Accenture’s award winning assessment process
Accenture has transformed its assessment and selection process, meeting hiring and diversity targets.
Accenture’s global purpose is to deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity and this applies to the way it engages candidates as much as it does its work with clients.
Each year the company hires approximately 600 apprentices, interns and graduates across more than 20 programmes. Accenture won an ISE Award for its assessment and selection process, which it transformed to:
- eliminate bias by design
- provide candidates with real insights into work and culture
- deliver an excellent candidate experience
- create a future proofed and differentiated approach.
Success Analysis engaged stakeholders with interviews, surveys and focus groups to identify qualities, behaviours and strengths they believed a successful joiner should have now and in the future. This huge volume of data was analysed to develop a Strengths Framework against which assessments are measured.
At application stage diversity software was incorporated, including a contextual recruitment algorithm that allowed evaluation of a candidate’s achievements in the context they were achieved, enabling a more diverse pool of talent to be progressed into the process. Real time analytics gave detailed insights into Accenture’s pipelines, allowing it to quickly identify any individuals/groups that might need further support or encouragement.
The company introduced The Accenture Discovery Portal, an untimed immersive online assessment experience that candidates can complete in multiple ways, choosing how they watch and read source materials before answering (cognitive and behavioural) assessment questions with a range of response options. The embedded narrative communicates the company’s work, culture and values by weaving in diverse characters and realistic storylines.
At Assessment Centre stage, virtual reality assessments (these switched to online immersive exercises in Spring 2020 to accommodate the need for a fully virtual experience) were combined with a strengths-based approach.
Short micro-exercises, undertaken individually and in pairs, simulate Accenture scenarios and challenge candidates to demonstrate their natural behaviours in coping with different situations. The whole assessment is designed to give a view of potential rather than evaluating ability by asking about past performance.
At every stage candidates are put in control of how they explore and complete assessments e.g. a self-scheduling tool. Digital chat sessions offer advice to help candidates feel confident as they prepare. They also receive bespoke feedback after each stage.
In 2019/20 Accenture processed 31,000 applications, conducted 5,235 online assessments and had 800 candidates attend its Assessment Centre. The hiring demand was met, achieving strong results across diversity focus areas and a 2.5% uplift in hiring candidates from a lower socio-economic background.
The majority (75%) of stakeholders felt that quality of work of recent hires was much better than previous years. Candidates enjoyed the newly transformed process too, giving 90%+ satisfaction scores and an overall NPS of 90+.
Accenture continues to review and innovate its end-to-end process to ensure it stays aligned to strategic objectives.
This is an excerpt from the ISE Complete Guide to Student Recruitment and Development