people meeting SH006 v2

With Outcomes Based Assessment, Numbers Speak Louder than Words

The impact of assessment on important outcomes yields a clear return on investment across the globe.

High-level decision-makers would probably agree that identifying and retaining top talent should be a high priority for their organizations. Historically low unemployment rates in the U.S. and the availability of technology-driven opportunities to promote and apply for job openings have made it more important than ever to invest in high-quality assessment tools for talent acquisition.

The ease with which people can access and apply for jobs, coupled with more jobs being available, creates a larger number of job applicants but a smaller percentage of high-quality applicants. The result is a need to both identify the most talented individuals and attract them to your organization, as they will have no shortage of opportunities.

Despite the clear need to invest in talent assessment, many HR leaders struggle to procure the resources necessary to achieve their talent acquisition goals. The reason is probably frustratingly clear for many who have argued for more investment in assessment – it is difficult to demonstrate the return on investment to those who are allocating scarce resources. These decision-makers tend not to be impressed with words about the importance of talent assessment; they want to see hard numbers that show how assessment leads to the achievement of important business goals.

Talent assessment can help meet a wide variety of objectives beyond productivity.

We have been demonstrating the impact of our assessments on business outcomes for years, but these outcomes have generally focused on productivity (for example, dollar volume of sales, decrease in error rate, average time on calls). As the corporate landscape becomes more complex and unemployment rates decrease, organizations are increasingly setting a wider variety of goals for their hiring practices.

For example,

  • Increasing the diversity of the workforce
  • Competing for high-quality candidates
  • Controlling costs
  • Increasing engagement in the process among stakeholders


The fact is talent assessment can help meet a wide variety of objectives beyond productivity. To make the case for assessment, we need to identify the outcomes that are important to the organization, determine how talent assessment can contribute to achieving those outcomes, and design an assessment solution that will address them.

In our latest whitepaper on Outcomes Based Assessment, we have identified 10 outcome categories, outlined a framework for establishing an outcomes-based assessment approach, and provided examples for how to measure the impact of assessment on each of these outcome categories in the short- and long-term. Taking this approach, we’ve been able to demonstrate impact with numbers such as the following:



For more examples of these kinds of numbers, click here.

Our Outcomes Based Assessment approach provides the data you need to evidence the link between talent interventions and a wide variety of business outcomes, enabling you to demonstrate a clear return on investment to those who control the resources and are used to thinking in terms of numbers. Beyond that, you’ll have a measurable way to ensure that your talent assessment process delivers the right results and has maximum impact.


Contact SHL today to get started on maximizing the impact of your talent strategies.


headshot johnson jeff


Jeff Johnson

Dr. Jeff Johnson is a Principal Research Scientist at SHL. His current responsibilities on the Research and Development team focus on designing and developing innovative products and solutions that support employee selection and development, particularly with respect to the identification and placement of current and future leaders. His research demonstrating the impact of context on diversity and the prediction of leader performance led to the development of SHL’s Leader Edge selection and development tool and was awarded the M. Scott Myers Award for Applied Research in the Workplace by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology in 2018.

Explore SHL’s Wide Range of Solutions

With our platform of pre-configured talent acquisition and talent management solutions, maximize the potential of your company’s greatest asset—your people.

See Our Solutions