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How-to: Make data-driven talent decisions during the employee lifecycle

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Through the concept of a seven-stage employee lifecycle, Aon Assessment Solutions has provided ideas for collecting and utilising employee data for better decisions in a whitepaper titled, Achieving productivity and engagement through data-driven talent decisions.

Some of the ideas provided in the research on making data-driven talent decisions throughout seven stage of the talent lifecycle are provided below:

Stage 1: Talent planning

  • Know what you are looking for – Clearly define the roles in your organisation, specifying not only the tasks, but the exact competencies, abilities and job-related behaviours.
  • Don’t be lured into looking for individuals who ‘tick all the boxes’ – The danger in doing so is that you may miss out on candidates who may not currently have the right set, but can learn.

Stage 2: Attraction

  • Look for candidates in the right places – Use the data identified in your job analysis to strategically place your job postings, including tapping into your current employees for referrals.
  • Conduct a pre-application screening – Help potential applicants make an informed choice by introducing realistic job previews to allow them to assess their self-suitability.

Stage 3: Selection

  • Choose the assessment tool specific to your requirements – For example, a personality questionnaire measures the finer details of job-specific competencies, while aptitude tests are better for determining cognitive abilities.
  • Keep your process free of bias – Ensure “face validity”, i.e. every test or tool you use must look to candidates like it measures what it is supposed to measure.

Stage 4: Onboarding

  • Prepare a personal development plan – Use the data gathered during selection assessment to match new employees to the right mentor, based on their personality and abilities.
  • Ask questions – Survey new recruits on what they thought of the assessment process.

Stage 5: Ongoing development and succession planning

  • Create ‘organisational heatmaps’ – This is to highlight the jobs, geographical areas, departments and teams where specific development is required.
  • Provide data to coaches and mentors – So that they can better understand the strengths, weaknesses, and progress of the employees they are coaching.

Stage 6: Performance management and engagement

  • Optimise your performance management process – It should help you understand people’s capabilities, how they are performing, their potential, and exactly what motivates them.
  • Conduct engagement surveys – Use the data to create action plans for improvement in specific teams or business units.

Stage 7: Retention

  • Keep every job challenging, interesting and fun – Employees want to constantly feel a sense of accomplishment and that their time at work has been worthwhile.
  • Don’t over-hype your employer brand – This may result in creating a false expectation of what it’s like to work at your organisation, causing a retention issue in the long-term.

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