Strut Your Stuff

As many talent managers know, a good interview doesn’t always translate to predictable job performance.

This is a problem that an increasing number of employers are looking to solve by including job tryouts as a part of the application process.

“Résumés are bad data,” said Joe Murphy, executive vice president of Shaker Consulting Group. “The reason behind this trend is companies are taking control of the data. Job tryouts are intentional data collection.”

Shaker designs virtual tryouts for many types of jobs, including data entry, financial management and manufacturing. An interaction with a co-worker can even be reproduced in a tryout.

Murphy said tryouts allow employers to see subtle differences in the way candidates perform tasks in a standardized way.

The benefits of a job tryout aren’t limited to the employers. Candidates can use simulations to learn more about the nuances of a job not foreseen in an interview, The Wall Street Journal first reported in January. On feedback forms, applicants often note that a tryout gave them more confidence to do the job, Murphy said.

Tryouts can also weed out candidates who are not competent or motivated to take the extra step. The extra hurdle for applicants can make a difference on the bottom line. “There is a higher turnover in entry-level jobs without this process,” Murphy said. “The fact that you can rank applicants objectively and consistently increases recruiter effectiveness and reduces the interview-to-hire ratio 30 to 50 percent.”