What is Talent Optimisation?

The Global Pandemic and the Great Resignation have exposed two difficult realities that modern organisations face.

One reality is the need for agility to adapt to sudden changes in macro-environmental factors.

The other reality is the increasing difficulty in attracting and retaining top talent.

Most companies have a very good idea of how their marketing and financial plans align with the overall business strategy. However, many businesses cannot articulate how their People Strategy aligns with their strategic objectives.

It doesn’t surprise us when we hear of businesses not even having an HR strategy.

Talent Optimisation can be thought of as the Moneyball of People Management.

Talent Optimisation uses data and science to align People Management to Business Strategy.

The definition of talent Optimisation

Talent Optimisation is the discipline of aligning business strategy and talent strategy. It’s a strategic process by which organisations optimise employee performance and experience to achieve their aspirations and maximise results. 

The Four Aptitudes of Talent Optimisation


Design Aptitude Icon
Design Aptitude Icon

The design aptitude is composed of the following activities:

1.   Identifying each team member’s natural abilities.

People are an organisation’s most valuable assets—their skills, abilities and Knowledge-make of its human capital. Sadly, those attributes do not always align with the direction that the organisation wants to take. To understand the existence, absence or degree of those discrepancies, organisations must have a tool that is scientifically validated and has a track record in other businesses.

 The Talent Optimisation Platform includes Talent Assessments that facilitate this exercise. Once the reports have been generated and analysed, the team can recognise how the identified strengths align with the team’s needs.

2.   Understanding Team Dynamics

Organisations are typically composed of mini-organisations in departments, product or brand teams, project teams, functional teams or workgroups. The formal composition of these mini-organisations is typically a product of the company’s organisational structure. For senior leadership to achieve its own goals, each team must be given the ability to reach its full potential, and the individual objectives of those teams are identified. 

Every team member must be self-aware of their behavioural tendencies and the behavioural patterns of their colleagues. A well-balanced team will have a collection of diverse and well-aligned individuals with the team strategic intent at the same time. The PI Team Discovery Assessment will allow Talent Management to identify team dynamics together with actionable takeaways accurately.

3.   Identifying the relationship between Strategic intent and team characteristics

The first step is to identify what types of activities need to be required to realise the teams business objectives. These activities could be something liking minimising mistakes, improving customer satisfaction or improving the efficiency of a particular process.

The next step is to determine the individual characteristics that lead to the successful accomplishment of those activities. Finally, it’s time to look at what characteristics the team needs to possessive as a collective group to achieve those goals. The PI Talent Optimisation Platform allows users to perform these steps in an objective and data-driven manner

4.   Benchmarking existing capabilities to the tactical priorities

Very often, teams will already have individuals who already fit naturally with teams desired outcomes. It is important for those members to be self-aware of their attributes and for management to be aware of those behavioural tendencies.

 It is also critical for the team to be aware of how to get the best out of those individuals and how to avoid potential pitfalls. Fortunately, all those insights can be provided by the Talent Optimisation Software. The final step is identifying the team’s balancers and any potential gaps that risk the team achieving peak performance. In certain cases, teams may be looking to achieve several objectives that appear to be conflicting, such as being innovative while improving predictability and efficiency. In those cases, balancers are critical in ensuring that competing behaviours do not cannibalise the team’s efforts. 

In other cases, teams lack the behavioural traits needed to achieve the desired outcome. Rather than force team members to behave in a way that does not fit their behavioural profile (which would eventually lead to de-motivation and poor job performance), this could be a perfect opportunity to recruit a new member with the desired cognitive and behavioural profile. The best part of this exercise is that existing employees can sometimes find roles within the company where they would perform better and would be much more satisfied doing.

We have had multiple clients and workshop participants tell us how they managed to find much more suitable roles within their organisation’s thanks to Talent Assessments. Ultimately, our mission is to help businesses reach peak performance through their most valuable resource.

5.   Define your Team’s Culture and its Components

We sometimes hear two very dangerous approaches to company or team culture from prospective clients. In one instance, we hear a lot about ‘our culture’, but we struggle to characterise their culture and how it fits their stated business objectives. Which especially surprising when the same organisation has a solid vision of their financial and marketing plan.

