Innovative, Diversity-Supporting
and Brand-Differentiating
Graduate Selection at Deloitte

Introducing chatAssess to achieve
a more efficient and engaging assessment process


Deloitte Ireland partnered with Aon (previously cut-e) in order to develop a more engaging, innovative and efficient graduate assessment process which consisted of the following:

  • A short, mobile-enabled application form that enables candidates to apply in real time, thereby facilitating campus-based recruitment
  • A custom-designed chatAssess that empowers Deloitte to identify high-quality candidates with a strong cultural fit in a quick and valid way, while showcasing typical 'day-in-the-life' scenarios at the firm
  • Integration with Deloitte's application tracking system and a workflow that enables efficient screening of applications and scheduling Interviews; it also facilitates a seamless candidate experience

chatAssess forms part of the broader graduate recruitment campaign which has provided the following strong results:

  • Higher quality candidates applying and progressing through the process
  • 32% increase in applications
  • 58% increase in acceptance of offers
  • A growth in the number of candidates from key target universities applying
  • Better candidate experience with a short, mobile assessment
  • Alignment with the core strategic aims of innovation and diversityStrong positive candidate feedback — 70% of respondents described the Deloitte graduate recruitment process and the chatAssess experience as 'market leading'
  • Reduced time-to-hire due to the efficient process

The Challenge

Creating a Shorter, Mobile-Enabled ApplicationProcess That Is Valid and Robust

Innovation plays a strategic role across Deloitte, impacting both its client work and how it operates. Innovation is embedded in the firm-wide Deloitte 2020 vision.

The graduate recruitment team wanted to ensure applicants experienced the process in an engaging and innovative manner. Alison Gill, senior manager at DeloitteIreland, explains: "We have a strong and established graduate program and it was time to define a new innovative, exciting and insightful experience for our graduate applicants."

However, for Deloitte it was more than simply wanting to innovate. The team wanted to engage with top talent and identify those most aligned with the Deloitte approach and values.

"We want our applicants to really experience what working for Deloitte is like and we want to attract those who may not have considered a career with us in the past. We want to look beyond the CV and understand how candidates could work with us and align with the approach, attitudes and values we have. And, by extending our potential applicant reach,we hoped we would increase the diversity of candidates we hire."

Alison Gill, Senior Manager at Deloitte

Candidate Fatigue:
The Need for Something Different

Competition is fierce for top graduates and interns — with candidates often taking part in very similar assessments with a number of potential employers. This can lead to applicants disengaging from the selection process, high drop-out rates and applicant fatigue. Deloitte wanted something totally different — a way to identify the most talented and high potential candidates while also providing candidates with a unique and engaging experience. Alison knew that a well-executed and innovative approach could set Deloitte apart from its competition. Indeed, not one of the 'Big Four' consulting firms in Ireland was using psychometrics for this applicant group.

Any new assessment and selection approach needed to be grounded in evidence and aligned to the Deloitte culture and values. lt needed to oller a seamless, engaging and memorable experience for the candidate. Deloitte approached Aon for their invaluable advice.

A New Approach to Attraction and Selection

  • Differentiate Deloitte from its competitors, positioning Deloitte as a graduate employer of choice
  • Showcase Deloitte's passion for and commitment to innovation
  • Support campus-based hiring by delivering a mobile-enabled application process that can be completed by students in real time
  • Enable applicants to gain insight into the rote and responsibilities of a Deloitte graduate at application stage
  • lncrease the numbers of high-quality graduates attracted to a career at Deloitte
  • Bring efficiency to the Deloitte graduate recruitment application and assessment process

The Solution

A Tailored chatAssess: The Instant-Messaging Situational Judgment Test

Aon saw an opportunity for Deloitte Ireland to take the traditional graduate selection process and transform it into something quite different that would stand out in a crowded graduate-hiring market. The aim was to include an assessment that would feel realistic to users, whilst still providing a robust and valid assessment result for the recruitment team at Deloitte.

Alison explains how she worked with Aon: "Aon took the time to really understand what we were trying to achieve through the campaign. lt was flexible, very open to learning from and supporting us — and that really impressed us. The team listened to what our needs were and worked with us to find a solution rather than trying to dictate a specific approach. lt was very much a partnership to build a solution for us not just for this year but for the future."

The newly-defined approach integrated Aon's user-friendly, mobile-enabled, bespoke chatbot-style assessment — chatAssess — into Deloitte's wider graduate¬hiring campaign. Deloitte's campaign also included tactics to engage with potential applicants at recruitment fairs and discussions with campus career services.

How chatAssess works

chatAssess takes real, Deloitte-based, graduate-facing situations and challenges and presents them in a messaging app format. lt requires candidates to take part in an ongoing text conversation. When incoming messages, questions or requests for advice are received from different virtual colleagues, candidates choose whichmessages they want to reply to, in real time, and they select and submit a predefined response.

The response options include the defined Deloitte response which best reflects its own competencies and ways of working. The other two responses are realisticpossible answers developed by Aon based an the approaches other businesses may take. chatAssess then reacts to their selected choice by sending back another message. To capture analytics from this two-way conversation, all responses were coded sothat accurate and meaningful data could be collected — despite the range of different answer possibilities. The result is that those who are more in tune with Deloitte's approach become highlighted.

Having been trialled extensively with those who had joined the firm over the past three years and comparing their results with their performance, the final question set was defined. The data from the trial showed that the specifically-developed Deloitte chatAssess tool is strong at predicting those who fit within the Deloitte business. In fact, the Deloitte chatAssess has stronger predictive validity than is typical for such tools.

The final chatAssess assessment was built into the overall attraction and selection campaign alongside a mobile-enabled online application form. lt was fully branded with Deloitte's logo and colors and integrated into their campaign applicant tracking system.

Results from chatAssess are supported by further information gained during the selection process.

The Outcome

More Applicants, Higher Quality Candidates and a Great Candidate and Recruiter Experience

Deloitte Ireland is delighted with the results seen to date which has enabled them to:

  • Deliver innovation an campus by introducing a state-of-the-art, mobile-enabled graduate application and assessment process for students to complete in real time
  • Drive candidate experience by differentiating the Deloitte application and assessment process and enabling Deloitte to be recognized as an innovative employer of choice
  • Indentify a diverse Pool of suitable candidates at application stage
  • Create significant process efficiencies by measuring potential and motivation at the outset of the application process, reducing manual screening and enhancing the candidate experience

"The most important benefit is that our graduate selection process is now aligned with the strategic direction of the firm. lt is progressive, exciting and innovative and teils us who is going to be the best fit with our business both as a graduate and as a leader for the future."

Alison Gill, Senior Manager at Deloitte

Increased Caliber of Candidates

  • A higher number of candidates had exceptional academic records and a higher number of candidates from each of Deloitte's key target universities accepted offers
  • Use of chatAssess-enhanced diversity within the hiring process by assessing Deloitte fit at application stage
  • 32% of graduates joining Deloitte were deemed a 'high fit' following the new graduate recruitment assessment
  • More than twice as many candidates with high fit scores were hired compared to candidates with low fit scores

Positive Candidate Feedback

  • Over 600 applicants were asked for feedback
  • Nearly 70% of respondents described the Deloitte graduate recruitment process and the chatAssess experience as 'market leading'
  • Identify a diverse Pool of suitable candidates at application stage
  • Feedback showed that using chatAssess was 'engaging', 'intuitive' and 'enjoyable'
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