Technological innovations are constant. New products, services, and solutions emerge continuously to meet the changing needs of users," notes Anna Ballerand. The attraction to this sector is undeniable. "It no longer appears reserved only for a few experts. The new generations are comfortable with technology and digital tools; it's part of their daily lives, which draws them to work in this field," adds Estelle Calestroupat.

     

    HR Challenges in the Tech-IT Sector:

    • Talent shortage and volatility: The Tech-IT sector is not immune, like many other sectors, to candidate shortages. "The demand for qualified IT professionals often exceeds the available supply, making talent acquisition and retention highly competitive," says Anna Ballerand. Estelle Calestroupat agrees, confirming that "although the number of candidates is growing, recruitment needs are increasing even faster." She warns that "companies in the sector must rethink their approach to recruitment, management, and employee training. Those who succeed will have a real competitive advantage."
    • Skills obsolescence: The rapid evolution of new technologies requires continuous training. Anna Ballerand emphasizes that "keeping staff skills up-to-date can be a challenge for HR in terms of continuous training and professional development."
    • Need for diversity: The Tech-IT sector faces challenges regarding diversity and inclusion. "Companies need to implement strategies to encourage diversity in their teams and address underrepresentation of women and minorities," suggests Anna Ballerand.

     

    The Increasing Use of Psychometric Tests to Assess Skills

    The skills sought in the Tech-IT sector are varied and necessarily depend on the context, the company, and the position. "All these elements require, as with every recruitment process, an analysis of expectations," recalls Estelle Calestroupat before specifying that "generally, there will be expectations in terms of technical skills/knowledge (or at least an inclination towards new technologies), adaptability/learning ability, analytical skills, and transversal skills (such as organization, rigor, teamwork, communication, etc.)."

    To assess these skills, HR professionals can rely on personality and value inventories, tests of intellectual aptitudes, and tests of critical thinking. "Psychometric tests allow either the evaluation of a candidate's strengths and areas for development in relation to the expectations of a position, as in the case of an assessment during recruitment, or to accompany an employee in becoming aware of their comfort zones and areas for improvement (self-awareness, understanding of their functioning) in a developmental logic," says Estelle Calestroupat.

    Their advantages are numerous, adds Anna Ballerand:

    • Finer selection of candidates: Evaluating candidates' cognitive abilities, personality traits, and behavioral skills helps select individuals most suited to the position and the company's culture.
    • Prediction of job performance: Identifying candidates' strengths and weaknesses enables recruiters to predict their performance and make more informed hiring decisions.
    • Reduction in staff turnover: Matching employees' skills and personality with the job and company requirements reduces turnover rates.
    • Professional development: Understanding employees' development needs leads to personalized development plans that promote talent retention.
    • Improvement of employee engagement: Recruiting individuals whose values and personality are compatible strengthens team cohesion and fulfillment in a positive and productive work environment.

     

    Estelle Calestroupat has worked in the IT and new technologies sector for over 10 years. Initially, she worked internally at a digital services company in project management (defining competency frameworks and building evaluation processes), training for recruiters and recruiter managers, and operational recruitment (recruitment and internal mobility) for manager, sales, and bid manager profiles. She then collaborated with a headhunting firm specializing in the digital sector, again focusing on sales, bid managers, project managers, and managers.

    Anna Ballerand spent 5 years at Cisco, a globally renowned IT company, responsible for recruitment and employee and manager training support, implementing social benefits, conducting professional interviews, and promoting campaigns such as Great Place To Work®.

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  • Psychometric Assessments: A Means to Reduce Turnover in Retail

    2 workers working at a shop - Pearson TalentLens

    The retail sector has long been associated with high turnover rates. It hovers around 60%, meaning that more than half of the staff is likely to change within a year, according to McKinsey. It is imperative for companies operating in this sector to refine their HR practices to optimize employee retention because high turnover rates have significant impacts on their commercial performance. They can rely on psychometric assessments for this purpose.

     

    Turnover Rate: A Key Performance Indicator

    The turnover rate (or employee turnover) is a key performance indicator (KPI) that quantifies the rate of voluntary or involuntary departure and replacement of personnel within an organization during a specific period. It assesses the stability of its workforce and its overall health.

    A high turnover rate often reflects employee dissatisfaction, inefficient recruitment or onboarding processes, and any potential organizational issues within the company.

    Conversely, a low turnover rate reveals employee satisfaction, effective talent retention strategies, and a pleasant work environment.

     

    The Proven and Hidden Costs of High Turnover Rates

     Understanding and analyzing the turnover rate is a strategic imperative. It directly impacts the company's finances and indirectly affects its operational effectiveness.

    • Costs of Departure/Recruitment: On average, turnover costs in the retail sector represent 1.5 to 2 times an employee's annual salary, according to Built In. Each time an employee leaves the company, the recruitment, onboarding, and training process must be restarted, and human and financial resources must be allocated to ensure their replacement. The departure of an employee can also entail severance payments. Furthermore, the time it takes for vacant positions to be filled and new employees to become operational, the workload for existing employees may lead to overtime payments, directly impacting the company's financial costs.
    • Loss of Production: Turnover affects operational continuity, team cohesion and productivity, and company performance. Constant staff turnover can lead to dissatisfaction among existing employees, even encouraging new departures. Turnover, in this sense, can lead to decreased employee engagement, especially if it is high, and impact on the customer experience and sales due to a loss of service quality.
    •  Negative Impact on the Company's Brand Image: Employees who work in a company with high turnover are unlikely to recommend it to others as a place to work or even to use its services or buy its products. The company loses attractiveness.

     

    The Role of Psychometric Assessments in Employee Retention

    Psychometric tests explore personality, assess abilities, identify motivations, interests, and values of an individual.

    • Personality Inventories: They assess personality traits, which are behavioral tendencies and interpersonal characteristics related to relationships with others (leadership, sociability, cooperation, empathy, etc.), emotional management (stress resistance, flexibility/adaptability, etc.), work approach (reliability, attention to detail, regulatory compliance aspect, success/effort, perseverance, initiative, etc.), and mode of thinking (innovation, analytical reasoning, independence, etc.).
    • Intellectual Aptitude Tests: They provide information on numerical, verbal, spatial, and mechanical skills as well as the ability to solve complex problems and the ease of learning. They also assess critical thinking (ability to quickly grasp key aspects that will impact any decision, distinguish assumptions from facts, evaluate arguments in favor of possible actions, and draw conclusions that will lead to objective decision-making).
    • Motivation and Professional Interest Questionnaires: They provide information on an individual's motivational state, sources of motivation/demotivation, professional interests, needs, and values to better support them in developing their career plan and make them feel fulfilled professionally within the company.

    In recruitment, psychometric tests allow retail companies to:

    • Gain in-depth knowledge of a candidate's potential, beyond their resume.
    • Secure recruitment through concrete and reliable information provided.
    • Ensure the candidate's profile matches the job requirements and reduce turnover.
    • Enhance the candidate's experience by identifying their strengths and areas for improvement.

    In development, psychometric tests allow them to:

    • Identify and develop the potential of their employees.
    • Identify their skills for better development.
    • Support internal mobility.
    • Better understand each staff member to improve their employee experience.

     

    To reduce their turnover rates, retail companies must rethink their talent acquisition and retention strategies. The use of psychometric tests allows them to recruit individuals whose profile aligns with the company's culture and the position to be filled, ensure they have the necessary skills, and evaluate those that are useful to develop to encourage them to stay and evolve within the company for as long as possible.

