MobieTrain now in GCC!

The Micro-Learning & Gamification app and the winners of UNLEASH 2018 now have a home base in Dubai through their exclusive partnership with Hamilton Resourcing MENA.

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Knowledge is power, but is that power being lost in the workplace with traditional training and Learning Management Systems? UNLEASH Startup Competition Winner, MobieTrain is on a mission to transform this system for the mobile, millennial workforce. And here’s why.

Did you know that 80% of knowledge from traditional training is forgotten after 30 days?” asks Guy Van Neck, Founder of MobieTrain. “In an increasingly competitive work climate, we’re putting more and more emphasis on empowering our employees and providing outstanding customer experience. Knowledge is at the core of this empowerment, but the way that it’s currently being delivered just isn’t working. So we’re here to change that.”

What is micro-learning?

Micro-learning is bite-sized training content, offering just the right amount of knowledge to help a learner achieve a specific, actionable objective. In MobieTrain’s case, employees are provided with 5 minutes of mobile-training daily. Not only does this improve engagement and avoid knowledge overload, it is also proven to improve knowledge retention. Meaning that employees are more able to use this knowledge to boost sales, productivity and customer experience, while easily being able to fit it into their working day.

“We’re thrilled to be putting micro-learning on the map by winning UNLEASH’s competition. Micro-learning is the best way for the mobile workforce to not just learn, but use that knowledge to make a real impact. And for just 5 minutes a day, engagement rates are sky high.”  says Guy Van Neck, Founder of MobieTrain.

How does it help with Employee engagement?

Gamification plays a big part in this. And we’re not just talking leaderboards and badges. MobieTrain demonstrates that a key to increasing success is an understanding of how to intrinsically motivate learners, beyond a need to just compete with colleagues.

This is achieved through personalisation. Visual learning paths and personal profiles show each individual user how they are progressing, and in-app messages and badges keep them engaged at key points. And their planned integration of AI in the coming months will drive this personalisation even further.

Variety of content is also key. As a mobile generation, we are now used to consuming a vast amount of content on a daily basis. So businesses need to keep their training content interesting. This includes video, animations, interactivity and quizzes. Delivered on any mobile device to access at anytime.

Who will benefit from this technology?

Organizations which have a large multi-site footprint who need to provide their front-line team members with brand & product knowledge and updates to increase engagement and productivity with their teams.

Don’t Let Your Team Engagement Die with the Performance Review

When it comes to performance, candor carries the day, says Jack Welch, famed ex-CEO of GE. If you perform well on your review, you get a raise. If you perform poorly, you get yanked. This frank approach was the inspiration for GE’s annual review system, often called “rank and yank” for being so systematic, and oftentimes, brutal.

Many believe this form of performance management is dying, but we believe we’re far past that. Even GE, once a popularizer of the system, has abandoned the practice altogether. Adobe is also benching the process and structuring ongoing conversations, called check-ins, around expectations, feedback, and growth and development.

In other words, the performance review is dead. And there are three trends in business that killed it.

1. Low unemployment. Employment in the U.S. is currently around 4 percent, the lowest rate since 2000. This inevitably leads to a more competitive job market. Scarce talent often leads companies to hire from within, or find creative ways to seek out the best talent, then engage and retain those employees. This challenge is very familiar for the ever-changing IT industry, where finding skilled talent can be difficult and turnover can be costly. 

iVentures is one IT company faced with this problem. The traditional review process made its technical and customer service teams feel stagnant, and in 2015, iVentures turned to career pathing. Jennifer Korsun, iVenture Solutions’ director of people operations, sums up the impact of the switch in this way: “We were looking for a solution that could track employee development progress and allow our employees to build out a career path for themselves. We wanted a tool that could give them a clear picture of their gaps, so they knew what to work on to get them to that next step in their career.”

Having that clear picture helps employees at organizations like iVenture visualize a future within the company — ultimately saving the business time and money needed to recruit in a competitive talent landscape.

2. High volatility with low engagement. Disruption is everywhere, and technology is affecting every market and business opportunity. To remain competitive, companies need to attract, keep, and engage all-star talent. Only 33 percent of the American workforce is engaged in their jobs. Choosing career pathing over the performance review can increase employee engagement at all levels, especially since everyone in the company can participate in the process.

One iconic food brand wanted to start career development initiatives to improve their overall employee engagement. The HR team worked with us to develop a career mapping model for all employees to build their careers internally through clearly identified career progression opportunities. The goal was to expose various lateral and vertical career path opportunities available to employees all around the globe. As a result, employees move from just checking boxes on a form once a year to active participation in an ongoing process with multiple checkpoints throughout the year.

3. Long-term development. With so much changing and millennials’ dominance in the workforce — along with their emphasis on societal impact — the next-generation workforce wants long-term career development. According to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, young workers are eager for business leaders to be proactive about making a positive impact in society — and to be responsive to employees’ needs. Contrary to popular belief, they want to know how and where they fit in the company.

That’s an important benefit of career pathing. Unlike the performance review of the past, career pathing can make it clear to employees how they can grow their career, what skills need to be developed, and how long it will take a typical employee to progress from role to role.

As you can see, career pathing has many benefits. And it’s the best way to ensure that your organization is ready for the future of work. Give your performance review a reboot with a career pathing strategy that will overcome the business challenges of a tight employment economy, empower your employees, and improve the employee experience.

