HR Assessments - A Complete Guide |

The Human Resources team in any organization has plenty to keep them busy. HR is called upon for hiring, development, well-being, training, employee engagement… The list goes on.

HR assessments are a cornerstone of much of this work. The insights gained from regularly assessing the workforce on their capabilities and opinions shape strategic decision-making related to recruitment, development, team building, and organizational growth. The modern workplace is leaving many people unhappy, disengaged, and unproductive - HR assessments are crucial in addressing this.

The spectrum of HR assessments explained

HR assessments can be used within any organization to better understand its people and practices to chart out a path for improvement and monitor employee engagement. Given how wide-ranging the responsibilities of Human Resources are, HR assessments exist on a similarly broad spectrum.

A few types of HR assessment include:

  • Personality and behavior assessments - filled out by individuals themselves. The results can help us better understand each person and how they operate within our team. These can be used with existing employees or when recruiting to ensure we hire the best fit
  • 360-degree feedback - this appraisal format gathers feedback from key colleagues and managers to help identify gaps in performance and development
  • Employee engagement surveys - shared organization-wide, these surveys should be conducted at regular intervals to pinpoint any issues that are affecting productivity and wellbeing

Each of these HR assessments provides actionable insights on employees and teams. We can conduct them to learn more about potential hires, refine employee development pathways, enhance team performance, and support succession planning.

Implementing HR assessments in your organization

When it comes to implementing HR assessments, planning and preparation is key. We must first identify the area to assess, and then outline our objectives. Only once this has been done can we select the right tool for the job - we aren’t going to get the insight we need if we use 360-degree appraisal for recruitment when we haven’t worked with that person yet!

With our objectives in mind and our appropriate HR assessment ready to go, we need to set expectations within our team for the sake of participant engagement and data quality. Whether we’re asking just a few people to complete a workplace personality assessment to improve their team’s communication or we’re sending out an organization-wide employee engagement survey, we need to get everyone’s buy-in. Team leaders can share the workload here. In addition, everyone partaking needs to understand what the assessment looks like, what is needed from them to complete it, and why we’re doing it.

We should also look at the environment we’re asking people to complete the assessment in - can we email it out for people to complete in their own time to a deadline, or do we need to set aside dedicated time and space as we’re dealing with a delicate subject?

Once the results of our HR assessment are in, we need to interpret the results. We may have gathered qualitative or quantitative data or a mix of both, so should ensure we have the right team onboard to analyze this information and translate it into actionable strategies. If Thomas' tools are used, we can support you with understanding the results and provide training, workshops, and further resources to address any issues or imbalances that your HR assessment has uncovered.

Overcoming challenges in HR assessments

An awareness of the potential challenges of undertaking this work can help us feel prepared to face them head-on. Let’s consider a few of these challenges and how we can overcome them.

  • Bias

As HR assessments rely upon self-reporting or employee feedback, they’re potentially open to bias. We can limit this within the assessment itself by using certified question sets, and we can look to reduce bias ahead of time through diversity and inclusion training.

  • Privacy

Some individuals may not feel comfortable giving the responses they want to give if they know it can be attributed to them. Surveys and assessments can be anonymized for privacy, especially if they’re conducted digitally. For anything that may need to be gathered in person, it’s important to limit those involved in the data gathering to allow people to speak openly.

  • Participant apprehension

Participants may be apprehensive about what the HR assessment will reveal about them and their work. The HR team and managers can alleviate any anxiety by reassuring participants that they won’t be judged for their responses and that the purpose of the assessment is to improve workplace and individual development.

Outside of these challenges, it’s also vital that we ensure compliance and ethical standards. There are legal requirements around the collection of particular information (such as ‘special category’ data, which is covered by GDPR). We and our team leaders must understand the legality and ethics of this work, ensuring privacy and data protection standards are met.

Enhancing workplace collaboration with Thomas

Thomas’ Team Interaction Optimization was created to support HR assessments - in conducting them, and in acting on the findings. Our tools build cohesive, high-performing teams by using people science to understand and align individual strengths from the point of hiring onwards. We provide curated training based on the results of HR assessments, so you’re not left wondering what to do once you’ve collected all of that valuable data. We know that in an evolving workplace HR assessments need to be conducted regularly and we’re committed to doing that ongoing work with you.

HR assessments as a catalyst for organizational success

HR assessments are a powerful tool when it comes to understanding our workforce and putting in place plans to develop and improve the working culture. The data gained from HR assessments is invaluable to leadership - with these insights, they can build strong, dynamic, and adaptable teams. HR assessments give individuals the opportunity to learn more about themselves and their team, and map out their development, motivating them to progress.

To do HR assessments well, we know we need to define our objectives, choose the right tool, and update our data regularly. It’s a continuous learning process, and you can leverage Thomas’ expertise to get you the answers you need.

Want to incorporate HR assessments into your strategy? Take a look at our comprehensive range of services and get your organization on the road to excellence today.