Engagement Profiles

Global Communications Provider Enhances Talent Selection

Client Opportunity

Continuously Improving Selection Systems

One of the world’s leading providers of communications and technology solutions, employing a workforce of more than 180,000 worldwide, has repeatedly turned to PDRI, a CEB company, during the past two decades for help in consistently achieving one of its core strategic talent management objectives—ensuring the validity and efficacy of its selection systems.


Enterprise-Wide Selection Tools

As part of the most recent engagement with this communications provider, PDRI developed and validated assessment tools for screening job candidates. More specifically, PDRI delivered a new, comprehensive battery of assessments for use across the entire footprint of the client’s associate-level positions, including jobs added as a result of acquisitions.

The first step involved conducting a detailed job analysis encompassing more than 90,000 incumbents in approximately 400 titles, examining the tasks performed and the characteristics required for success in particular roles. This study also confirmed the validity of the company’s six existing job families for associates.

Based on the job analysis, PDRI specified job components—clusters of similar tasks—and used these to define performance in particular jobs based on the activities rated as most important in the job analysis survey. Linking worker characteristics with job components enabled PDRI to identify the primary skills essential for all associate jobs, which therefore must be measured in a selection system designed to work effectively across all enterprise job families.

PDRI then constructed and piloted a battery of selection tests, administering them to applicants as well as incumbents across different jobs whose supervisors provided performance ratings that were used as criterion measures. Before taking the tests, candidates had access to PDRI’s test preparation guide, which provides a description and snapshot of what to expect, test-taking tips, practice items, and suggested activities to improve the skills and abilities measured by the selection assessment.

PDRI Selection Solutions:

Applicant Prescreen:

Online unproctored assessment of personality and biographical characteristics; screens out approximately 10% of applicants least likely to pass next-phase.

Selection Assessment:

Customized proctored tests for reading comprehension, checking for accuracy, math computation, reasoning, drive, flexibility, conscientiousness, and interpersonal skills.

By correlating test scores with performance ratings on each job component, PDRI was able to use a synthetic validation strategy to compute a validity coefficient for each job family. PDRI determined which tests were the best predictors of applicant performance and created a single selection instrument that was relevant for all job families. This streamlined system eases administrative burdens of testing and makes it easier for candidates to simultaneously apply for multiple jobs in the organization. Having one common test battery also facilitates an effective internal mobility process. Associates who wish to transition to a position in a different job family do not have to repeat the assessment battery. Their previous scores can be used to compute relevant results for any job family in the company.


Cohesive Talent Selection System Aligns with Enterprise Vision

These selection assessments are used in the first phase of hiring, prior to interviewing and the more in-depth knowledge tests relevant to specific jobs that are typically employed in subsequent stages. While these screening tools help expedite the process for hiring managers, they also reinforce a core element of this company’s vision statement and enterprise strategy. The organization expects all of its associates to possess fundamental qualities that demonstrate drive, flexibility, conscientiousness, and interpersonal skills. This broad talent selection system empowers managers to place the right people in the right jobs at the right time to ensure effective execution of business strategy.

In addition to delivering high validity related to predicting job performance, the organization can now rely on a single enhanced selection solution proven to ensure top talent in every facet of the business—associates who are capable of enabling the company to pursue its vision of continuously improving the lives of customers.