Making In-Person Assessments Virtual
The Vaya Group (Vaya Group) is a boutique talent management consultancy founded in 1997 in Illinois and its annual revenue is $7.6 million. Vaya Group applies science and precision to the art of talent assessment and development by helping business leaders and organizations achieve the behavioral, cultural, and leadership changes necessary for talent sustainability. Some of Vaya Group’s clients are FORTUNE 500 companies, including the TOP 20 global pharmaceutical companies.
Prior to 2020, Vaya Group offered bespoke in person assessment centers to their clients, by writing deeply customized assessment content and traveling to customers with a team of assessors and project managers for multi-day programs. With the COVID restrictions in 2020, it became apparent to Vaya Group that assessing candidates in person was no longer possible and needed to reimagine their leadership assessment solution immediately.
In defining the problem, they needed to solve, Vaya Group observed they needed to find a technology that would, firstly, enable them to utilize their own consultants and secondly, allow them to leverage their existing assessment center content. It was of critical importance for Vaya Group to deploy a virtual assessment solution as quickly but flexibly as possible while maintaining the high level of service their clients expect.
Simultaneously, Pinsight reflected on this major issue facing traditional assessment centers and launched SimManager™, which allows leadership consultancies like Vaya Group to utilize our existing platform technology and virtual assessment center know-how to automate their processes and ensure business continuity. The SimManager™ brings assessment center content to life in a secure, digital environment via Pinsight’s platform which is provides a flexible and scalable solution.
Beth Doladee, Managing Consultant at Vaya Group shared that informing their clients about Pinsight and the ability for their assessments to go virtual “ended up giving them a giant sigh of relief,” and “having Pinsight’s integrated solution was just incredibly helpful for us to be able to “marry” the two worlds [of technology and custom solutions] together.”
In fact, Vaya Group started thinking about doing online assessments as far back as 2015, so innovation was always top-of-mind for them. However, Vaya Group is not a technology company. They considered building the technology with a vision of having one integrated “eco-system” that would enable their assessments to be online, but as a group of organizational psychologists, their strengths are finding key insights and delivering impactful solutions to their clients. Their previous knowledge of Pinsight coupled with the pandemic pushed them into action. According to Beth Doladee, “It wasn’t even a question of which of the partners we would go with to try to make this move forward and deliver all of that experience and security to our clients.” That’s how Pinsight became a “no-brainer” choice for Vaya Group, according Beth Doladee during a public testimonial of leveraging the SimManager™ during the hour-long webinar in November of 2022.
Vaya Group admitted that there were three heavy pain points of the traditional in person assessment – document management, data security, and the lack of “real world” experience. First, some assessment documentation was produced, completed, and then stored all on paper, creating expensive and cumbersome work, and participants needed to use an old-school “paper and pencil.” Second, the security was not at today’s high standards other assessment materials were exchanged via USB flash drives which posed a real threat such as unintentional sharing of malicious software or the possibility of sharing test material. Lastly, the inability to use email inboxes or other software during assessments decreased the face validity of the assessments and user enjoyment of experience. The process that used to work for decades started to feel dated, costly, risky, and ineffective for Vaya Group and their customers.
Therefore, the critical features for Vaya Group and their clients, along with having one integrated eco-system, was an emphasis on strong data security, secure document storage, smooth automatization of participant and assessor scheduling, and an engaging “real-world” user experience. Also, they had several existing assessment center designs that could be leveraged and customized to create a fully virtual or hybrid experience for their participants. They could use their content and other personalized exercises in innovative ways. Beth Doladee from Vaya Group stated, “Once we were able to get the technology with Pinsight, it gave us a really cool opportunity to realize it was actually a very simple fix to get everything fully integrated.” The innovation was also embraced with excitement by their clients “It’s really been a game-changer because they’re like, ‘this looks exactly like our world; it does feel much more like what we’re doing.”
She went ahead and spoke about all the positive outcomes that utilizing Pinsight has brought to Vaya Group and their customers:
- Massive cost savings
- Travel, accommodation, and rentals were a significant part of the costs of running an in-person assessment center. Moving all or part of the process to a virtual environment reduces costs significantly. In one assessment scenario Beth Doladee recalls, “the quote from the hotel was going to be over $50,000 just for the AV rental for 24-48 hours. With Pinsight, it was a great cost savings. And we’ve done this with a couple of clients since then and every single one has been so appreciative of the cost savings on their purchase order.”
- Easier participant and consultant scheduling
- “The whole thing comes together really seamlessly” by minimizing administration complexity, time, errors, and effort.
- Better participant experience with fast and easy customizations
- They hear from their clients that “if it’s custom to us, it feels like us and it leads to a higher face validity.”
- Reduced security risk and better privacy protection
- Pinsight’s systems are compliant with the highest standards of security and protection of PII, which is critical to Vaya Groups enterprise clients.
- Easier user experience with one integrated and interactive system
- Vaya Group views Pinsight as having a great user interface and experience, because it simulates a real business “workday” for a leader including integrated and secure video call technology with a screen-sharing option that is “easy point and click and it feels so intuitive to the participant”.
- More inclusion opportunities due to virtual accessibility.
- Inclusivity and accessibility are essential to create equal opportunities. “If [participants need] to just go all online because of other commitments, we can do that for you. And again, for clients, being able to hear that flexibility, it’s one of the key traits that we know keeps a lot of our clients coming back to us year over year.” Beth Doladee adds that “People are located in so many different places now the odds of everyone traveling to one centralized location to be able to present to them face to face is going to be pretty low.”
While it is again possible for in person assessment centers to operate again, Vaya Group continues to utilize Pinsight’s in order not to lose any of the above-mentioned benefits. In fact, they have recently created a business unit focused on virtual simulation assessments that will be expanded to more areas of their business. Beth Doladee states that they want to give their clients “the best of both worlds and even if we’re getting together live in a conference center or hotel, we still leverage the technology to deliver the materials.” To conclude, while Pinsight’s assessment technology brought Vaya Groups leadership assessment processes online in a time of crisis, the partnership between them has enabled Vaya Group to offer easy, automated, cost-effective, and secure solutions to new and existing clients.‹ Previous PostNext Post ›