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Is Gamification Assessment Accurate? What You Need to Know 2022

by Sarah Reyes

In modern recruitment and hiring, it is not uncommon to find HR departments incorporating gamification assessment into their psychometric tests. They can also use it alongside their traditional psychometric assessments. HR professionals aim to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their recruiting strategy and offer candidates a smoother experience. In today’s article, we’re going to dive deeper into this topic and discuss why companies use gamification assessment in their hiring strategy.

So, what is a gamification assessment?

Also called gamified-assessment or gamified recruitment, recruitment professionals use gamification assessment as a tool to screen top applicants from an ocean of candidates. They also use it to provide candidates a more interactive and smoother application experience, while also reducing their chances of dropping out.

Game-based assessments are one of the modern pre-hire assessment tools, in the form of games, used by employers and hiring managers to assess the skills of a candidate but in an engaging manner. 

These can be mobile interactive games allowing applicants to complete games on their mobile phones.  At the end of each game, the candidate receives feedback based on their performance. A game-based pre-screening test can be administered in a standalone format or using an HRIS or ATS through API integration.

gamification assessment

What’s the difference between gamification assessment and game-based assessment?

While gamification offers plenty of benefits, recruiters rush into incorporating it into their pre-screening assessments and fail to know the difference between game-based assessments and gamified assessments.

For example, game-based assessments or interactive games alone add enjoyment in the pre screening process, showing off an organization’s unique culture to the candidates while promoting their brand. Not bad at all.

However, it’s not a predictive assessment tool that can be used to assess a candidate’s suitability for the job, not measuring the candidate’s capabilities and characteristics. Game-based assessments only do not measure for what people can do and how motivated they are and what their preferred work style is for the specific role.

So, while game-based assessments might be useful in the beginning of the recruitment process, they might not be what helps you hire the most suitable candidates for the job. 

On the other hand, a gamified assessment, at its core, has the foundations of common psychometric examinations, although introducing different game-based elements. It can increase candidate engagement in your recruiting strategy, while giving you insights about the candidate’s fitness for the job. It can collect data for you with machine learning’s aid.

As such, it is safe to say that a gamified pre screening test can help you determine the right candidate fit for the role because it is a psychometric test capturing a candidate’s personality and cognitive ability even if it incorporates game elements, including rewards and levels.

A gamification assessment, needless to say, can offer recruitment professionals a predictive result on the candidate’s suitability for the job. It can also help reduce the candidate’s drop-out rate along the way, while also collecting data points without using a lot of question items. Thus, it can maintain reliability and validity.

Summing this section up, game-based assessments and gamification assessment are both tools that recruitment professionals can add into their recruiting strategy.

However, game-based ones alone are not for use to screen candidates but only to engage candidates. In this case, if recruiting and hiring professionals want to gamify their pre-screening strategies, they shouldn’t rely on game-based assessments alone, but a gamified assessment for relevant and useful insights, allowing them to make objective candidate selection depending on their industry.

gamification assessment

How Accurate Are Game-Based and Gamification Assessment?

Are they any good and can they predict job performance accurately and scientifically?  There is no one-size-fits all answer here, but it depends on what the game measures and whether it can predict job performance because not all of them can offer predictive validity.

In theory, game-based assessments can measure, in some way, a certain thing that HR professionals could measure with a pre-employment test. 

Here are examples of gamified assessments.

But as said, its validity can be measured if it is able to give insights about an applicant’s performance. Because even if game-based assessments are fun and engaging, they won’t do any good if it’s not validated and predictive of job performance.

Meanwhile, cognitive aptitude tests, which are designed for predicting a candidate’s ability to think on their feet as well as their ability to formulate new concepts when presented with new information and give meaning to any ambiguity, are consistent and efficient in measuring talent performance.

What is cognitive aptitude? It refers to a person’s ability to grasp and comprehend information and apply new ideas to solve any challenge they face. 

This aptitude also encompasses different intellectual skills combined. Cognitive ability or general intelligence includes skills that reason, plan, solve problems, understand complex ideas, think abstractly, learn from experience, and learn quickly.

Cognitive aptitude is also composed of mental competencies that include attention, memory, visual and spatial processing, and perception as well as problem-solving, decision making, and cognitive flexibility. 

