Job Simulation Assessment Test Importance and Definition

Hiring & recruitingHuman resources
August 23, 2022

Job simulation assessment tests have become a popular tool in a job interviewer’s toolkit to evaluate employee candidates. The tests have developed over recent years and are used instead of traditional aptitude tests. 

An efficient job simulation assessment can give a much deeper look into the skills and abilities of a potential employee.

Job simulation assessment tests are special tools employers use to evaluate potential employees. With the simulation test, employers gain deeper insight into the skills and abilities of the candidate so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not to hire them. 

While there are drawbacks to consider, the cost-effectiveness and accuracy of the assessment test make it an excellent option for many employers.

What is a job simulation?

Job simulation is an employment test where job applicants are asked to complete tasks regarding their applied job. A job simulation may also assess potential job candidates to show their ability in communication, empathy, emotional intelligence, and soft skills. 

Job simulation tests can help employers to identify whether a candidate is qualified for the job instead of just hiring them according to their resume or interview answers. 

Work simulations can have different types. They aim to offer more awareness about candidates’ abilities instead of just reading their CVs or cover letters. Job simulations can be crucial in the job market, where many CVs are unreliable.  

Job simulations can lead to better hiring decisions and reduce employee turnover costs. That is why companies are increasingly adding job simulations to their recruiting processes. 

After you get used to these tests and expand them, you can use them repeatedly. This test is beneficial, especially for growing companies that need to hire so many people for the same roles.

Why using job simulation is necessary?

When choosing a candidate, resume screening and multiple job interview rounds will give you only a portion of the picture behind the job applicant. Candidates need to provide a clearer insight because many candidates know how to make a long resume full of academic and job experience to get through their hiring filters. 

Even an interview only gives the hiring recruitment a background about the candidate’s accomplishments. There is no specific way to understand a candidate’s capabilities, which is where job simulators step in. The most important reasons for using job simulations are as follows:

Accuracy – Pre-Employment simulations increase the information collected quickly. Therefore, simulations can double or even triple the knowledge gained compared to the formal interview process. Employers can make more accurate decisions while having more information about the job applicant. 

Fairness – Job simulation will give the job applicants an equal opportunity to become successful in the test. Because this assessment is very job-relevant, it has more accuracy. It is more approving from the candidate’s point of view. A job simulation has fewer legal complications and unpleasant effects than other old-school tests.

Accuracy– Drivers should take a short written test before receiving their driving license. Eye tests and written tests are undoubtedly significant, but only road tests can prove if a person can drive. Like the road test, job simulation lets candidates test the job and prove they have enough skills to get the job.

Engagement – Job simulations are different from human resources tools. These tests are engaging and visual, putting candidates in scenarios or circumstances that, in other cases, can take weeks or months to experience it for real in the workplace. Job simulations let people manage the most complex issues, learn from their mistakes without facing the consequences, and perform their job most productively.

Benefits of using job simulations

Job simulations aren’t just for the employer’s benefits but also job applicants. The job simulation process can help candidates understand if they can manage or take care of their tasks when involved in the work environment. 

Candidates who keep up with the process and get hired to work with the company for a long time have higher job satisfaction and productivity. Some of the advantages of using a job simulation are as below:

Testing job-specific skills

Employers want to hire people who can happily do the job they are getting paid. Still, a formal interview or CV can only tell a few things about a candidate. A job simulation puts the candidate in a natural work environment. It lets candidates learn how to handle pressure, provide solutions, and multitask to bring customer satisfaction. 

Deeper perceptions

Job simulation also gives employers an insight into an applicant’s ability and personality further than job skill tests. For example, you may have interviewed someone with extraordinary academic experiences who speaks confidently but gets agitated in a simulation. That person will only be able to perform well in a short time.

More comprehensive

All candidates should take the same test, and the same parameters are used for evaluating each applicant’s performance. Therefore, there is no place for biases to impact employers’ decisions. And employers have the chance to test a candidate’s ability instead of just trusting what they say in an interview or what they have said in their cover letter. 

Job simulations help recruiters to focus on candidates’ performance and ignore everything about how candidates look, where they were born, where they studied, and more. Therefore, they can concentrate on what matters.

