Leveraging AI and Gamification
to Improve Candidate
Assessment Experience

Creating an interactive,
candidate-focused approach
to cognitive capability testing
at Procter & Gamble


Procter & Gamble (P&G) has long been a global leader in using assessments to identify and nurture talent. Willingness to experiment helps the company maintain that strength. P&G is always eager to find new ways to improve the candidate experience while maintaining the validity of its testing in a digital environment.

With over one million candidates applying to P&G each year, its assessment process needs to be efficient as well as robust, validated and modern. Therefore, the company harnessed the power of Al and gamification to create a new interactive, scalable and mobile-optimized assessment, making use of an item generator to adapt and modify the test to each candidate.


The Challenge

Eliminate Barriers and Improve Candidate Engagement

P&G has enjoyed a long history of leading the way in its use of assessments to identify and nurture talent. P&G was one of the first companies to implement a cognitive ability assessment in the 1950s and was among the first to use adaptive testing. However, due to its track record of success, the company faced challenges in shifting to new approaches in assessment that were more focused on candidate experience.

The introduction of technology, Al and gamification has been a game-changer for assessing candidates. P&G needed to evolve its assessments to be even morecandidate-focused and easier to navigate, while retaining high validity and fairness standards.

From the candidate perspective, P&G was increasingly concerned that barriers to accessing the assessment process — for example, its continued use of a pen-and-paper approach — might deter some more technologically-minded candidates from participating in the process and cause P&G to lose out on top talent.   

"We were missing out on a lot of talent just because of our process."

Daniele Bologna, PhD, Manager for Global Selection and Assessments, P&G

As an organization with a large global footprint, P&G depends on a recruitment process that allows it to efficiently and fairly assess candidates in locations around the world. In fact, it assesses approximately one million candidates in over 24 languages per year.

For P&G, a robust and validated assessment process is critical for ensuring the right fit for both the company and new employees. However, it needed to modernizeits assessments to measure cognitive capabilities in a candidate-focused, mobile-optimized way — all while making sure that the candidate experience stayed top-notch. Furthermore, it needed these assessments to deliver results that were valid, reliable and fair.

The Solution

Leveraging Al and Gamification to Improve Candidate Experience

Leveraging Al and Gamification to Improve Candidate ExperienceAon partnered with P&G to leverage the latest in measurement technology and Al to gamify the company's cognitive ability assessments. "Aon provides that breadth of expertise in a global assessment provider that we need," Bologna says.

Aon's Assessment Solutions modernized P&G's assessment process by creating interactive assessments that enabled P&G to continue to attract and acquire diverse talent in a more user-focused, efficient way.

"Aon helped us introduce a set of interactive assessments, that enables us to continue to attract and acquire diverse talent through the use of assessments, which P&G has been doing since the 1950s," Bologna says. "However, this tool allows us to do it in a much more modernized and faster way than before."

Through gamified assessments, recruiters are able to measure whether candidates have the aptitude and cognitive capacity for success at P&G. Using gamification principles to develop highly polished, interactive, responsive assessments, a team of psychologists, designers and developers worked together to create the smartPredict assessments that transformed P&G's cognitive, proctored assessments into a mobile solution. This maximized efficiencies in the recruitment process and delivered a more cand idate-centered experience.

"This assessment offers the right level of 'gamification'. lt isn't too silly to be inappropriate, but also isn't too serious to be boring and dull."

Daniele Bologna, PhD, Manager for Global Selection and Assessments, P&G

Using the latest Al technology, item generators are employed to create, adapt and modify the assessments as candidates complete them. This creates a custom experience in which the difficulty is adjusted dynamically in response to the candidates' performance. Aon's optimized approach to assessments allows P&G to fully explore and measure each candidate's capabilities.

Aon's smartPredict assessments enabled P&G to harness the power of artificial intelligence and gamification to build a future workforce. The ability to quickly scale these assessments was key to the project's success.

"We were able to globally launch this assessment, from its idea to inception, in less than a year."

Daniele Bologna, PhD, Manager for Global Selection and Assessments, P&G

The Outcome

A Scaled and Best-in-Class Candidate Experience

The results have surpassed expectations. Internal validation research shows thathigher scores on the interactive assessments provide an increase of up to 300% in favorable employee outcomes, such as employee performance and potential.

"Based on our validation data, we are seeing that good performance in the assessments is related to two to four times more success for the actual employees for various outcomes, such as performance, potential and turnover," Bologna says. "To witness that level of success in predicting positive employee outcomes is a pretty remarkable finding."

Candidates benefit as well — the new assessments take 75% less time to complete compared with previous assessments. Furthermore, an astonishing 94% of peoplewho start the interactive assessments complete them.

"This allows us to assess more people. We are able to consider more candidates and open up our net and make sure that more people have the accessibility and the chance for potential employment at P&G," Bologna says. "The increased completion rate is giving us a chance to attract higher quality people."

"To witness that level of success in predicting positive employee outcomes is a pretty remarkable finding for us."

Daniele Bologna, PhD, Manager for Global Selection and Assessments, P&G

Candidate feedback about the changes to their assessment process has been overwhelmingly positive. Ninety-three percent said they were more likely to speak positively about their assessment experience.

"lt is a microcosm that reflects our shift to a much more candidate-centric process," Bologna says. "Candidate assessment is no longer just about evaluating the employee's performance potential. lt is about considering the candidate and their user experience as they go through our process."

Traditional one-time validation studies predict performance and potential turnover at a specific interval. Aon's smartPredict assessments allow P&G to customize theircandidate experience by continually tracking employee data over time and indicating how well the interactive assessments predict performance on an ongoing, month-by-month basis. lt can also assess the Speed at which the candidate responds, the level of difficulty of each question or whether the predictive value of the assessment changes to maximize performance prediction and increase candidate engagement.

"The ongoing validation, that pulse check, makes sure that you continue to make the right decisions, not only for the company but also for the candidate," says Bologna. "lt is how we can take this forward."

P&G was able to successfully shift to a mobile-friendly, candidate-centric process that retained a high degree of validity and fairness. Aon's interactive assessments allow P&G to continue to bring in high-quality talent in a faster, more efficient way.

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