New Thomas International White Paper: Why CEOs Need HR to Focus on Talent's Cognitive Potential and Fit

OAKVILLE, Ontario, June 10, 2014–Thomas International, a global specialist in work-based, user-friendly talent assessments, has released a new white paper that details why organizations need learning agility–from top to bottom–to thrive in an increasingly complex, rapidly changing world.

Titled “Why CEOs Need HR to Focus on Cognitive Potential and Fit With Talent,” the paper argues that HR faces a two-fold challenge with talent selection and development: 1) to select the right people–those with high cognitive potential–to develop into leadership and managerial roles or non-leadership roles that are critical to the organization’s competitive positioning; and 2) to ensure that backbone employees of the organization have the cognitive ability to perform their jobs at a satisfactory level.

The key to meeting this challenge is effectively assessing talent for both cognitive potential and fit. Measuring cognitive potential is vital for identifying people who can meet the cognitive demands of leadership positions. Understanding cognitive fit, on the other hand, is critical for maintaining employee engagement in lower- and mid-level roles, especially those where there is little or no potential for advancement.

The white paper is available for complimentary download here.

“Talent is the fuel that drives the business engine and it’s on the top of the C-level agenda,” said Merle Ballaigues, Thomas International President. “HR departments need to create talent pipelines that serve their organizations’ needs, both today and in the future. Assessing individuals for cognitive potential and fit is a powerful tool that can have a tremendous impact on talent management strategies and processes. Getting the right cognitive mix enables organizations to thrive for years to come.”

Ballaigues noted that focusing on cognitive potential and fit helps organizations achieve several additional benefits, including:

– The ability to better fit millennials into the workforce–Given millennials’ lack of work training and experience, it’s critical to assess their cognitive potential, as it impacts how well and how quickly they’ll become proficient at their jobs.
– Improved training results–Knowing people’s cognitive potential is an indicator of how well they cope with training and new learning. By identifying this up front, training programs can be aligned with individual needs and managers can tailor their support and coaching.
– Clearer understanding of how people will respond to a virtual work environment–Knowing workers’ cognitive potential and learning agility allows organizations to identify employees who are fast and agile learners and who can work with less supervision–critical success factors for an effective virtual worker.

About Thomas International

Thomas International is a global specialist in work-based, user-friendly assessments, providing objective data to accurately identify people’s work behavior, learning capability and emotional intelligence. With over 30 years of experience, Thomas International works with business leaders to transform the performance of their teams and individuals by enhancing hiring, retention, development and management. For more information, visit

Press Contacts:

Scott Mackintosh
Thomas International
289-291-1380, ext. 217

Eric Anderson
fisher VISTA/HRmarketer