The case for standardised
assessments in modern organisations

01 March 2021

Flávio Tiago, MBA, PHD, a member of The Global Academic Council

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The move towards knowledge and service-driven economies has caused human capital (people) to become the most valuable intangible asset for firms and organizations. This has caused firms around the world to put significant resources behind growing and retaining top talent.

One cannot forget that the value of human capital is dependent upon its potential to contribute to firms’ core competencies, or become part of its competitive advantage. This makes human capital both an opportunity and a challenge to modern organizations. 

Having the best people has become mandatory

Hiring the most competent employees (recruitment), investing in their development (training), and retaining them has become mandatory for successful organisations. With a small pool of top digital talent around the world, firms need effective recruitment and retention strategies. One way that can positively contribute to this, is the effective use of consistent skills evaluation to ensure alignment between employee and organizational goals.

The challenge of assessment in a globalised world

Deciding how to measure the value of a qualification is challenging for companies, professional associations, recruiters, and human resource managers. Education systems differ in each country/region, varying according to national policy and culture. In a globalised world, where organisations can attract people from different countries and backgrounds, there is a growing need for global benchmarks and standardised assessments. These will allow for an objective comparison of a professional’s skills and knowledge, regardless of their location.

This tackles the challenge for university graduates, however, it is important to note that not all skills come from the traditional education systems and many aren’t recognized in existing qualifications. These skills are gained on the job, or from knowledge associated with in-house training from previous jobs. The increased mobility and labour market flexibility has highlighted the need to account for these types of skills.

Qualification evaluation processes are often associated with recruitment. However, even inside the firms, human capital evolves. Thus, it is also needed to acknowledge self-learning achievements and in-house training outcomes, monitoring improvements over time.

Global benchmarks are critical for objective skills comparison

Global benchmarks and standardized assessments are essential in the modern world and will become even more critical as organizations and countries are competing worldwide for markets and human capital. Therefore, as part of a career development process, it is important to compare results with professionals across countries. Comparing skills to global benchmarks allows organizations, individuals, educators, and governments to recognize gaps and improvement opportunities. This creates more focused training to enhance the overall performance of organisations. 

Change is the only constant in the business. Therefore, it is crucial to find guiding references that help in the right direction.


Flávio Tiago, MBA, PHD

Member of The Global Academic Council


Flávio Tiago is Assistant Professor at Azores University and Business and Economics Master Program Director. He has a PhD. in Knowledge Management and E-business and has MsC/MBA in economics and management sciences. He teaches marketing, international marketing, Internet marketing, and e-business courses. He is a research fellow at ADVANCE (Advanced Research Centre in Management – ISEG Lisbon) – CSG/Research in Social Sciences and Management and also works in the Centre of Applied Economics Studies of the Atlantic – Azores. He is President of the Regional delegation of the Portuguese Economists Association and Founding Member ZOOM GLOBAL SMART CITIES ASSOCIATION.

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