Published: Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Sirva Intercultural Group

In today's global environment, organizations are focusing on the cost impact and ROI of international assignments. Sending the right employee to the right assignment is more important than ever. Integrating candidate assessment services into your company's talent management processes will support this goal. One way to help you choose the right employee for an assignment, increase their chances of success on assignment, and maximize your mobility program’s ROI is to conduct candidate assessments.

The results of Sirva trends surveys indicate that poor candidate selection is one of the top reasons for assignment failure. Oftentimes the candidate is selected based on factors such as an employee’s technical competency and job experience. However, Mobility is often brought into the process after selecting an employee, at the point of deployment. Integrating candidate assessments into the overall selection process can help achieve critical business goals like talent retention and increased performance on assignment.

Candidate assessments also help companies develop their talent. Cultural adaptability tools are the most used assessments and can be applied by organizations to determine employee suitability for an international assignment. Cultural adaptability tools can support the employee’s development before, during, and after the assignment.


There are several best practices organizations can implement to use cultural assessment tools to assess, select, and develop candidates more strategically.

Max ROI Candidate Assessment Image

  • Create a candidate pool Cultural assessment tools can be used to create candidate pools when assessing high-potential employees, either as new hires or in key business units. Using a cultural adaptability tool allows companies to create a pool of potential candidates for future overseas assignments and identify specific skills to be developed for each of their high-potential new hires.
  • Enabling self-selectionKnowing which employees are willing to take an international assignment is a critical foundation to building a candidate pool. If employees are interested in going on an assignment, they can use a cultural assessment tool to self-select. The results of the assessment will highlight their strengths and potential challenge areas they may face when adapting to life and work in a new country. This can help employees decide if an international assignment might be a good fit for them.
  • Integrating training and development If a candidate is considered tactically adept for a particular assignment, cultural assessment tools can help identify areas for additional training. The results of the assessment can identify gaps in the employee’s cultural awareness and knowledge and training can be tailored to meet their needs before and during their assignment.
  • Supporting short-term assignments Short-term assignments are increasingly developmental in nature and companies can integrate the use of cultural assessment tools as an extra step in the intercultural training program. Trainers can provide guidance based on the employee’s assessment results which identify strengths and challenges within the context of the host country’s culture. The training also highlights specific cultural skills to use and develop while on assignment.
  • Developing future leadersUsing a cultural assessment tool can help ensure organizational leadership development programs have an added dimension, providing employees with feedback on global competencies and their effectiveness in the global business environment. Feedback can be integrated into the employee’s development plan for future career planning and be readily available for the next international assignment.
  • Implementing a formal selection processAs a best practice, the selection process should incorporate multiple types of assessment tools, including a cultural assessment, job or technical skills assessment, and personality type indicator. Incorporating different assessment types will provide a holistic picture of employees.

How Do You Select the Right Candidate Assessment Tool?

When looking for a candidate assessment tool to evaluate cultural adaptability, global mobility leaders should consider the following questions:

  • Is the tool’s methodology founded on credible research, and has it been statistically validated?
  • Does the tool evaluate attributes or factors necessary for successful adaptation to new cultures, and does it assess other factors that may contribute to assignment success?
  • Is the assessment tool intuitive and easy to access?
  • Does it offer reports and results in a timely manner?
  • Can the tool be integrated into existing organizational candidate assessment and talent management programs?
  • Is guidance provided for using and integrating the instrument into talent management strategies?
Expanding the use of candidate assessments can help you further your overall organization’s objectives. For more information on how Sirva can help you with candidate assessments and other intercultural training tools to help you contribute to your organization’s strategic talent development goals, please email us at or reach out to your Sirva representative.


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