WorkKeys Works – Managing Talent Development

By on December 20, 2012
Half Empty Or Half Full?

We are approaching the time when people will stop wondering if the glass is half full or half empty in regards to the economy. Companies are currently re-assessing where they are in their business cycle.

We are starting to see more talent development activity with small and mid-cap companies. Some are starting to look at their existing talent pool to determine if it is ready to maximize its output. Other companies are looking to expand their current talent pool because of the need to meet increased demand for their goods or services.

We have been in a position to assist both of these groups with our job related foundational assessments. We have been using ACT’s WorkKeys which is a job skills assessment system that helps employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce. This series of tests measures foundational and soft skills.

One recent example is the Rawlings warehouse distribution center. They had been experiencing a gradual increase in business for the last couple of quarters. Their most recent projections show a large projected increase. During the slow increase, they decided to determine what skills were needed for two of their jobs and assess their existing workforce to see if it meets the skill needs. With the use of both job task & skill analysis along and assessments (math, reading, locating information, and workplace observation), they were able to better distribute their talent to meets their needs. Four to six months later with the projected increase in activity, they wanted to determine the skills needed for four more important jobs. The results of the new job task & skill analysis will be used to identify potential applicants that would meet the needs of their talent pool. They feel this will help them shorten the learning curve during this very busy period of time.

Our WorkKeys system is a powerful solution that includes both Foundational Skills and Soft Skills assessments, enabling assessment of the full potential of applicants and employees. The tools in this comprehensive system can be mixed and matched to meet diverse organizational needs. Examples of industries we have served include Aerospace, Automotive, Biotechnology, Chemical, Education, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, and Warehousing.

Our job task and skill analysis solutions allow for the establishment of organizational guidelines and benchmarks for employee selection and development.

From screening, selection, training, development, and succession planning, employers can use WorkKeys assessments at every stage of the employment cycle.

If you are interested in the next step, you can respond to this blog post or contact me directly at

About Jim Duane

Jim has more than 30 years of experience in the workforce development field. At St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solutions Group, Jim is the manager and lead WorkKeys job task and skill profiler for the WorkKeys Solution Center. Throughout his 10 plus years as a WorkKeys Job Profiler, Jim has worked with numerous large, medium and small size companies in the aerospace/defense, beverage, cement manufacturing, construction, drug manufacturing, electric utility, healthcare, hospital, petroleum-chemical processing, and sporting goods industries. His team has conducted approximately 50,000 WorkKeys assessments for companies, organized labor, schools, and organizations. He has also presented at national and regional conferences, chaired regional workforce resource committees, and conducted numerous local, statewide and national focus groups around workforce development. He has received the Missouri Governor's Award for Excellence in Leadership in workforce development. This award was based on the Malcolm Baldridge quality management criteria.

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