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Game-Based Assessments: Is It the Future Of Effective Recruitment?

by Sarah Reyes

Game-based assessments are a rising trend in hiring and selection. Companies are starting to see the benefits of gamified tests when recruiting new people into their teams. From small to large companies, such as Coca-Cola and Unilever, this new trend is a promising innovation that you might want to check out for your team. 

In this article, I’m tackling what game-based assessments are, why they’re used, and how applicants can prepare for them.

Game Based Assessments Defined (GBAs)

If you’re a job seeker, you might have met this kind of test at least once.  Employers now use it as one of the keys to making a hiring decision. Instead of traditional exams, GBAs are used to measure your suitability for the job and the company as a whole.

Gamified assessments (also called gamified recruitment or game-based psychometric assessments) screen and narrow down applicants.

They offer a realistic and engaging experience for job seekers while also supplying important behavioral data about a candidate. This will be useful in assessing potential candidates and selecting the most suitable ones.

Hiring managers use either short or long situation games. They want to measure the applicants’ set of hard and soft skills. Some games may put the applicant in a particular situation like a “day in the life of…” to gauge your suitability for the job’s needs. 

They combine game elements into different psychometric tests or be used alongside these tests. Such screening tools make recruitment more efficient for employers and offer a more engaging candidate experience.

Types of psychometric tests moved into gamified assessments

  • Logical reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Numerical reasoning
  • Situational judgment tests
  • Personality tests
  • Other tests that measure teamwork, attention, memory, and reaction time

Employers use different gamified assessments that are fun yet scientific and realistic, although varying in content and format. A popular example is the Balloons Game of PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Employers ask candidates to play this game to measure their ‘risk averse’ behavior. The applicants should pump the balloon, and then bank their money right before the balloon burst.

Applicants will be placed on an emotionality scale to see how they perform.

  • Some player candidates may be calm decision-makers; however, they’re not organized.
  • Some player candidates may be anxious, but they have keen attention to detail.

Insights can help the assessor gauge the suitability of a candidate for a particular job.

Gamified Tests

Job simulation

A day in the life of…. is a common test given to applicants who want to apply for a particular position. This simulation activity game combines different tests, which can be personality, logic, numerical, and situational judgment. As one can replicate a day in your life when you are working on the job, you’ll take an hour to complete this assessment.

Occupational personality

It can be a longer assessment that uses a couple of complex situations that you must deal with and along the way make decisions as needed.

The occupational personality is a relevant and important assessment to find the right candidate. A few distinguishable ones include frustration tolerance, conscientiousness, flexibility, load-bearing capacity, interest, stress & burnout, team orientation, and extraversion.

An occupational personality can describe a person’s success-relevant and security traits using games that represent professional situations. It can measure one’s ability to keep a cool head even when faced with a dangerous scenario.

Short tests

Games can also be in the form of short tests that aim to assess a specific behavioral trait or skill.

Why use recruitment games?

They are engaging and fun and allow the recruitment team to find the best talent in the pool.  They also improve candidate experience because they are fun and exciting. 

The tests are in the form of games – and it is one reason that recruitment games can make a candidate more excited in the entire recruitment process.

[Candidate experience is the job seeker’s experience of your hiring process, their exposure, and of your company. It is also a series of interactive experiences that a candidate has with your organization throughout the hiring process.  A good or a bad one can impact a prospective candidate’s decision whether to join your company or not.]

Game-based assessments can take out the hiring bias or any other factors that can affect the decision of an employer or hiring manager.   

They’re effective and powerful, while also making the entire hiring process more interesting for the candidates and less stressful for recruitment teams.

They may be better than written assessments

Long written tests can be boring and intimidating for some. They might not be enough in gauging an applicant’s skills and might not allow job seekers to answer the tests with full interest.  They might not feel encouraged to take the time-consuming test; thus, their real abilities might not be revealed. Such can result in poor hiring decisions. On the other hand, a recruitment game may not only enhance a candidate’s experience but also allow them to do their best.

Non-intimidating application environment

Interviews can be stressful and intimidating. Due to feeling nervous and anxious, candidates might not be able to perform their best. This is contrary to game-based assessments. They can be easy to play, fun, and engaging. They allow candidates to bring out their best and feel more comfortable.  They can eliminate the stress in the application process, helping bring out the true potential of an applicant.

