Siemens offers around 120 different apprentice programs – a variety that can be overwhelming for applicants who may have little insight into their strengths. So how does a potential applicant know to which programme he or she is best suited? To help this choice, cut-e developed the job navigator tool Jona™ for Siemens comprising a series of tests and assessments.
These tests are completed anonymously and are not linked in any way to Siemens recruitment selection process. But once they’ve completed the assessments, they would have a much better idea of which of those 120 apprenticeships to apply for.
Ulrike Bittcher, who is responsible for diagnostics and competency management at Siemens Professional Education, explains:
"It’s not a selection tool, it’s basically it’s a job orientation tool for school leavers or students. They can do a couple of tests and after that and get some suggestions for jobs that might fit them best.”
Siemens Professional Education is part of HR at Siemens, and is responsible for specifying, designing and developing vocational training programs for school leavers. There are about 7,000 young people on vocational training companies within the company.
Siemens has been offering people this type of job navigator tool for years on desktops and laptops, but the rapid rise in mobile usage galvanized the company to create a mobile version.
"We noticed that quite a lot of people wanted to access the tool with a mobile device, but it was based on Flash technology before and most of the mobile devices can’t deal with Flash."
Having a mobile version also helps send out a message to this audience that Siemens was an ‘up-to-date and modern company’.
As a result, assessment specialist cut-e began to transfer the existing job navigation tool for smartphones. But it was a far from straightforward process to swap to move from Flash on the laptop to HTML5 on a smartphone. The company pretty much had to start from scratch, because some of existing tests had too much text and were too complex to be shown on a smaller mobile screen.
Testing also took a long time, because each device had differences in browsers or other features which had to be taken into account. Any new launches or phone upgrades also need to be checked to ensure the tests can be seen clearly.
cut-e began by reprogramming the easy modules, analyzing personal preferences such as whether people like working in a team or alone, or in an office or outdoors. The next step was to move the tests for logical thinking and the ability dealing with numbers. Finally, the company tackled more complex, text-heavy tasks, which needed to be redesigned to fit on the smaller mobile screens.
This initiative is a low-risk initiative for Siemens to test mobile demand before using something similar for the application assessment and application process, notes Bittcher. But while these mobile assessments have proved popular, Bittcher is not convinced that people will want to actually apply for jobs online:
"The pressure is not that big in this sector as it is in other areas such as online shopping or travel booking which people do on mobile. But sending out an application is something where you need to concentrate and so it’s better to use your laptop."
So while people may be happy to try out the mobile assessments from the train or bus, people prefer a bit of peace and quiet for the serious business of job applications or assessments.
Rather than mobile devices, Bittcher thinks that optimizing aptitude assessments for tablets, with their bigger screens, could work better:
"Because there are quite a lot of aspects we can’t control, for example, what kind of device are they using – it doesn’t really make sense to use a smartphone for selection – it would be better to do it on a tablet."
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