Sova: the future for digital assessment industry in 2021

By Georgia Wilson
Abigail Scott, Managing Director of Sova: APAC discusses the current landscape for the digital assessment industry in 2020, as well as predictions for 2...

Could you talk me through the current landscape for your industry as we count down the final weeks of 2020?

We have seen a year of huge extremes.  

Industries, like aviation, have shut down operations almost overnight, resulting in businesses haemorrhaging cash and staff in equal measure. This contrasts with organisations, such as supermarkets, who face surging customs that are often coupled with a dramatic rise in applicants from prospective employees. 

HR teams have been utterly overwhelmed by, and often unable to cope with, rising demand. 

We are all heading into a highly unpredictable 2021. Reactive approaches will cease to be sustainable as pandemic fatigue, and other long-term effects, begin to take their toll. 

As we prepare ourselves for the year ahead, industry leaders will need to establish what ‘the new normal’ means for them and the role talent plays within it.

How have you seen your industry evolve this year?

Not only has remote working sped up the digital transformation, but it also looks set to pave the way for some brilliant shifts in furthering the equality and diversity agenda. More employment opportunities are there for those hindered by the confines of the traditional office environment. 

This is great news as we know that diverse teams are inherently more successful than their homogeneous counterparts. 

What technology and/or approaches have you seen emerge in the industry due to COVID-19? How do these compare to before the outbreak?

Global lockdowns generated a huge demand for online assessment solutions, especially those that support the processing of high-volume talent campaigns. For example, many organisations were mid-way through graduate recruitment campaigns when lockdown hit and we were called on to rapidly provide a suite of solutions ranging from CV scanning, through to digital assessment centres. Outdated systems, often overly reliant on human resource, or piecemeal digital solutions, simply cannot cope with rising numbers of candidates.

What are your predictions for the industry in 2021 and beyond?

Budgets and resources will continue to be squeezed as demand increases, so managing this will require big changes. We predict a continuation of two trends that have been kickstarted by the pandemic. Firstly, a rapid increase in investment in automation of assessment processes. Secondly, a continued commitment to upskilling and promoting from within the existing talent pool. 

What are the current challenges in the industry?

Many organisations were not prepared to be hit by an upheaval of the scale we have seen and continue to be on the backfoot as new demands present themselves. The challenge here is taking a moment to step back out of firefighting mode and really assess what the business needs to tackle the issues so they may not only survive but thrive.

For those who were more agile, or advanced in their digital transformation at the start of the pandemic, the ongoing challenge is to ensure that candidate experience remains high on the agenda for future talent solutions. To do this, businesses need to be making sure their processes are smooth, fair, integrated, offering a positive introduction to the brand.

Could you talk me through your career journey and tell me a bit about the company that you work for?

Applying my 16 years as an organisational psychologist in the UK and Canada, I have spent the last 10 years working in Australia and launched Sova APAC in 2016. 

Sova is a global assessment company, combining the best of psychology with the latest digital technology in a seamless end-to-end talent assessment platform for use at every career stage. We work closely with organisations in the APAC region to deliver configurable, digital, fair, accurate and affordable talent assessment solutions that provide a future-focused view of people and potential, allowing for data-driven decisions at every stage of the employee journey.

For more information on business topics in Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief APAC.

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