Transparency

A problem of companies is turnover. One of the reasons for this is the lack of transparency in the hiring process.  That’s why recruiters must consider a realistic job preview to provide candidates with a clear picture of what to expect in the job… early on. In this case, they can avoid disappointments if they succeed and become a part of the company later.

Today, employers use gamification through recruitment games that implement transparency in the process. It gives a preview of a day in the actual job, allowing working to understand it – the good and the bad.

Innovative

UberDRIVE is an example of a less time-consuming and less stressful candidate assessment test.  A driver-applicant becomes the “driver of the day” in a simulated environment, giving them the feel of the job and allowing Uber to assess a candidate’s suitability for the job without bias.

It also replaces long and time-consuming tests and interviews and enhances the candidate experience, amplifying and making it more engaging!

No bias or subjectivity

Recruitment bias happens when the recruitment and selection are done with a bias towards one person or a group of candidates.  With bias, applicants can suffer and lose the opportunity to take on the job that they’re qualified for.

When this happens, recruiters/hiring managers make prejudice in their hiring decisions; however, this happens outside their conscious awareness, deciding based on their stereotypes, perception, and subconscious emotions.

One of the most common scenarios is hiring someone because they look similar.  It is hiring someone to fill a vacant position due to their similarities to the recruiter. For example, the applicant graduated from the same college as the recruiter.

This can be because of an instant attraction towards the application. The recruiter, especially during the initial stages of recruitment, might feel that this person can be a good hire. This bias can continue to the rest of the hiring process.

Using gamified assessments, recruiters can prevent this bias and instead focus on the soft and hard skills of the applicant based on their performance in the game/s.  In the form of artificial intelligence, recruitment games use technical input and algorithms.

They can maintain fairness and honesty and work without bias. Candidates expect hiring managers and employers to embrace inclusivity and diversity in their workplace and give everyone an equal chance to apply. 

By using game-based psychometric assessments, bias can be eliminated in the process. Candidates from different backgrounds, ethnic, racial, and religious, can apply with peace of mind that their applications will be without human intervention or any subjective notions.

Constructive comments and reports

Poor communication is a hinge in candidate experience. Candidates complain about this from the company. Game-based recruitment games are not just fun and engaging but also analytical. They can provide applicants with constructive comments and feedback as well as supply reports. These games allow candidates to learn from feedback right away and know their direction.

Improved learning experience

Candidates would love to know their personality and character. Learning this information is rewarding, and gaming in the recruitment process can offer this. It allows applicants to learn about areas of improvement in their skills, character, and mindset.

Trust

Not receiving any response from employers or receiving too slowly not just hinders time-to-hire, but also makes a candidate frustrated. In the case of the millennials, they want feedback and need organization and structure.

Lack or no communication after the interview is frustrating and this is an area that companies must improve on. A good way to start this in the recruitment process is through gamified-assessments

Games can establish trust because they can create transparency and lead to better communication. In the hiring process, candidates can feel that the employer can be trusted.

Fun, fun, fun

Fun is important – even in the workplace. Modern-day businesses should also consider incorporating fun in their environment. A way to do that is to combine game-based tests with traditional psychometric tests, which can make the applicants more comfortable. They can have fun while applying rather than stay serious all the time.

Gamification-based assessments offer candidates an opportunity to have fun and enjoy! Who won’t have fun answering quizzes or solving puzzles?

Depending on the game, it can assess a candidate’s personality or ability to work under pressure.  It can also determine one’s decision-making skills and critical-thinking skills, to name some.

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Realistic expectations

Simulation games in recruitment give a candidate a clear picture of what to expect from the job both its bad and good aspects.  Games can help meet expectations, which are otherwise not met in traditional recruitments. Using these innovative games, candidates would have a better feel of the job.

And speaking of expectations, they can give the job seekers an idea of what they are applying to, thus helping them a good decision as to whether join the company or not if offered a job. Nevertheless, game-based assessments ensure clarity and leave no room for frustration on the end of the applicant not getting real-time responses and transparency.

