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The Simulation-Enhanced Candidate Experience Means More Than Just Engagement
November 17, 2014 7:00:00 PM EST   By Mike Russiello

The simulation-enhanced candidate experience: More than just engagement

What's the businessman's version of the golden rule?
"Whoever has the gold makes the rules."

Now here's the employer's corollary:

"He or she who has the jobs determines the selection process."

Picture of Job InterviewIt's a fairly one-sided principle that is unlikely to change anytime soon. Employers can (and do) hide behind government anti-discrimination rules to insist that applicants follow a consistent pre-hire selection process. If a candidate wants to work for Company A they need to do whatever Company A wants them to do.

So, candidates just need to suck it up and do what they're told, right?

We're not so sure about that. In the end, the candidate has to choose the company as well. This gives top candidates some power - and the latest generation to hit the workforce, the Millennials, seem more than happy to exercise this power.

It may not be an outright confrontation, but high demand candidates will subtly go silent or walk away from companies that give the wrong impression. What's worse - they will tell their friends about their experience. Even worse than that - they can file complaints with government agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

More and more organizations acknowledge the need to adapt to candidate expectations and to foster a good impression with their applicants. They are on the lookout for new ways to satisfy or impress their applicants through their hiring process. If you have any doubt, pay a visit to the Candidate Experience Awards website at www.thecandidateexperienceawards.org. Participating companies and vendors represent a worldwide movement that is growing in size and influence every year.

One way of satisfying candidates is to make the assessments they take job-related -  in their eyes. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/articles/are-workplace-personality-tests-fair-1412044257) cited the pros and cons of using personality tests for evaluating candidates. These tests ask abstract questions that are not clearly related to the job. As a result, there have been a series of candidate complaints to the EEOC. The article implies that if candidates can connect the information requested in a selection procedure to the ability to do the job, complaints and challenges are likely to go away.

Well, our world is all about simulation-based employment assessment. Since simulations result in a more engaging candidate experience, we are naturally proponents of the new movement. However, there's more to it than just an engaging experience. In particular:

  1. Job simulations make candidates feel they are being evaluated fairly, since the evaluation criteria are more clearly related to the job.
  2. Job simulations make companies appear less intrusive and less judgmental to candidates, who want to be selected based on their ability to perform the job, rather than a set of abstract traits or characteristics.
  3. Job simulations create an image of technological currency in the minds of candidates.

In short, simulations help employers show they are keeping pace with the times and that they are evaluating candidates fairly - based on their ability to do the job. It's a subtle message, but one we feel will be increasingly powerful as the younger workforce exerts its influence.

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