The other extreme is when culture is seen as a ‘marketing gimmick’ used to entice prospective candidates to apply to that organisation. In the middle of this spectrum, we have prospective clients who have a fairly solid understanding of their culture or what they want to be and some cases, what relationship that has with the overall business strategy.  

The biggest challenge for such organisations is having the necessary tools to execute that vision. Fortunately, the Talent Optimisation Platform has been designed to help execute all aspects of the Talent Optimisation Methodology.


Hire Aptitude Icon
Hire Aptitude Icon

Despite all the major advancements in technology in the last sixty years, many organisations are still forced to rely on outdated tools and rules of thumb. Sometimes even those HR professionals who are well aware of the importance of cognitive ability, behavioural fit and structured interviews are still forced to rely on insights that result in bias or inaccurate selection of candidates. Fortunately, the Hire Module of the Talent Optimisation Platform eliminates the guesswork in choosing the best talent for your teams. This module consists of three steps:

1.  Creating the most accurate Job Profile

Every recruiting campaign should hopefully start with crafting an accurate job description and an idea of what success looks like in the role. In some cases, recruiters will find some generic job descriptions and some behavioural wishlist (duplicated on every job posting). On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have outstanding Hiring Teams leveraging the power of talent optimisation. Every job search should start with a solid job description created with contributions from people managing the future recruit, doing the same job and working directly with a new team member.

The next step is for the same group to use the Predictive Index Job Assessment to accurately identify the desired behavioural characteristics and the Cognitive Target for that role. The hiring team has the least biased and the most accurate benchmark when candidates complete the PI Behavioural and the PI Cognitive Assessment . The next stage is giving the Hiring team the right tools to rank candidates and to conduct structured behavioural interviews.

2.  Give the team the right Insights

Once several candidates have completed the behavioural and cognitive, the talent optimisation will rank the candidates according to their cognitive and behavioural fit to the role with a scientifically validated accuracy. To take your hiring process to the next level, the Talent Optimisation platform also creates a custom interview guide for each candidate ensuring your teams are prepared to have the most productive and effective interview possible. To improve the outcome of the recruitment process even further, employees can be transparent and precise about the expectations of the role.

3.  Managing expectations

As a direct consequence of the Job Profile insights and the answers to the behavioural questions, members of the hiring team can be very precise about their expectations. They can also give them a very accurate description of the cultural fabric of the teams they will work for, thanks to the PI Team Discovery Assessment.

 It’s sometimes easy to forget that the job interview is not only a filter used by the prospective employer but also by the employee. In many cases, candidates can be very disappointed when they cannot gauge the cultural expectations of the workplace. Which may result in the best candidates rejecting job offers for very avoidable reasons. In reality, this only happens because those hiring teams lacked the resources to articulate those traits accurately. Fortunately, the Talent Optimisation Platform makes this is a problem of the past. 


Inspire Aptitude Icon
Inspire Aptitude Icon

Inspire covers many employee-focused activities, from career planning to preserving organisational culture. Enhancing the vital relationship between an employee and their direct manager is also part of the Inspire Aptitude. The inspire aptitude is composed of the following activities:

1. Creating new roles and career journeys

As your company grows and matures, you’ll need to map out all of your present and future positions, just as you’ll need to examine job criteria when seeking to recruit new hires. Every department head should make a projection of the number and types of positions needed to carry out a strategy successfully.

As a business grows, a marketing department, for example, may need to hire a variety of specialists (product marketers, SEOs, Paid Media Executives, copywriters etc.). To manage and support the team’s efforts, that department may need to introduce new behavioural profiles or even new teams to support the organisation’s growth plans. Some of that talent already be in the organisation. Companies that leverage the talent optimisation platform can re-assess each role needs based on the business strategy. Effectively, new roles are created within the organisations, which presents new growth opportunities.

