Nathan Konstantino, Co-Founder & Director, TheTalentFinders

We love helping organisations assess their people in a fun, objective, scientific, unbiased, powerful and ultimately highly engaging way.

We work with employers, training providers and educational institutions to help them understand their employees, candidates and learners better.

How do we do this? I will go into some more detail shortly, but first, let’s understand some of the drivers.

GRILL THE CANDIDATE!

Err no! Let me take you back to 1998, you are job hunting and you have ‘posted’ your CV to loads of employers – your CV has made it through the application process, clearly the time taken working on the layout, quality of paper, highlighting qualifications, achievements and where you were educated has got you over the first hurdle.

“We would like to invite you for an interview Mr Smith” – you think “great” for a split second and then panic at the thought of being grilled by a couple of all powerful career Gods! You dry clean your suit or borrow something out of your parent’s wardrobe and prep for the big day.

On arrival at the offices of your potential employer you are greeted in reception by an orderly, grey suited receptionist, who keeps looking at you as if you shouldn’t be there and you are asked to wait until Zeus and Poseidon are ready, finally they are, and you are led into the oak lined board room, sat at one end of a table and questioned, poked and probed for 1hr by Zeus and Poseidon – rarely do they smile and rarely do they ask you to talk about YOU, just qualifications and relevant experience, they thank you for your time and say they will be in touch, you assume you didn’t get the job as they haven’t been in touch since and it is now 2018. Case closed!

Clearly things have moved on massively since 1998 and the whole candidate experience piece in many organisations is now light years from this thankfully, HR and Talent teams are acutely aware of their demand for talented individuals, some organisations are even forecasting the demand ahead of the curve to help grow their organisation. However, many still struggle with finding the right fit and are looking for new ways to understand their employees better, identify potential and match the right candidates to the right opportunities.

ARE TRADITIONAL SELECTION & ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUES BROKEN?

Probably not broken, but there are certainly better ways of assessing that we can be certain of. Research shows that tried and supposedly tested assessment and selection methods such as interviews – either biographical, competency or behavioural based – often just don’t work – frankly, they’re highly subjective, prone to human error and riddled with bias.

Traditional psychometric assessments are challenged daily as to both their accuracy and, most importantly, indicators of future success. Continue on this path at your peril, throwing more wrong fit candidates into the hopper, hoping that some get through and this will only lead to inflated cost of hire, poor quality of hire and unsatisfied clients and ultimately employees as they are left to pick up the pieces!

TALENTMAP

Well there is another way and through gamified assessment underpinned by neuroscience, assessment output can be meaningful, relevant and powerful to an organisation – at TheTalentFinders we call this TalentMap.

As a CEO of a mid-sized training provider recently said to me “Nathan, we need a new breed of animal to get us to where we want to be”, this is music to our ears and they acted and designed L&D programs to develop their employees first, predict future potential and design the recruiting profile(s) that will be their employees of the future.

SO HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY YOUR SUPERHEROES?

TalentMap looks at an individual’s true abilities, such as their cognitive function, emotional intelligence, personality, attitude and aptitude – all of which are far better indicators of an individual’s true potential. Throw in to the mix that we gather this data through gamified assessments - which encourages participation, accuracy and completion – then add the fact this service is delivered by experienced talent professionals and you’ve got a recipe for some seriously smart assessing.

Let’s delve deeper: TalentMap has its roots in talent acquisition and management and primarily works with employers both in private and public sector as well as supporting the education, careers and employability sector, pioneering neuroscience underpins the game based assessments and at a technology level, the emergence of Cloud based technology, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and data science have been uniquely combined to create a highly objective and powerful offering for the HR, Recruitment and Employee Performance markets.

I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS - AREN’T THESE GAMES JUST FADS?

Put simply, NO! These games are not fads, there is significant conjecture around the validity of games based assessment vs gamified assessment, significant resource and investment from our technology partner has developed an excellent platform and with over 50,000 individual profiles onboard and growing month on month – gamified assessment we feel is more closely aligned to the output of more traditional psychometric testing, but provides a far better user experience and in our opinion is here to stay!  

We have found that the organisations we work with don’t understand this way of assessment and selection at first and that’s OK, we recognise this and therefore we start from the ground up, understanding current state, offering future state potential using TalentMap and then reviewing comparable outputs, doing it this way improves validity and understanding.

Quick example from working with a training provider last year.

We looked at attitude, aptitude, potential, skills and career needs/wants/desires - amongst other things.

We then overlaid this with their own internal performance data, to understand the differences (attitude, aptitude, potential etc) between high, average and underperformers.

From here, we developed a profile for each area of the business as to what a "high performer" looks like, using the measures above.

Outputs

The leadership team, HR and recruitment teams now have a far better, deeper and objective view of their people, their organisation's strengths (and weaknesses), what differentiates high / average / underperformers, and the risks and opportunities this presents.

There have been two significant outputs in the last few months:-

Internal moves

We looked to see whether underperformers from certain areas of the business matched the profile of high performers in other areas. This helped us identify a number of individuals who appeared to be a better fit for different roles/teams/managers.

External hiring

We've used the profiles mentioned above to assess external candidates against objective, accurate and unbiased measures.

External candidates are being assessed in the same way that employees are, but with a concentration on the essential elements - ensuring consistency, but also accuracy.

Typical assessments take around 20 minutes, as they focus on the necessary areas rather than ambiguous "nice to haves" that the hiring manager thinks they need.

For most roles - once an initial sift has been done for the right to work, legally required qualifications/experience etc - all candidates are being asked to go through the online assessments.

The logic in this is that a CV (and to a certain extent a telephone/pre-screen) is prone to bias - and does very little to ascertain an individual's actual ability and potential.

Whereas an engaging assessment approach does just that, without subjectivity and in an unbiased way.

THE FUTURE?

TheTalentFinders purpose is to help organisations make the best people related decisions possible, through using TalentMap.

As we continue to work with our clients to deliver value over the long term and convince new potential clients to start their journey with us – we are super proud to say that the world of apprenticeships and work based learning is a market we serve, we 100% back the levy and subsequent reforms and look forward to helping many more over the years to come.

Remember ‘gaming’ isn’t just for the kids!

Nathan Konstantino, Co-Founder & Director, TheTalentFinders

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