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Walmart Recognized for Innovative Retail Hiring Assessment by HRM Impact Award

Erin Iafelice

The past few years have been a shaky ride for the retail industry. 2017 and 2018 brought record brick-and-mortar store closings as online shopping volume soared. With the global pandemic, in-store purchasing ground nearly to a halt, and again, online shopping volume soared. Through all of this volatility, insightful moves have kept Walmart grounded and able to respond to unprecedented customer demand during COVID-19. One of those initiatives, the Retail Associate Assessment, earned Walmart the 2019-2020 HRM Impact Award.

Hiring 400,000 employees in 4 months

The Human Resource Management (HRM) Impact Award is presented each year by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to recognize measurable HR practices and initiatives that have been proven successful through evidence-based analyses. Walmart’s Retail Associate Assessment was the result of a partnership with Modern Hire to develop a custom pre-hire assessment that could support hiring for Walmart’s 4,700 stores. Before COVID-19, Walmart’s recruiting team had more than 3 million applicants each year. Between mid-March and the end of July 2020, Walmart made more than 400,000 new hires. The Retail Associate Assessment is a selection tool used to predict on-the-job performance and turnover risk for new retail hires.

Fast-tracking high-volume hiring

Modern Hire customized its Virtual Job Tryout for Walmart’s retail associate positions. The Virtual Job Tryout is a multi-media experience for candidates and a multi-method assessment for recruiters that allows both to get the most from the hiring process. 

Candidates have the opportunity to immerse themselves in realistic job previews and job simulations while learning more about the role, the company, and the employment experience. They gain the insights they need to decide if the job and employer are a good fit. Candidates can complete a Virtual Job Tryout as a seamless part of the hiring process on any device they choose.

For recruiters, Modern Hire’s pre-employment assessments provide an objective, consistent and automated method for screening candidates at scale. The Virtual Job Tryout has been developed by Modern Hire’s multidisciplinary team and is validated by more than 400 studies to be an accurate indicator of candidates’ performance on the job and turnover risk.

For custom Virtual Job Tryouts like Walmart’s Retail Associate Assessment, Modern Hire works closely with the organization to predict performance in a specific role at the organization. Retail pre-hire assessments report on essential performance drivers for retail jobs such as customer service, reliability, manages priorities, and pursues excellence. By focusing on candidates’ core competencies with Modern Hire’s assessment, Walmart’s recruiters can quickly identify and advance candidates who will learn the job faster, be more productive, and are likely to stay on the job.

The impact of data-driven hiring

Walmart is at the forefront of change in retail, from the way candidates are hired to the types of jobs they will do and their technology. The use of data to inform hiring decisions at scale has significant potential to transform the hiring process and outcomes, not to mention improving the hiring experience. Modern Hire is proud to collaborate with Walmart in creating new data-driven best practices in talent acquisition.