How A Simulation Based Assessement Can Identify Leaders
A senior business executive delivering a presentation to his colleagues during a meeting or in-house business training

How A Simulation Based Assessement Can Identify Leaders

What qualities make someone a good leader in today’s business world? The first set of traits that come to mind may be hard working, good communicator, and levelheadedness. But how can you assess whether or not someone possess these traits from a resume. Moreover, how can you measure these traits during the standard interview process?

If you really want to learn about your interviewees and hire the ideal candidate for the job, you need to do a little more. At Right Management, we recommend putting your interviewees through a “day-in-the-life simulation assessment.”

As the name implies, a day-in-the-life assessment is a full or half day evaluation where a job candidate is placed in a variety of situations and scenarios that they will actually encounter if they are hired. This type of assessment is perfect for the final stage of an interview process, as it gives your hiring managers the opportunity to see a potential employee in action.

What happens during a simulation assessment?

Simulation assessments vary depending upon a client’s needs and the specific information they would like to discover about a job candidate. However, a typical assessment will roughly follow the steps listed below.

A few days before their assessment, the candidate receives a packet of information detailing the assessment. The candidate is told that during the simulation they will be leading a new division within a global organization. They are given background information about the fictitious company, along with other facts they will need to know to complete the assessment.

On the day of the simulation, the candidate meets with their assessor and they are given an agenda for the day. Some of the tasks they will need to complete include:

  • Monitoring and responding to messages in an email inbox. The candidate will have to keep track of and field messages during the entire assessment.
  • Attending staged meetings with professionally trained role players. Meetings can be with:
    • An upset customer
    • A lower-level employee that they are going to coach
    • A peer who is a stakeholder in the company
    • A reporter wanting to talk about a company issue
  • Creating a presentation that outlines their strategic vision for the company and what they will do in that role to achieve this vision.

These tasks typically give hiring managers a better understanding of whether or not a specific candidate will function well within the organization.

What happens after the assessment?

After the simulation is complete, the lead assessor will talk with the role players and the individuals from the company involved in the assessment to receive a group perspective on the candidate. The lead assessor calibrates the data to compile a report of their findings and recommendations. The report is sent to your hiring committee to review and a follow up meeting is scheduled so the assessor can present the report and answer any questions the committee may have.

If the candidate is selected for the position, data from the assessment can be used to guide their onboarding process. The assessor will also share parts of the report with the candidate to help with the candidate’s personal growth.

The Benefits of Using Simulation Based Assessments

A day-in-the-life assessment can provide your hiring team with a deeper understanding of a potential candidate. The real value in going through the assessment is to understand the potential candidate’s performance capabilities and also the derailers of a potential candidate. It can provide insights into how they make decisions, how they communicate, how they lead and how they perform under stress. By observing the candidate in situations that they would likely encounter, you can assess whether the candidate will be a good fit for the role and for the organization.

If you are interested in using day-in-the-life simulations as a part of the hiring process for your senior employees and leadership roles, contact us today to learn more.

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