Career Pathing vs Succession Planning: Understanding The Difference

Career pathing and succession planning are common terminologies within talent management but the difference in their application and the separate benefits of each can be misunderstood and overlooked. In the majority of cases, employers prioritize succession planning, assuming that career pathing will somehow ‘fit’ naturally into it.

But high performing organizations require both.

Why it matters

Succession planning on its own, while essential for high performance organizations, is no longer sufficient to completely support an effective talent management strategy. Today’s talent has choices.

As employee confidence is at record levels, HR must go all out to not only attract highly skilled candidates but to hold on to the talent they have. Research from Hays shows that 4 out of 5 employees would leave their current roles if a better job offer comes along – and that isn’t dependent on compensation. Employees will compromise on salary in return for the right benefits, workplace culture and career development opportunities[1].

What’s more, these key strategies are both critical if employers are to respond to the shift from ‘careers’ to ‘experiences’. But just 37% are either ‘ready’ or ‘very ready’ to address such a transition[2].

Developing effective yet distinct strategies around succession planning and career pathing can help to address this transition but HR must get clear on the difference.

Succession planning : Focuses on identifying and nurturing talent to fill anticipated business critical positions. It is employer driven to ensure a highly skilled talent pool is available to replace departing employees.

Career pathing : is the systematic process an employee uses to chart their own career development path within an organization. It gives them autonomy and a sense of control over their career.

Where succession planning is carried out on a ‘top down’ basis in response to organizational needs, career pathing is driven by the employee. The aim is to bridge the gap between the two and in doing so improvement engagement, reduce attrition levels and create a positive culture that attracts more talent to your brand.

Bridging the gap

The differences are subtle, but clear:

Essential steps of career pathing

  1. Your employee carries out a self-assessment of their own individual abilities, interests, career aspirations and goals. This includes evaluating and understanding their current skills and experience that can help them to identify roles which may fulfill their potential.
  2. Multiple career options are mapped out based on that self-evaluation to enable them to develop a career plan focused on both short-term and long term career goals.
  3. Flexibility with career pathing is essential as the focus shifts to the employee experience.
  4. Career counseling may be helpful to ensure goals are realistic and an effective plan is created.
  5. Employees are empowered and enabled by recommending career paths, job enhancement, vacancies and job rotations aligned to skills, goals and aspirations.

Planning for success

In Succession Planning, HR carries out an evaluation of existing talent and future skills requirements, involving the whole organization. Succession planning should not be limited to the C Suite.

  1. Business critical roles are identified which require succession planning.
  2. The competencies and experience needed for each of these roles are evaluated.
  3. Existing employees are evaluated against these requirements and key talent is identified in terms of performance and potential for meeting future skills needs.
  4. For each individual, the development needs and skills gaps required to take them to the next level are identified.
  5. Employees are then enabled to be prepared for future promotions, ideally focusing on experiences.
  6. A development plan is then prepared which is mapped out identifying progress along the way.

Both career pathing and succession planning must be carried out as stand-alone exercises which enable HR to identify the similarities and highlight the disparities between employee expectations and aligning skills with business goals and strategies.

Research from Gallup suggests that listening to what your top performances value most helps to improve retention and improve your company culture[3]. Defining distinct yet aligned strategies around career pathing and succession planning are crucial to achieving that.

Support with dedicated software

Achieving effective career pathing and succession planning requires more than a ‘one size fits all’ approach and should be clearly differentiated within your organization’s overall talent management strategy.

Support your career pathing and succession planning strategies with career pathing software and succession planning software designed to help your business create a more competitive culture.

To learn more about career pathing and succession planning, visit our learning center for webinars and other content.

In 8 weeks an onboarding program as solid as a rock!

Has that new employee just signed the contract? What happens until the first working day? Onboarding is a crucial phase to make and keep employees successful from the start of their job.

Prevent that your new employees will go looking for a new job after the first 91 days. Focus on your onboarding process! Employee Experience has an important role, also within onboarding. Research among 250 international HR managers showed us 88% expected the employee experience to become even more important in the near future.

With the Appical roadmap your onboarding program is live in no time!


What kind of organization are you? And in which sector are you active? We help you to choose the optimal structure and user flow.

Anyone who thinks that onboarding is only important for millennials, you’re wrong… People need effective onboarding regardless their age. This makes them feel at home and they will develop more easily into productive and successful employees.

Discover which ‘unwritten rules’ apply to millennials, senior employees and flex workers. In addition, discover which best practices there are within your sector. We understand that you are looking for a frame of reference and have therefore listed a number of case studies for you. We would like to show you examples of organizations within finance, healthcare, retail, logistics, non-profit and SMEs. Earlier on we wrote a blog about attracting and retaining employees within retail & FMCG.


Create impressive slides. All parts are predesigned and can easily be converted to your company branded house style. Games, Augmented Reality, video. We have thought of everything!

Successful organizations do start much earlier in the crucial onboarding process. Ask yourself the question: when does onboarding starts? What information do I make available? Who is responsible? And how do we make a special experience of the first day? Curious about the 7 questions to find out if your onboarding is successful?

New employees already get to know colleagues through the Peoplefinder. They watch a welcome video from the manager and get a look at the office via Augmented Reality. The employee can also check whether all required documents have been signed and submitted and they will receive all information for the first working day via the app.

