What is a Technical Job Simulation Assessment and Why Are They Growing in Popularity?

The hiring process is the foundation for any company's success. Job simulation assessments can help determine which candidates are the right fit for your company’s open positions. Measuring the relevancy of a candidate’s experience for your specific role is more important than ever. 

Most roles require a combination of hard and soft skills, which can be difficult to assess comprehensively. Oftentimes, teams need a specialized skill set to fill gaps and improve productivity. More companies are utilizing job simulation assessments in their everyday hiring process to find the right fit for the job. Read on to learn how you can create job simulation assessments using data-driven recruiting tools.

What is a Technical Job Simulation Assessment?

A technical job simulation assessment evaluates skills with real-world scenarios that are specific to a job position where its requirements set the guidelines. The scores of how well each candidate navigates the simulation can help recruiters determine who would handle the requirements of the position the best. 

Why is This Considered a “Best Practice” in Recruiting?

Unlike hiring based on a resume or using a basic coding assessment, job simulation technical assessments focus on tasks required during the job. Since the technical job simulation assessment has provided better insight into each candidate, companies have started using this more frequently for their hiring process and using the analytics it provides as the baseline for the decision-making process. Technical work simulations also help prepare candidates for the challenges they may face in their new role.

Depending on the position in question, recruiters can create each technical job simulation assessment differently. This specification and insight provide recruiters with more insight than basic technical questions. A few positions that commonly use technical job simulation assessments for recruiting are:

With better hiring techniques, candidates are more likely to thrive in their positions, therefore improving the department's productivity and collaboration. This is necessary for improving turnover rates. When teams grow together without interruptions, such as an employee leaving, team members are more likely to motivate themselves and provide better results. A team member will likely leave if they are not qualified or interested. 

How To Create a Technical Job Simulation Assessment

Vector 3D illustration with coding symbols and programming windows.

Due to the versatility of the assessment, recruiters can position the questions and create the evaluation in multiple ways. Some of the most common assessments utilize sections to help pick out the most appropriate candidates as the assessment progresses. This includes using resume screening, take-home tests, live-coding assessments/pair programming challenges, face-to-face personality interviews, or a combination of these. 

Selecting the appropriate evaluations can come from answering these questions:

  1. How much time do I have to assess all the candidates, and how many applicants are there?
  2. What is the position I’m recruiting for, and are there any skills the current team lacks?
  3. What are the most important skills a candidate must possess to be successful in this position, and what is the best way to assess those skills? 

Resume Screening/Personality Interviews

Artificial intelligence resume screening is one of the most common starters for creating a technical job simulation assessment. Utilizing this data-driven recruiting technology, recruiters can easily pick out skills that each candidate possesses. These skills also help recruiters come up with questions for the assessments. 

Recruiter assessing a candidate's resume in front of them

Say a candidate possesses a vast knowledge of big data analysis but is going for an entry-level software engineer position. Testing their capabilities with more difficult data questions and software engineering questions could help recruiters determine their weaknesses and possibly push them to apply for a data analyst position instead. 

Resume screening also assesses the soft skills that each candidate possesses. Soft skills are just as necessary as hard skills in technical positions, despite all the common misconceptions. While some positions are not working directly with clients, you can still consider technical positions as part of the customer service cycle. Technical positions provide a service, whether it be to a customer, client, or other. 

These candidates still need to possess skills such as:

  • Communication 
  • Solution-Oriented Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Attention to Detail
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Risk Management

Learning the soft skills of each candidate can help when creating questions for the face-to-face personality interview. If the candidate has good communication skills, the interviewer can position a scenario where someone doesn’t understand them and is unwilling to listen. This should show how the candidate would truly assess this issue on-the-job.

Take-Home Test

The take-home test is a big part of the technical job simulation assessment. This is the first part of testing the candidates on their problem-solving skills. With the right platform, recruiters can provide multiple-choice, multiple-answer, and short and long-response recorded questions and snippet coding problems. The various questions test the candidate's ability to recognize solutions in different situations.

Women taking a take-home test while drinking coffee

The questions on the take-home test should be specific scenarios that your current teams have navigated over the last year or so. If the position is an Information Technology Specialist that works with electronic medical records (EMR), then ask the candidate to record themselves answering how they would go about learning to navigate a new updated medical record system. For the multiple-choice questions, have the candidates answer a question based on error log event sequences for failure analysis. 

While the take-home test is a great starting point in the technical job simulation assessment, it’s essential to use this as the beginning of the process and not spend too much time on this part. Take-home tests don’t fully assess the candidate's abilities to perform but should give a basic understanding of their level of comprehension. Spending too much time on this aspect of the technical job simulation assessment can take time away from the in-depth assessments that come later. Automatic grading can hasten this part of the process while still providing the information to continue forward. 

Live-Coding/Pair Programming Assessment

Before recruiters can understand how to create the live-coding/pair programming job simulation assessment, they need to be able to understand the difference between a regular live-coding assessment and one that incorporates job simulation assessments. 

Female developer taking a live-coding assessment

What’s The Difference?

While coding assessments are supposed to help with recruiting, sometimes they seem to have the opposite effect. If the coding is based on general programming, it might not assess the true skills necessary for the job. Utilizing live-coding/pair programming assessments with the techniques of a job simulation assessment, recruiters can receive the information that they wanted to get out of the candidates.

How To Create The Live-Coding/Pair Programming Job Simulation Assessment

This part of the assessment will give the most insight into each candidate's technical skills. Data-driven recruiting can take the sophistication of the assessment to another level. With virtual environments such as integrated development environments (IDE), virtual whiteboards, and conference rooms built for pair programming and engineers, these simulations can go smoothly.

With virtual conference rooms built for pair programming and engineers, recruiters and candidates can share their screens and navigate coding problems simultaneously. This helps test communication skills and tactical skills. 

With IDEs that simulate the environments used on the job, each candidate has the same capabilities in the environments, creating a fair assessment for each candidate. This also helps assess the candidate's ability to navigate the environment and their adaptability skills. 

With virtual whiteboards, candidates can plan their code and visually show recruiters their thought processes. These whiteboards can also save their drawings to a candidate profile for recruiters to review later when making the difficult decisions of whom to hire.

Filtered: The Data-Driven Recruiting For Your Assessments

Technical job simulation assessments can be stressful for both the recruiter and the candidates. Creating assessment questions can get tricky without a baseline of skills from resume screening. Take-home tests can be hard to implement into the simulation without the correct platform and can take a lot of time without automatic grading. Further, live coding and pair programming assessments are easier to navigate with virtual conference rooms, simulated on-the-job environments, and virtual whiteboards to encourage candidates to showcase their application skills. 

However, the most challenging part is trying to find data-driven recruiting technology that has all these components available. Luckily, Filtered has these components and more for your recruiters. Creating technical job simulation assessments has never been easier! 

Filtered is a leader in skills-based hiring. Our end-to-end technical hiring platform enables you to spend time reviewing only the most qualified candidates, putting skills and aptitude at the forefront of your decisions. We’ll help you automate hiring while applying objective, data-driven techniques to consistently and confidently select the right candidates. To get started, contact our team today or register for a FREE demo.