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The Importance of Job Simulation in Hiring Quality Candidates

Posted by Jessica Miller-Merrell


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Industries like call centers, transportation, finance, and banking can benefit from job simulation testing during the candidate interview process. We’ll discuss some best practices in using job simulation testing and how it can improve employee retention, performance, and the overall quality of hire. The benefits to hiring well are decreased costs all around, from human resources to future costs of employee injury or low productivity.

A job-simulation test in pre-employment physicals performed by the Kansas Department of Transportation was created as a result of an increased amount of worker’s comp claims. In the following three years, the percentage of injuries of newer employers decreased by 25%, saving the company about $200,000. In order to hire quality, top-performing candidates, companies are implementing tests that simulate real job responsibilities. Being able to assess employees through job-simulation testing saves money in the hiring process and in future workman comps claims if the job requires physical performance.

Job-simulation testing offers a variety of benefits, such as the following:

High Level of Candidate Engagement

Beyond normal multiple-choice type tests, providing real-world experiences when looking for a potential candidate will increase the fun and engagement during the interview process. This allows candidates to get out of their shell and relax, showing their true personality.

High Level of Accuracy

Job-simulation tests allow for employees to act as they would during an actual work experience. This serves as a mini-replica of the job that candidate is applying for. Scores from simulation tests like these correlate in an extremely close manner with actual job performance.

Reduced Subjectivity

When a candidate is given a real job simulation and either performs well or poorly, it’s easier to tell how he or she will actually perform if given the job. This helps reduce a level of bias towards a candidate.

The oldest form of job simulation testing comes from the manufacturing and industrial sectors, where candidates were given tests of their strength and capabilities to perform the job. The idea behind this test has evolved to cover banking, transportation, customer service, and other prominent areas of the business world. The entire idea behind job-simulations is to test the performance and skills of a candidate to reduce costs in the hiring process.

What types of job-simulation tests have you had to perform for a job or given to a potential employee?

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About Jessica Miller-Merrell


Jessica is listed as the 2nd most influential recruiter online and as the 8th most powerful woman on Twitter. She is the author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, a how-to business guide for Twitter users. She also writes for a number of leading publications, including Fortune, HR Magazine, SmartBrief, and HR Executive Magazine.

2 COMMENTS Join the discussion
  • Desmond Craig February, 15, 2013

    Not only that you can see who will perform best if hired, but the fact that they will get the opportunity to feel what the job would be like prior to being hired will get their expectations just right. It always pays knowing what you get yourself into before you are knee deep.

  • Sasha Leigh February, 18, 2013

    Having to deal with a recruiting tool that is sure to be non-biased, will always help with the candidate engagement level. Having one fear out of the way will improve the results the candidates will provide the recruiter. Actual numbers are always the best way to sort through the candidates.


Guest February, 18, 2013