Once started, the employee can chat with the manager or buddy and feedback can be given directly in the platform.


Is your Appical platform the way you want it? With a single click, we publish your app in the app stores. Of course you can also access it via the desktop.

Traditional approaches to onboarding were very HR-oriented. But as onboarding is not just for millennials, the implementation of the onboarding process have to be not only dependent on HR. Discover which stakeholders you can involve best in setting up an effective training program and GO!

Together with you we create an online onboarding program that will be as solid as a rock within a few weeks. We do this with our own designed Onboarding Game! From the eyes of a ‘new hire’ we look at what information is needed and when. After this we ensure that a blueprint of the first version of your app is ready. This is the point at which your project group can give concrete meaning to the content for the app. Our blueprints give you the first push in the right direction!

Onboarding is hot! This is the time to choose the right onboarding solution for your organization.

Organizations with a good onboarding program do have:

  • 66% better relationship between time and productivity
  • 54% higher employee satisfaction
  • 50% higher retention of new employees

Step by step to the ultimate onboarding program with Appical in just 8 weeks?

FEATURE UPDATE: Launch of the new Appical web player!

After months of developing, tinkering and tweaking... the time has finally come!
We are happy to announce our new web player! 🎉

We would like to update you on the biggest improvements in our platform and it’s user flow, so we sat down with our Product Owner Maybe Gil to discuss why is this launch so important, the impact it has on our development team and company and moreover how will it benefit our customers and all the employees who use our platform.

The next milestone

Launching the new web player means a lot for the user experience of our users and the technical improvements in the performance of our platform. Last year we launched the new Editor and Natives Mobile Apps for Android and iOS. The new web player comes last, but for sure not least!  

User experience

From now on, users will have the same experience on desktop as on mobile, one slick uninterrupted journey! The navigation and resizing of the platform have improved as well, in order to give customers and end users the high-quality experience they deserve. It’s highly important to us keep the user experience in mind when we talk about the employee experience.

‘Dashboard’ before

‘Dashboard’ after

Technical improvements

With this new player, the technical performance of the app improved by more than 50%. 
Now, loading time is much faster and the employee journey got a boost of fun with those new animations that we added. Two other things that I would like to highlight are the new dashboard and favorite pages.

The latest mobile app update introduced a new design for the quiz pages (Assign, Ranking, Order Image, Order Video). This means you will no longer have to create separate interaction pages for the mobile version! Hurray! Following, the new dashboard was redesigned as well, and is now more coherent, with the aim to give the user a clear overview of their progress immediately. We also introduced ‘favorite pages’. Adding the star-shaped button on the corner of every page, allows users to click on it and add the page to their own favorite library, which is located in their profile.

The road to it

With time, we will guide all customer and help them to switch to the new web player. 
To make sure everyone will be using the much more interactive and beautifully designed version, we added the ‘New Player’ button! Trust me, if you’re used to it, you will never go back 😉 

As Product Owner I have prioritized the development of features, we set a deadline and we had to manage the design, development and support teams to work on this together. 
Before launching the new web player we did extensive research with our customers and their employees and also within our own company.

Because of the positive feedback we’ve been receiving since we launched the Native Apps for mobile last Autumn, we wanted to follow the same style for the web player as well. 
We had two months of active development, which was full of learning and having fun while we were crafting this amazing experience for our users. Every week the product team was testing it and working hard to get feedback and improve.

Following, we did an ‘internal launch’ within our development team, shared a BETA version with several customers and organized testing sessions with colleagues from different teams (sales, customer onboarding, development, and support). After all this we are finally ready to go live and we hope you enjoy it 🙂    

Sneak peek

‘Chapters’ Before

‘Chapters’ After

Onboard large numbers of employees in an interactive way. Thanks to the scalability of the Appical platform, it is also possible to onboard colleagues in different countries! Is there a lot of turnover within a certain period? Guarantee valuable feedback from former colleagues. Request a demo.


Attract and retain employees within retail & FMCG? This is how you do it!

Customers expect that soon they’ll be able to try on new clothes via virtual changing rooms and won’t have to leave their home. With many retail and restaurants, it is already possible to order from the menu via an iPad or tablet. New colleagues expect a special first week of work. Therefore, provide a good onboarding to your own employees and thus deliver your organization's’ culture and feeling to your customers! ❤️

Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first – Simon Sinek

Customers notice when colleagues “breathe your brand” and put in a little extra in their work. Therefore, provide employees with the same VIP experience as you give your customers. For example, use a virtual tour or a video to present a new collection. Only when employees can identify with the vision and organizational objectives, will they give their own interpretation to this. This is especially important within the retail sector.

Recent research by sector organization Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (Dutch) shows that the number of catering staff in the Netherlands will increase by 15 percent between 2016 and 2021 from 407,000 catering staff in 2016 to 467,000 in 2021. The sector will, therefore, have to recruit more than 90,000 people a year.

For customers there is the loyalty program and/or loyalty point system, for your employees there is the onboarding app. Treat employees as your best customers.

