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What They Are and Why Recruiters Need Them

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What They Are and Why Recruiters Need Them

Recruiting or hiring the right talent is essential to the growth of any business.

However, it’s not always easy to find the right person. Most times, it feels like trying to find a needle in a haystack-like heap of CVs, with each new one looking better than the last.

Sorting through these CVs often requires a ton of time and effort — without the guarantee of picking the right candidate.

You can make things easier for yourself and increase your chances of picking the right candidate by using job simulations.

In this guide, you’ll learn what job simulations mean. We’ll also consider how job simulations can help you, its pros and cons, types, and how to create an excellent job simulation that’ll benefit your company and its employees.

Let’s begin!

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For example, for a secretary position, a job simulation might include typing a dictation or completing forms.

A job simulation might also involve the candidate showing their soft skills like communication, empathy, and emotional intelligence.

Job role tests are specific to the job the applicant is applying for, and by using these tests, employers can determine whether a job candidate can do the job instead of hiring them just based on their CVs or interview answers.

85+ years of research compiled into the Schmidt-Hunter paper reveal that education and experience aren’t effective at predicting candidates’ ability. Instead, job simulations help test for skills directly!

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Let’s now see some of the most significant advantages and disadvantages of using these tests in a job hiring process.

When to Use Job Simulations

These tests can occur at different points in the hiring process. Here are some of the best times to use them.

During Screening

Using job simulations as the first screening step can weed out less-suitable candidates, leaving recruiters with an optimized pool that’ll make the time, effort, and costs of undergoing custom aspects of the hiring process worth it.

Situational judgment tests and similar role-specific tests prove effective at this stage.

At the Final Interview Stage

Using simulations like in-basket tests and case interviews in the final stages of the hiring process will increase the chances of hiring right. Since these tests take time to create and execute, using these tests at this stage ensures that recruiting teams spend their time rightly because they’ll likely be testing serious contenders.

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Advantages of Using Job Simulations

Why should you consider using job simulations when hiring? Let’s discuss five significant reasons.

1. It Tests the Candidates’ Skills

A CV can be an excellent way to gauge whether a candidate is suitable for a job. However, it’s not enough, especially considering that candidates can now pay great writers to help them write or polish their resumes and cover letters.

Interviews are also an essential part of the hiring process, but many recruiters will agree that great interviewers don’t always make for great employees and vice versa.

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However, a job simulation is better than CVs and interviews to evaluate a potential employee’s skills objectively. Such tests ensure you’re moved to hire by actual ability and let you see how well candidates handle the job in real-time and under work conditions.

Using these tests can reduce the risk of a bad hire. And how vital hiring right is! Hiring right reportedly increases the productivity of UK companies by almost £7.7 billion, while employing the wrong person can cost a business three times higher than a misdirected salary.

2. It Reduces Bias

It’s illegal to discriminate against job applicants based on their gender, religion, race, and other factors.

Unfortunately, many recruiters still discriminate against some candidates because of unconscious bias.

Using job simulations, though, it’s easier to fight against unconscious discrimination actively, thus helping you choose the best person for the job regardless of who they are.

3. It Gives Deeper Insights

These tests open a window for recruiters to peek into the personality of potential hires. Since simulations mirror actual work conditions, recruiters can see how candidates behave under stress, in a team, and when facing agitated customers.

For instance, they might learn that Candidate A is rude to agitated customers and doesn’t work well with others, despite acing their interview. In contrast, Candidate B, who is shy and reserved, has an excellent way with customers and teammates.

4. It Reduces the Cost of Bad Hires

Filling a position takes a lot of time, resources, and effort. Recruiters have to collect resumes, sift through to shortlist candidates, interview candidates, and welcome the new employees.

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Imagine hiring wrong and having to find a replacement for the position within only six months.

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With the average cost of training new employees running into thousands of dollars, how important it is to hire right!

Job simulations help reduce these risks and assist companies in hiring at the lowest cost.

5. It Benefits Candidates

Companies aren’t the only ones that benefit from job simulations: candidates do too.

A job simulation lets candidates know what they are expected to do in the role. They taste the organization’s culture and processes and experience its dynamics.

When candidates realize from the start that the job isn’t for them, they can exit the process early. This self-elimination can help decrease employee turnover because you’ll have to only sort through people suited for the role and looking to stay will be hired.

Disadvantages of Using Job Simulations

Although a job simulation is generally excellent, it has a few disadvantages.

1. It Can Be Expensive

Simulations, particularly in-person simulations, will require a lot of resources. You’ll need a space to carry out the simulation, a scheduling program for everyone to do the simulations, and internal staff to administer and debris the simulations which could mean hiring a new team.

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2. It Can Exhaust Time and Resources

Simulations can take time to create and execute. For example, it could take several weeks or even months to develop custom simulations. Depending on your recruitment goals, this may not be worth the time and people resources you’ll need to make this happen.

Types of Job Simulations

Job simulations have different forms, depending on the role. However, there are some common types of job simulation tests. Let’s discuss them.

In-basket Simulations

In this type of job simulation, the candidate must complete a set of tasks in a given period.

This simulation aims to see how the candidate deals with tasks and deadlines and applies critical thinking. In addition, by observing the potential hire, managers can see how well or poorly the candidate manages their workflow.

In-basket simulations are recommended if you’re hiring for an administrative or managerial position.

Situational Judgment Tests

The situational judgment test (SJT) is a simulation test where the candidate is put in pretend scenarios with obstacles and assessed based on how they deal with these challenges.

These scenarios are usually in the form of multiple-choice questions, and the results are anonymously collected to weed out any bias.

For example, an SJT may put the candidate in a situation where they have to deal with an angry customer—the potential employee has to choose from several options on how they’ll deal with the customer.

