The official online extension of HR Professional, the magazine of human resources thought leadership

Hands-On Simulator Assessments

08/23/2016 by Philippe Mercure

As Canadian manufacturing increasingly relies on automation and computerization to reduce costs and optimize productivity, the demand for the skilled workers necessary to operate and maintain these high-tech operations has never been greater.

HR professionals and employers in the manufacturing sector need highly technical staff that possess troubleshooting skills, strong spatial perception and an understanding of the interactions between equipment parts. These are individuals who possess natural technical aptitudes – something that written and other theoretical assessments simply cannot evaluate.

A new method that HR professionals and recruiters are using to assess high-skill manufacturing talent – operators, mechanics, millwrights, maintenance, electricians, electro-technicians, etc. – is administering simulator assessments. These intense, 90-minute simulation assessments can identify the strongest technical employees prior to hire, evaluate incumbents to confirm and diagnose the quality of current maintenance and operation teams and identify the best employees in cases of downsizing operations.

Depending on the job position, simulator assessments involve a series of standardized tests of various complexities for mechanics, operators and electricians. Trained assessment administrators perform the simulation tests at client locations to assess candidates’ skills. During a series of timed, simulated tasks, the candidates have to resolve malfunctions in the most logical way and shortest time possible.

After the assessments, employers receive a report detailing observations made during the test. Based on these results, the report makes recommendations on the suitability of candidates for the specific position(s).

The assessment simulator tests help to eliminate uncertainty in hiring. Employers no longer merely “hope” that candidates will have the talent to perform on the floor since the assessments provide the data employers need to make smart hires that are solidly backed up by proven success factors.