Video games or not?

About 50 percent of the world’s population plays games, making the internet an arcade with billions of gamers. However, video games are not only for entertainment because they can be the game changers in the recruitment industry, as they help accelerate the hiring process while making it more fun. 

The US Army, for example, had used video games, including the America’s Army, to attract applicants.  This game has improved the army’s military efforts.

These video games work well in making the candidate experience more fun and engaging while also being able to deliver information that the candidate needs to know –  and that, without overwhelming or intimidating them.

These gamified tests require them to use their soft skills and assess them through fun and situational tests and interactive stories. On top of that, they also get immediate feedback regarding their performance, allowing them to discover more of their skills and areas to improve.

Video games are also not as long and time-consuming as common written tests, they last between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on the type of psychometric test combined with the video game.

The length of time consumed can also be based on the competencies that the employers want to test. Once an applicant is done, they can get their scores including a report and feedback on their performance, eventually improving communication.

Game-based assessments can positively affect your hiring strategy because they are not only engaging but also provide you with detailed insights about the behaviors, personality, and abilities of the candidate through collecting different data points.

These gamified tests also improve your brand that can combine technology, traditional, and modern hiring practices, which will overall enhance the journey of the candidate and experience with your company.

They also reduce time-to-hire and improve communication, preventing candidate drop-off in any of the stages of the hiring process. In addition, they use algorithms and have other smart features that can ensure a more objective assessment for the employers and hiring managers, who can also reduce the time it would normally take them to review and assess the suitability of a candidate.

Video games in the hiring process also help them choose the best talent to suit their culture and requirements. That is why growth in hiring methods is predicted to rise shortly.

A holistic view of the job seekers

Game-based assessments eliminate the bias in the hiring process and promote diversity and inclusivity.  They can offer employers an overall look at their candidates – and gauge both their hard and soft skills in a more organized, less time-consuming, and more fun way. 

In the past, these games were only utilized in determining a person’s cognitive ability, but they have improved and now can also measure soft skills, such as persistence, ability to work under pressure, and emotional intelligence.

Games and video-based tests, when combined, prove to be more effective in testing a candidate’s ability, while also being engaging for more candidates. And as employers can get better insights, they can make better hiring decisions – and that is in a short amount of time.

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How to prepare for game based assessments?

Keep reading for simple ways to prepare for gamified assessments.

Before the test

Know what employers use for their recruitment games, which can be assessing your judgment skills, personality, risk-taking ability, emotional intelligence, and memory.  Here are useful sources to check out.

Practice, and practice some more! You need to get yourself ready before the day itself. Ensure that you are familiar with how these games work. Websites are offering free practice game-based assessments that you can register in and play.

What’s the objective of the game? Through practice, learn about the things measured by the game and how they are measured. For example, is it measuring your memory? Is it trying to measure your ability to work under pressure while also staying organized? Focus on these and practice how to do well.

During the test

  • Use your laptop or computer. This is important.  Do not use your phone when taking the actual test to avoid distractions. A computer/laptop is also easier and clearer to use than a mobile phone is.
  • During the test itself, ensure that you have a good internet connection because you might not be able to have another chance to play. Check your connection before you take the test to avoid problems like losing it in the middle of the test or it running too slowly.
  • Don’t forget to read and understand the instructions. Overlooking any of them might result in an unsatisfactory result. For example, you’re not sure how to use the controls and what each of them is for.
  • Stay optimistic. Even if you’re not a video game champion, you can do it! Feel confident. These assessments can be measuring not only your interaction with the game but also your behavior. How are you handling the time limit and the difficulty? Keep a positive attitude throughout the game.
  • Take the test in a quiet place! You need to concentrate – one of the things measured by a game-based assessment.

Summing Up

Game-based assessments are the future of recruitment. They are game-changers that benefit both the candidates and the employers.  They open another recruitment dimension – an interesting, fun, engaging, and insightful one.

For candidates, they help make a more fun and engaging candidate experience. And for employers, these gamified assessments give them a holistic view of the candidate – both of their hard and soft skills. These games allow them to hire without bias but with more focus on the real skills, abilities, personality, and cultural fitness of the candidates.

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