Many readers may not be familiar with what an In-Tray Exercise or Job Simulation is when it comes to assessments. To ensure a profitable hire, today’s Hiring teams need to rediscover and further explore Job Simulation & In-tray exercise to better understand exactly who they are hiring and their “on the job” capabilities. Over the years organizations have tried to figure out different ways to better assess a candidate for open roles within their company. The type of in-tray exercise can vary, but they all have the same purpose – Reduce the cost of hiring mistakes.
Names such as In-tray exercise, Work Simulation, Assessment Centre, Sales Assessments, Job Simulation and Interview Role-Plays have been used to describe the basic exercise of having candidates engaging in real life job activities to better understand how they will react and perform on the job.
An In-Tray Exercise or Job Simulation can vary depending on who is implementing the exercise or the level of the role being assessed. Some simulation activities can be complex and time consuming while others can be as simple as leaving an email for a business associate.
The level of roles and positions can vary with these types of assessments. Roles such as Presidents, Directors, Sales Manager and Sales professionals can be simulated and assessed using an in-tray exercise when done properly. The question becomes, at what point does the hiring team decide which roles should be assessed with an in-tray exercise and which ones not?
The rule of thumb on which role to assess using an in-tray exercise or not comes down to the impact on the organization if a hiring mistake takes place. If the cost of the hiring mistake outweighs the cost of the assessment then the decision is easily made. However, it is not always as straight forward. Organizations need to factor into the cost equation the impact on morale and potential loss of business from clients if the hiring mistake is made.
These types of costs can be significant and can be realized in a hiring mistake at the President level down to the newest sales representative that has been hired.
Learn more about what an in-tray exercise is by watching our youtube video at this link.
Craig Bissett is President of Hire Results Ltd – developers of the Hiring Simulation Assessment process.