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  • Boosting Talent Excellence in the Banking Sector: The Crucial Role of Critical Thinking

    3 coworkers brainstorming at work - Pearson TalentLens

    Possessing critical thinking skills is sought after and highly valued in the banking sector to adapt to changes, make decisions, address issues, and propose solutions.

     

    Banking: A Sector Undergoing Rapid Transformation

    In the banking sector, customer expectations are evolving rapidly: They demand user-friendly and intuitive interfaces for their online and mobile banking transactions, as well as a smooth and transparent experience across all communication channels with their bank. They are very open to adopting new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and chatbots to facilitate their operations. They also expect efficient and responsive financial services tailored to their needs and preferences. Finally, they attach great importance to the protection and confidentiality of their personal data against fraud and cyber-attacks.

    To meet these requirements, employees in the banking sector must master technical skills related to online banking operations, data management, cybersecurity, and the use of new technologies. Additionally, they increasingly require behavioral skills in:

    • Communication to effectively interact with clients and respond to their needs clearly and concisely in person, by phone, email, or chat. 
    • Negotiation to reach agreements, resolve conflicts, and achieve favorable conditions for both the bank and clients.
    • Critical thinking to analyze complex situations, identify problems, and find solutions.
    • Attention to detail as precision and thoroughness are essential for managing financial transactions and ensuring compliance with regulations.
    • Adaptability and time management to quickly adapt to new technologies, processes, products, and services, and juggle multiple tasks while meeting deadlines. 

    The banking sector employs many people but experiences high attrition and turnover rates. To remain competitive in a market marked by uncertain economic and geopolitical conditions, increased technological disruption, fierce competition between traditional banks and new, more innovative and agile players, banks must compete to attract and retain top talent. They must evolve their talent acquisition processes to improve efficiency and speed, and focus on assessing these skills, particularly critical thinking.

     

    Critical Thinking: A Highly Coveted Power Skill in the Banking Sector 

    According to a global study by PwC, while digital skills are considered important by 70%, 77% recognize that critical thinking skills, such as emotional intelligence and judgment, are crucial in banking professions. Isabelle Jenkins, Head of Financial Services at PwC UK, adds: "Being adaptable, collaborative, and demonstrating critical thinking skills is important. If we truly want to leverage technological advances, we will need the right people with the appropriate skills so that we can truly solve problems, drive productivity, and create growth. Investment in technology is essential to achieve all these goals. But it must be guided by human ingenuity, expertise, and understanding."

    Carole Fortier Bidan, Senior Product Developer at Pearson TalentLens, and Christelle Cadoret, Psychologist and HR consultant, authors of the book "Embracing Change and Making Informed Decisions - Critical Thinking & Adaptability" (Pearson, Human Skills collection), define critical thinking as a mindset aimed at logically analyzing situations for a specific purpose, such as problem-solving, explaining a viewpoint, interpreting, or justifying a decision. It involves searching for facts, evidence, understanding and analyzing different perspectives, and personal qualities such as listening, humility, curiosity, open-mindedness, and taking a step back. It requires self-awareness regarding one's own biases, beliefs, stereotypes, and cognitive biases to limit their impact on decision-making and positioning. It is practiced through constructive effort that involves and promotes a collaborative spirit in the service of collective intelligence.

    It is qualified as a power skill because reasoning and decision-making are the least automated tasks in the workplace. 

     

    Providing the Means to Assess Critical Thinking 

    Laure Bogeat, current Director of HR Development and former Head of Recruitment, Career, and Employment Services at BPCE Infogérance et Technologies, the IT GIE of the BPCE group, the second largest French banking group, testifies to the importance of critical thinking in the banking sector: "Our environment is complex, systemic, and evolving rapidly. In the context of recruitment challenges, it is a tight market at the heart of new technologies and the digital transformation of the group, we wanted in our recruitment processes to ensure a level of analysis, an understanding of our challenges, and intellectual flexibility allowing our new recruits to thrive in our structure. The Watson-Glaser™ III Critical Thinking Assessment naturally emerged. It informs us of the intellectual approach of the candidate to solve a problem and make a decision, but also on the understanding of their environment, their interpretation of factual data, and synthesis capacity, all relevant elements in our selection criteria."

     

    Critical thinking skills are crucial within the banking sector and the ability of HR professionals to assess this ability can make a difference to the long-term talent acquisition process. Helping to identify and develop new candidates into roles and spot potential high-performers for training and leadership roles in the future.

    Overall, exercising critical thinking ability has a crucial role in the banking sector for making informed decisions, identifying and evaluating potential risks in financial operations, proposing creative and innovative solutions to clients, in compliance with established regulations and standards, and with a focus on confidentiality and data protection. It is an essential skill to assess and develop in candidates and existing employees.

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  • The Role of Psychometrics in Today's Employment Landscape

    interviewer and candidate shaking hands - Role of psychometric tests today - Pearson TalentLens

    Future-proofing recruitment strategies with psychometric insights.

    There’s no avoiding the pace at which jobs are evolving, and along with them the skills required to succeed. Recently, LinkedIn highlighted the top 25 fastest-growing job titles from Data Science Manager to Machine Learning Engineer. Many roles didn’t exist ten years ago, others have developed as technology has advanced.

    Add to this mix - the development of AI and digital technology, changes in the economic and global climate, new generations taking up positions in the workplace and shifts in work-life priorities - and we have a talent market that is continually being shaped and moulded by these factors into something new. 

    Organizations are looking for ways to navigate this evolving talent market and identify candidates who have the right skill sets, abilities and shared values for their business. Research indicates that “just over half (52%) of talent leaders in the UK are using analytics or technology to support their hiring and workforce planning decisions,” making psychometric assessments an ideal way to help recruitment/hiring managers, select top talent, develop current employees and evolve employees into future roles.

     

    What is Psychometric Testing?

    Psychometric tests for recruitment are the key to matching the very best candidates to the most suitable positions. They are used to measure a range of crucial skills which can aid the recruitment process, such as:

    • Numerical skills
    • Verbal skills
    • Abstract skills
    • Critical thinking
    • Logical reasoning
    • Personality traits and values
    • Ability testing

     

    How Can it Assist?

    Interviews assess a candidate’s suitability for a role up to a certain point, but psychometric tests can assist in determining other crucial factors. These include how well that individual will fit into the existing team, their development within a certain role and their specific preferences and personality traits. Psychometric testing supports the recruitment process by offering specific information about an individual’s fit for a certain role.

     

    The Benefits of Using Psychometric Tests

    There are numerous reasons why psychometric testing can be of benefit to the recruitment industry, including:

    • Reduce hiring costs and increase candidate pool - Adaptive testing means that you can use just one test to assess a diverse pool of individuals with differing abilities along the performance spectrum. On average, a 'bad hire' costs companies 30% of each hire's annual salary. Tools including the new RAVEN'S Adaptive can help you strengthen your decision-making process.
    • Quickly sift out unsuitable candidates - with Talent Match you can reach a wide range of candidates who fit your requirements. Skills-based hiring can ensure you’re not ruling out candidates too early, which helps to improve your efficiency and supports candidates’ quality up to the final stage of recruitment.
    • Predict performance - Tools such as the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal test is seen as a successful tool for predicting job success. Research shows that organisations can predict over 70% of performance by using the right tools. Results can help you identify and select good team members and possible future leaders.
    • Full picture of a candidate - Combining tests into one assessment package enables you to get a full picture of a candidate from skill sets and personality to their ability and values. Helping you to identify the likelihood of a candidate fitting into a team, role or environment.
    • Reduces unconscious bias - Taking into account variations in personality, values, learning styles, for example, is a very important “though often a ‘hidden’ and so overlooked, form of diversity” Angus McDonald. Including psychometric tests in your recruitment process can help to reduce bias because they are standardised and objective unlike other methods such as interviews.

