Key Trends, Challenges and Best Practices to Hire and Retain the Top Talent

This 1st edition of our annual report is an attempt by Mettl to bring out the top trends in assessments for Talent Acquisition and L&D across 5 top sectors for the year 2018. The main takeaways for reader are:

  • Fast-Changing Landscape of Talent Assessment
  • Top Talent Assessment Trends in Talent Acquisition and L&D for Top 5 Industries, namely:
    • 1. Information Technology
    • 2. BFSI
    • 3. Pharma
    • 4. Retail
    • 5. Consulting

Hope the reader finds the insights presented in the report interesting and useful.

Three T’s Changing the Organizational Paradigm in 2018


Organizations will be hiring
more than previous year



From 2016 to 2017 Assessments Usage Grew by 114%

Today, Talent Assessments are used in every phase of the employee lifecycle ranging from Talent Acquisition to Training Need Identification to Succession Planning to Employee Engagement. For the ease of understanding, we refer to all use cases for existing employees as Learning and Development (L&D).

In 2017, 19% of assessments were used for L&D while Talent Acquisition accounted for 81%.

In 2016, approximately 744,000 assessments were used. This number grew by 114% in 2017 to 1,594,000.

Inspite of taking a bigger share of pie, assessment usage in Talent Acquisition is growing at a similar rate when compared to L&D.

Assessment Usage Across Tools

Organizations are adopting various assessments tools for building better people strategy. Many organizations develop their custom assessments either in-house or through assessment companies. The adoption of Customized Assessments is rapidly increasing as can be seen from the graph below.

Use of Assessments in IT/ES Industry Has Increased by 132%

With hiring in tech roles driving the talent demand across industries, IT and Tech Companies have to come up with a Talent Acquisition and L&D process that is fast, affordable and effective.

This shortage of tech talent is compelling organizations to transform their Talent Acquisition and L&D process, with the help of technology, to attract and retain quality talent.

Use of assessments in IT/ES Industry has grown by 132% from 2016 to 2017, driven by multiple factors such as increased demand for tech talent from all industries and need for unique skill expertise.

Owing to the increase in tech hiring, the use of assessments in IT/ES sector for Talent Acquisition has increased by 141% and for L&D has increased by 99%.

Top Trends for IT

TREND 1: Increased weightage to precise skill measurement for higher on-the-job performance. This can be seen by rise in use of Technical MCQs and Domain by 92%, and 102% respectively.

TREND 2: Better candidate experience and candidate assessment through use of Hands-on Tools has become an increased focus. As a result of which there has been a 234% rise in use of simulators.

The Way Forward

Use single Vendor for Assessment: Instead of using a dierent vendor for hosting different types of assessments, organizations should use a single vendor to provide all assessment platforms to avoid juggling various platforms and struggling with platform integration. Leverage

Customized Simulator: Instead of making a simulator in-house from scratch which is a very time and cost extensive process, organizations should opt for vendors that create simulator that are highly customized to meet the organizations specific requirements, to save up on time and cost.

Recommended Competency framework blueprint for Java Developer for IT/ES Industry

Increased in Hiring Leads to 217% Growth in Assessments Usage

With shifting focus towards online banking and digital currency, the talent demand in BFSI Industry has moved towards high tech talent. However, filling these job roles with qualified talent is a challenge as there is a crunch of tech talent, what with the likes of Google, Amazon and Apple standing in line to offer higher packages and better perks. BFSI industry is changing its perspective on how it perceives talent.

Use of assessments in BFSI Industry has increased by 217% from 2016 to 2017, owing to increased hiring, which is a resultant of shift to usage of digital banking and finance platforms, that has expanded the BFSI Industry customer base significantly.

Owing to this sudden spurt in demand for tech talent, the use of assessments in BFSI Industry for Talent Acquisition has increased by 265% from 2016 to 2017, and for L&D has reduced by 23%. The industry is more interested in onboarding talent that is adept in technical skills than reskilling their existing workforce in these skills from scratch. By volume, Talent Acquisition accounts for 96% of the total talent assessment tools usage, while L&D accounts for 4%.

Top Trends BFSI

TREND 1: Adoption of Technical Skills via Usage of Platforms can be seen in the increase in usage of Technical MQCs and Simulators.

TREND 2: Focus on hiring candidates with higher IQ and analytical skills translating into a 207% jump in use of cognitive assessments.

TREND 3: A 370% rise in Psychometric assessments points to a better customer experience and work culture through behavioral assessments

The Way Forward BFSI

Frequent upgradation of content to full the ever evolving skill testing requirements via usage of platforms

Carrying out Personality risk assessment via psychometric to pinpoint towards risky employee behavior that can potentially endanger company reputation, customer safety and organizational work culture

Recommended Competency Framework Blueprint for First Line Managers in BFSI Industry

Use of Assessments in Pharma Sector for L&D Has Grown by 203%

With Pharma Industry undergoing massive consolidation and companies cutting jobs which reflects reduction in sales (owing to pharm price cuts mandated by government), companies needing highly skilled employees, the changing customer base and budget cuts, the usage of assessments is slowly shifting from talent acquisition to L&D. Companies are more interested in creating a highly skilled workforce by nurturing existing employees than onboarding fresh talent and then grooming them to develop expertise.

