Human Resources
Human Capital Consulting Blog

The New Hiring Frontier: Next Generation Simulations


Aug 23, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene & Tara Johnson

Gamification. Mobile. Millennials.

Each of these terms is loaded with meaning if you are working within the current hiring space. These Big 3 are changing the direction of the employee hiring and development industry – and with tremendous velocity. However, there is great debate over how to strike the right balance to maximize accurate measurement and candidate engagement in conjunction with these trends. All the while, rapidly advancing technology is enabling state-of-the-art assessment methodologies to arise. It is with careful science and bold pioneering that we must approach the design of innovative solutions that meet these demands. Here is our take on maximizing the Big 3:


Gamification. This may be the buzzword of the past few years in the assessment space. Organizations are looking to be engaging, cool, and modern – and many are looking to do so by jumping on the gamification bandwagon. Gamifying assessment experiences can be an excellent approach in some settings – adding elements of feedback, incentives, and social networks can be engaging and appropriate for many jobs and settings. However, overly-gamifying your processes can back-fire. Candidates can view the process as less face-valid, less professional, and even annoying. Plus, it can even put your content at risk for exposure. For example, if people can see their "score," or how they perform compared to others, it's easier to piece together a peek behind the scenes. We advocate for teasing out the best immersive elements from the gamification movement and gaming industry, and then integrating those strategically into a custom simulation-based solution that both looks and feels like your organization's culture.


Mobile. Our society is becoming increasingly mobile... we are on the go! The data shows that as a society we are on the phone more, we apply for jobs on phones, and for a large part of the population phones and tablets are the primary connections to the internet. In fact, 78% of the people in the U.S. would apply for jobs via mobile device if the process were simple enough. As such, assessments must be designed to be mobile-friendly. Not having mobile-ready assessments can result in some dismal outcomes – including unfair advantages to those who have non-mobile internet access. But here is the deal: you can't just take a test designed for a large screen and shrink it down! Optimizing tests for different kinds of mobile devices requires careful engineering and planning. Some types of content are simply not appropriate for mobile displays (think complex spreadsheets), and assessments must be designed accordingly. In other words, mobility cannot be an afterthought.


Millennials. Yes, millennials are here to stay and have a lot to say (this is perhaps a post for another day). Conversations about millennials have brought new, helpful technology needs to the table, although we want to appeal and function for individuals spanning the generations in the workforce. For example, we need assessments that are intuitive and quick, but also offer additional technological support, as needed. We believe the issue of designing for millennials really points to a larger issue: we absolutely need to be concerned about the candidate experience. We need to streamline assessments and move candidates fluidly and swiftly through an elegant process that is both painless and efficient whether the candidate is a technology native or not.

So, how do we make the best of every world? Aon Hewitt has invested significantly in a response and it is now market-ready... we call it the Prelude Assessment Methodology. Prelude is a platform for designing custom simulation products that can seamlessly integrate a number of different assessment tools into a single, unified candidate experience that is engaging (think overarching storyline) and quick. Prelude can be leveraged to design unique assessments for all jobs and industries, giving candidates a real feel for the work and organization, while at the same time, giving the organization a real feel for each candidate.

Want to learn more? Contact or!

To learn more about the candidate experience, read our new white paper, The Elements of a Great Candidate Experience

About the Authors