Job Simulations: Trends in Hiring Practices
By Lee Hecht Harrison on February 13, 2015
Employers are raising the bar by adding a new component to the hiring process: job simulations. Job simulations allow companies to assess potential employees as they participate in real life job exercises. This helps the company to better understand how a candidate may perform before being hired. With this evidence-based hiring, the company has insight into the candidate’s potential and can make a more informed hiring decision. Applicants are tested on their relevant skills as well as their decision-making, interpersonal and problem-solving capabilities. Job simulations may be conducted through a variety of delivery models, including the company’s office, via a phone call or teleconference, or through online games.
As discussed in a recent Wall Street Journal article, Want That Job? Bosses Say ‘Show Me Your Stuff’, job simulations have been gaining popularity as a determining factor of the hiring process. Some occupations have been evaluated through pre-hiring auditions for many years. Sales people and organizational trainers have long been tasked with developing and delivering presentations to decision makers or the departmental team. Other occupations are new to the job audition. Today, job tryouts can put clerical, customer service or document-processing candidates in a stressful scenario to evaluate how they respond when the going gets tough or evaluate an administrative assistant’s ability to handle multiple priorities.
Here are two important tips job seekers should consider so they’re prepared when invited to test for a position:
- Persevere. Some organizations are testing your tenacity by simply asking you to tryout. They know that some applicants will opt out, narrowing the applicant pool and making it easier to focus on the candidates who are really interested in the position. If you want the job, hang tough.
- Anticipate. Read up on the topic of job tryouts, then begin preparing for the job simulation by analyzing the requirements and qualifications of the open position. Anticipate the type of job demonstration that could be possible, and begin formulating a presentation and brushing up on skills that may be tested. Prepare a portfolio of work samples you can distribute and have samples posted online for easy access.
Most importantly, understand that the audition is a two-way street. The organization will get to test your competencies and assess for cultural fit, while you’ll get a clearer picture of the organization’s expectations, management style and culture. In other words, you’re auditioning the company.
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