Use of assessments in Pharma Industry has reduced by 52% from 2016 to 2017, owing to reduced hiring in pharma industry which is a resultant of industry consolidation and changing customer base.

The dip in usage of assessment tools in pharma Talent Acquisition process is overshadowed by massive increase in their usage during L&D process. During 2016-17, the use of assessments in Pharma sector for Talent Acquisition has reduced by 59% and for L&D has increased by 203%. Although Talent Acquisition accounts for 83% of the total talent assessment tools usage in Pharma Industry, while L&D accounts for 17%, the latter is growing rapidly to increase its usage share.

Top Trends Pharma

TREND 1: Demand for Higher Logical and Analytical Skills is evident from the increase in use of cognitive by 411% in L&D.

TREND 2: Developing a positive work culture by assessing employee behavior. Psychometric assessments have seen an increase of 206% for L&D processes.

TREND 3: Increased focus on retention of employees through use of hands on assessment tools. Usage of simulators has increased immensely from 2016 to 2017: 50% for In talent acquisition 200% in L&D.

The Way Forward Pharma

Usage of Dark Personality Assessments along with Psychometrics can help reduce on-the-job risk that employees can create by endangering the life of customer or harassing customers and co-workers.

Creating an Accurate Competency Framework: The biggest challenge with simulators is deciding the structure and content of the simulator and ensuring that it meets business objectives, rather than just being an interesting employee engagement tool.

Recommended Competency Framework Blueprint for Pharma Sales Representative

Usage During L&D Process Remains Strong, Growing by 42%

Shifting of customer base from brick and mortar stores to online E-commerce platforms has dampened the hiring scene in Retail Industry. Organizations are focusing more on training of existing employees than onboarding employees who have no prior sales experience and need to be trained in order to make them perform and achieve targets.

Use of Talent Assessment tools has reduced by 24% from 2016 to 2017.

This decrease is majorly reflected in the usage of these tools during Talent Acquisition process which has suffered a dip of 25% in Talent Assessment Tools usage from 2016 to 2017, whereas their use during L&D process remains strong, growing by 42% during the same time frame.However, Talent Acquisition still remains the biggest use case for talent assessments tools (by volume), accounting for 97% of the total usage, while L&D accounts for 3%.

Top Trends Retail

TREND 1: Potential to increase performance through better L&D Programs only 3% of total assessment usage in Retail Industry is contributed by L&D

TREND 2: Extensive focus on Sales Readiness of Workforce seen by increased use of domain assessments.

TREND 3: Low adoption of Psychometrics for building the right team. Since most job roles in retail are customer facing, organizations are slowly realizing the importance of making potential hires and existing employees go through psychometric assessments to improve work culture, customer experience, overall sales, brand value and reduce attrition.

The Way Forward Retail

Make use of Sales Readiness Assessment to hire market ready employees.

Build Sales Acumen of employees via domain assessments.

Recommended Competency Framework Blueprint for In-Store Sales Executive in Retail Sector Industry

Use of Assessments in Consulting Industry Has Increased by 157%

With games to replace traditional interviews, the landscape of how talent acquisition happens has changed drastically. Many companies are now allowing candidates to play games that provide them with badges, points and opportunity to role play, as a part of the Talent Acquisition process. For example: PwC, Hungary makes use of an online simulation called ‘ Multiply’ to carry out campus hiring. The game that lasts for 12 days, invites the candidates to experience in real life, what their job responsibilities will be as a consultant.

Use of assessments in Consulting Industry has increased by 157% from 2016 to 2017, owing to spike in its usage for Talent Acquisition by 163%.

By volume, Talent Acquisition accounts for 99% of the total assessment tools usage, while L&D accounts for 1%.

Top Trends Consulting

TREND 1: Ensuring enhanced client experience through focus on increased use of psychometric assessments.

TREND 2: Assessing real life skills through hands on assessment tools. This can be seen by the 876% increase in use of simulators.

TREND 3: There is a not of scope for increased use of assessments in L&D, candidates who find the L&D process engaging, meaningful and interesting are much more likely to stay in an organization than those who don’t.

The Way Forward Consulting

Define competency frameworks accurately while creating simulator for a job role.

Make the recruitment and L&D process interesting by using gamified assessments to hire and train individuals.

Recommended Competency Framework Blueprint for Business Analyst in Consulting Sector


Mettl 'Talent Assessment Study 2018' is based on data collected during usage of 2,338,734 talent assessments by 1,757,736 candidates as a part of Talent Acquisition and Learning & Development process of organizations spanning 21 industries from year 2016 to 2017. In this study we also focus on top trends in assessment for 5 Key Industries in detail.

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Mettl is one of the largest and fastest growing online talent measurement solutions provider globally, and has been at the forefront of online assessment technology since its inception in 2010. We enable organizations to build winning teams by taking credible people decision across two keys areas: Talent Acquisition and Development.







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