    “We need to look at people as individuals…individuals bring diversity into the workplace.” Angus McDonald 

     

    Harnessing Technology in Psychometric Testing

    Types of Tools Available

    • Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal - This test measures critical thinking ability. It assesses the ability to look at a situation, understand it from multiple perspectives and effectively separate facts from opinions and assumptions. This appraisal is particularly suited to graduates and managers and looks at comprehension, analysis and evaluation.
    • SOSIE™ - This tool measures personal and interpersonal values and personality traits. It can be used to create an even broader picture of a candidate when combined with ability tests within the recruitment process. This test will also offer an insight into the personality and motivations of the candidate, as well as their fit with a role or organisation and, ultimately, their performance.
    • Numerical Data Interpretation Test™ (NDIT) - This test is designed to assess an individual’s ability to interpret and manipulate data. This skill is crucial for numerous roles and offers an additional insight alongside academic grades, which do not necessarily predict how well a person will perform when interpreting data in the workplace.
    • RAVEN'S™ Adaptive/Advanced Progressive Matrices - These tests are widely used within recruitment for graduates, as well as for IT and engineering. They measure inductive (abstract) reasoning and identify advanced observation and clear-thinking skills.

    Ability and Personality

    When it comes to hiring, it is crucial to achieve a good balance between sufficient ability and the type of personality that is best suited to and compatible with an organisation.

    Psychometric testing offers a deep insight into the personality, behaviours, motivations and aspirations of an individual, enabling the recruiter to see if these factors are as closely aligned with the environment, company and role as the candidate’s ability and CV. Psychometric tests enable recruiters to gain a fully rounded insight into a candidate, offering an effective evaluation and thorough understanding of skills, ability and personality.

     

    Valuable Insights 

    Insights into aptitude, skills, personality, and motivation are essential to select the very best candidates and to develop and guide your workforce throughout their career at your organisation. Reliable and scientifically proven, our solutions support you in your daily work to get the clearest possible picture of a person’s current and future potential.

    Contact our team to review how psychometrics can assist you.

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  • Do You Know the Financial Impact of Your Most Recent Unsuccessful Hire?

    HR team assessing group of candidates interacting - Personality Tests to recruit -Pearson TalentLens

    Recruit talented employees & eliminate the cost of hiring the wrong candidates.

    According to research conducted by CareerBuilder in 2016, the average cost of hiring the wrong employee amounts to $17,000. However, based on a study from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2021, this figure can escalate to as high as $240,000, depending on the company and role.

    On average, the total costs to lay-off an unsuccessful hire and recruit a new hire is 30% of the annual salary. Consequently, making the correct hiring decision becomes imperative. But how can HR and hiring managers ensure they select the right candidates? Below are strategies to avoid making poor recruitment choices and avoid the financial ramifications of an unsuccessful hire.

     

    Preventing Unsuccessful Hires

    Traditional recruitment processes often involve a straight forward formula where people apply on a vague or generic job description. Afterwards, several applicants are chosen for interviews, and one candidate is selected soon after. However, what may have initially appeared to be a suitable fit can swiftly turn into a hiring mistake. It can turn out that the new employee doesn’t possess critical skills that he or she claimed to possess. Or their personality, values and behaviour turned out not to match with that of their colleagues.

    The primary challenge in a recruitment process is subjectivity. Quite often, HR and hiring managers ask questions like 'What are your main weak points?' and receive responses such as 'I work too much’ or ‘I’m a perfectionist’. This reveals nothing about the actual skills required for the job." If you realise that nearly 60% of unsuccessful hires fail due to an employee's inability to meet the expected level of performance, it becomes crucial to have a clear understanding of the required skills right from the start to avoid hiring disasters. To tackle this, you can consider the following:

    1. Clearly define prerequisite and trainable skills 

    Prerequisite skills are essential for the role which candidates should demonstrate during the interview as they won't be trained after hiring. They can range from general qualifications like prior experience in a specific field to specific expertise in a particular software program. On the other hand, trainable skills are those that employees will learn on the job, requiring some level of proficiency but not necessarily prior experience.

    2. Avoid open-ended interview questions that provide little insight

    Ask questions that will make candidates showcase their prerequisite skills instead of open-ended questions that provide little insight. For example, a question like “What experience do you have with working with this CRM software?” will provide you more valuable insights than “What do you do when you have a conflict with a colleague?”. Once the skills have been demonstrated, you can delve into other questions if necessary. However, there is no point in asking them with candidates who cannot prove their ability to perform the required work.

    3. Transform subjective 'soft skills' into objective criteria.

    When it comes to qualities like "cultural fit" and being a "team player," the interpretation typically vary across companies. To make these soft skills more objective, you can break them down into specific components. So clearly define the qualities you seek in a team player or cultural fit and assess whether your candidates possess these concrete traits. Structure interview questions that allow you to evaluate these components in your candidates as well.

    4. Make use of psychometric tests

    Psychometric tests for recruitment can be used to objectively measure a range of crucial skills, such as:

    • Numerical skills: the ability to carry out arithmetic computation and reason with numerical data.
    • Verbal skills: the ability to reason with concepts framed in written and spoken words.
    • Abstract skills: the ability to solve unfamiliar problems and learn new things quickly.
    • Critical thinking: the ability to separate facts from assumptions, to evaluate these and to draw the right conclusions.
    • Personality traits and values: measures whether personality traits (such as dominance, responsibility and recognition) and values (such as achievement, orderliness and goal orientation) of a candidate will likely match with the values and culture of the company. Personality tests that are very useful for recruiting

    Psychometric testing enables the HR and hiring manager to see if ability and personality are closely aligned with the environment, company, and role. Insights into aptitude, skills, personality, and motivation are essential to select the very best candidates and to develop and guide your workforce throughout their career at your organisation.

    5. Review candidate’s digital credentials

    Digital credentials – often in the shape of a digital badge – provide proof of someone’s learning achievement. These are issued by an educational organisation following a learning experience, such as the completion of a (digital) course or the successful passing of an exam. Such credentials are valuable as they can support or question the skills a candidate claims to possess.

    6. Don’t rush!

    Approach the hiring process gradually instead of hastily filling an open position. Although your team may be stretched thin with one or more employees short, remember that an unsuccessful hire won't solve the problem. Opting for a quick hire might provide temporary relief but will ultimately bring you back to square one. It's crucial to prioritize quality over speed, so take the necessary time to find the right candidate and sidestep the expenses associated with a poor hiring decision.

    7. Withhold subjectivity until the end

    Despite the various ways to make an objective hiring decision, you may have two candidates possessing pretty much the same skills, values, and personality traits. In such situations it can be inevitable to make a final decision that is based on subjective grounds like representation, DE&I or shared personal interests. It is important that such decisions are made only at the end of a recruitment process, so it is certain that the selected candidate possess the required skills and has the desired personality and values.