2. Give Leaders the ability to thrive

The talent optimisation platform allows people managers to become great leaders by becoming more self-aware of their self behaviour, the behaviours of their employees and how to give feedback individually. When reading their behavioural reports and the behavioural reports of their employees, people are often shocked at how accurate those descriptions are. However, it is when they start using the Predictive Index Software that they begin to appreciate the importance of Self Awareness when it comes to behavioural drives and the appreciation of the behavioural drives of others. The PI Talent Optimisation Platform gives manager coaching and management strategy guides for managing each employee.

3.  Enhance co-worker relationships

To further improve the impact of the Talent Optimisation Platform, the predictive Index has added features to improve relationships between co-workers who do not report to each other. Employees can discover their colleague’s behavioural want and needs and learn how to work together. HR Professionals can also use this information to mediate any existing or potential conflicts, especially after they become certified PI Practitioners.


Diagnosis Aptitude Icon
Diagnosis Aptitude Icon

Diagnosing is a technique for identifying the root cause of gaps—your underlying people issues—and implementing strategic or tactical changes. Diagnose usually leads to the other three aptitudes of talent optimisation: design, hire and motivate. Organisations who examine their data and make the required modifications proactively will have a more productive and enjoyable work environment. The diagnosis module of Talent Optimisation has three main exercises.

Measuring the most critical People Data

Before diagnosing any issues, companies should decide what to measure, how to measure it and the appropriate measurement frequency. Here are the most critical People insights:

People Data For Talent Optimisation

Behavioural Profiles

This information reveals a person’s basic desires and inclinations. It enables you to hire the best people for the position and manage them effectively, which impacts employee engagement, performance, and business outcomes. Behavioural data only needs to be measured once because our behavioural drives do not change over time.

Every employee, from the CEO to every individual contributor, should take the same behavioural assessment and should also be aware of the results. The most accurate, efficient and cost-effective way is to take the PI Behavioural Assessment.

Cognitive abilities

This information is commonly utilised during the hiring process to discover people who can learn and adapt to change at an appropriate pace for the job and your firm. While this is valuable information to the participant and any decision-maker taking hiring or internal recruitment decisions, this information should be used on a ‘need to know basis.

The talent optimisation platform allows users to hide cognitive data. The Cognitive Ability Assessment does not need to be taken more than once or twice because, generally speaking, our cognitive ability to learn information does not change. As opposed to something like Knowledge or experience, which could change every day.

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement data is directly collected from them and describes how they feel about working for you. This information is useful in identifying misalignment between people and their jobs, managers, co-workers, and your company. Employee engagement can constantly change and therefore requires frequent measurement. This type of data should be collected as frequently as it can be actioned on and done consistently. Employee engagement data can be collected on a weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly basis.

Job Performance

This information identifies how well your employees are progressing your efforts and pinpoints those with difficulties. Job performance data can also assist you in determining whatever behavioural motivation all high performers have. In an ideal world, every employee should have some measurable key performance indicators and some supporting metrics that help them and their manager evaluate performance. The frequency of job performance data does vary from job to job. However, modern companies must have efficient, transparent, consistent and readily available measuring performance data.

Organisational and team culture data

This information reveals the values and norms of your company. It outlines what it’s like to work at your company and identifies which behaviours and attitudes are rewarded. Culture data collection is a critical part of the Talent Optimisation Process because it examines how poorly the company is cultivating the desired culture established in the Design module. This data should be measured as frequently as employee engagement and employee sentiment. Leadership teams may find it useful to know how this relates to performance data and future performance data.

Employee Sentiment

Employees’ employment experiences are included in this data. It’s frequently gathered as part of a performance feedback system or during exit interviews. However, this is probably not the best idea as it is always good to diagnose employee sentiment before any issues on performance or the employee starts looking for another job. Employee sentiment should be measured as frequently as employee engagement and culture.

Assessments for Talent Optimisation

PI Team Discovery Assessment

PI Team Work Styles

The PI Team discovery assessments use scientific methods to help teams discover individual work styles, build the team’s collective strengths and blind spots, and communicate better than ever before. The team discovery assessments also help align team goals, gain unique insights based on Team Types and team goals and a clear road to success with a personalised action plan.

The PI Team Discovery assessment can be used as soon as three members of a particular team have completed the PI behavioural assessment. The PI Team Discovery assessment is found in the Design component of the Talent Optimisation Platform.

