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Using Assessment Centers for Talent Pipelining

Building a strong, “ready” talent
pipeline will help save time,
increase performance
and development of high potentials

We’ve been building talent pipelines for clients since we started our RPO business 14 years ago and a lot of what now passes for pipelining is little more than name generation. This article is about the other end of the spectrum – creating a “ready” pool of candidates, and by “ready” I mean they actually want the job and have been assessed as having the ability to do it.

Probably the best example I’ve seen of this was with one of our leading healthcare clients. Our client wanted a pipeline of great sales and leadership talent and they identified key talent as individuals with both leadership capability and mobility. They knew they could invest in these people and that they would get the return because they can move them wherever the business need is at any particular time.

Through a comprehensive MBA campus and non-campus based sourcing campaign we started off with a large pool of “names.” After resume and phone screening we identified the top 10% who then met with hiring managers. Another 30% were dropped off as a result of those interviews and the remaining candidates were invited to an assessment center where they participated in a range of exercises and activities including: business case analysis, presentation exercise, interview, group exercise and a social event where they could be observed in a less formal setting.

45% of the candidates were offered roles immediately, 30% pipelined for the future and 25% were considered not suitable. As vacancies arose, the 30% of pipelined candidates were offered and accepted roles. Rather than commencing a recruitment process when these new vacancies arose, and waiting 3 months before a candidate could start, time-to-start on these positions was around 2-3 weeks. The level of pre-qualification, on both the employer and employee side, meant there was very little work to be done once an opportunity arose.

Most critically, based on their initial performance reviews, this new group of key talent was already outperforming their peers.

So when does pipelining through assessment centers make sense?

  • Significant volume of roles in the same category
  • Quality is a priority
  • Need to reduce time-to-fill on critical hires

How you can innovate from here:

  • Use last year’s hires as assessors for the next intake; saving manager’s time and providing a developmental opportunity to your high potentials
  • Put some of your travel budget into smart video assessments which increase the reach of the program and ultimately lower costs

Learn how Hudson RPO can help with your talent pipeline.  Contact us today.





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Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.