     

    Unlock the Power of Psychometrics with Pearson TalentLens

    Learn how Pearson TalentLens can help empower your talent acquisition and learning and development teams so you can start building a future-proof workforce today. Learn more about our talent assessment library or get in touch with us today to find out.

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  • Identifying Skills Suited to the Evolution of the Tech and IT Sector

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    Artificial intelligence, automation, cloud computing, blockchain... companies in the Tech and IT sector are constantly seeking new ways to improve and push the boundaries of existing technology. To remain competitive, they must be agile and source talent with specific skills. What are these skills? How can organizations attract, recruit, and retain talents in this rapidly changing sector?

     

    Essential Skills for Success in the Tech and IT Sector

    The sought-after skills include:

    • Programming skills: knowing how to code in multiple programming languages.
    • Knowledge of emerging technologies: staying updated with the latest technologies.
    • Data analysis skills: data manipulation, statistical analysis, data visualization, and predictive modeling given the increasing amount of generated data.
    • Cybersecurity skills: risk management, intrusion detection, data protection, and incident response to protect systems and data considering rising cyber threats.
    • Project management skills: planning, execution, control, and communication to ensure the successful delivery of technological solutions.
    • Critical thinking and problem-solving: being able to analyze complex problems, propose innovative solutions, and make informed decisions.
    • Communication skills: effectively communicating with technical and non-technical colleagues and clients to collaborate effectively and ensure understanding of technological requirements and solutions.
    • Agility and adaptability: being able to quickly adapt to technological changes and new challenges in a constantly evolving environment.

    Recruiters in this sector now attach as much importance to soft skills (behavioral skills) as they do to hard skills (technical skills). According to a Deloitte study, leadership skills (54%), problem-solving and decision-making (47%), interpersonal skills (44%), creative and innovative thinking (41%) precede data analysis (40%) as the top essential skills in Tech-IT professions for the years to come.

     

    Tips for Recruiting Talent in the Tech and IT Sector

    • Specify the required skills (hard skills and soft skills) in the job description.
    • Communicate your employer brand, company culture, and the benefits offered as part of the position. Tech and IT profiles are attracted not only by attractive compensation but especially by good working conditions.
    • In addition to job sites and social networks, take an interest in dedicated forums, Tech events, hackathons, establish partnerships with training institutions and schools, consider co-option in this highly community-based field.
    • Test candidates to identify their skills and use digital tools (remote testing and interviews) that reflect the innovative technological environment of the employer.

     

    Strategies for Evaluating Required Soft Skills

    There are various methods:

    • Problem-solving scenarios to observe how a problem is approached, available options analyzed, and solutions proposed.
    • Technical case studies (challenges encountered during software development, implementation of IT infrastructure solutions, or data security management) to assess the ability to quickly understand technical issues and propose effective solutions.
    • Coding and programming tests, to measure a candidate's ability to solve problems logically and effectively, their ability to learn new programming languages, or adapt to specific development environments.
    • Psychometric tests evaluating critical thinking, cognitive abilities, or intellectual aptitudes to assess candidates' learning and adaptation potential, their problem-solving abilities. Personality inventories will provide insights into their communication skills.

     

    Tips for Retaining Tech-IT Talents

    • Offer continuous training programs 

    According to Sacha Kalusevic, Director of Michael Page Technology, "There should be more continuous training to support employee progression. To attract more IT candidates, companies could highlight the skills that their future recruits will develop in the projects they will undertake and offer them a training program to update or develop certain technical skills." 

    • Encourage self-learning and career development 

    Tech profiles, accustomed to self-learning, want to enhance their skills to stay aligned with market needs and those of their employers. It is essential to support this and support their career development. 

    • Create a stimulating work environment 

    It is essential to offer flexible/hybrid work environments (telecommuting, flexible hours, flex office, four-day week) as well as meaningful work with missions, a vision, and clear objectives.

     

    The profile of talent in the Tech and IT sector has evolved. Individuals are now recruited not only for their technical abilities but also for their behavioral skills; they are even considered a priority. Such skills should therefore be evaluated during the recruitment process and, also developed among existing employees.

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  • 8 Tips to Optimize Your Recruitment Process

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    It's never too late to improve your recruiting process. Follow these 8 tips and best practices to improve your recruitment and hiring decisions. 

    The methods and means used for recruitment differ from one company to another. However, most HR professionals agree that mistakes in the recruitment and hiring process can have serious negative effects on the organization. Recruitment issues should therefore not be underestimated in terms of work climate, motivation, productivity and financial impact. To help you limit the risks and find the right candidate, let's define bad recruiting practices and explore our top tips for successful recruitment.

     

    What is bad recruiting?

    For various reasons, recruiters sometimes make recruitment errors: incomplete job description, imprecise missions in the job offer, etc. Sometimes it's the candidate's profile that does not correspond to expectations: lack of skills, or conversely, too qualified. Another scenario is recruiting an employee without having formally assessed their soft skills: here, the recruiter relies on their intuition and somehow skips the different stages.

    What are the consequences for the company?

    The consequences of bad recruiting are sometimes not felt until a couple months after a hire has been made. An employee who does not share the values ​​of the company can become a disruptive element in a team and be a source of demotivation over time. Moreover, their lack of involvement can negatively impact the productivity of the team and organizaiton.

    The direct consequences of poor recruitment are also an increase in turnover, or even an increase in work stoppages. In the long term, the cost for the company is significant: cost of another recruitment process for the same role, cost of possible replacement and training of the new employee, drop in productivity, consequences on the rest of the team if certain tasks are to be distributed, etc.

     

    8 Tips for an Effective Recruitment Process

    It's never too late to improve your talent acquisition and recruitment processes. Here are a few tips:

    1. Create an Accurate Job Description

    One of the reasons for poor recruitment is the lack of clarity about the responsibilties and the skills required for a position. As you write the job description for an open role, be sure it includes the precise responsibilities, the environment and the working relations within the team and organization, the candidate profile sought (level of training, experience, background, skills, etc.), and the relevant success metrics for the role. An accurate job description defines the ideal candidate profile for both hiring managers and recruiters, simplifying sourcing and improving communication between the entire hiring team.

    2. Write a Transparent Job Post

    Now that you've written an accurate job description, it's time to post and promote the open position. In addition to the responsibilities, skills, and experience required, it's best practice to also include work location (in-person, hybrid, fully remote), type of employment contract (part-time, full-time, contractor), and the expected salary range for the position. To further improve the candidates experience, you can also include detailed information about the stages of the recruitment and hiring process at your organization. Once you have all that information, promote the job internally on your company's intranet, as well as externally on popular job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor.

    3. Don't Overlook the Importance of Your Employer Brand

    Now more than ever, emplyees want to work at organization that share similar values as them. To help attrach the right profile of candidates, companies should promote their values and culture across the various channels that make up the candidate lifecycle, including the careers website and social media. Portraying corporate/social values, business projects, team outings, employee testimonials showcases the attractiveness of your employer brand and contributes to a positive candidate experience.

    4. Prepare for Job Interviews

    Besides the interviewer not showing up, nothing is more frustrating for a candidate than facing redundant questions from different interviewers. Interview preparation ensures a shared understanding of the ideal candidate profile. A well-prepared interview team builds trust and encourages candidates to share their experiences and motivations. To implement this best practice, develop interview guides that specify the attributes or skills each interviewer should assess, include useful questions, and incorporate a standardized scoring rubric.

