How Candidate Assessments Can Reflect, and Even Enhance, Your Employer Brand

Employer branding plays a major role in an organization’s ability to attract and hire talented job candidates. An organization’s employer brand represents how that company is perceived as a workplace – what is it like to work there, how are employees treated, what is the culture like, and what does it take to get hired there?

Your employer brand can directly impact the quality and quantity of candidates who are applying to your roles. And for companies that sell consumer goods to the public, many of your potential job candidates may also be your customers.

For this reason, many organizations are concerned with showcasing an employer brand that is positive and attractive to candidates. These efforts can take many forms. Some organizations work towards building a positive, fun work culture, while some seek to optimize the candidate experience during the hiring process.

Hiring in particular requires a delicate balance between building a positive and engaging candidate experience with ensuring the process is effective and efficient. Each element of the hiring process impacts how candidates perceive the organization, and can influence the likelihood that they’ll accept an offer or recommend that employer to others in their network.

Candidate assessments are one element of the hiring process that sometimes have a reputation for causing a negative candidate experience. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Assessments no longer have to be long, boring, and tedious pen and paper tests. Technology enables assessments to be shorter, more innovative, and more interactive and engaging. As a result, organizations have the opportunity to choose assessments that reflect the spirit of their company culture, ultimately reinforcing and enhancing their employer brand rather than detracting from it. A few examples:

A multinational tech company changed its assessment process to modernize its employer brand.

A large technology company with a well-known brand was concerned that its old and outdated assessment was having a negative impact on the perceptions of incoming job candidates. As a leader in tech, the company wanted to switch to an assessment that aligned with their brand image as an innovative and modern workplace.

The company decided to switch from an old and outdated cognitive ability assessment to Cognify, one of Criteria’s game-based assessments. Cognify measures cognitive ability through a series of engaging and immersive games. The company decided to test out the new assessment on a group of 220 employees from the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. After administering both the old assessment and Cognify to the group, the participants were surveyed, and the company found that:

  • 74% thought that Cognify aligned better with their perception of the organization compared to the traditional assessment.
  • 60% said that the assessment positively influenced their perception of the organization.
  • Participants reported positive impressions of Cognify, describing the assessment as fun, interesting, challenging, different, and engaging.
  • Participants suggested that Cognify would positively influence their decision to accept a role with the organization and would increase the likelihood that they would recommend the company to other job candidates.

Assessments aligned with employer brand

For this organization, switching to a more engaging assessment helped to reinforce its brand identity and ultimately increase the likelihood that top talent would accept a job offer at the company. This is a powerful example of how an assessment can enhance, rather than hamper, the employer brand and ultimately the recruiting process.

A healthcare company found that assessments showcased what type of employer they are.

While large, widely-known companies have to carefully manage their public images, businesses of all sizes have good reason to enhance their employer brands. Small-to-medium sized businesses, or businesses without name-brand recognition, can have less pull with candidates when compared to larger companies that are household names. Candidate assessments can play a role here to enhance candidate perceptions.

Schweiger Dermatology Group started using Criteria’s assessments with the initial goal of reducing turnover. This organization operates over 50 medical offices and hires for a wide variety of roles, from medical assistants to call center representatives. By using a combination of a cognitive ability assessment and a personality assessment, Schweiger was able to successfully reduce turnover by 57% by bringing in people who were a better fit for the job.

But this wasn’t the only benefit that the company found. Schweiger’s VP of Human Resources Ana Welsh discovered that the assessments helped to enhance Schweiger’s credibility as an employer. She found that candidates who take the assessments have a “respect for our interview process because they realize how serious and comprehensive it is.”

The benefit of this is two-fold. It highlights Schweiger’s rigorous standard for hiring, which in turn instills a sense of pride and competency in each employee with the knowledge that everyone else working there had passed the same standards. It also helped to highlight the candidates who would thrive in Schweiger’s workplace, because the assessment process was strongly aligned with the company’s overall employer brand. This in turn likely contributed to the dramatic reduction in turnover that the organization experienced after using the assessments.

While it may seem counterintuitive, candidate assessments can play a big role in enhancing your employer brand. Every part of the hiring process signals to candidates what type of employer your organization is. Make sure each part aligns with who your company is in order to provide a meaningful and effective candidate experience.