Contest participants invest imaginary dollars in the futures market over a two-week timeframe. At the end of the two weeks, the contestant (or applicant) with the highest account balance and trading skills will be given the opportunity to invest $150,000 in the futures market and have a chance to earn their livelihood as a professional trader.
Experts are quick to point out that employment simulations and similar computer-based hiring techniques are not tests. Instead of grading applicants' answers to questions, these technologies completely immerse the individual in the employment activity in order to more accurately measure the applicant's ability to perform the job.
Dr. Charles Handler, President and Founder of Rocket-Hire.com, points out that many of today's technologies represent old hiring concepts that have been resurrected and adapted to the modern workplace. "Simulations were originally used in industrial and manufacturing companies to evaluate the person's ability to perform specific job functions," he said. "For example, the employer might ask applicants to manually assemble a simple product in a certain amount of time. If the applicants performed poorly, they probably didn't possess the physical strength or dexterity to succeed in the job. But if they performed well, they were hired."
TAKING THE HUMAN OUT OF HUMAN RESOURCES
On the surface, the idea of computers and technology playing a central role in the hiring process sounds a little bit like Huxley's brave new world run amok. But hiring techniques that rely on technology in decision-making have been proven to deliver important benefits for both employers and job seekers.
From an employer perspective, computer-based hiring processes are a more realistic predictor of on-the-job success. Employment simulations and other technology-driven approaches minimize blind spots in the hiring process, giving employers visibility into the applicant's real world performance potential before unleashing the individual on the company's customers or operating systems.
As it turns out, the traditional hiring process is also extremely inefficient. Employment simulators target efficiency improvements by providing maximum information in much shorter periods of time.
According to Joseph T. Sefcik, Jr., President of Employment Technologies Corporation, and the pioneer and leading developer of employment simulations, "Robust employment simulations can deliver two to three times more information than traditional hiring processes, and hiring accuracy levels that can be as much as four times greater than other testing approaches."
For job seekers, employment simulations and computer-based hiring models level the playing field, minimizing the risk of being overlooked for a position simply because another candidate had the inside track with hiring managers or other decision-makers.