    5. Assess All Skills

    Before making a hiring decision, it's essential to assess all their skills. This includes soft skills, hard skills, as well as attributes like personality and learning style preferences that impact individual and team culture and productivity. To do this, use tools like psychometric assessments to measure cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal skills. You can use separate assessments to measure each area.

    6. Make Objective Hiring Decisions

    Your recruitment process and the tools you employ throughout the candidate journey should improve decision-making for hiring managers by gathering objective data. By using precise job descriptions, pre-employment and psychometric tests, well-informed interviews, and standardized candidate scoring criteria, you can identify the candidate who aligns best with the role and the organization. Additionally, this approach helps reduce biases that may emerge when making judgments based on intuition or interview interactions.

    7. Reply to All Applicants

    HR should promptly inform all candidates of their application status. Failing to respond, even to candidates who were not selected for interviews, can damage the company's image and employer reputation. Encourage interested applicants to consider future roles within the company and wish them luck in their job search. For candidates who were interviewed but not selected, consider providing constructive feedback that could benefit them in their future interviews.

    8. Refine Your Onboarding Process

    The initial days and weeks within the organization can significantly impact the employee's overall experience. Effective onboarding should encompass various activities and topics to ensure a seamless transition into the new role. These elements include orientation, introduction to the company history and culture, access to essential resources, familiarity with policies and procedures, clear role definition, mentorship and buddy systems, open feedback and communication, performance expectations, and focused training. A well-structured onboarding process not only helps new hires feel appreciated and engaged but also equips them for success in their roles, benefiting both the individual and the organization. It lays the groundwork for a positive and productive working relationship.

     

    Optimize Your Recruitment Process with Pearson TalentLens

    Learn how Pearson TalentLens pre-employment and psychometric assessments can help empower your recruiting and hiring teams with the right talent insights. Learn more about our talent assessment library or get in touch with us today to find out more. 

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  • Why Integrate Psychometric Tests Into Your HR Processes?

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    Improve HR strategy with psychometric assessments to select top talent.

    Personality questionnaires, logic tests, evaluation of intelligence quotient, multiple choice questions (MCQ) of general knowledge, the psychometric test comes in different forms, all with the aim of providing greater insight and/or evaluating the aptitudes of candidates. Thus, at a time when soft skills prevail, more and more companies are asking their candidates to carry out tests during the recruitment process, and also their employees. But how should organisations use these tests? What are the advantages? Here are some good reasons to integrate them into your HR processes.

     

    Defining Psychometric Testing

    Used for professional selection and orientation, the psychometric test is used to measure an individual's logical, verbal and numerical skills, as well as personality, motivations and professional behaviour.

    Test Categories

    In occupational psychology, the aptitude test sits alongside personality tests, intelligence tests and situational tests or projective tests. Among the different types of tests, we publish the personality inventory (SOSIE), intellectual aptitude tests (DAT™  Next GenerationWatson-Glaser™ lll), and the motivations and professional interests (Which Career For Me).

     

    What Situations Are Psychometric Tests Used In?

    Psychometric tests are used in various situations of personal and professional life, in particular for a skills assessment or as part of a recruitment process.

    For career guidance: Career Counsellors in guidance centres and skills assessment centres commonly use psychometric tests to support their clients in their professional development. Doing a personality test, or evaluating an individuals motivations and professional interests, makes it possible to identify the main elements of an individual's profile and inform the types of roles that may appeal or be suitable for them. For example, tests can highlight their interests, values, predispositions for manual or intellectual trades, creative or analytical temperament, as well as their ability to work alone or in a team, etc.

    For certain competitive roles: A number of professions use psychometric tests as part of their pre-employment assessment process. The Watson Glaser-lll for example is most commonly used as a screening tool for recruitment in the legal sector, whilst the NHS employs the use of a number of psychometric assessments to sift and select candidates. Many sites offer free psychometric practice tests in order to help candidates prepare and train for the skills required.

    For access to certain professions: The application process for specific professionals such as training to become a train driver or pilot also sees candidates required to undertake technical tests and targeted psychological assessments. Aptitude tests measure in particular the ability to concentrate, resistance to stress and even cognitive abilities. For example, Air France’s selection process, one of the most demanding, includes difficult psychological tests, with a series of logical consequences, as well as group and individual interviews, all over two days!

     

    The Advantages of Psychometric Assessments

    Scientific Reliability

    Psychometric tests make it possible to evaluate an individual, based on an objective statistical approach. As part of its scientific validation, the psychometric assessment must be calibrated to situate a person in relation to a representative sample of the population, with criteria such as age, gender, level of study etc.

    The effectiveness of these tools is guaranteed by three criteria: reliability (similar results and scores if the test is taken several times by the same person), validity (the usefulness and specific performance of the test), and sensitivity (the discriminating power that distinguishes individuals from each other). It is strongly recommended to complete the tests with a feedback interview, conducted by a psychologist or a person trained in the tools.

    Improved Candidate Experience

    Completing tests allows a candidate to check that their profile is suitable for the position offered and that they do not waste their time applying for it. Taking a personality test allows them to identify or confirm their character traits. Similarly, candidates can test their know-how and appetite for a position, with a practical simulation test. Passing tests therefore allows you to get to know yourself better, to identify both your strengths and your points of vigilance, and to assess your ability for which you are applying.  From the employer’s perspective, by collecting complete information on the candidate, the employer can best support them in the onboarding phase, a crucial period for retaining talent.

    Secure & Objective Decision-Making

    For certain technical positions or management functions, candidates must pass a battery of tests before the job interview. These tools indeed help to objectify recruitment, thanks to the concrete and reliable information they deliver, which is not always communicated via a CV and cover letter. In addition, they make it possible to avoid cognitive biases and discrimination, even unconscious.

    In order simplify the recruitment process, it is possible to give a test only to applicants on the short list, for example to decide between two applicants of the same level. The SOSIE, for example, provides the recruiter with details of the personality traits of the prospective candidate and their values. In fact, the results of a test, scientifically proven, support the recruiter in his decision-making, whatever the outcome. However, to evaluate the candidates in an optimal way, it is recommended to cross all sources of information (CV, letter, tests, recruitment interview).

    Greater Candidate Insights

    Completing assessments allows the recruiter to ensure the suitability of a candidate to occupy a specific position; by verifying that his profile meets the expectations of the role, both in terms of know-how (hard skills) and behavioural skills (soft skills). Among the tests used by companies is the Watson-Glaser™ III , which assesses the critical thinking ability of candidates called upon to manage and make decisions. Salespeople can also be tested in a targeted manner on their behaviour in a professional situation (relationship with the customer, conflict management, etc.).

    In addition, psychometric tools can help to predict candidate success, helping to reduce turnover and the costs associated with recruitment errors. As a recruiter, you can assess the candidate's ability to perform in the role and, in part, their professional development. How will this person fit into the existing team? How are they likely to evolve in the company? Are they capable of innovating? Knowing a candidate's potential also helps shape and inform HR teams long-term strategic skills management.

     

    Unlock the Power of Psychometrics with Pearson TalentLens

    With the right strategy and tools, you'll empower your talent acquisition teams to make the right hiring decisions. Want to see how Pearson TalentLens can work within your hiring process? Learn more about our talent assessment library or get in touch with us today to find out.