Keep employees involved and reduce turnover

In the war for talent, good onboarding is crucial. It guarantees a smooth integration process for new employees. As a (retail) company you want to have well-trained and loyal staff, which really contributes to your company mission. Recently the article ‘Why restaurants should rethink their training programs’ was published. This shows that the turnover in 2017 increased by 70% compared to 2016. Employee turnover has a big impact on the operation, continuity and keeping up a high level of work/service. Costs to replace an employee in hospitality can easily be € 5005 per employee.

Do you have to deal with several (worldwide) locations? More and more shops, supermarkets, hospitality, FMCG and hospitality businesses are putting the employee at the center and have more focus on recruitment, retention and development. 

How focusing on development can help you

Traditional training and work-in programs are often outdated and do not match the needs of employees who do not have a fixed desk to work on. Let go paper, send colleagues to deliver messages, make sure that information is always and easily available and that personal development is not dependent on the manager. Ask yourself these seven questions to find out if your onboarding program is successful and follow in the footsteps of organizations such as Ahold, Bugaboo, Miss EtamHunkemöllerHeinekenPepsicoRituals and Nutricia!

Onboard large numbers of employees in an interactive way. Thanks to the scalability of the Appical platform, it is also possible to onboard colleagues in different countries! Is there a lot of turnover within a certain period? Guarantee valuable feedback from former colleagues. Request a demo.

The World's Greatest Hospitality Talent | Emaar Hospitality Group & Sonru

"A picture says more than a thousand words, but a video just tops that without any doubts." Aseem Kapoor - Corporate Director HR


Thank you Aseem Kapoor and Emaar Hospitality Group for this opportunity to help you bring The World's Greatest Hospitality Talent to life!

March 2018 kickoff, 4000+ applicants, 65 countries, 8 finalists, 1 winner!

Congratulations to ALL finalists and massive congratulations to Gabrielle Nicholson for taking the crown!!

Your journey has just begun. All the best.


Follow the journey here: #EmaarHospitality #WGHT


Improving Internal Career Mobility By Humanizing The Employee Experience

Organizations are struggling to find talent for critical positions and are actively looking for external hires to fill these skill gaps. Internal talent is often overlooked but research shows that utilizing internal candidates can yield significant benefits, such as higher retention and faster time to productivity. One of the main reasons employees leave an organization is lack of career progression. Facilitating movement of employees across different jobs can help fill skill gaps while satisfying their desire for career progression and new experiences. In this webinar, TalentGuard and IBM will address how improving internal mobility and encouraging personalized career development engages employees and transforms a company’s overall employee experience.


  • Linda Ginac, CEO, TalentGuard
  • Sheri Feinzig Ph.D., Director, IBM Talent Management Consulting and Smarter Workforce Institute

WEBINAR: Is Internal Career Mobility The Answer To Your Talent Shortage?

WEBINAR: Wed, Jul 18, 2018 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM GST


Linda Ginac, CEO, TalentGuard

Sheri Feinzig Ph.D., Director, IBM Talent Management Consulting and Smarter Workforce Institute

The talent shortage shows no sign of abating. New research from IBM Smarter Workforce Institute found that over half (51%) of all HR professionals say they are struggling to fill open jobs some of the time and over one third (35%) state they ‘very often or always’ experience difficulty filling positions.

In the US alone, around three million employees leave their jobs every month and the global skills shortage is predicted to worsen, at the risk to global growth.

The key to retaining the talent vital to the success of your organization is internal career mobility.

As critical positions go unfilled, the majority of organizations automatically turn to external sources when recruiting for their open jobs, often overlooking the talent available within their existing teams. But lack of career progression is one of the main reasons for the talent exodus.

2018 : The year of the employee experience

2018 is predicted to emerge as the year of the employee experience. As traditional career models evolve into ‘experiences’, HR must respond to that shift to retain talent and bridge skills gaps.  Internal career mobility enables them to achieve that goal in three ways:

  • Facilitating movement of employees across different jobs.
  • Empowering them to learn new skills and creating new experiences.
  • Enabling career progression.

But research shows that almost one third of HR professionals are dissatisfied with their organization’s ability to meet their internal mobility goals. By not recognizing your internal talent your employees will seek opportunities elsewhere.

Benefits of internal mobility

Developing a clear internal career mobility strategy offers several benefits to your organization. Internal mobility has been shown to:

  • Enhance employee career satisfaction.
  • Improve talent retention levels.
  • Reduce recruitment costs and increase time to productivity of your ‘new’ hire.

Unlike with a new hire, there is no difficult onboarding process to navigate as your internal hires are already assimilated with your organization’s culture and can get up to speed much faster than a recruit.

Employees promoted internally also demonstrate significantly better performance for the first two years than external candidates.

Adopting a different approach to career mobility

Failing to recognize your existing talent will continue to impact engagement and retention levels. Adopting a strategic approach to internal mobility is achievable with the following steps:

Empower your employees : The responsibility for internal career mobility isn’t exclusively that of the employer. A systematic approach to career development is essential to empower your employees to map their own career path scenarios and evaluate personal skills gaps.

Nurture your talent : Promoting internal career mobility is beneficial to your entire organization in terms of both skills development and developing a positive culture in which talent can thrive. By emphasizing the potential for career progression, employees are more engaged and happier in their work.

Support your processes with technology : Facilitating internal career mobility with technology will provide an interactive and automated experience for employees to easily navigate to vacant and aspired roles within their organization.

