How to use and improve employer brand value in talent assessments

Using employer brand value can be a strong differentiator in a competitive talent market where future skills are in short supply. What is often not discussed however is how to incorporate employer brand value in talent assessments and conversely, how assessments can improve an employer’s value proposition to potential hires.

In this article, we will do both.

Using brand value in assessments

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

One way the employer brand value can be used effectively is to make 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.

By communicating the organization’s mission, vision and values on its careers page and social media channels, employers can begin educating potential hires about their expectations and likely work environment. Such initiatives give candidates a glimpse into the company’s culture and ways of working.

Consistency is key when communicating employer brand value. Therefore, contradiction or off-brand messaging should be screened for and avoided. Back up and look at the bigger picture: What elements of the organization’s brand are most important to communicate to candidates?

The mission and vision are often crucial because they convey a sense of purpose that is integral to engaging employees. By helping candidates understand what the larger purpose is they can make an informed decision about employment.

Values are also essential because they affect everyday behaviors. Linking to blog posts or other resources showcasing employees living the employer’s mission, vision and values can go a long way in educating potential hires about desired behaviors.

How talent assessments can improve brand value

While using the organization’s existing value proposition and brand equity can certainly improve the assessment process, there is also a recursive effect that well-run and best-of-breed assessments can have on a company’s brand value:

Assessments communicate company priorities. What candidates are assessed for says a lot about what a company prioritizes.

For instance, by assessing competencies related to job fit and foundational elements like digital readiness, candidates become aware of the importance of clear roles and responsibilities in the organization as well as the forward-thinking nature of the employer brand value.

Simulations and situational judgment tests (SJTs) preview real-world scenarios. By the judicious use of work samples or SJTs, employers can give potential hires a preview of what their roles might be like, as well as the desired behaviors and competencies required for success.

Occasionally, candidates may even self-select out of the hiring process if the work previews are not aligned with their expectations, thus saving the employer from making a poor hiring decision and proactively improving retention rates.

Efficient and mobile-first assessments emphasize brand value. As more candidates, apply for jobs on their smartphones or other mobile devices, it makes sense to also conduct assessments that are optimized for mobile-first delivery. Offering mobile-first delivery signals empathy toward job seekers and the organization’s investment in providing a positive applicant experience.

Assessments themselves should be easy for candidates to complete and shouldn’t take up too much of their time. For instance, by keeping all assessments within a project in one portal that doesn’t require candidates to download multiple applications can significantly enhance the candidate experience, and in turn, employer brand value.

Stay close to the job to emphasize fairness and best practice. Candidates tend to rank their experience higher if they feel that they are being treated fairly and given an equal opportunity for a job. The content of assessments, as well as their alignment to success factors within the job applied for will help candidates see the criteria that informed the employer’s decision-making.

Not only does this communicate transparency to the candidates, but it also enhances your brand as an employer who treats people fairly and objectively.

Feedback enhances employer equity. As we have argued in other articles, research shows that assessment feedback conducted by trained professionals can provide unexpected value to candidates. Such feedback helps them focus on their development areas and strengths and has a long-term impact on developmental initiatives.

Apart from these individual benefits, feedback also teaches candidates that the employer brand proposition is one of care, emphasizes development and learning, and values open feedback.

Innovative assessments demonstrate a commitment to innovation. Many companies emphasize their commitment to innovation and technology through their stated mission and vision, but by using innovative, advanced assessment technologies, an employer can demonstrate this commitment practically.

For instance, using gamified and game-based assessments such as Aon’s GridChallenge aptitude test can set the employer’s brand apart from its competitors. It showcases an investment in using technology to improve the candidate experience, which bodes well for the employee experience.

By using asynchronous video interviewing, the hiring company can give candidates more control over when and where they respond to interview questions. In turn, it can communicate a commitment to reducing bias by delivering a consistent interview experience to each candidate, which increases perceptions of the objectivity and fairness of the recruitment and selection processes.

Final thoughts

Strong employer branding is an important part of a robust talent acquisition strategy. By leveraging the employer brand, talent professionals can enhance their assessments and reduce their risk of bad hiring decisions.

For its part, using best-of-breed assessment products and IOP best practices can also contribute significantly to an employer’s brand value. By communicating important values, enhancing the candidate experience, and committing to innovative, unbiased practices, the organization benefits from having assessments as an integral part of its talent acquisition process.

If you would like to know more about how TTS can help you improve your organization’s brand value through best-of-breed assessments, reach out to us at