Blog Article

Defining Talent Success for Your Organization

defining talent success and predicting it during hiring

What makes a new hire successful? Every organization has their own metrics that determine this – or at least they should. In the world of business, success is more concrete than it is nebulous. By specifically defining talent success for your company, you’ll be able to achieve it more consistently.

Wider talent success impacts every part of your business, so understanding how to drive it has a tangible impact on your bottom line. And since hiring is becoming a higher-stakes game than ever before, understanding the connection between your successful hires and how you find them in your candidate pool matters more than ever. Let’s check out some of the most common success metrics and the tools you can add to your hiring process to drive talent success for your organization.


Employee engagement is an important metric that evaluates an employee’s commitment to their role and your company. Employees who feel connected and supported by your organization are emotionally invested in its success. Engagement boils down to reciprocity: when you support your employees – especially in a holistic sense – they will, in turn, support your company’s objectives.

One way to increase employee engagement is by providing a supportive and encouraging work environment. Workers who are more engaged are 2.5 times more productive than their disengaged peers. Which makes sense – engaged employees are invested in seeing your company succeed. Employee engagement can be distilled to a person’s emotional commitment to your organization.

Talent success is tied to employee engagement, as it’s a clear indicator of a healthy workforce. But are there ways to specifically hire employees who are more likely to be engaged with your organization? Absolutely.

Tools to help you hire more engaged employees:

To be frank, you can’t determine how engaged a person will be based on their resume alone. Their performance (strong or otherwise) in previous roles is likely influenced by how connected they felt to their old employer’s mission. To hire employees that are more likely to be engaged with your organization, consider adding an alignment assessment to your hiring process.

Workplace alignment assessments, like Criteria’s WAA, are designed to find employees whose workplace preferences match with the work environment your company provides. You can use this type of assessment to determine which of your candidates have the strongest overlap with your organization’s ethos, resulting in more engaged hires in the long run.


Worker productivity is a critical component of your organization’s overall success. After all, productive employees drive more revenue and are your most valuable resource. When assessing productivity in your workplace, be sure that your measures are role-specific and well-defined. You can improve the productivity of your latest hires with a solid onboarding strategy, robust training, and even mentorship programs. These actions will help bring your new recruits up-to-speed quickly.

When defining talent success, employee productivity is a vital marker of how comfortable and satisfied a person is in their role. SMART goals (goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) are a great way to set personalized standards for every employee at your organization. But even well-defined goals aren’t the only contributor to a person’s productivity levels. You can get a forecast of future employee productivity during the hiring process.

Tools to help you hire more productive employees:

To find the employees with the highest potential for productivity, it’s important that the job is a good fit for the candidate and that the candidate has a high capacity for success.

Personality assessments are a great way to determine if a candidate’s natural tendencies overlap with traits tied to success for a particular role. For example, a highly introverted candidate who isn’t particularly competitive is unlikely to make for a strong salesperson. On the flip side, candidates whose personalities match with a role are more likely to be satisfied in the job. And job satisfaction is directly tied to productivity. Employees who are satisfied with their job are 31% more productive and achieve 37% higher sales.

General aptitude and learning ability are also great indicators of candidates who are likely to be productive. Aptitude and skills testing are a way to reliably determine if a candidate will get up to speed quickly in their new role and grow in it over time. Let’s look at a real-life example. A market research firm added the Criteria Basic Skills Test to evaluate their candidate’s job readiness. Their main goal was to try and predict the productivity of potential new hires. After adding the CBST to their hiring process, the firm found that candidates who passed the CBST during the hiring process had productivity ratings that were 63% higher than candidates who had failed.

Criteria also developed the Workplace Productivity Profile, which is designed to help predict how conscientious, productive, and reliable a candidate is. It’s a simple risk assessment that can help you pick out the candidates who are less likely to participate in unproductive workplace behaviors.

Adding any of these types of assessments can help you predict which candidates are most likely to be productive once they settle into a role at your organization. Once you've finished defining talent success for your business, you can clear a path to achieving it.


How long your employees choose to stick with your organization is another common measure of talent success. And it’s one that has only gotten more important in the wake of the Great Resignation. With American companies seeing an average turnover rate of 57% regardless of industry, retention rates matter more than ever.

High retention reduces the cost of turnover - hiring is expensive, after all! It also increases organizational productivity: you’re retaining workers who understand and perform well in their role, rather than constantly bringing new replacements up to speed. On average, it takes a new hire eight months to hit their stride and reach full productivity. You’re much better off if you can retain your already-productive workforce.

But can you really determine which candidates are likely to stay with your organization for the long haul? Survey says: yes you can!

Tools to help you hire employees who will stay longer:

While a significant part of retention is directly tied to the work environment and culture you cultivate, there are tools you can leverage during hiring to find candidates who are likely to stay longer.

When a worker does well and is recognized for their performance – either through promotions, raises, or public praise – they feel valued and validated, reducing attrition. Since part of retention is tied to how successful a candidate is in their given role, hiring people who have the skills to succeed is important.

We ran a study with a consulting firm who wanted to drive both better performance and retention for the analysts they hired. After adding the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test and the Employee Personality Profile to their hiring process, the company assessed how well their scores predicted both retention and performance later on. They found a high correlation between high test performance and positive outcomes. Candidates with high CCAT scores were 7 times more likely to get high performance ratings. Plus, candidates whose personality profiles with a strong Analyst match were 2.5 more likely to have stayed with the firm.

Adding aptitude and personality assessments is a simple way to predict better retention outcomes, a key part of successful hiring.

Your own definition of success

While every company is likely to have their own version of success, it’s important to take some time to hammer out a baseline definition of a successful hire for your organization. It’s likely that the three common success metrics we discussed will play a part in defining talent success for your organization. How engaged are your employees? What are your metrics for productivity in each role? What are your retention targets?

Once you have figured out what talent success looks like for your business, you can use this information to increase the likelihood of hiring great candidates. Adding assessments to your hiring – like those provided by Criteria – is a reliable, scalable, and predictable way to drive talent success.

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