Try Appical 'the onboarding app'

Ideally, onboarding new hires at an organization should be a strategic process and should last at least one year to ensure high retention, say staffing and HR experts. However many companies approach onboarding as something that stops “when all paperwork is signed and the employee’s first day is complete”.

Newly hired employees are 58 percent more likely to still be at the company three years later if they had completed a structured onboarding process.

Aberdeen Group's study found:

  • 66 percent of companies with onboarding programs claimed a higher rate of successful assimilation of new hires into the company culture

  • 62 percent had higher time-to-productivity ratios

  • 54 percent reported higher employee engagement

Try Appical & Get a Bonus Infographics

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2018 Sonru Middle East - Candidate Feedback Report

Welcome to the 2018 Middle East Candidate Feedback Report! 

Sonru has done another great research spotlight on the Middle East which has some fantastic results!

The data for this spotlight derives from the findings from 820 respondents from the Middle East who completed an optional survey between January 2017 and May 2018.  An analysis of over 100 client accounts in the region in 2017 found a completion rate of 70%.

To download the full report please complete the simple form below.


[MISSED WEBINAR] What BlueCross BlueShield Companies are Doing to Engage and Retain Talent

TalentGuard’s cloud-based software suite is unmatched in its ability to engage and retain employees. It consists of the following modules that can be used individually when there is a need.

Career Pathing

With TalentGuard’s Career Pathing software employees can map career path scenarios, review job competencies, and evaluate skills for career progression.

Competency Management

With TalentGuard’s Competency Manager, create and access a curated database of skills and job roles. Associate accelerators with competencies such as learning resources, interview questions, development goals, and coaching tips.

Compensation Planning

TalentGuard’s Compensation Planning software enables companies to allocate budget, salary, bonus and incentive stock across different groups

Development Planning

TalentGuard’s Development Planning Software enables employees to create development plans and exchange feedback with managers.

Learning Management

TalentGuard’s Learning Management software helps make your workforce smarter and more productive with relevant and engaging resources.

Performance Management

TalentGuard’s Performance Management software provides insight for the appraisal conversation, reward decisions, and employee development plans.

Certification Tracking

TalentGuard’s Certification Tracking software offers a reliable solution that enables companies to assess their risk exposure and certification obligations.

Succession Planning

TalentGuard’s Succession Planning software identifies employees with the potential to fill key leadership positions within the company.

360 Degree Feedback

TalentGuard’s 360 Degree Feedback software helps employers gain valuable insight into an employee’s potential and performance.

For more information on TalentGuard or to schedule a demo please contact us here.

HR Definitions

The HR Tech world is full of key phrases and descriptions. Here is a list of HR definitions to help you better understand the terminology.


Skill Development

Competency— Competencies are descriptions of the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that are required to perform a job. These often combine talents and hard skills – both which can be measured with an assessment. (Source: IBM).

Skill—A person’s range of skills or abilities. Something one knows and can learn; something observable.

Talent Profile for Employees A self-service profile of talent-related information maintained by employees, such as education, work experience, career aspirations and mobility preferences.

Assessment – An Assessment is an instrument used to provide accurate and predictive insight for managers during selection, fit for a job role and evaluating gaps. IBM defines different assessments as follows:

•       Capacity assessments—uncover innate talents using both behavioral and personality tests to assess personality traits and behaviors. These assessments are applicable in candidate and employee selection, career development, employee evaluation, and leadership selection and development.

•       Capability assessments—identify the acquired skills, education, background and experience of each individual. This series of assessments includes abilities, reasoning and skills tests specific to a particular job category and are suitable for candidates regardless of experience.

•       Culture fit assessments—reveal how well a candidate, employee or potential leader fits within your organization. These assessments can be used for multiple job families and roles across multiple industries, helping to decrease turnover and enhance commitment, engagement and job satisfaction

•       Ready-to-use Assessments – Pre-built, off the shelf assessments that have been validated for a specific job role across many organizations (Source: IBM)

•       Calibrated Assessments- Modifying a ready-to-use assessment to better reflect the customer’s environment. This typically involves changing the situational judgment questions, modifying the simulations, etc. but does not include changing the core traits the assessment was designed to measure. (Source: IBM)

•       Custom Assessments- Building an assessment for a customer based on researching the client’s top performers in a given job role. (Source: IBM)

•       Skills/Abilities Testing – Measuring hard skills that can be developed over time, such as typing skills, technical programming skills, basic computer skills, etc. (Source: IBM).

•       Behavioral/Personality assessment – Measuring the talents that people are born with, the things they naturally do well (or on the converse – won’t do well). These are characteristics that generally don’t change about a person. (Source: IBM)

•       Structured Interviews – Interview questions that are designed to measure a specific attribute in a person. These questions are scientifically developed, objective, and relevant to the job the person is applying for, (Source: IBM).


Performance Management

Job Performance—The work-related activities expected of an employee, and how well those activities are executed.

Feedback—Responses from involved parties regarding what did/didn’t work. Organizations use this information to constantly improve their onboarding processes.

Goal Setting—The development of an action plan designed to motivate and guide a person, group, or organization toward a goal. Goals can be Corporate Goals, Team Goals, Individual Goals.

Employee Performance Review—A process, often combining both written and oral elements, whereby management evaluates and provides feedback on employee job performance, including steps to improve or redirect activities as needed.

