Why You Should A/B Test Your Initiatives

Why You Should A/B Test Your Initiatives

There’s a reason why you should A/B test your initiatives.

People management certainly isn’t a science, but that doesn’t mean that HR professionals can’t learn a thing or two from the scientific process to make their own processes more appealing to employees—which can, ultimately, benefit the business’ bottom line.

The HR function has a range of touchpoints with candidates and employees: recruiting, onboarding, benefits enrollment—not to mention the work people leaders are tasked with around promoting inclusion and building company culture. Much of those efforts come down to communication with employees—and that’s where A/B testing can come in.

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing is an experimental approach common in the world of marketing—but with plenty of relevance in everything from hiring to retention. An A/B test simply involves trying two different approaches to the same problem with randomly selected audiences. It puts those behind the test in the driver’s seat so, instead of guessing which strategy or initiative may be most successful with their target audience, they get to see the results in action. And it’s important that those who are on the receiving end of the tests are randomly selected—to ensure the results can be scalable to the entire population you’re testing.

How can HR use A/B testing?

Digital marketers love A/B testing—for website optimization, for instance—but people professionals can find the strategy just as informative.

For example, as employee experience becomes even more top of mind for business leaders, HR can A/B test different approaches to gauging EX: a pulse survey with just 1-3 questions to one randomly selected group of employees and a more in-depth questionnaire to another. When it comes to benefits, this strategic approach can help the benefits team design a portfolio that really resonates with the workforce—by presenting information in slightly different ways to measure the response. And as more organizations rely on technology to power their employee experience, conducting an A/B test before any new solution rollout can help HR and tech leaders implement the tech in a way that optimizes adoption.


There are a lot of variables that can make (or break) an HR project—and people leaders aren’t going to be able to completely evaluate every single one before making decisions. However, with an A/B testing approach, they can ensure there is real effort to allow employee feedback to drive decisions and can mitigate any inherent biases that could be influencing decision-makers. Ultimately, that strategy creates a more equitable, inclusive and proactive people function—which can give companies the edge they need in today’s hyper-competitive talent landscape.

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