Part of the ASPIRE Talent Management series – the power to make confident people choices

This series looks at the key elements and philosophies around the Talent Management lifecycle of ASPIRE: Acquisition, Succession Planning, Improvement, Retention and Engagement, and some of the key aspects which support these elements. You’ll find links throughout to our previous articles if you want to explore certain elements in more detail.

While HR analytics covers a huge range of workplace and performance data, our focus is around the metrics which underpin those elements of talent management strategy. This article gives our take on talent analytics and its purpose as an objective measurement and assessment of person’s unique behavioural blueprint, and the key to unlocking insights into your organisations’ people, talent and business growth potential.

Only 14% of organisations are using HR/Talent analytics for predictive insights

According to a study by MHR International UK Limited which consulted 501 HR decision-makers across a range of different industries found that the number of organisations which use talent analytics is still surprisingly low, considering the benefits it can bring. This scepticism can come from many assumptions that implementing analytics can be complex, confusing, costly and won’t bring tangible benefits.

Where do you sit? Are you part of the 14% who have dived in to this brave new world which is moving more and more towards combining your people’s potential with powerful technology, or one of the 86% yet to take the plunge?


Do you want to turbo boost your talent management strategy?

We are making the assumption that you have a Talent Management objective, goal or strategy in place. Throughout this series of articles on talent management and the elements of ASPIRE – Acquisition, Succession Planning, Improvement, Retention and Engagement that we’ve covered, we’ve often made reference to being able to objectively measure and assess people through these various stages. Talent analytics is how we do this, and it is talent analytics which will give you the turbo boost for your own initiatives, goals or strategies.


Our tool of choice

Having tried and tested many of the analytics tools available on the market, a number of years ago we chose to use one particular tool to underpin and support our Talent Management services; Harrison Assessments. Through the course of this article we will give you a high level view of some of the features, functions and benefits of this powerful tool. So why this particular tool?


Personality vs behaviour, tendencies and preferences

Personality tends to be quite fixed and more difficult to change. There are many excellent tools to explore and understand personality type assessment, such as Myers-Briggs. Personality type assessment can often focus on 5 factors of personality, often referred to as ‘the big five personality traits’: Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism.

Whilst some assessments are measuring personality, our tool of choice, Harrison measures not only personality but other important factors such as natural tendencies, interests and preferences, and also – most importantly – can predict behaviours which we know can be changed.

Why is it important to make this distinction? When you look at developing your people to unleash their potential, you are not trying to change their personality. The greatest benefits come when you look at behaviours – which can be adapted and changed – and look at each individual’s unique behavioural blueprint, which takes into account individual tendencies and preferences.

Harrison allows you to do this, and to predict an individual’s behaviour based on a number of categories and elements such as behavioural traits, retention and engagement factors, task preferences, and individual drivers and motivators.


Get under the hood of your organisation

Measuring all of these different factors provides you with invaluable data on how you can develop, retain and make the best use of the talent in your organisation, and really gives you the chance to ‘get under the hood’ of your organisation – find out where your strengths lie, and the areas which need to be developed across all four key elements of your talent management strategy – Acquisition, Succession Planning, Improvement and Retention and Engagement. Measuring at an individual level not only provides you with the individuals unique behavioural blueprint so you can understand how to appropriately develop, engage and retain them, but also gives you higher level data across your teams, team dynamics and the blueprint for your organisation as a whole.


Sophisticated yet simple

What does that mean? Think about Google – you can’t imagine the processes happening behind the scenes to bring you the answer you search for. Harrison Assessments is sophisticated yet simple; it is driven by powerful algorithms yet is stunningly simple in both terms of use and the results and reports it produces.

For those who like the data… it measures 175 traits & preferences, cross referencing technology making over 8,000 comparisons, equivalent to more than 2,700 multiple choice questions, which is equivalent to one full day of testing and 150,000 cross checks for consistency!

All this is generated through completion of a simple online 20 minute ipsative SmartQuestionnaireTM, based on the forced ranking of simple questions around the individuals’ preferences. All of the data which supports the different ASPIRE factors all come from this single questionnaire which creates an inventory of a person’s work based behavioural preferences and tendencies, which is objective and not subjective. Each individual’s results and report are completely individualised and provide this unique behavioural blueprint – everybody is different, which is part of the sophistication of the tool.


Enjoyment performance theory is the key to success

Success is 3 times more likely when over 75% of work activities are enjoyed by the employee.

The Harrison Assessments tool is based on Enjoyment Performance Theory; if someone enjoys what they do they will repeat it. The more they repeat it, the better they will get at it and the more they will improve. The more they improve and the better they get, the more positive feedback they will receive, which will make them enjoy it even more!

The theory determines that an individual needs to be enjoying 75% of the tasks required of their role to unleash potential and drive performance. Naturally in any role there will be the non-negotiable duties which need to be completed which may not be the most interesting or fulfilling but in order to enjoy and perform in a job, these need to be in the minority, rather than make up the majority of the role and responsibilities. If you have people doing jobs they don’t want to do there can be a tendency to procrastinate and not enjoy the work. This can be one of the reasons why the individual may not be engaged – they could be in the wrong job, or in the wrong seat in the bus.

