Super Connect for Good 2021 Meet the Judges exclusive: Jouko van Aggelen, Chief Portfolio, Innovation Officer, Aon Assessment Solutions

As we celebrate the success of Empact Ventures’ 2021 Super Connect for Good competition in partnership with Hays, we catch up with Judge of the BeNeLuX category, Jouko van Aggelen, Chief Portfolio & Innovation Officer, Aon Assessment Solutions.

Hays and Empact Ventures’ 2021 Super Connect for Good was a resounding success. The virtual final, which took place in November, saw the regional winners go head-to-head by pitching live for the Super Connect for Good 2021 Overall Champion. We spoke to Judge, Jouko van Aggelen, Chief Portfolio & Innovation Officer, Aon Assessment Solutions.

The world of assessments

As a psychologist in business administration, van Aggelen has worked in the Assessment Industry for more then 25 years. Conducting various assessments, designing assessments, developing assessments, and implementing assessment projects while combining them with Tech, HR technology, and Data. At Aon, van Aggelen explains, “we have a wealth of Data Sources including reward, performance and assessment data. Combined with our analytics capabilities we work on many impactful topics such as ESG, diversity and inclusiveness.” Although we deliver over 30 million assessments per year we are not just a test-publisher. The real value of assessments is understanding how they can relate to and impact larger issues such as building resiliency to enable the potential of individuals, organizations and societies.

Some of the trends in the assessment industry include:

  • While the implementation of AI has been an exciting trend for the assessment industry, there is also push back from a legal and an ethical perspective. We see a increased focus on the need for an augmented approach and the true value lies in combining au with human expertise. Many businesses are now concentrating on integrity, privacy, and understanding the risks of automation. Van Aggelen gave an example of companies using artificial intelligence, where they are also providing their customers with the opportunity to speak to someone directly, giving them a human element.
  • Another trend that can be seen is the great resignation. It has been estimated that almost one in four UK workers will be planning a job change in 2022. van Aggelen said, “I think the world of Covid-19 and remote working has created a massive global marketplace. It no longer matters where you are, where you work from.” This will be a new aspect that needs to be considered when conducting various assessments on businesses and individuals within the assessment industry. 
Creating successful startups

Van Aggelen believes that combining various skills is essential to creating a successful startup. When looking to create a startup, they need to think of something new in a specific industry and combine this creativity with business skills.

“Everything you normally read about startups, it’s not per se about the great ideas, but it’s more about the team,” said van Aggelen. Having a complimentary team is essential, so there should be someone who can understand the technology, someone who understands the markets, etc. van Aggelen added, “by doing this, the team will be able to combine their skills to create a successful startup.”

When a startup is looking to scale up, van Aggelen advises that startups find help. “Most of these companies are successful because of their story. However, after one or two years, it becomes more difficult to fund it,” added van Aggelen. By finding help and getting advice from various specialists and businesses, startups will learn what they need to do and implement to scale up.

The Super Connect for Good 2021 competition

Empact Ventures’ 2021 Super Connect for Good competition in partnership with Hays gave van Aggelen some inspiration, and he enjoyed hearing about some of the initiatives. “Getting input from younger people and hearing their new ideas has been really great,” stated van Aggelen.

AZmed was a favorite for van Aggelen, with their implementation of AI into X-ray departments to optimize doctors’ workflow and improve their performance. “I think that was a really great way of using technology as it enables doctors to actually spend more time with their patients. AZmed has created a tool where they automate the routine task and create more room for humanity,” explained van Aggelen.

Human skills and interactions still play a crucial role in today’s world and have become more critical. AZmed’s technology has considered this and created an exciting and new product for the MedTech industry. 

About Jouko van Aggelen, Chief Portfolio & Innovation Officer, Aon Assessment Solutions

Jouko is experienced HR (tech) leader. He is passionate about connecting People, Data and Tech to create actionable insights for individuals and organisations. He is a strong believer in empowering people to achieve their potential. Jouko has a strong international track record (25 years+), has worked on projects on most continents, has significant P&L experience, is able to inspire people and drive change and he has worked with many global companies to assess and develop their future and their existing leaders and talents. Jouko is on his best when he is on the lookout for the next thing and when he is able to create and drive change & innovation. He loves to share his insights, experience and enthusiasm on stage.

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