Twenty years ago we launched a business based on stories. Where it would lead us, we weren’t sure. Today we know.  While Employment Technologies is in the business of employment testing, our real business is creating and sharing immersive stories about companies and jobs. How we go about doing this is much different now than it was 20 years ago. Still, our focus remains the same—creating and telling stories. Very compelling stories.

Employment science led us to this unique storytelling approach. At the time, a young and growing body of simulation research influenced our direction and became our impetus for creating the first immersive employment test created around a storyline.

Compared to other tests, we knew our simulations would be more realistic and engaging, and would provide applicants with a consistent message.  What we didn’t know at the time, however, was how much our immersive storytelling approach would impact the predictive accuracy of testing. Our researchers quickly discovered dramatic results—observing increases from two to four times higher than the accuracy of standard employment tests. So, our research clearly confirmed (and continues to confirm) that simulations not only provide a more engaging experience for candidates, but also deliver a better, more accurate way for employers to hire.

So what makes our immersive, storytelling approach unique?  We call it The Advantage of Real™. And here’s what we mean.

Real Situations. Our simulations immerse applicants in engaging storylines built around actual workplace circumstances and conditions. And applicants get to play the key role in the story! Their actions and decisions are woven into the context of authentic situations that employees handle on the job every day as they interact with customers and coworkers to solve real workplace issues. It’s impossible for survey tests and written assessments to replicate what applicants experience in our simulations. Test questions which are isolated from any real context may reflect a certain degree of knowledge about the job, but not how the applicant will actually apply knowledge and perform the job.

There’s no substitute for realism. And that’s one of the benefits our clients value most.

Real Performance. We all hope our hiring processes identify the best candidates. Hope, however, is not a strong foundation for effective hiring. What confounds hiring success is the tendency of applicants to put their best face forward. Like chameleons, applicants may show the colors they think we most want to see. In other words, applicants may be “faking it.” For instance, I might tell you that I love music and can play a musical instrument, but the real test is having me perform. Similarly, an applicant can say they are customer-focused, but how do you know for sure?

With most employment tests, the customer never shows up. In other words, key customer situations and interactions are not part of the screening process. This is where our immersive storytelling offers a clear advantage. In our simulations, customer interactions are central to our storylines. This immersive experience provides a level of information for both the applicants and the employers. Applicants preview and pre-experience the job, and employers preview and pre-experience the applicant before they hire. This two-way communication, based on real performance, ensures the best fit for both.

Real Results.  In real estate, the three most important factors are location, location, location. The three top factors in employment testing are accuracy, accuracy, accuracy. The good news is that our simulations provide the highest accuracy possible; other than actual job performance or real-time work samples, the absolute best predictor of future performance is simulation. This accuracy protects you in two ways. First, it helps you screen out unqualified candidates that you might have hired. Second, it helps you identify highly qualified candidates that you might have otherwise overlooked.

Simulations provide a level playing field where applicants have an equal opportunity to succeed. By immersing applicants in true-to-life storylines, simulations look and feel like the job. They are highly job relevant and highly correlated to job performance. This ensures the strongest legal defensibility—and delivers dramatic bottom-line results. Our clients, across numerous jobs and industries, consistently report significantly lower turnover, shorter learning curves, clearer job expectations, higher service ratings, and increased performance and productivity.

The Advantage of Real has stood the test of time. The U.S Office of Personnel Management and industry experts now rank simulation—the approach we developed more than 20 years ago—#1 in accuracy. So, while simulation testing is currently being touted as “The hot new trend in hiring,” we know, and now you know, how the story started. As we open a new chapter on the next 20 years, we thank you for helping us write our story, and we welcome the opportunity to help you share yours.