Appraisal Process—The process of appraising an individual’s performance and goals.

Development Plan—Long-term development plan used to track and measure objectives for successors or high-potential.

Benchmark—A quantitative level of performance, which defines best-in-class results. A benchmark may be utilized to define a performance standard.

Pay for Performance – Pay increases are tied to specific ratings in a performance evaluation.

Appraisal – Performance evaluation form

Merit Pay – Extra pay awarded to an employee based on performance

Compensation Planning – The activity of making decisions around salary increases

Development Goals – Development statements that provide specific actions that a manager can assign to an employee to

help them increase their proficiency levels.

Smart Goals – Goals that are structured, measurable, action-oriented, results-focused, and time-bound (SMART)

with qualitative and quantitative content.


Career Path

Job Fit—The degree of congruence between an individual’s strengths, needs, and wants in a particular job and work environment. When interests align, the employee and the organization experience good job fit.

Career Pathing– a process of career development that enables employees to map multiple jobs moves from a current role to an aspirational destination job role.

Career Path – A specific path identified by an employee that demonstrates one job move to the next with identified skill gaps and recommend learning.

Job Family – A group of related jobs belonging to a specific (department-oriented) job family.


360 Degree Feedback

360-Degree Feedback—An appraisal technique designed to produce a rounded picture of an individual, based on feedback from multiple stakeholders at many levels internal and external to the company.



Succession planning—Process of identifying and developing successors for key positions and high potentials for Talent Groups and Successor Pools

Successor—Someone who is adjudged to be capable of taking a position in the future

Successor Pool—A collection of employees who have potential to fill one or more jobs or positions within a specific job family.

High Potentials—Employees who consistently and significantly outperform their peer groups in a variety of settings and circumstances, while also reflecting their company’s culture and value. High potentials are capable of growing and succeeding throughout their career within an organization more quickly and effectively than their peers.

Talent Pipeline—A systematic, visible process of identifying candidates for succession, combined with the processes for their development.

Talent Mapping—Linking the talent on hand to the talent that will be needed to support growth, in order to assess shortfalls or gaps. Can also be used for managing performance.

Readiness—How ready a successor is to assume a position.

Talent Gap—Also known as a skills gap. A talent gap occurs when an organization has more jobs than qualified people to fill them.

[WEBINAR ALERT] Building Personalized Career Experiences for the Modern Workforce

From Insurance to Financial Services to Information Technology, turnover is a critical problem facing organizations. Unhappy employees leave their companies to find new opportunities where they can develop their career, learn new skills and take part in exciting and challenging work.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • how to begin the transformation to a continuously developing workforce

  • find out how to identify and close skill gaps

  • engage employees in meaningful work

  • build personalized career experiences tailored to employees’ career aspirations

FREE DOWNLOAD: ROI Of Recruitment And Onboarding

When it comes to talent acquisition, most HR and recruitment teams are measured by the twin metrics of cost per hire and time per hire. The key measure for recruitment success is usually considered to be quality of hire, but most organizations find this hard to quantify. Is it the length of time someone stays with you, or how productive they become within a certain period? Some might prefer to look at longer-term milestones such as promotion, whilst many companies now seek to assess the influence an employee has on both their teams and the outcome of projects on which they work.

Whatever measures are used, it seems that both the cost and time of hire are increasing, and vacancies are remaining unfilled for longer. In a 2014 report, global business forecasting and analysis consultants Oxford Economics concluded that the full business cost of replacing a member of staff could be around £30,000. This included the logistical costs of recruiting and integrating a new employee as well as the cost of lost output whilst they got up to speed. This latter factor, also defined as the cost of someone being less effective until they reached optimum productivity level, accounts for over 80% of the total cost. 
Estimates from the UK usually back this up, with a figure of around £5,000 as the average cost of recruiting an employee. US figures are often a little different. In 2015 the talent acquisition software business iCIMS estimated that the cost of having a desk unfilled could be
as high as $500 a day (which translates to around £390 or €435) and that the average length of time to fill a vacancy was 44 days. Around the same time, global business insights consultancy CEB (now Gartner) found that the length of time to fill a regular vacancy had risen by over 60% since 2010.

Through the use of video, checklists, quizzes, interactive assignments or virtual reality, Appical allows you to get your new hires hit the ground running by completing all onboarding formalities and meeting the new team virtually before they even come onboard.

Across Europe, there are reports of skill shortages. Concerns over both the quality of future management pipeline and access to the skills necessary to keep the business agile regularly top the list of CEO and business leader challenges. Whichever measures we use, the costs associated with recruitment and retention are rising. For many businesses, the focus is usually on the transactional expenses of advertising, interviewing, accessing digital career sites and briefing staffing agencies. However, as we have already seen from the Oxford Economics research, the associated costs of recruitment can be very high.

More about Appical here

What is the ROI of a good onboarding programme?

As Team Appical, we work for a large number of super cool companies in various branches. When we meet potential customers, we are often asked: “What is the real result, in terms of ROI, of a good onboarding programme?" That question is not an easy one to answer. Every company is different. Still, looking at our customer base, they do have a few things in common.

To answer this question properly, we recently developed a new ROI calculator. This calculator provides insight into the savings during the four crucial stages that each new hire goes through, both in SMEs as well as multinationals.

