WorkKeys and Talent Development Cycle Applied

By on December 17, 2013
Recruitment and Selection

I recently called on a St. Louis manufacturing company to answer some questions they had about WorkKeys. Instead of giving the regular sales pitch on what WorkKeys can do, I started by asking questions related to the Talent Development Cycle. We agreed that their immediate need was in “recruitment/selection” and “skill development.” They had an immediate hiring need because of their growth. The company knew they needed to address long term “needs/talent planning,” “performance evaluation,” and “succession planning.” However, these would need to be reviewed at a later time.

In regards to “recruitment/selection,” they wanted the ability to have a validated independent screening tool to include in their hiring and promotional selection process. This screening would help insure that they potentially find individuals who had the best chance of learning the job in a reasonable amount of time.

In reviewing the benefits of WorkKeys and their job description, I was able to demonstrate how the company could use the reading, locating information, and workplace observation assessment results to determine a candidate’s core foundational skills. Additionally, they could assess for “teamwork” and “managerial potential” personality traits that the company needed for their future growth and internal promotion.

We then looked at the “skill development” they would need to upgrade their existing employees to meet the new process needs. The company identified the specific machine, computer and hazardous material training that would be required. The company agreed that it had wasted training funds in the past because people came back not knowing how to apply the subject matter.

Again, I reviewed how WorkKeys could assist the company identify those who were ready for the required training. By looking at the training and discussing the expected outcomes, we agreed that reading, locating information and workplace observation suited their needs.

The next step was to conduct a job profile as well as a training curriculum profile for the company. This is still fresh so there are no long term hard data yet. On the other hand, the one major accomplishment is that we have a satisfied customer.

If you are interested in more information about WorkKeys Job Profiling or the Talent Development Cycle, please comment on this blog or contact me 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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