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  • Benoit Hardy-Vallée

The Role of Assessments in Talent Management (Season 2 episode 2)

Updated: Jan 18




In this week's episode of abrupt future, host Benoit Hardy-Vallee sits down with Sarah Linkletter, COO at EPSI and Ph.D student at the University of Ottawa, to discuss the role of assessments in talent management. From intelligence and emotional intelligence tests to personality assessments, Sarah shares her expertise on how evaluations can be used for recruitment, development, and training programs. Don't miss this conversation on the future of work and HR. Listen now on your favourite podcast platform.




  • The podcast discusses the assessment industry, which is valued at between $8 and $12 billion globally.

  • Assessments are used for recruitment and selection, and measure a variety of things such as intelligence, personality, and emotional intelligence.

  • Intelligence assessments specifically measure a person's cognitive ability, also known as their g factor.

  • Intelligence assessments have evolved over time to include different theories such as the CHC model, which focuses on mental abilities and capacity.

  • Intelligence assessments are used to measure a person's mental abilities and capacity, which includes elements such as perception, learning, memory, reasoning, judgment, and language.

  • Personality assessments measure predetermined constructs and traits of an individual's behavior through statements related to everyday actions.

  • The information obtained from these assessments is analyzed systematically to create a personality profile, looking at how different characteristics interact with each other and with others.

  • Personality assessments can be used for both selection and development, helping individuals understand their own operating software and how they react to different situations.

  • There are challenges in using personality assessments, such as bias and adverse impact, but they can also be useful in creating effective teams and developing a harmonious workplace environment.

  • The danger with using personality assessments in the workplace is that they may lead to a homogeneous culture, rather than promoting diversity and inclusion.

  • There are growing concerns about the use of personality and cognitive assessments in competitive processes, particularly in the public sector, due to issues of bias and adverse impact.

  • These concerns extend beyond the occupational domain and impact marginalized populations such as women, Indigenous people, visible minorities, and people with disabilities.

  • One of the major debates in the assessment and psychology community is the validity and reliability of current psychometric tools in capturing the vast theoretical framework of constructs such as intelligence, personality, and emotional intelligence.

  • Another issue is the generalizability of assessments, as a majority of research is conducted in the United States, and there is a need for more research outside of this domain.

  • The mechanics of how assessments work include rigorous validity and reliability studies to ensure the assessment design, content, interpretation, and reporting are sound. This includes pilot testing and norming the assessment to a representative sample.

  • Identifying the purpose of the assessment is crucial in determining which tools and measures to use, whether it be for selection or professional development.

  • It is important to consider a combination of different types of assessments such as cognitive ability, personality, and competency-based assessments to provide a fuller picture of the candidate.

  • In-person interviews are also important in order to supplement the information obtained from the assessments and to tailor the assessment strategy to the position the candidate will be filling.

  • It is important to keep in mind that candidates have different strengths and perform differently across different measurements, and to take into account the nature of the position and the candidates' experience and satisfaction during the assessment process.

  • The assessment process should be balanced and thoughtful, taking into consideration the competition for top talent, and ensuring that the tools used are valid, reliable, and appealing to candidates.

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