Candidate Experience / Hiring

How To Improve Employer Branding Through Virtual Assessments

A strong employer brand can help you attract top talent in a competitive market, and your virtual assessments can be powerful tools for improving your employer brand. Here’s how to use assessments to communicate your employer brand and differentiate your company from competitors.

Align Assessments With Your Mission, Vision and Values

What you assess candidates for and how you incorporate assessments into your hiring process says a lot about your company culture.

Assess for Organizational Fit

Just because a candidate is a good job fit for the role doesn’t mean they’ll be happy or successful at your company. Several factors beyond the job itself determine how successful a candidate is likely to be at your organization. Those factors include company culture, organizational structure and work environment.

An effective employer brand makes candidates aware of these factors before they apply. This reduces the risk of hiring a promising candidate only for them to leave after a year.

Communicate your mission, vision and values on your careers page and social media channels. Include your commitment to improving diversity and inclusion at your company. How you position these statements says a lot about who you are as an employer.
Assessments designed to screen candidates in the application stage can drive these elements of your culture home to candidates. Incorporate assessments that measure a candidate’s personality traits, motivating factors and values to determine their fit with your mission, vision and values. What you assess candidates for when identifying organizational fit gives candidates a glimpse into your company culture and work environment.

Communicate Company Priorities

What you assess candidates for — and base your hiring decisions on — says a lot about what your company prioritizes.

Assess candidates for both job fit and organizational fit, but focus special attention on values alignment. Your values should direct behaviors and provide guidance when employees are making tough decisions. You need to hire candidates whose values align with the company’s. True values alignment means that candidates already act in accordance with your values.

Consider implementing job simulations to help candidates anticipate the experience of working for your company and how to live your values in daily actions. The types of scenarios you put candidates in and the actions they must take to navigate those scenarios gives candidates a glimpse into the decisions they’ll have to make.

Once they’ve been through a situational judgment test or other assessment of values alignment, candidates will have a greater sense of what your company values. If their values aren’t in alignment, they can self-select out of the hiring process, saving you from making a poor hiring decision and proactively improving retention rates.

Present a Consistent Brand

Consistency is key when communicating your brand. Don’t contradict yourself at any point during the hiring process, as contradictions can undermine your brand’s authenticity.

Back up and look at the bigger picture: What elements for your brand are most important to communicate to candidates?
Your mission and vision are crucial because they convey a sense of purpose that’s integral to engaging employees. You need candidates to know what the larger purpose is so they can make an informed decision about employment. Values are also essential because they affect everyday behaviors. Link to blog posts or other resources showcasing employees living your mission, vision and values. Strong branding presents a unified, consistent message around your company's purpose and values. Customize your assessments with icons and visuals that keep these elements of your brand front and center.

Presenting a consistent experience to all candidates is important, too. Define your outcomes for an ideal candidate experience, and make sure each step of the process is producing those outcomes.

Optimize Assessments for a Good Candidate Experience

The experience that candidates have during the assessment process speaks powerfully about your employer brand, so be intentional when curating that experience. Here are some hallmarks of a positive candidate assessment experience.

Reach Candidates Where They Are

Be attentive to when, where and how candidates are applying to your job openings. The more you understand their needs, the more targeted you can be.

More candidates, for example, are applying for jobs on their smartphones or other mobile devices. To reach these candidates, make sure your application and assessments are optimized for mobile-first delivery. Offering mobile-first delivery signals empathy toward job seekers and your investment in providing a positive applicant experience.
Assessments themselves should be very easy for candidates to complete and shouldn’t take up too much of their time. Keep everything in one place, and don’t require candidates to download multiple applications to complete the process. Seamlessly move candidates into the assessment directly from the application. A user-friendly experience communicates your commitment to making the application as quick and easy as possible, no matter when or where candidates are logging in.

Assess Candidates for Job-Related Factors

Candidates will rank their experience higher if they feel they’re being treated fairly and given an equal opportunity for the job.

The content of your assessments will help candidates see what criteria are informing your decision. Keep your assessments job-related to signal the connection between what you’re assessing candidates for and how they’re being evaluated.

Embed a pre-screening assessment of job-related competencies and traits within the application itself. Later in the process, you’ll also assess for personality traits and values alignment, but in the application stage, your priority is to shortlist the best candidates who can perform the job.

Doing this promotes greater transparency around what you’re prioritizing, which gives the candidate a greater sense of your objectivity.

Provide a Customized Report

How you treat candidates during the hiring process speaks volumes about your brand. The more you can communicate during the process — especially when sending a rejection notice — the more positively candidates will perceive your brand.

Leverage assessment features to provide unexpected value to candidates.
Assessments produce a report showcasing each candidate’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. Share this report with candidates to help them learn something about themselves. When you can provide candidates with their assessment report, you increase transparency and improve the candidate’s perceptions of the company. The assessment report also teaches candidates something about themselves by pinpointing their strengths and their opportunities for growth. Candidates can take this knowledge with them and apply it to future job applications.

Demonstrate a Commitment to Innovation

The assessment tools you incorporate into your hiring process will support your employer branding strategy. Every piece of your process says something about who you are as an employer, and investing in the latest technology says that you’re committed to continually improving.

Here are some assessment tools and what they tell candidates about your employer brand.

Virtual Assessment Centers

Virtual assessment centers allow you to deliver any type of customized assessment directly to the candidate without them needing to travel to a physical assessment location.

Virtual assessment centers demonstrate your commitment to improving the candidate experience through new technology. And the variety of tests you can offer through a virtual assessment center highlights your investment in making the right choice. This will give candidates confidence that you’re making fair and objective selection decisions.

Gamified and Game-Based Assessments

Gamified and game-based assessments are more engaging forms of assessment that either feature gaming elements (such as collecting points and unlocking badges) or are delivered in gaming formats. These assessments are much more engaging and enjoyable for candidates and provide them with immediate feedback on their progress.

Implementing gamified or game-based assessments sets your employer brand apart from your competitors. It showcases your investment in using technology to improve the candidate experience, which bodes well for the employee experience.

Gamified and game-based assessments tell candidates that your human resources team is thinking thoughtfully about the candidate experience.

Video Interview Software

Investing in other new platforms and experiences, like video interviews, cements your reputation as a people-focused and technology-driven brand. Asynchronous video interview software gives candidates more control over when and where they respond to interview questions.

The interview stage is especially prone to bias because hiring managers often revert to small talk or unstructured interviews that elicit the wrong information. Using video interviews allows you to deliver a consistent interview experience to each candidate, which increases perceptions of the objectivity and fairness of your process.

Doing this signals your commitment to an equitable hiring decision, along with backing up your stated commitment to diversity and inclusion and delivering a better experience for all candidates.

Pull It All Together With Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing

Strong employer branding is an important part of your talent acquisition strategy. You can’t afford to let your brand evolve on its own: You need to take control of your image as an employer.

Partner with your marketing team to better understand how your brand is perceived. Ask one or two peers in the marketing department to go through the hiring and assessment process, and record their perceptions of the brand based on that experience. This will produce valuable insights you can use to shape your brand.

Aon | Assessment Solutions

Aon's assessment solutions provides clients with powerful tools and insights to help them make better talent decisions at every stage of the employee lifecycle. This includes pre-hire assessments, identifying future leaders, screening for digital skills and agility, and AI-enabled solutions.

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