Business SimulationX2 Assessment Centers

The business simulation "assessment center" is the most accurate, thorough employee assessment technology ever developed. AIMM's business simulations are used by organizations to help hire, promote, develop and retain the best individuals based on high performer "DNA" and demands of the target job(s). Many organizations use them today successfully including a large percentage of Fortune 500 corporations and federal, state, and local government agencies.

"Assessment Centers" (Leadership, Sales, and IT/Engineering) are characterized by:

  • Job relevancy
  • Sustainability of learning
  • Highly interactive, people-centric business simulations
  • Self-reflection, feedback and instructor-led debriefing
  • Multiple observations of behavior
  • Multiple assessors
  • Scalability and customization
  • *Validity and fairness
  • Reliability and consistency
  • *Cost effectiveness

The Foundation

The foundation of our technology is a thorough job analysis including identification of the critical functions and competencies required for successful job performance. The methodology involves identifying high-performer "DNA"—what a person does to succeed in the real world (the job analysis)—developing instruments (business simulations or role plays) to measure a person's ability to perform the critical skills or competencies needed to succeed, and training a group of individuals to process, evaluate and debrief the results in an accurate, fair, and objective manner.

Why Use Business Simulations?

One of the many benefits of AIMM's quality business simulation assessment centers is the "learning by doing" methodology and the diagnosis and development of information about a person's job-related strengths and weaknesses. Participants are provided great insight about their leadership, thinking and decision making skills through feedback and debriefing. More and more organizations are recognizing the value of the process to expertly manage their talent and identify training needs, for individuals and for groups. Organizations are seeking programs that incorporate the strengths of earlier selection programs-job relatedness, performance demonstration, and impartiality-with a focus on sustainable development, lowered costs, better data and reporting, and faster turnaround times.

Latest Developments

AIMM researchers and designers responded by incorporating exciting new technology (e.g., internet-based programs, more realistic, experiential business simulations) and designing assessment-based development programs with cost effectiveness and value added services in mind. They have also focused their design efforts on competencies that have emerged in the new information age, e.g., IT readiness, results-based leadership, strategic planning, critical thinking. The result is a breed of affordable and powerful simulation assessment programs and instruments that focus on developing the organization and the individual to cope and manage in a competitive and ever-changing environment.


*In 1985 Thornton and his associates at Colorado State University processed 220 validity coefficients from 50 studies using a statistical approach called meta-analysis. They estimated the method’s validity at .37 (Gaugler, Rosenthal, Thornton, & Bentson, 1985). Working independently of Thornton, Wayne Cascio of the University of Colorado arrived at the same figure (.37) in studying the validity of first-level assessment centers in an operating company of the Bell System. Cascio’s main interest, however, was in measuring the "bottom-line impact" of promotion decisions based on assessment center information versus decisions based on criteria extracted from other methods (Cascio & Ramos, 1984).

To determine the dollar impact of assessment centers, Cascio needed more than validity information; he needed cost data (fully loaded costs of the assessment process), plus job performance data expressed in dollars. Over a four-year period he developed a simple methodology for expressing in dollar terms the job performance levels of managers. Using information provided by more than 700 line managers, Cascio combined data on the validity and cost of the assessment center with the dollar-valued job performance of first-level managers. With this data, he produced an estimate of the organization’s net gain in dollars resulting from the use of assessment center information in the promotion process. Over a four-year period, the gain to the company in terms of the improved job performance of new managers was estimated at $13.4 million, or approximately $2,700 each year for each of the 1,100 people promoted in first-level management jobs.

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