The predictive element of talent analytics tools can help you to determine whether that person will fit that seat. You can improve and develop people for a better fit and better performance, however if there is too much of a gap, that when a decision needs to be made by the individual and or by the organisation.


What can be measured and predicted?

The algorithms used to create the Harrison Assessments system work under the surface to take the information gathered from the SmartQuestionnaireTM and generate a whole suite of analytics, data and reports which measure the following and more:

  • Emotional ‘flips’ – behavioural predictions based on how person will respond under stress and pressure. Stress can cause some strange behaviours which may seem completely out of character and the predictive element can be useful for both in terms of recruitment & for managers.
  • Enjoyment factors – roles can be developed to incorporate tasks which an individual enjoys and is good at, perhaps allowing other functions to be shared with team members with different strengths
  • Leadership competency – employees and candidates can be measured against potential for leadership positions to create meaningful development plans to facilitate your HiPo’s (Hi Potentials) career journeys
  • Alignment of values – research shows that the more an individual is with your organisation there is more likelihood they will be engaged & perform
  • Team dynamic profile – allows you to understand how people in the team fit together, whether they share the same or have contradicting behavioural profiles and helps to build the successful teams
  • Employee expectations – these expectations form the core intrinsic drivers, personal preferences, interests and motivators which are important to each individual and which they look to have met by their role and organisation – failure to do so can have your talent looking for these needs to be met elsewhere!
  • Job Success Analysis – measure the likely fit or how similar an individual is to benchmarked success factors for a particular role.

It can benefit and support all 4 key elements of talent management:


Talent analytics brings the certainty that you have the right people in the right jobs, so you spend fewer resources on hiring and firing, and more on growing your business. The use of Job Success Formulas ensures a values-driven recruitment and on-boarding process. This enables the efficient identification of talent in terms of time, resources and money using the online recruitment and selection algorithms. (Read our previous article here)

Succession Planning

Strong succession planning ensures your business is talent fit at all times to meet the ever-changing needs of your growing business and changing culture. Talent algorithms help you define and measure the culture you are designing and benchmark for success. (Read our previous article here)


Developing your people using behavioural competency analysis during the diagnostic phase will give you an objective measurement and enable you to train, develop and coach your people in the relevant areas. (Read our previous article here)

Retention and Engagement

Measuring business and personal expectations, retention and engagement factors provides insight into what makes your people and your business tick. This then forms the basis of a Performance Management & Appraisal process that is unique to your people and your business. This becomes an objective and data-driven discussion that drives real engagement and business performance. (Read our previous article here)


Top 3 tips for implementing talent analytics for your business

1.    Look for predictive ‘work’ based analytics which predict both a likely fit for the job role and behaviours based on preferences.

2.    Using talent analytics can save you time, money and resources. In previous articles we have explored the cost of a bad hire, which naturally you will want to avoid, and the potential cost of good hire – if you fail to develop and retain your HiPo’s, or the talent, in your organisation. Talent analytics can help avoid both these situations!

3.    If you want the right people in the right seats and performing as well, consider enjoyment performance theory. If an individual enjoys their job, they will perform. Understand each individual’s retention and engagement factors – those employee expectations.


Free Sample Reports

To gain an insight into the wealth of data provided by this sophisticated yet simple talent analytics system you can access a number of Harrison Assessments sample reports here.

Job Success Analysis

Compares a person against all behavioural requirements of a job showing the potential positive and negative impact of each trait on job performance.

Interview Guide

Provides the interviewer with the key eligibility questions and behavioural questions that will enable the candidate’s qualifications to be effectively evaluated, and to provide a means of scoring the interview.

Engagement and Retention Analysis

Analyses organizational behaviour related to employee expectations. The report provides insight to further employee engagement, increase performance, and improve business outcomes.

Paradox Theory

Measuring complimentary traits independently to give a deeper insight into human behaviour. This report can also show you predicted behaviour in times of stress – those potential ’emotional flips’ and derailers.


Talent & HR Analytics: 12 measures to consider

We’ve created this infographic to show 12 aspects across the spectrum of Talent and HR Analytics which can be measured. HR analytics tools can measure ‘dynamic data’ which focuses more on workforce metrics. Harrison can complement this to provide you with ‘gentle data’ which which focuses on talent and your people’s potential.

Thanks for reading!

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Our Talent Wheel provides an overview of Acquisition, Succession Planning, Improvement, Retention and Engagement – those 4 key elements of ASPIRE which gives you the power to make confident people choices. We use talent analytics and our tool of choice, Harrison Assessments, to underpin each of these elements, and turbo boost our talent management services.

If you would like to find out more you can get in touch with us, visit the 3P Harrison Assessment site or visit our website. If you’ve enjoyed this article, you could watch our video chat where we go into further detail or check out our You Tube channel and our podcast channel.

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Peak Performance Partnership Ltd (3P) is a Business Performance Consultancy specialising in Talent Management. ASPIRE by 3P is our talent management solution which supports the talent life cycle of Acquisition, Succession Planning, Improvement and Retention & Engagement.


Co-authored by Lindsay McGhie, Trevor Norman and Michelle Manning