Cognitive aptitude tests, nevertheless, are still a great job performance predictor.  As employers want to have a glimpse on the kind of employees they’ll have, these tests help them assess a candidate’s potential, especially their ability to work under pressure and make important decisions besides assessing general intelligence.

Depending on the scenario and requirement, a certain cognitive test can be used to identify the right fit for the role. So, because of a cognitive assessment’s efficiency, it offers a host of benefits for recruiters and hiring managers as well as to the organization, such as less training time, better hires, lower staff turnover, and more.

Gamified assessments, on the other hand, can be realistic simulations. They are customized based on the type of role that organizations need to fill. They’re designed to assess a talent’s strength, while keeping them engaged and interested.

However, they are more than just games because they combine traditional psychometric tests to collect important data and formulate insights that help hiring professionals make the right hiring decision to reduce the chances of a bad hire.

gamification assessment

Factors to Consider before a Gamification Assessment

Before using gamification assessment in your organization, consider certain factors to get the most out of the software solution to utilize.

Relevance

How relevant is the assessment to the role you’re looking to fill (executive, managerial, supervisory…)? For example, are you looking to hire for supervisory roles? Such will require excellent management skills, decision making skills, and problem solving skills.  So without even saying, recruiters should carefully consider the core competencies required for the role to choose the right gamification pre-screening tool for their organization.

You might also like: Innate vs. Acquired Qualities: Which Is More Important When Hiring the Next Top Talent 2022?

Limitations

What are the limitations of the assessment?  Know that gamified tests aim to measure the applicant’s learning agility and ability, but then, hiring professionals should also measure for other core competencies that are critical for the role. A few of these to think about include working skills, interpersonal skills, and communication skills. Today, modern recruiters should also gauge the candidate’s emotional intelligence.

Validity

What is the scientific basis of the gamification assessment?  Is it valid and predictive of job performance? If not, then the fun element it offers is not enough. It should have a solid basis for it to be reliable, accurate, and relevant for your needs.

Where in the hiring stage can games be used?

Hiring professionals should also consider where to incorporate games in the process. According to the experts, gamification can work effectively in the job application and assessment stages.  For example, instead of the job seeker uploading a resume, they can instead play a game.

This method allows recruiting professionals to see who among the applicants are most serious and motivated to apply. Instead of some mindlessly uploading their resume on your career page, they can stop for a while and reflect whether playing would be worth their effort and time or not because these games after all require commitment, time, and effort. If an applicant is not that interested, they will not complete or abandon the game altogether. In this case, you’ll be left with more relevant and motivated applicants.

Why Do Companies Use Gamified Assessment into their Recruiting Process?

The evolution of recruiting and hiring is here! Gone are the days when only traditional pre-screening tests were used to assess an applicant’s suitability for the job.  Here are some of its benefits.

Different games

Recruiting gamification doesn’t only refer to a single game. In fact, game developers and teams have designed and created different types of gaming solutions for organizations to measure a certain set of skills that they want their employees to possess.

Platform games and online puzzles are common types of recruiting gamification examples. There are also fun games, including simulation tests that give candidates a set of challenges to overcome. It can include a simulation test that gives applicants a specific job-related scenario to handle.

Creativity

Recruiting and hiring professionals can also be more creative. For example, they can incorporate games in the interview process, like inviting the applicants to solve a puzzle together while an interviewer keenly observes and makes notes on how well these candidates work in harmony and how they can provide solutions.

gamification assessment

Candidate experience

The games are as equally engaging as game-based assessments, improving the overall candidate experience in the entire application process, and as they can be provided with real-time results, they can avoid the frustration of a long waiting time. Plus, they do not need to spend a lot of time than they would with another form of exam. Gamified assessments include game-style tasks like drag-and-drop to solve problems in the game. To immerse in the problem-solving experience, candidates are introduced to characters or a story.

Candidate evaluation

HR professionals who want to evaluate their candidates better can also utilize a gamified assessment to figure applicants with high potentials instead of them just scanning resumes. Asking applicants to play a game, they can better identify the actual skills of the candidates and reduce any chance of eliminating those with high potential for the job.

