Volume assessments on social media: Organisational use of volume assessment platforms

By Maretha Prinsloo on October 11, 2019

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Create a virtual talent pool and grow your leadership pipeline through volume recruitment and informed talent management.

Volume assessment platforms, which enable the low cost and holistic screening of candidates in terms of biographical and psychological criteria, now offer significant benefits to businesses as well as governmental and educational institutions. Such assessment platforms can be designed to clarify and visually represent the talent pool that otherwise remains obscure, thereby contributing to the contextualisation and leverage of human potential across the spectrum.

In this second part of the 3-series blog on volume assessment on social media, the focus will be on networking for recruitment, talent management and other HR purposes in both the private and public sectors.


Business usage

People are generally regarded as one of the most important assets of any business; therefore, it is of strategic importance for companies to leverage the value offered by their people in order to drive organisational sustainability.  A crucial prerequisite for this is to gather meaningful information about people and use this information for optimising job performance, job satisfaction and employee engagement.

Talent management in organisations normally involves HR initiatives aimed at attracting, developing, motivating and retaining talent. This includes recruitment, selection, placement, performance management, team compilation, succession, employee engagement, training and remuneration functions. Talent management thereby informs and optimises various aspects of organisational development, with the goal of ensuring its viability in the long term.

For an integrated HR approach, talent management initiatives should be aligned with the organisation’s value proposition coupled with its strategic intent, business structure and culture. This requires HR practitioners to fully understand the core competence of the organisation as well as its business processes and contextual challenges; all of which will in turn determine the role-related competency requirements of various job families at various levels of work complexity.

Therefore, to create a competency framework for an organisation requires the identification of job families, levels of work complexity, as well as the careful clustering and integration of the various building blocks of competencies from which the individual’s competency scores can be calculated algorithmically. The building blocks of competencies include specific biographical features, knowledge, skills, attitudes and psychological factors. The psychometric anchoring and assessment of the competency requirements of work is an important prerequisite for the effective deployment of a strategic and agile talent management approach in an organisation.  This includes competency-based audits of current staff, mass recruitment, in-depth people assessment and placement, as well as compensation strategies. A well clarified, operationalised and measurable competency framework thus forms the foundation for the integration of all HR functions.

Mass recruitment and talent audits using volume assessments for screening, may provide a cost-effective big picture of the organisation’s internal talent component as well as its potential talent pool. The effectiveness of volume assessment depends on an integrated approach to the measurement of competencies, as single discrete assessments largely fail to capture the nature of a person’s special talents and orientation. Holistic screening techniques based on a variety of measurements should thus be used. These include biographical criteria such as personal profiles, educational exposure, and work experience, as well as psychological constructs (e.g. cognition, values and motivation). The screening techniques should gather, cluster, interpret, and verify information which should be both digitally accessible and capable of selective filtering while retaining the confidentiality of personal information.

Capitalising on social networks for recruitment purposes makes sense as most job seekers are members of a variety of digital social networks. In addition, big data or large volumes of information gathered on social media can be subjected to analytics to unlock its potential value by identifying sources of high-level performance in specific contexts. The contextual nature of performance should be emphasised, as employee engagement may depend significantly on the nature of the work in question as well as environmental factors such as the organisational culture, which can potentially energise or drain the energy of employees.

Competency-based screening tools thus provide valuable guidelines for organisational development through informed selection, placement, team compilation, succession, retention as well as personal and team development and deployment.

It goes without saying that the use of a mass recruitment or staff auditing system should ideally be integrated within the organisation’s website and reflect a strong employment brand. The user interface is critical. Ideally, it should be clear and easy to understand and navigate, be perceived as professional, and provide all the necessary information online.


To conclude

The key goals behind volume assessment and intentional social networking for employers and employees are to:

  • create accessibility and provide the necessary information to facilitate career and placement decisions aimed at building a healthy talent pipeline;
  • ensure employee engagement and retention; and
  • avoid succession risks related to vacuum and crowding effects.

Such a system should thus ideally involve effective and automated access to large volumes of potential job candidates, psychological assessment or screening, data and visual analytics, and people information management.

The functional aims of such a system include simplifying and reducing the administrative burden on HR practitioners while improving the candidate experience. In order to enhance business agility and talent mobility, the future world of work will also necessitate a well-informed and populated virtual talent pool with networking access shared by all.


Public sector usage

Not only the business sector, but also governmental and educational institutions can significantly benefit from the use of volume assessment platforms.

The public sector often requires in-depth information of the population, whether for political purposes such as gathering information on public opinion and policy effectiveness or specific electoral and socio-economic purposes related, for example, to education, job creation, employment and productivity; social service administration, the health and welfare of its citizens, law and order, and infrastructure planning. This information is required to be gathered quickly, economically, and dynamically; with social media platforms now the obvious choice for information acquisition, analytics, and dissemination.

The use of biographically and psychologically based volume assessment platforms by the public sector holds the benefit of providing in-depth data of individual profiles and therefore population characteristics. For example, data- and visual-analytics can be invaluable for helping policymakers better discover/understand important features of an electorate; along with the interests, potential and talents of the school- and university-leaving population; and in turn, job market requirements.

It therefore makes sense for government and educational institutions to consider the use of low-cost information services, provided by secure assessment and networking platforms which hold benefits at both micro- and macro levels.

In countries characterised by cultural diversity, unemployment and educational challenges, the large-scale implementation of information and networking systems on social media is thus crucial for addressing the stochastic drift of declining economies.


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