PI Job Assessment

Job Assessment Icon

The PI Job Assessment allows modern organisations to create the most accurate behavioural and cognitive profile. The Hiring Manager or Hiring team are guided through a series of questions about the various aptitudes required for the role and the nature of the role itself.

Once completed, the Hiring team has a very detailed candidate profile. To avoid any manual work or bias, the Hire module of the Talent Optimisation Platform will rank candidates based on their unique behavioural patterns and cognitive ability. Users of the Hire module can also adjust the weighting of the cognitive and behavioural target.

PI Behavioural Assessment

Behavioural Assessment

The PI behavioural assessment is the oldest and most well-known assessment from the Predictive Index. The assessment measures four behavioural drives: Dominance, Extraversion, Patience and formality. The scientifically validated is done using a six-minute questionnaire by the employee and applicant. Once completed, the Talent Optimisation Platform generates a unique behavioural report for that individual. The insight from the behavioural assessment can be used for hiring, coaching, management, relationship building and team discovery.

PI Cognitive Assessment

Cognitive Assessment Icon

This PI cognitive Assessment measures a person’s general mental aptitude and critical thinking capacity.  You’ll learn more about someone’s chances of success and work performance in just 12 minutes than you would in an hour-long interview or typical aptitude test. 

A candidate’s cognitive ability has been proven to be the number predictor of job performance. The 50 multiple-choice questions on the PI Cognitive Assessment are divided into three cognitive aptitude areas (verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning) and nine subcategories. It evaluates a person’s ability to study at a rapid rate. 

Hiring managers should leverage the Predictive Index Job Assessment to identify the cognitive demands of the role. However, to get the maximum benefit from the cognitive assessment, it is always best to use it with behavioural data. 

Complementing Solutions to the Platform

The truth is that organisations that implement the talent optimisation platform will have a significant competitive advantage over their competitors. However, some companies want to maximise the potential of their talent even further.

We have found that both the Leadership development programme and the specialist development programmes are perfect complements to the talent optimisation platform.

Leadership Development Pipeline

The leadership pipeline leadership training programmes are tailored made to the organisation and the participant’s stage in the leadership pipeline (i.e. leader of others or leader of leaders). The leadership development pipeline programmes provide a comprehensive, holistic approach to leader development and evaluation. The programmes are a brilliant complement to the Inspire and Diagnose components of the talent optimisation platform. The Programmes provide a solid foundation for strategic, tactical, and operational succession planning.

The Talent Optimisation Platform complement this process by giving the organisation scientifically validated behavioural data, cognitive ability data and team dynamics simulations. The leadership pipeline improves your company’s execution power by fostering a leadership-driven culture that values responsibility and has the proper leaders in place. The talent optimisation platform helps companies cultivate the desired culture, diagnose any potential pitfalls and leaders that fit with the team dynamic. Together these two solutions help build meaningful leadership career pathways and get the most out of your company’s leaders at all levels.

Specialist Development Pipeline

The specialist development programmes are also tailored to the organisation and the participants’ stage in the specialist pipeline. The methodology aims to create an alternative and equally desirable career progression to talented individuals who may not be considered ‘leadership material’ or may not desire those kinds of roles.

The talent optimisation platform can get the most of specialists to ensure they work in the right environment and are placed in the best teams. The Specialist development programmes ensure specialist staff are mobilised for a more dynamic way of working throughout the organisational hierarchy.

The specialist development programmes give specialists the ability to switch between the specialist and the leadership track without the fear of demotion. The talent optimisation platform helps identify that new role and the optimal replacement.

Companies that implement specialist development programmes can attract better and retain leading specialists. Talent optimised companies are equipped to ensure their behavioural needs are satisfied, and their employee experience is constantly measured.

How do you start building dream teams?

The best way to start building dream teams with the talent optimisation platform is by getting in touch with us.

All you need to do is press the get in touch button, fill in your contact details and submit the contact form.

A member of our team will be happy to send demo links for the assessments, answer any questions and schedule a personalised live demonstration of the platform. We look forward to helping your organisation reach peak performance.

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