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  • 10 Recruiting Trends that are Shaping 2024

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    HR professionals are taking on more autonomy and responsibility for the talent strategy and the future direction of organizations. At the end of 2023, we could see some key trends starting to shape the recruitment field. Here are ten top trends that are gathering pace for the year ahead.

     

    1. The rapid growth of AI and machine learning

    AI and machine learning came to the foreground last year and is making strides in the world of HR and recruitment. Currently, 63% of companies are investing or have plans to invest in AI solutions for talent acquisition problems (Gartner). In 2024, organizations looking to streamline and enhance their talent search will be turning to AI for insight as it has the potential to inform all parts of the recruitments process. AI solutions are writing clearer job descriptions, matching clients, automating process, and advancing onboarding. In 2024, organizations will need to be mindful of the ethical use of AI in recruitment processes, particularly around data usage and changing legalities (which will be dependent on local). But the potential for AI to transform the recruitment process is significant

    But that is not all, AI is also changing job roles themselves. Head of AI positions have tripled globally in the last five years (HR Magazine), and roles including or directly linked to AI have grown significantly. On the one hand this may affect job retention as some roles are replaced, whilst on the other there is potential for upskilling and reskilling current employees and embracing the opportunities AI can bring. Using data driven assessments we can help hiring managers gain insight into career potential and skill sets.

     

    2. Skills-based hiring is on the rise

    Hiring requirements are evolving. Whilst many Hiring managers are focusing on qualifications as their key criteria, others are adopting a skills-based approach to hiring and focusing on candidates’ skills – soft (e.g., adaptability, communication, emotional intelligence) and hard (AdWords, coding, copywriting), as well as responsibilities. LinkedIn Data indicates that taking a skills-based approach to hiring can widen talent pools by 10x. Using psychometrics, hiring managers can confidently assess candidates' skill sets to help you select top talent who will perform well now and in the future. This strategic approach can result in a more diverse and multi-skilled workforce, and even help to improve retention rates.

     

    3. Ongoing demand for flexible and remote working

    Flexible working is still very much in demand and today's employees want and often need to benefit from remote working practices and flexibility. In 2024, the concept of remote working will continue to be debated. Many organizations still fall either side of the argument concerning its benefits to work-life balance versus productivity. Research by Upwork suggests that by 2025, an estimated 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely, with over 98% interested in working remotely at least some of the time. Organizations focusing on employee retention and acquisition will need to look at the motivations and values of their candidates and teams to strike the right balance.

     

    4. A renewed focus on DEI

    Organizations are making strides in their approach to diversity, equality and inclusion. Over recent years we have seen the appointment of DEI Managers and commitment to new policies and approaches that are led from the top, however there is still a long way to go. 2024 is expected to be the year of renewed focus on DEI if organizations are to form diverse teams which embrace skill sets and values to drive them forward. According to a recent WEF report, organizations with inclusive cultures are 3.8 times more likely to harness the full potential of their employees and have improved retention rates.

     

    5. Drive retention by supporting employee wellbeing

    28% of HR professionals see employee wellbeing as their second highest priority for 2024, and with talent retention one of the biggest challenges for organizations it is time to take a close look at what plans are in place to support employee wellbeing. From creating more inclusive work cultures to open discussions around physical and mental health, today’s employees are looking for places to work where they feel valued as an individual as well as an employee.  

     

    6. The cycle of upskilling and reskilling

    The workforce is changing and with it the demand for new skill sets; technology is replacing some roles but also adding pressure for employees to learn new skills and systems to perform in the future. Employers estimate that 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted in the next five years. Conducting a skills analysis of the workforce will provide an overview of the current skills gaps that exist in organizations. With this insight hiring managers can begin to plan their talent lifecycle; analyzing job roles and outcomes to shape future job descriptions and planning talent pipelines to source new talent ahead of time. Psychometric assessments have a key role here and can help HR professionals select top candidates based on skill sets and requirements enabling them to advance candidates who are the best fit for the role with confidence, as well as helping to highlight opportunities for future development and eligibility for training programs.

     

    7. What’s your brand?

    Company branding is high on the agenda for 2024. With the demand for talent still at a high, candidates have more opportunity to select an organization that best represents their values and motivations. How organizations present themselves, their values and the future will be up for review. HR professionals looking to attract millennials and Gen Z, may need to assess how their social media presence, employee advocates and values are portrayed to attract top candidates. Tools such as SOSIE 2nd Generation, can help organizations take a closer look at their values and motivations – analyzing employee insights can help HR teams shape career development plans and teams.

     

    8. Power skills of the future

    'Power Skills' are the capabilities that will power the world’s economy and people’s careers today and tomorrow.  A recent Pearson report identified that the top power skills employers are currently looking for are communication, customer service, leadership, attention to detail and collaboration – top human skills that will be essential for business and personal success. In 2024, HR managers will need to look at how they can help employees develop these skill sets and move forward in their careers. Individuals who feel better invested in are more likely to remain with the organization. Tools such as Watson-Glaser™ III can help recruiting managers identify their top skills sets based in job criteria and provide the insights needed to source and select candidates with the right skill sets.

     

    9. Data driven recruiting and analytics

    In-hand with AI and machine learning is an increased desire for data-driven insights to inform recruitment processes. The cost of making a bad hire has a significant impact not only financially but also in terms of productivity and team motivation. Using data insights HR managers can make informed, objective decisions on their recruitment selections. Outcomes can also inform how efficient and effective selections have been and enable adjustments to be made to the recruitment process in the future that will benefit both the candidate's experience and business overall.  From cost of hire, time to hire, training costs, time to place and onboarding – data is transforming the recruitment field and making it more accountable than ever.

     

    10. Generational and population trends

    According to a Deloitte Insights article, Gen Z and millennial workers can be catalysts for change in building a future-proof workforce. Expected to make up over half the workforce by 2030, they are values-driven, striving for work/life balance, and are concerned about the environment, the state of the world, and the future! This year, employers can empower these workers by leveraging their passion and determination to create a better future through activities and policies such as establishing employee support groups (ESGs), supporting community activities, and offering volunteer time off.

     

    Future-proof your recruitment process

    Creating a future proof workforce takes time and planning, HR professionals who are empowered to embrace technology and use insight to drive the talent lifecycle will benefit from the trends currently set to shape 2024. What trends will you be taking a closer look at? For support and advice, discover how Pearson TalentLens can support HR professionals by connecting with our team.

     

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  • 10 Practices to Ensure the Reliability of Your Recruitment Process

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    As a human resources professional, ensuring reliable recruitment is crucial to the success and longevity of your business. With this in mind, adopting certain strategic reflexes is essential. Discover ten tips you can adopt to enhance the reliability of your recruitment processes, from building a strong employer brand to implementing an effective onboarding process. By following these tips, you'll improve the quality of your recruitment and contribute to the growth and stability of your organization. 

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  • AI: Opportunities and Challenges for Recruiters

    Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing recruitment, offering many opportunities to help recruiters with their day-to-day tasks and make informed hiring decisions. However, it also presents challenges that are important for HR professionals to be aware of. In our factsheet below, explore the opportunities and challenges of integrating AI into the recruitment process, highlighting the need to strike a balance between automation and maintaining the human aspect, while ensuring the security of candidate data.

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  • Artificial intelligence, metaverse… what are the challenges for recruitment?

