Talent Assessment Design Features That Will Instantly Improve Your Candidate Experience

December 5, 2019 Ave Shalom

Candidate experience is a pivotal element in talent assessment design. Your candidates are likely applying for jobs at multiple employers, so if you want to stand out, you need to provide a candidate experience that is as unique as your organization is.

User needs should be prioritized over aesthetics and visual design trends. While assessments should be visually attractive — after all, they represent your brand — talent assessment design must primarily focus on ease of use. Utilizing gamification can increase responsiveness and render assessments more interesting and engaging. Technology-driven assessments should give candidates an opportunity to learn about your company and brand.

Here are some ways that talent assessment design can make recruitment painless and easy for your candidates.

Focus on User Intent, Not Visual Design Trends

“Design thinking” is a concept that’s commonly tossed around in business, but that doesn’t mean it’s always understood or implemented well.

In this context, it describes an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge our assumptions and redefine problems in pursuit of novel solutions to business problems. While user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) play a role in design thinking, they’re only part of the overall model.

This gap in application means there are still plenty of opportunities to pursue user-centric, analytically informed design in improving talent assessments.

Go Beyond ‘Looking Nice’

Design in the context of talent assessment goes much deeper than choices about colors and shapes of buttons. Trends come and go. What matters is that you build an infrastructure that’s malleable and created with intent.

The goal should be to build a tool that achieves the objective in a reliable, efficient way. It means taking advantage of the way technology now allows candidates and employers to feed data back and forth to each other in real time, to create tools that better meet the needs of both.

With assessments, this also means balancing two often contradictory aims. Generally speaking, the longer and more structured an assessment is, the more valid it is. But few candidates have the patience to endure a completely thorough assessment. They generally prefer shorter assessments, in natural settings.

Striking this balance is both an art and a science.

Gamification Makes It Interesting

Your recruitment process should be engaging, but not frivolous. Primarily you want candidates to perceive your application process as professional and fair.

You might be tempted to include “games” within the candidate assessment process. However, from the candidate perspective, games aren’t always viewed as appropriate in a high-stakes recruitment process.

Instead of including games, a smarter move is to incorporate gaming elements into your psychometric testing. This winning formula is perceived as being engaging while also delivering reliable candidate insights.

Gamification makes assessments responsive. Completing interactive challenges can unlock different levels. Candidates also receive immediate feedback, which decreases stress. Candidates should leave the assessment feeling like they’re being taken seriously by the organization.

Offer Candidates a Glimpse of the Future

Through an immersive virtual experience, candidates can get a much richer idea of what work at your organization is like, while also feeling like they can showcase their skills more realistically. Integrating an experiential simulation with a more traditional psychometric assessment provides hiring organizations with a wealth of data that can convey the experience while also balancing with more traditional assessments.

In addition, these experiences can help a candidate decide for themselves whether they would be a good fit with the organization. If they don’t get a job at your company, they’ll still have warm feelings about the experience, and by extension your brand. These engaging experiences are particularly important in industries where candidates are direct consumers, but even B2B companies should make sure their candidate experience is in alignment with their brand.

When you make your simulation as similar as possible to real-world experiences employees have at your company, candidates will come away with a deep understanding of what the work is like. Again, this experience will help them determine for themselves whether they think they could succeed as an employee.

Explain throughout the candidate's journey why you have included particular assessments or questions. Candidates expect you to know how the competencies or skills being measured affect future performance.

Remember, it’s just as important for the candidate to make their own evaluation of “fit” as it is for you.

If you want to know more about design trends in talent assessment, we recommend this white paper "How Design Thinking is Transforming the Future of Talent Assessment."

About the Author

Ave Shalom

Ave Shalom is the Creative Director for Assessment Solutions within the Human Capital Resources business at Aon. Ave has 20 years of experience as a creative strategist, designer, and online solution developer. She has been a subject matter expert for design-driven software development and for design thinking as an aspect of human resource planning. Ave’s role at Aon involves working with product and marketing teams to create brand compliant yet novel approaches to UX/UI and marketing practices. She directs design and creative strategy for the Assessment Solutions business and contributes to content creation and ideation for both future-forward and in-the-now projects. Prior to joining Aon, she worked for Modern Survey and contracted at Ameriprise Financial. She owned a web and graphic design business, Valley Hill Design and taught digital media courses at Bethel University.

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