Looking for candidates with diverse experience? Gamification in recruitment can offer you an insight of that. You might be eliminating job seekers who are shifting industries or careers, but these people might have the transferable skills that your company is looking for.  Using games in the assessment process can give you an opportunity to see the transferable competencies of these candidates even if they are career/industry shifters.

Engagement

Engagement is probably the biggest advantage of using recruiting gamification because it can make your process more interactive and can leave an impression that your organization has a fun and enjoyable culture.

Thus, you might be able to attract more candidates, but then, ensure that you’re using the right gamification solution. Ask your vendor how the game can be effective in measuring for a specific skill, such as problem solving skill, decision making skill, or communication skill, among others. 

Workforce diversity

Do you want to embrace diversity? Gamified assessments can be the same for all the applicants to evaluate certain skills. In this way, recruiters can screen job applicants while reducing bias than interviews and more objectively than pre-employment tests.

Time to hire reduction

A gamified assessment is obviously faster to complete than a pre screening test with multiple questions. Some assignments or tests can also take days to complete and may even require several clarification emails before an applicant can begin.

Meanwhile, games only take a couple of minutes to complete and results are instant. Using games allows recruiters to screen applicants in a fun way immediately – reducing time to hire and improving candidate experience.

Gamification Assessment Types

Depending on the industry and the type of cognitive skills that an organization needs to measure, these are the most common gamified assessments.

Interactive tests

Traditional psychometric tests being made more interactive is the idea behind this game. Using it, candidates should complete similar tasks except that they’re in a different and new format. So, instead of applicants trying to click on their answers, they’ll need to do it another way like circling it. Other examples are personality, logical, numerical, or situational judgment gamified assessments. They do not really measure a candidate’s behavior but rather offer an interactive solution to traditional psychometric tests.

Single-game assessments

They can address single or individual competencies, including logical reasoning or memory, for instance. Applicants will need to complete short tasks but in a game layout in order to measure both their competencies and abilities.

Simulations

Coca-cola is an example of multinational organizations using a simulation gamified assessment. This type of game immerses a candidate in a virtual world that reflects company culture and brand image. But to make simulations effective, companies should determine the personality profile they’re looking for, and they can start with identifying who they want in their organization.  Do they want an introvert or extrovert? In addition, they must work on familiarizing themselves with personality test question phrasing and format to make the experience more engaging for the candidates.

Gamification Assessment: How applicants should prepare

Know the type of gamified assessment that the employer will use. Generally, employers ask for a couple of assessments that have different complexities and each assesses a specific skill, like numerical skills, personality, judgment, emotion interpretation, and memory.

Aside from knowing the type of game, you should also know what it measures- memory, judgment, numerical skills, or personality?

Practice and practice! To maximize your chances of acing the test, you should practice beforehand to become familiar with the assessment’s format. This will help you prepare your strategy for the game and ways to react.

Read the instructions and follow them. During the test, make sure that you are in a quiet place, undistracted and undisturbed. Allocate enough time for it and ensure that you have a stable internet connection. 

Finally, don’t postpone the gamification assessment until the last minute.  There are games that require a high level of interaction, taking up to one hour to complete.

Use a laptop instead of a mobile phone because some of the tasks are uneasy to perform in a small screen.

Wrapping Up: Is Gamification Assessment Accurate?

A gamified assessment can help recruiting and hiring professionals evaluate candidates when chosen correctly. Instead of asking your applicants to complete long exams, you can instead ask them to play a specific game.  

Before using gamification in the recruitment process, however, they must carefully consider certain factors, such as where in the hiring stage the games should be used as well as how a game/s correlates with the skill being measured. It must be validated, reliable, and scientifically-proven.

Gamified assessment tools can be used to measure cognitive skills if validated and if they’re developed for these skills. After all, consistently delivering productivity and performance in knowledge-based jobs is about looking for new and better solutions to novel problems and thinking clearly even when faced with obstacles, especially in today’s highly digitized work environments.

So without even saying, game-based tools in recruiting can be adapted in the hiring strategy to measure specific personality traits and cognitive abilities.

But lastly, still there is nothing to replace cognitive aptitude tests in the hiring process, as many years of studies and numerous researches have proven. If you’re considering adding gamification in recruitment, it should still not replace traditional assessment stages or pre screening tests but instead be used to complement them.

Photos credit PEXELS

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