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    If artificial intelligence (AI) is already very present in our daily lives (GPS, playlists, targeted advertisements) and is gradually becoming more popular thanks to tools such as ChatGPT, the metaverse is still in its infancy. These new technologies, which have enormous potential for development, are gradually being integrated into companies for human resources management, and, in particular, recruitment. What are the possibilities offered by these new algorithms? Do they help to recruit better? If so, will they eventually replace recruiters? 

     

    What do we mean by artificial intelligence (AI) and the metaverse?

    These technologies, which are increasinly become part of everyday and work life, each have very distinct uses.

    Artificial intelligence

    Artificial intelligence is a set of technologies, computer programs capable of simulating human intelligence from data provided to it. ChatGPT, for example, is a chatbot tool that uses generative AI: it produces content from the information fed by users and must be constantly fed. This allows it to generate structured content that mimics dialogue. However, to obtain reliable results, it is essential to train the tool with precise queries and direct it towards the desired objectives to improve  reliability.

    The metaverse

    The metaverse (from the English metaverse), contraction of “meta universe”, literally means the universe beyond. More precisely, it is several digital universes which evolve in parallel, because, currently, it is not yet possible to communicate from one virtual world to another. This 3D universe is often a combination of two technologies: virtual reality and augmented reality. We enter the metaverse through specialized platforms, with a virtual reality or mixed reality headset, and, for more immersion, virtual reality glasses, shoes and/or haptic gloves. Users, via avatars created by themselves, can lead a virtual existence, buy a home, decorate it, meet their neighbors, etc.

    Frequently used in video games, companies also use it for different purposes, in particular to innovate their recruitment practices.

     

    What roles can AI and the metaverse play in recruitment?

    Both artificial intelligence and the metaverse should be considered as tools that can be of benefit to organizations, in particular to meet recruitment objectives.

    Facilitate sourcing

    Searching for candidates on job platforms is very time-consuming for a recruitment manager. However, semantic analysis carried out via artificial intelligence greatly facilitates the selection of candidates and allows the recruiter to save significant time in sourcing. AI is one particularly effective sourcing tool in the event of large recruitment, since it is capable of quickly analyzing thousands of CVs. The broad field covered by AI allows you to detect applications containing the keywords present on the relevant job description and/or the job offer. Thanks to matching, sorting CVs is made easier and allows recruiters to easily build up a talent pool. Using the metaverse also saves time during the pre-selection stage, for example by eliminating the telephone interview. In addition, it is possible to organize group interviews or virtual job dating in certain hiring processes, provided that the candidates are equipped with a headset.

    Automate time-consuming tasks

    If sourcing is made easier, it is also thanks to the automation of time-consuming tasks, such as the distribution of offers on job sites, from the ATS (Applicant Tracking System, recruitment management tool, monitoring of candidates among other things). For companies that need to recruit many employees, AI algorithms have become essential to automate and personalize a response to receiving a CV or a spontaneous application, as well as an invitation to a job interview. This also allows the sending of personalized emails to each candidate and facilitates the monitoring of applications at each stage of recruitment.

    Help with writing

    More and more recruiters are using AI to write their job offers, personalize them by highlighting the company culture, as well as to describe the desired job profile and highlight the required skills. ChatGPT can thus increase the readability of advertisements and adapt their form to different social media, which also makes it possible to reach certain passive candidates. For their part, job seekers also use ChatGPT to write their cover letter.

    Evaluate skills

    Video games and virtual reality are part of the recruitment techniques used by HR managers to simulate situations allowing candidates to be evaluated on, for example certain personality traits. Behind an avatar, candidates would have more spontaneous reactions. Regarding skills assessment in general, recruitment professionals may well consider conducting interviews with candidates in the metaverse, which may or may not be a copy of the company's premises. This new technology makes it possible to organize scenarios that are difficult or impossible to implement in reality: diving into the heart of the ocean, flying in a helicopter, going into space, open-heart surgery, etc. It can be enriching to have applicants meet there to observe their reactions and identify the candidate who best fits the position to be filled.

    Optimize the candidate experience

    Some companies already offer virtual tours of their premises. An asset for optimizing the candidate experience. A total immersion visit allows a future employee or candidate to understand the company culture more precisely, and, facilitate onboarding. Regarding AI, chatbots, for example, also help improve this experience by responding to certain expectations of the candidate and the questions they may ask about the application procedure and the recruitment stages.

    Promote the employer brand

    As an indirect consequence, the use of virtual or augmented reality technologies makes it possible to attract profiles who may be reactive to these recruitment methods. Therefore, a start-up looking to recruit an IT expert has every interest in integrating this technology into its talent acquisition strategy. In addition, by communicating these new recruitment methods on professional social networks such as Linkedin, job sites such as APEC and other recruitment channels, the company enhances its attractiveness to potential candidates. In addition, the innovative nature of these technologies can encourage the best profiles to apply.

     

    What are the opportunities and challenges of AI and the metaverse in recruitment?

    AI and/or the metaverse represent strong added value for companies, and specifically in the field of recruitment. However, they still face some challenges, hence the importance of knowing these tools well.

    Opportunities : 

    • You save time! Some groups or multi-site companies use virtual reality to organize their work meetings. In the same spirit, the metaverse can serve as a means of recruiting a new employee internationally, thus saving travel and time.
    • Parsing technologies (analysis of CVs in paper and digital format to integrate the information contained in recruitment software or ATS) and matching ( identification of skills, experience and qualifications which correspond to the profile sought for a position particular) also facilitate the work of a team of recruiters, by making it possible to select the candidate who best suits the position to be filled and therefore to recruit effectively.
    • If the company wishes to recruit executives, managers or young graduates, it can quickly find employees who are immediately operational.
    • AI makes it possible to automatically update content and data, which have a limited lifespan on the web.
    • The metaverse makes it possible to simulate the working environment and technical constraints, to reduce certain risks. This represents a real asset for a recruitment manager, who is looking to reduce hiring errors and costs linked to poor recruitment.
    • These new technologies have the advantage of allowing the recruiter to expand international recruitment, with distance or language no longer being obstacles.

    THE challenges to overcome:

    • AI presents a risk of standardizing profiles and recruiting clones: generative AI in fact learns from the data with which it is fed. If they look similar or a recruiter often enters the same keywords, atypical profiles risk being excluded from the results.
    • The quality of the data provided, the lack of regularity in machine training, or even poor formulation of the query can lead to distorted results. Thus, it is often necessary to try several times to obtain a conclusive answer from ChatGPT. This is why it is essential that users are trained beforehand.
    • Users may encounter security and personal data protection issues, as the GDPR does not apply in all countries outside Europe.

     

    AI and metaverse: a solution to overcome recruitment difficulties?

    In a tense job market, the company must stand out from its competitors to attract candidates and find concrete solutions to remedy its recruitment difficulties.

    An innovative recruitment method

    The use of these innovative technologies such as AI and the metaverse boosts the employer image and can attract new talents, provided it is not just an empty shell. This innovative recruitment approach optimizes the candidate experience (role playing, total immersion in virtual reality, new sensations, etc.) and can make it easier to target shortage profiles. In addition, used for a first interview, these technologies save time and prevent a prospective recruit from going to a competitor.

