Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has published a handbook called Why Behaviour at Work Matters to help employers assess how candidates and employees will keep pace with change and disruption. It guides employers on how to predict which candidates or employees will be successful in roles based on behaviours, motivations and values.

John McLaughlin, chief commercial officer, EMEA, Human Capital Solutions, Aon, said:

“There is no escaping the fact that workplace transformation is upon us, accelerated by COVID-19. To manage fundamental shifts of this nature, leaders need to focus on boosting the agility and resilience of their workforces. For organisations to do this, they need to look beyond specific skills that can be taught to better understand candidates or employees who have the interest, motivation and behaviours to learn and adapt. Armed with this knowledge, employers can map related jobs and lateral career paths to grow and better manage disruption.”

Aon advises employers to consider five elements when assessing candidates and employees for behaviour, motivation and values:

  1. Define success for the organisation and each role. Every organisation has core values and beliefs that can directly translate into employee behaviours. Developing a “success profile” of what desirable behaviours look like allows a more honest dialogue between employer and employee in both hiring and development.
  1. Understand what constitutes a good assessment. It is essential to ensure assessments are reliable and valid. It’s also important to leverage technology to make assessments shorter and less repetitive, more personalised and accurate. Standard personality assessments rely on asking the same question many times, leading to a poor user experience.
  1. Enable technology to more accurately assess behaviour. Personality questionnaires now allow employers to customise traits most closely associated with job success. Data science and psychometric techniques are used to give accurate predictions of on-the-job behaviour and mitigate any candidate attempts to respond with what they think the employer wants to hear.
  1. Counter bias. Assessments enable more diverse recruiting by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to compare candidates’ personality profiles and competencies to job specifications and organisational demand. This means businesses can consider a much bigger pool of candidates and make more objective decisions.
  1. Use both mobile-optimised and desktop assessments. When employers use desktop assessment solutions, candidate completion rates range from 60-70%. Completion rates increase significantly to approximately 95% for Aon’s mobile-optimised assessments, with the biggest participation increase among under-represented groups.

John McLaughlin adds:

“Coupled with cognitive ability, behavioural assessments seek to find those candidates who are the best fit for now and in the future. This helps employers to make the best hiring, placement and promotion decisions. We no longer have to rely entirely on skills and intellect – goals and values count for something.”

Aon’s Assessment solutions, Aon’s talent assessment practice, provides clients with powerful tools and insights to help them make better talent decisions at every stage of the employee lifecycle. This includes pre-hire assessments, identifying future leaders, screening for digital skills and agility, and AI-enabled solutions. More information is available at