I don’t know how to handle this Business question and need guidance.Case Study 1
Job Candidate Assessment Tests Go Virtual
A growing number of preemployment tests simulate a job’s functions and are
being conducted via computer or on the Web. You can liken them to video
games but within a work setting. Toyota, Starbucks, the paint maker Sherwin
Williams, and numerous inancial irms such as SunTrust Banks, KeyBank, and
National City Bank have successfully used virtual job simulations to assess
At Toyota, applicants participating in simulations read dials and gauges, spot
safety problems, and use their ability to solve problems as well as their
general ability to learn as assessed. The candidates can see and hear about the
job they’re applying for from current Toyota employees. National City Bank
has used virtual assessments to test call-center candidates and branch
manager candidates. Call-center candidates are given customer-service
problems to solve, and branch manager candidates go through a simulation
that assesses their ability to foster relationships with clients and make
The virtual assessments tools, which are produced by companies such as
Shaker Consulting Group, Pro iles International, and others, do not come
cheap. But although they can cost tens of thousands of dollars, larger
companies that can afford them are saying they are worth it. The bene its?
Better quali ied candidates, faster recruiting, and lower turnover among
employees hired. KeyBank says that by using virtual testing tools, it realized
savings of more than $1.75 million per year due to lower turnover.
Candidates also seem to like the assessments because they provide a more
realistic job preview and make them feel like they are being chosen for jobs on
more than just their personalities or how they performed during an interview.
“It was a very insightful experience that made you think about what exactly
you like and dislike in the workplace and if you really enjoy helping customers
and have patience to do so,” says one candidate tested for a customer service
It is not just younger candidates who play a lot of video games who like the
tests. Older candidates do as well. “We haven’t seen any adverse impact,” says
Ken Troyan, chief staf ing of icer for SunTrust Banks. “There’s some
mythology—if you will—about older people not being computer-savvy, and
that’s just not so.” One study found that the simulations also tend to result in
less of a gap between minority and white candidates than when
paper-and-pencil tests are used.
A handful of software companies have developed games that don’t mirror
work tasks but actual video games you would play for fun. “Bomba Blitz” and
“Meta Maze” are two mobile games developed by the preemployment-testing
company Knack. According to Knack, the games utilize behavioral
neuroscience and big data—in this case, the game scores and decision-making
traits of thousands of different types of workers—to match people with jobs.
HR experts warn that companies need to be sure they aren’t simply buying
glitzy simulations that don’t translate well to the jobs for which they are
hiring. Games like those produced by Knack are just now starting to be used,
and irms generally aren’t solely relying on them to make hiring decisions.
Also, the tools could potentially eliminate candidates who have trouble with
simulations, games, or computers but might make good employees. You should
still use the U.S. Department of Labor’s “whole person approach” to hiring,
says one HR professional. The whole person approach factors in the results of
a variety of accepted tests along with prior actual performance and interview
results to get the most complete picture of an employee or candidate.
1. What do you think are the prime advantages and disadvantages of
2. Do you think there would be any EEOC concerns regarding this system?
3. Do you think virtual job tryouts might be better suited for some jobs
than others? If so, which ones?
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