    Expand the type of profile sought

    Generative AI can propose candidates different from those usually sought, depending on the queries and keywords submitted to it. But it is still the human who provides the data and the recruiter who issues requests based on his recruitment objective, at a given time. The machine is a simple performer. However, AI is capable of proposing candidates that the recruiter would not have considered straight away and encouraging them to recruit atypical candidates. A person hiding behind a unicorn-shaped avatar can match 80% of the desired profile. The company has the possibility of then training it via the metaverse! It is also a way of limiting discrimination in hiring. In addition, thanks to matching, the AI can spontaneously draw from the pool of applications received, which it itself helped to create.

    Impacts difficult to assess

    The impact of artificial intelligence on recruitment as a whole remains difficult to measure. The time saving is undeniable in automating the sorting of applications and in matching them with the job profiles to be filled. Furthermore in terms of travel and the organization of interviews, and even in the implementation of the evaluation. However, all this requires engineering by recruitment specialists, as well as the definition of KPIs (Key Indicators Performance) to monitor and determine the return on investment (ROI) of these technologies, in relation to the processes. “classic” recruitment methods.

    AI, metaverse VS recruiter?

    Are the new algorithms intended, in the long term, to replace the recruiter? Are physical exchanges set to disappear? If the metaverse is a space conducive to role-playing, it is often reserved for pre-selection interviews. As for the job interview, it still takes place, more generally, face-to-face. The use of the metaverse as a recruitment tool is still anecdotal, compared to the solutions offered by AI. However, it is important to remain cautious and carefully regulate the uses made of it, while ensuring the quality of the data available.

     

    AI, metaverse and psychometric tests: complementarity

    Recruitment solutions are numerous and depend on the defined recruitment strategy.

    Diversified means

    Recruitment by direct approach (recruitment of managers or rare profiles), co-optation, internal mobility, new recruitment methods (AI, metaverse etc.), there are multiple ways of recruiting. But there is no universal recruitment solution that will help you find the ideal candidate. Often, the person who takes care of recruitment (consultants, human resources department, recruitment firms) uses complementary recruitment methods and tools which have their place at this or that stage of the recruitment process.

    Psychometric tests and virtual reality

    If the face-to-face job interview remains essential, the psychometric tests dedicated to recruitment allow us to know the candidates in depth, based on declarative items, while the simulation of real situations, in the metaverse or elsewhere, allows you to visualize the reactions of applicants and to evaluate soft skills more precisely. Psychometric tests, such as the SOSIE 2nd Generation - personality and values inventory and/or the DAT™ NEXT GENERATION intellectual aptitude tests precisely assess the skills of candidates, provide information on their potential and are excellent predictors of job performance.

    The metaverse is effective in its own way for evaluating the candidate on the technical skills specific to certain sectors of activity, thanks to situations similar to the reality of the professions (catering, maintenance, industry, etc.).

    Thus, whatever the tools, the metaverse and psychometric tests are complementary to “increase” the quality of the evaluation.

    Cognitive biases

    When used well and supplied with reliable data, AI makes it possible to create a pool of candidates without discrimination. It is therefore reasonable to believe that the combination of artificial intelligence technologies and scientifically designed psychometric tests would eliminate any risk of cognitive bias in the recruitment of talent.

     

    Thus, used wisely, AI and the metaverse represent considerable help for recruiters. However, these tools are a thousand miles from being able to replace humans in their functions. Indeed, while they offer many advantages for decision support, they also have a major flaw: they do not know how to manage emotions. Human skills such as imagination, empathy, creativity, etc., among those required to perform a role in HR, still have a bright future ahead of them.

     

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  • How will AI influence the future of professional skills?

    Coworkers working on a project next to a computer - Impact of AI on professional skills - Pearson TalentLens

    Like the World Wide Web at one time, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is developing more and more in the business world. All areas of business are impacted, and its powerful technology is revolutionizing the world of work. For some of us, AI is seen as a threat, while others, on the contrary, view it as a great opportunity to transform our work "for the better". 

    One thing is certain: AI is changing us. To take full advantage of AI in your business sector, there's one golden rule: anticipate the skills you'll need to evolve your job and use your role as a human being as added value. 86% of respondents to a BCG X study believe they will need training to upgrade their skills [1]. What impact does AI have on professional skills? How can we best prepare for the growing integration of AI into the world of work? Here's how.t

     

     

    The potential impact of AI on professional skills 

    1. Automation of routine tasks: AI automates many routines, low value-added tasks, often characterized by repetitive, predictable and structured actions, freeing up workers' time to concentrate on more complex, creative and strategic tasks, where their human skills are required. 
    2. Strengthening analytical and cognitive skills: Professionals need to develop analytical skills to take advantage of AI's capabilities, interpreting the many results it generates. In an increasingly data-driven business environment, AI helps professionals develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills to make better decisions. Listening, humility, curiosity, open-mindedness and the ability to take a step back are personal qualities in high demand in this sense. 
    3. Increasing demand for social and emotional skills: The ability to collaborate with, understand and interact effectively with intelligent systems specific to AI requires professionals to have social skills such as communication, collaboration and understanding of mutual needs for better teamwork and conflict resolution. In addition, workers need to adapt quickly to new technologies and accept change. Emotional skills such as resilience, flexibility and stress management are expected for this.

     

    Key skills to develop for the new world of work 

    1. Analytical and problem-solving skills: It has become essential to be able to analyze data, identify trends and find innovative solutions to problems. 
    2. Creative and critical thinking skills: Developing original thinking skills to encourage innovation and critical thinking skills to step back and manage complex and novel situations is a priority. 
    3. Communication and collaboration skills: Perfecting written and oral communication skills, as well as the ability to work effectively in a team and manage constructive interpersonal relationships, is key. This can only benefit collective intelligence and better performance at work. 
    4. Adaptability and lifelong learning skills: It's important to be well prepared to adapt to technological changes and evolutions in the job market by adopting a lifelong learning approach. 

     

    Strategies to prepare for AI in the workplace

    1. Keep abreast of technological trends: It's vital to keep abreast of advances in AI and the fields likely to be impacted by this technology. 
    2. Develop transferable skills: Investing in general and transversal skills that can be updated and applied to different professional contexts can only be beneficial. 
    3. Take training courses and obtain new certifications: It's a good idea to strengthen your skills by taking specific training courses, obtain certifications and benefit from practical experience in the field of AI. 
    4. Network and learn from experienced professionals: Exchanging with experts in the field of AI to gather valuable advice and information is also recommended. 

     

    The world of work is undergoing a paradigm shift with the increasing arrival of AI in many industries. To take advantage of this, it's important to understand its scope and prepare optimally for its integration within the company. The human skills required for a job are not necessarily the same as before. Everyone can make the most of this changing environment by developing new key skills, useful for adapting to the evolution of their profession. The rapid progress of AI also requires a culture of continuous adaptation. In this sense, it's important for human resources (HR) managers to support employees in developing their skills throughout their professional careers and encourage continuous learning. In this way, employees will feel better supported in this ongoing transformation and the impact it has on their jobs.

     

    Optimize Your HR Process with Pearson TalentLens

    Learn how Pearson TalentLens psychometric assessments can help empower your recruitment and talent management processes with the right talent insights. Learn more about our talent assessment library or get in touch with us today to find out more. 

     

    [1] Study by BCG X, BCG's tech entity, on the impact of AI on jobs among employees in 18 countries across all industries and statuses https://www.bcg.com/publications/2023/what-people-are-saying-about-ai-at-work

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