Personalized training

When employers hire new people, they have to train them to perform well on the job. Their test results during the job simulation can help employers personalize applicants’ training based on their strengths and weaknesses. For example, suppose a candidate gets a good score on a coding test but has difficulties working with the software. In that case, you can give them instructions about how the tools and platforms work.

Applicants can leave the process 

Job simulations are not just for employers but also helpful for applicants. Simulations will give candidates an insight into what the workplace can look like with the new employer. Usually, they have a specific understanding of their role.

Still, through the job simulation, they discover that joining the job is different. They may understand that the job is much more stressful or need more social skills than they imagine.  

There are also disadvantages to job simulations, including

  • Costs: A job simulation needs staff and a space to perform the simulation. Also, there is a need for a scheduled plan, so personnel will give everyone time to complete the simulation. 
  • Time: Job simulations are time-consuming. Developing an online job simulation can take about a year because the process includes software developers, testers, media experts, and psychologists to make a good product.

Different types of job simulations

Job simulations are various based on the industry or role. It doesn’t make sense to ask an applicant to do a written test when the job position needs physical capabilities. Some of the most common job simulation methods are

Role-playing: These tests are great for understanding if a candidate can communicate with a customer or a client. A role-playing example can be how a supervisor guides a team member. 

Situational Judgment test: In this method, candidates are offered a job-related situation. Then they should use their decision-making capability to provide a solution that can accurately solve the problem. 

In-basket exercises: In this simulation, candidates should take care of some assignments and have a time limit for doing them. This method will help employers to identify how candidates prioritize different activities. Evaluating this skill can play a critical role while dealing with multitasking. 

Group exercises: Group activities determine candidates’ performance in teams. These exercises help employers assess applicants’ ability to communicate with customers or clients. This assessment is very successful in a team-focused organization.

Presentations: A presentation helps recruiters assess the candidate’s ability in public speaking, engagement, and persuasion. 

Take-home tests: Some organizations give candidates a home assignment instead of a test with a time limit or assessment. Applicants should take the assignment home to prove their independent skills without management’s interference.

Work-sample Simulation: In this job simulation test, applicants should complete particular assignments that are similar to the actual duties in the work environment. These tasks include working with the design team, writing codes, and optimizing on-page.

Case studies: This test will assess a candidate’s critical thinking and working under pressure. These interviews are the best method for leadership positions.

What are the challenges associated with using a job simulation assessment test?

With organizations aiming to hire the best possible candidates for a job role, job simulation assessments have been utilized as a screening tool to gain insight into a candidate’s abilities. Job simulation assessments test a candidate’s knowledge and skill set by setting up virtual scenarios and tasks that recreate typical job challenges.

These give employers enhanced insights into the candidate’s capabilities for a given job. Since this assessment method is relatively new and untested in some fields, a few challenges can happen while using job simulations as an assessment tool.

The first challenge of using a job simulation assessment test is the time required to create the test. A job simulation assessment test needs to be created by experienced professionals who understand the job roles and the job simulation process. This process requires a significant investment of resources and time as the test needs to be designed with care and attention to ensure that the tasks presented to the candidates accurately reflect the job role and challenges they might face.

Another challenge when using a job simulation assessment test is ensuring the accuracy of the results. A job simulation assessment test is intended to replicate real-life scenarios; however, this can take time. 

A potential candidate’s behavior in a simulated role may differ substantially from their behavior in a fundamental role, making it difficult to assess their suitability for the position. Furthermore, the test results can be affected by unconscious biases of both the recruiter or HR specialist and the candidate, meaning the test results could be unreliable.

However, these challenges can be quickly addressed by adopting innovative methods to correct the tool and understand the job role requirements. These challenges can be solved through A/B testing of various tools and simulations with different levels of complexity. 

Adopting such evaluations allows the assessment to be adjusted to the job role and provides an approach to the administrators so they can evaluate candidates’ abilities accurately.

Final Thoughts

Job simulations allow companies and organizations to save money for the hiring process, decrease employee turnover rate, and make a candidate experience. Whether employers use simulations as a screening tool or a follow-up after the final interview, they allow the applicant to try their responsibilities before joining the company. 

Job simulations are an excellent tool for any hiring process because they will help employers identify the candidate’s skills that weren’t available on a resume or CV. This process can be time-consuming, mainly if the recruitment team uses the simulation for the first time. Still, the advantages are worth the time and the costs.