Consolidations, concerns in talent measurement department (Guest Commentary)

Wave of consolidations fundamentally changing market
By Shlomo Ben-Hur and Nik Kinley
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/14/2013

The recent purchase of the global talent measurement consultancy PDI Ninth House — once a leader in its field — by search firm Korn/Ferry International is the latest move in a wave of consolidations that is fundamentally changing the talent measurement market. And there are some potentially serious implications for organizations in their ability to effectively identify and measure talent.

The vast majority of businesses that seek to measure the talent and capabilities of employees rely, at least to some degree, on external vendors. Historically, these vendors have been divided into two groups. On the one side, there are specialist psychometric and 360-degree feedback vendors — which primarily create and sell tests and tools. On the other side are general measurement consultancies — which do things such as run assessment centres and provide individual psychological assessments, but get involved in almost everything related to measuring and developing talent.

The past two years, however, have seen the market space radically changed by new entrants. In 2011, two of the biggest specialist psychometric vendors, SHL and Previsor, merged in a long predicted deal. Then, in mid-2012, a company previously unknown in the measurement space, the Corporate Executive Board, bought both the now giant SHL-Previsor and a respected general measurement firm called Valtera.