The key to succes

Putting your employees first is the key to successful, involved employees. This sounds simple, but in practice, it often isn’t. It is important to provide new hires a great experience, so that they start their new job without any problems and get a real ‘wow!’ feeling. In the recruitment phase, candidates are promised the world, because you want them to come work for you. But then, the new hires fall into the famous black hole. A pitiful introduction, day two months after your first working day, boring information on the Intranet, or worse still: a bulky manual for new employees. In which four phases of the employee journey can you save time as a HR employee by setting up a good onboarding programme?


Preboarding, or starting the introduction as soon as the contract is signed, offers you the golden opportunity to keep that euphoria of a new job alive for longer. In that phase, just after signing, new hires often have questions and doubts. These are only discussed in the first few weeks of work. And that is a shame! Answering their questions, making them feel welcome and removing their doubts, is a good first step to improve the dialogue and keep them enthusiastic.

HR is already working on the required paperwork in the preboarding phase, Such as employment contracts, tax forms, certificates of conduct and company codes. In addition, there are also lots of logistic issues that needs to be sorted, such as passes, parking and staff numbers.

This costs HR around 5 hours in this phase. Your new employee needs an average of 16 hours to read the documents and arrange other matters.

The first day of work

Usually, new employees only get to see their new working environment and meet new colleagues on their first day of work. The introduction period comprises the first few weeks in the office, a lot of personal attention, and the obligatory tour of the building. Questions such as: ‘Where is the coffee machine?’, ‘What is the printer number?’, ‘How can I book a meeting room?’ are usually at the top of the list. Usually, HR will appoint a colleague (buddy) to show new hires the ropes. Although it can be quite a challenge for a new employee to familiarise yourself with the office, your new duties and new colleagues, it is as important and stressful for managers. To ensure that an employee is a successful and productive addition to the company team, it is crucial that the new employee feels at home from day 1, feels part of the team.

On average, a new employee spends around 4 hours on the tour and a welcome session with a senior manager, but more is also possible.

Onboarding in the organisation

Onboarding is a broader term than introduction period, and focuses on shortening the time needed by the new employee to achieved the minimum expected level of productivity. The onboarding period starts on the first day and it can last between three months and one year, depending on the complexity of the function.

When onboarding starts (on the first working day), a new employee spends around 4 hours looking for the necessary information. In more complex environments, such as the professional service sector, this can be up to 20 hours or more.


As a manager, you have to ensure that you pick up all relevant insights and points for improvement ‘along the way’, instead of waiting until the annual evaluation review. We see that employees, in an onboarding programme of three months, spend around 2 hours on giving feedback. Because it is done that way… Nearly all our customers indicate that the feedback they receive from new employees is very valuable. New hires look at the ingrained company processes with fresh eyes, as opposed to the colleagues who have been there for years. They will look at the processes and think: Well, that’s how it’s done here… New hires are not burdened with this occupational blindness yet, so use their fresh eyes and request honest feedback. In their onboarding app, organisations such as Hunkemöller and Coolblue, for example, actively ask for critical feedback from new hires, and use this feedback to tackle their processes.

Functional onboarden as a new phase

Onboarding not only involves multiple departments and colleagues, such as recruitment and HR, but also multiple layers within an organisation. Dr John Sullivan outlines the five layers of onboarding at an organisational level, location level and individual level. We see that various high-performing organisations, after the regular onboarding programme, focus on functional onboarding as a new phase.

  • Organisational level
    This includes recruitment and organisation-wide standards and values.
  • Location level
    This includes information and issues in respect of the country/region and the location where the new hire will be working.
  • Departmental level
    This relates to the department where they will be working.
  • Team/functional level
    This includes the team and the position of the new employee.
  • Individual level
    This includes issues on a team level which relate to the unique and diverse needs of this person.

Onboarding looks different for the various function groups within a company. Suppose you regularly hire new sales staff, software developers, sales representatives and technicians. Although they all have different jobs, they need to be offered a basic introduction that includes information about, for example, the company where they will be working and the work location in particular. Once they have received this information, it is time for a functional training, depending on their role. This means that their onboarding has to continue.

This is the biggest challenge of a successful onboarding programme. How do you create a consistent basis, with common denominators where possible and differences where necessary?

On average, functional onboarding costs 11 hours per employee. This does not include job-specific (group) trainings.

What advantages does a good onboarding programme have for your company?

Many HR departments are thinking about onboarding. Eventually, the question always is: what is in it for us? If you want to make a business case, to convince the board for example, you can use our ROI calculator to see what the advantages are of a good onboarding programme. This calculator is already filled with average values, coming from (international) surveys and from experience of our customers. All these variables can be altered.

TalentGuard Wins 2018 IBM Beacon Award for Outstanding Talent Management Solution

TalentGuard is recognized for exceptional work in driving business value by delivering world-class solutions

TalentGuard Career Pathing shown here.

Austin, Texas – March 20, 2018 – TalentGuard, a global provider of talent management software, is pleased to announce that it has earned a 2018 IBM Beacon Awardfor Outstanding Talent Management Solution. Revealed at the IBM PartnerWorld at Think conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 20, 2018, TalentGuard was selected by a panel of expert judges consisting of IBM executives, industry analysts and members of the press. The award recognizes TalentGuard’s exceptional work in driving business value by delivering world-class solutions through its talent management software suite.

