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Amazon Earns HRM Impact Award for Retail Associate Assessment Project

Erin Iafelice

Since its launch in 1995, Amazon has become synonymous with technology-driven innovation. The company has revolutionized the way we shop and our expectations for an online consumer experience with all kinds of products and services. Amazon is also raising the bar in talent acquisition with Virtual Job Tryouts, Modern Hire’s innovative job-simulation assessments. Amazon earned the 2018 Human Resource Management (HRM) Impact Award, presented by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), for this hiring innovation.

Implementing innovative selection technology

The award recognized the achievement of Amazon and Modern Hire in providing an engaging candidate experience and scaling Amazon’s hiring of Fulfillment Center Associates (FCA) and Customer Service Associates (CSA), two of the company’s highest-volume and biggest-impact roles. Amazon’s winning project, “Simulation Strategy to Scale and Preserve the Candidate Experience” helped the company surpass previous unmatched hiring needs while also preserving the candidate experience.

Having grown by more than 300,000 employees in three years, Amazon needed a strategy to meet record volume in hiring requisitions and maintain the high standards that define its candidate experience. Modern Hire and Amazon collaborated on the Virtual Job Tryouts, which are grounded in Amazon’s Leadership Principles and the skills relevant to each specific role. While the specific tasks, competencies, and implementation strategy for each online assessment are tailored to the role, all Modern Hire simulations are designed around the common framework of job-relevance, prediction, candidate experience, and scalability.

The Amazon retail associate assessments focus on the core skills required for high-volume hourly operations roles and provide candidates with a realistic job preview of the job and culture, followed by simulation-based exercises that closely mirror job tasks to educate candidates about the role while measuring their job-relevant skills. Gamified simulations measure abilities such as detail orientation, emotion recognition, problem solving, accuracy, speed, learning agility, and multitasking.

Validation studies showed that those with higher scores on the assessments had better job performance than those with lower scores. Results from the CSA Virtual Job Tryout showed that those with higher scores received higher satisfaction ratings from customers and were able to solve problems more quickly than those with lower scores. Research also showed that those with higher test scores are significantly more satisfied and engaged in the job and stay with the company longer.

A candidate experience proven positive

Amazon candidates provided positive feedback about the assessment experience. Over 96% of candidates agreed that the Virtual Job Tryout helped them determine if the role was right for them and would encourage others to apply for a job with Amazon.