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Take-home assignments

Some companies use take-home assignments to test their candidates. These assignments are due within a timeframe, but they offer candidates the advantage of doing the test in their comfort zone and within their schedule.

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While it has been criticized as being a less accurate simulation, it can be helpful if a manager wants to know how well a candidate works independently and without close management.

Group tests

Group tests are instrumental in checking out how well potential hires work in teams and communicate with others.

These tests can be in the form of group discussions and presentations or could be a group activity where the group has to solve a work-related problem. Either way, it offers managers insight into the dynamics at work and even helps to assign roles if the company’s hiring more than one candidate.

Case interviews

In this simulation, the candidate is presented with a challenging business scenario that they must navigate.

It puts the candidate in the ‘hot seat’ and helps hiring managers to assess the candidate’s ability to deal with high-pressure, high-stakes conditions.

Tips for Creating Successful Job Simulations

Here are tips for creating successful job simulations.

1. Make it immersive.

Whatever the form of the job simulation, it’s vital to make it immersive. This means the candidate must genuinely experience what it feels like to work in the role. Depending on the position and requirements, a job simulation can take a few hours or take the entire day.

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2. Make it clear and specific.

The simulation should be clear and specific. Therefore, hiring managers should explain what is measured and how it is measured to the candidates. Then, by guiding candidates, you let them focus on doing their best.

Clarity and specificity also extends to your hiring team. They should know what’s being measured and how it’s being measured. All team members should know the specific skills and qualities they should be looking for.

Final Thoughts on Job Simulations

Job simulations are an excellent addition to any recruitment process as they help you discover skills you’d otherwise not have found on a CV. Although the process can be time-consuming, especially if it’s the first time incorporating it in your recruitment process, the benefits are worth it.

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MARKETING

B2B customer journeys that begin at review sites are significantly shorter

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B2B customer journeys that begin at review sites are significantly shorter

The B2B customer journey can be a long one, especially when the purchase of expensive software subscriptions is under consideration.

“The average B2B customer journey takes 192 days from anonymous first touch to won,” according to Dreamdata in their 2022 B2B Go-to-Market Benchmarks — a statistic described by co-founder and CMO Steffen Hedebrandt as “alarming.”

But the report also indicates that this journey can be significantly sped up — by as much as 63% — if accounts begin their research at software review sites, gathering information and opinions from their peers. Journeys that originate at a review site often lead to deals of higher value too.

Fragmented data on the customer journey. Dreamdata is a B2B go-to-market platform. In any B2B company, explained Hedebrandt, there are typically 10 or even 20 data silos that contain fragments of the customer journey. Website visits, white paper downloads, social media interactions, webinar or meeting attendance, demos, and of course intent data from review site visits — this data doesn’t typically sit in one place within an organization.

“We built an account-based data model because we believe that there’s such a thing as an account journey and not an individual journey,” said Hedebrandt. “So if there are two, three or five people representing an account, which is typically what you see in B2B, all of these touches get mapped into the same timeline.”

Among those many touches is the intent data sourced from software review site G2. Dreamdata has an integration with G2 and a G2 dashboard allowing visualization of G2-generated intent data. This includes filtering prospects who are early in their journey, who have not yet discovered the customer’s product, or who have discovered it but are still searching. This creates a basis for attributing pipelines, conversions and revenue to the activity.

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“Strategically, our ideal customer profile is a B2B software-as-a-service company,” said Hedenbrandt. “B2B SaaS companies are particularly ripe for understanding this digital customer journey; their main investment is in digital marketing, they have a salesforce that use software tools to do this inside sales model; and they also deliver their product digitally as well.” What’s more, it takes twice as long to close SaaS deal as it does to close deals with B2B commercial and professional services companies.

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Read next: A look at the tech review space

The Benchmarks findings. The conclusions of the 2022 Benchmarks report is based on aggregated, anonymized data from more than 400 Dreamdata user accounts. Focusing on first-touch attribution (from their multi-touch model), Dreamdata found that customer journeys where a review site is the first touch are 63% shorter than the average. In contrast, where the first touch channel is social, the journey is much longer than average (217%); it’s the same when paid media is the first touch (155%).

As the Benchmarks report suggests, this may well mean that social is targeting prospects that are just not in-market. It makes sense that activity on a review site is a better predictor of intent.

Hedenbrandt underlines the importance of treating the specific figures with caution. “It’s not complete science what we’ve done,” he admits, “but it’s real data from 400 accounts, so it’s not going to be completely off. You can only spend your time once, and at least from what we can see here it’s better to spend your time collecting reviews than writing another Facebook update.”

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While Dreamdata highlights use of G2, Hedenbrandt readily concedes that competitor software review sites might reasonably be expected to show similar effects. “Definitely I would expect it to be similar.”

Why we care. It’s not news that B2B buyers researching software purchases use review sites and that those sites gather and trade in the intent data generated. Software vendors encourage users to post reviews. There has been a general assumption that a large number of hopefully positive reviews is a good thing to have.


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What Dreamdata’s findings indicate is that the effect of review sites on the buyer journey — especially as the first-touch channel — can be quantified and a value placed on it. “None of us questioned the value of reviews, but during this process you can actually map it into a customer journey where you can see the journey started from G2, then flowed into sales meetings, website visits, ads, etc. Then we can also join the deal value to the intent that started from G2.”

Likely, this is also another example of B2B learning from B2C. People looking at high consideration B2C purchases are now accustomed to seeking advice both from friends and from online reviews. The same goes for SaaS purchases, Hedenbrandt suggests: “More people are turning to sites like G2 to understand whether this is a trustworthy vendor or not. The more expensive it is, the more validation you want to see.”


About The Author

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Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

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He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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