TalentGuard’s award-winning career pathing software offers a systematic approach to career development, enabling employees to map multiple career path scenarios, review job competencies and evaluate skill gaps. By giving employees the career pathing tools to chart their career progression, they become more engaged in their roles and the development of their careers. As a leading solution, Career Path expands across many verticals with demonstrated success. TalentGuard strives to continue to be the solution of choice for career pathing and employee engagement initiatives.

TalentGuard was selected among dozens of global applicants based on an in-depth application process that included customer testimonials. This win is a testament not only to TalentGuard’s commitment to innovation, but also to their customers and their satisfaction and business growth.

TalentGuard was one of 17 award winners and dozens of finalists for categories encompassing a wide range of solution and services areas – from analytics and cloud to security and customer engagement. The IBM Beacon Awards program recognizes IBM Business Partners that deliver exceptional solutions to help drive business value and transform the way clients and industries operate. For more information about the 2018 IBM Beacon Awards, including details on all winners and finalists, please visit:

To learn more about the IBM PartnerWorld program, visit

About TalentGuard
TalentGuard is a global provider of competency-based talent management solutions delivered as Software-as-a-Service. Our cloud-based software suite is unmatched in its ability to engage and retain employees. Our integrated technology helps organizations automate performance management, 360 degree feedback, career pathing, succession planning, individual development planning and certification tracking. TalentGuard also helps improve business outcomes with our extended network of credentialed career coaches, training programs and content.

Through its network of trusted integration partners, TalentGuard is seamlessly integrated with the broader HCM ecosystem including HRIS, Applicant Tracking, Compensation Management and Learning Management. For more information or to schedule a demo:

6 reasons why offboarding is important

Most companies realise the value of onboarding new employees. They focus on getting individuals more settled in their roles and productive earlier. They know the costs of employee attrition and of having underperforming teams should positions remain open for too long or are filled with a bad hire. And they are only too aware of the importance of a positive external reputation - showing them as a great place to work - so make sure that everyone joining has a positive experience. But what about when an employee wants to leave? The offboarding stage..

Do we show them the exit quickly, giving them a negative impression of the type of business we are? Are we too concerned that their dissatisfaction may influence otherwise settled employees and try to move them on too fast? And what about the important recommendations and referrals we rely on to find the talent for those hard-to-fill jobs? Leaving ex-employees with a bad memory can cost us in the long run.

More businesses now realise the value in keeping a strong relationship with ex-employees, which is why the process known as off-boarding – literally the reverse of on-boarding, where we give people leaving a positive experience and smooth transition out of the business – has been gaining importance on the corporate agenda. Maybe slowly at first, with 2015 research from Aberdeen Consulting showing only 29% of organisations having an offboarding programme, but more recently the need for a smooth exit has gained traction.

And there are strong business reasons why we need effective offboarding…

1. Ex-employees are ambassadors and advocates 

Their experience of working for us will appear in online review sites and be shared amongst their networks. They are our ambassadors for employer branding. A positive review from someone who has left can be a powerful tool when attracting new people to join. Ex-employees can recommend people to work for us – or dissuade them if we give them a poor experience. When we are struggling to fill key positions their networks are important and can give us exposure to a wider talent pool.

2. Ex-employees are customers too

We don’t only want to retain their loyalty as an employer – we need their custom also! If our products and/or services are customer facing we want ex-employees to remain as customers, and to keep recommending us to other potential customers.

3. Power of an alumni network

People who have worked for us are part of a wider community of those with connections to the business. We need to think of their potential as conduits of business messaging and make sure they still receive company and product information, positive trading updates and employer brand content. We need to keep them informed and encourage them to be part of our sharing network.

4. They are part of our knowledge network

It’s easy to forget that those leaving the business have knowledge of our market and industry that we want to keep in touch with. New employees may not have the necessary experience to step fully into the roles that have been vacated, so alumni who do not move straight to another role can play an important part as mentors, trainers and coaches.

5. They can work for us again

In a business climate where we find ourselves constantly hiring for new roles that have no precedent, and require skills we haven’t recruited before, our alumni network can help connect us with people we might not otherwise be able to reach, and can come back and work for us again if they have moved on and developed new skills. The concept of ‘boomerang hires’ – where we re-hire people who have worked for us before – is buoyant in the US but less popular in Europe. That is set to change and maintaining good alumni relations will be crucial.

6. The growing gig economy

Not everyone who leaves us will go on to another permanent job. Some will become freelancers, consultants and gig-workers. As the need for a contingent workforce grows, with people able to work on a contract or project basis providing much needed skill enhancement, it will be the alumni network that can provide access to talent who can join and seamlessly integrate.

The Employee Journey is the common denominator. Do you want to know more about the other 3 stages within the employee journey as well? You can read this in the blog: a good employee journey contributes to employer branding.

Open lines of communication

With so many business positives arising from maintaining strong relationships with ex-employees, it is vital that offboarding is done well. This means creating a positive experience – focusing on what has gone well rather than what hasn’t – making sure the exit paperwork and contractual formalities are all dealt with efficiently, and having open lines of communication to be able to share information and receive recommendations.

The people who truly understand a company – particularly its values, culture and the way it goes about its business – are the people who have already worked there. When this understanding is shared positively and readily, it can only enhance business success.