|   USA

Redefining talent management for a global F&B giant

The client, headquartered in New York, is a global leader in the food and beverage segment. A future-forward approach and Mercer | Mettl’s expertise enabled it to lead a significant sales enablement and enhancement initiative.

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Use Case

Virtual assessment center

What the client achieved

A seamless transition to a virtual assessment center.

95% of on-boarded candidates performed outstandingly well in their roles.

Business Challenges

The client’s sales function, consisting of more than 5000 frontline associates, is its largest vertical and the most significant revenue generator. While most organizations undertake high-potential identification only for senior roles, the company follows a more inclusive approach for all employee levels. Hence, it has a well-defined high-potential identification process for the frontline and executive and upward leadership teams.


While the company has a global presence, each geography has peculiar market dynamics and challenges. Thus, talent management initiatives are customized, considering the market, the talent’s background and the organizational role.


The need for efficiency at scale is a significant challenge in executing a high-potential identification initiative for a team size of over 5000. Scalability was imperative for such a considerably large frontline salesforce, operating in the country’s remote areas. The exercise needed to be simultaneous, quick and effective. An on-the-ground intervention was not feasible, considering the present circumstances and the enormous scale of the undertaking. Thus, the high-potential identification process was critical, and efficiently administering it was equally important. F&B is an extremely competitive industry segment. Thus, the client’s fundamental challenge was to assess the country-wide sales force at an individual level to build a competitive advantage, drive customer loyalty and understand skill gaps to create a befitting training program. The initiative’s goal was to build a high-caliber sales team, ready to take on future challenges. These objectives were to be achieved considering the scale, credibility and a tight timeline.


The frontline teams were always on the ground. Therefore, the designed solution needed to consider time constraints while effectively assessing the teams’ core competencies required for advanced roles.


The problems required a three-pronged approach:

Development and delivery at scale

Customized assessment creation

Local language customization

Mercer | Mettl’s team assured us of their solution. They could understand the business challenges and recommended ways to improve our solutions. Their hands-on approach and in-depth knowledge, with the right inputs at appropriate times, reflects their intellectual ability. The team’s quick turnaround time, unparalleled quality of work, agility and client-centric approach has helped us immensely.


Mercer | Mettl proposed a fully online solution. Its goal for the high-potential identification initiative was to continually stay ahead of the curve.


The client wanted a future perspective on the career journey of its frontline employees. It wanted to identify advanced competencies that could empower its employees to establish themselves in the organization and deal with a VUCA world.


Earlier, the company had a blended assessment and development approach for its programs. However, considering the ongoing pandemic and technological advancements, Mercer | Mettl proposed shifting the process online with a virtual assessment center.


Sales enablement through the virtual assessment center


The virtual assessment center was the chosen tool to address the company’s needs and challenges. Mercer | Mettl’s virtual assessment center consisted of a standardized evaluation of behavior, based on multiple inputs. Multiple trained observers, techniques and simulations were used to assess each competency. The assessors observed, reported and graded as per pre-defined behaviorally-anchored rating scales, collated using a statistical integration process.


The virtual assessment center was customized to its competency framework and included cognitive and aptitude assessments, caselets and situational judgment tests to assess core competencies. They included a successful execution of a sales plan, sales skills, extensive knowledge of the company, communication, trust and integrity and tech adaptability, to name a few.


A virtual assessment center was an ideal solution in following ways:

  • Comprehensive evaluations
  • Speed and scale
  • Objective assessments


A wide range of relevant and scientifically-validated tools and assessments aside, Mercer | Mettl’s robust platform facilitated easy access for frontline sales associates to take the test from their respective locations.


Mercer | Mettl’s support team enabled multi-lingual support for employees who didn’t prefer English as their test language. The questions were simplified and translated to attune to the employee target group. Mercer | Mettl’s subject matter experts ensured that the client had the best tools to streamline its processes.


Mercer | Mettl’s tools and platform features were customized to give confidence to the assessors and the test-takers. Flexible reporting and analytics allowed the client to present a more development-oriented output to the test-takers than a more critical one. The reports helped the organization to easily identify employees with potential while recognizing training needs and creating individual development plans to meet business objectives.

The Impact

Mercer | Mettl’s all-virtual solution positively impacted the client in several ways. The company was able to redefine its talent management initiatives and achieve its goals, using Mercer | Mettl’s suite of tools, customized to the F&B industry’s unique requirements. The team of subject matter experts went above and beyond to understand the client’s requirements and delivered a successful solution in record time.


The partnership between the F&B giant & Mercer | Mettl resulted in phenomenal outcomes:

Assessment and onboarding

  • Frontline employees who performed exceptionally in the virtual assessment center were onboarded by the company, based on the high-potential identification exercise. They were previously on a third-party payroll.
  • 95% of the onboarded candidates performed outstandingly well in their new roles.
  • Mercer | Mettl enabled the client to look beyond performance and embrace potential as an achievable metric by assessing future competencies.


  • Mercer | Mettl empowered the client to reach out to its vast frontline workforce through customized assessments and language support, increasing employee satisfaction and engagement.
  • Mercer | Mettl made high-potential identification and sales force enablement possible through an easily accessible, time and cost-effective, all-virtual solution.
  • Mercer | Mettl successfully implemented a virtual assessment center that catered to the client’s sizable sales force.


  • Mercer | Mettl’s virtual assessment center offered the client a glimpse into its frontline employees’ developmental needs and skill gaps.
  • Mercer | Mettl also assisted the client in creating individual development plans for each employee.

The way forward


Based on the success of the high-potential identification exercise for frontline sales employees, the company is now partnering with Mercer | Mettl to extend this initiative to its frontline managerial roles. Additional tools, such as competency-based interviews and other customized assessments, are being added to the gambit. Mercer | Mettl will also be assisting the company in undertaking a sector-wise capability assessment and extending its initiatives to the Middle East, Africa and other South Asian teams.

Build a high potential talent pool to derive enhanced business outcomes

Mercer | Mettl’s suite of assessment tools are customized to measure the talent potential in your organization.

Looking for a virtual assessment solution?

Learn how a global F&B giant scaled up its talent management processes using Mercer | Mettl’s robust platform.

Make your assessment centers scalable, efficient and suitable for all roles

Mercer | Mettl’s assessment and development center is one innovative solution for high potential identification, virtual assessments, upskilling and reskilling, leadership development and more!

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