Pre-employment game and gamified assessments for recruitment | 2023/24 Guide For Recruiters
Recruitment is a fast growing and innovative space where employers and HR professionals are constantly looking for better ways to identify and recruit top talent. Achieving the best result is sometimes thought to be expensive – and depending on your company’s decision it can be. But it doesn’t have to.
Cost pressure put on large and SME size companies has forced many business leaders to rethink the hiring process. One potential solution that has gained traction is the use of digital assessments, including psychometric tests. While there are a variety of assessment options available, gamified assessments offer a unique and highly effective approach to candidate evaluation.
In this article, we will delve into the reasons why you need to use the modern approach to recruitment – digital game-based assessments. From their ability to accurately measure candidate skills and abilities to their engaging and enjoyable format, game-based assessments offer a compelling alternative to traditional assessment methods. We believe game assessments represent an essential tool for companies seeking to make informed hiring decisions and build high-performing teams.
Game-based assessments have gained significant popularity as a much more engaging and interactive way for candidates to showcase their skills and competencies. With many companies adopting them as a part of their recruitment strategy, game-based assessments are now just as popular as the traditional resume and interview process.
But how do online game-based assessments work, and when should they be used during the hiring process? In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of game-based assessments, including the difference between game-based and gamification assessments in recruitment, their benefits and limitations, and how they can be effectively integrated into the hiring process. We’ll also provide real-world examples of how companies have successfully utilized game-based assessments to identify and hire top talent.
So whether you’re a talent acquisition expert, hiring manager, or HR professional, read on to learn how game-based assessments can help you find your next star employee.
- What are game-based and gamified assessments in recruitment?
- How are game assessments used in hiring?
- The science behind game-based assessments
- What skills can be assessed in candidates through game assessments?
- Why should you use pre-employment game assessments in hiring?
- When should you use pre-employment game assessments in hiring?
- What game-based assessments are commonly used by employers for candidate selection?
- Why use Assess Candidates game-based assessments to hire
- Case Study/Our Experience
What are game-based and gamified assessments in recruitment?
In recent years, game-based and gamified assessments have emerged as a new and innovative way for organizations to evaluate candidates in the hiring process. While these two terms – game-based and gamified assessments – are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to two distinct types of assessments that have different purposes and design principles.
Game Based Assessments are assessments that use game mechanics and elements to measure a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Gamified Assessments are traditional assessments that have been modified with game elements to make them more engaging and motivating for candidates
- Game Based Assessments
- Game-based assessments are assessments that use games as a central part of the evaluation process. These games are designed to measure specific competencies or skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making, and are often built around a scenario or challenge that simulates real-world situations.
- Game-based assessments are typically immersive and interactive, and they provide a more engaging and enjoyable experience for candidates compared to traditional assessments.
- Gamified assessments
- Gamified assessments, on the other hand, are assessments that use game elements, such as points, badges, and leaderboards, to make the assessment experience more engaging and motivating for candidates.
How do gamified assessments work? Gamified assessments are not necessarily based on games themselves, but they incorporate game design principles to enhance the assessment experience. For example, a gamified assessment might award points for completing certain tasks, or display a leaderboard that shows how the candidate compares to other applicants.
In summary, game-based and gamified assessments are innovative and effective methods for evaluating candidates in the hiring process. In the following sections, we will explore these assessments in more detail, including the science behind them, what skills are assessed, and how organizations can use them to improve their recruitment processes.
How are game assessments used during the hiring process?
Game based assessments can be used throughout the recruitment process, but are most commonly used at the early to mid-stage in the recruitment process and can be used to assess candidates at all levels. Employers will invite applicants to take an online game-based assessment interchangeably with a numerical, logical, or verbal reasoning test. This is a good way to assess candidates, before moving on to assessment exercises or in-person interviews.
Game assessments are usually distributed online. A candidate receives a link to a testing platform and has a dedicated period of time (usually several days) to complete the assessment, the recruiter reviews the results and selects candidates to move to the next round.
Below is an example of when game-based pre-employment assessments for candidates can be effectively implemented at different stages of the hiring process:
|Stage of Hiring Process||Use of Game-Based Assessments||Benefits|
|Pre-screening||To filter out unqualified candidates||– Saves time and resources by quickly identifying candidates who don’t meet the minimum qualifications|
– Provides a more engaging and positive candidate experience
– Can help reduce unconscious bias in the screening process
|Initial evaluation||To assess skills and competencies||– Provides a more accurate and objective evaluation of candidates |
– Can be used to measure a wide range of competencies and skills
|In-person assessment||To complement other assessment methods and provide a positive candidate experience||– Helps to create a more engaging and interactive interview process |
– Provides a more comprehensive and multi-dimensional view of the candidate’s abilities and potential
– Can help reduce interview bias and subjectivity
|Final evaluation||To compare top candidates and make a data-driven hiring decision||– Provides a standardized and objective way to evaluate and compare top candidates |
– Helps to identify the best candidate for the role based on data and evidence
– Can help reduce decision bias and subjectivity
The use of game-based assessments at different stages of the recruitment process can help organizations make more informed hiring decisions and improve the candidate experience.
Let’s now move on to the science behind game-based assessments.
The science behind game-based assessments
First and foremost, game-based assessments are rooted in the principles of psychometrics, the field of study concerned with measuring psychological variables such as personality, intelligence, and aptitude. Psychometric assessments have been used in hiring for many years, with the aim of providing objective and reliable measures of job-related competencies and personality traits.
Game-based assessments take this a step further, by presenting candidates with challenges and tasks that are similar to those they would encounter in the workplace, game-based assessments can provide a more accurate and reliable measure of their job-related skills and abilities.
But how do game-based assessments actually measure these skills and abilities?
A key aspect is the use of data analytics and machine learning algorithms to track and analyze the behavior of candidates as they navigate through the game. By collecting and analyzing data on factors such as response times, decision-making processes, and problem-solving strategies, game-based assessments can provide insights into a candidate’s cognitive and behavioral traits.
It was found that game-based assessments are a growing trend in talent acquisition and HR, and that they provide valuable insights into the potential of future hires.
We will now take a look at how game assessments differ to traditional psychometric assessments, such as aptitude tests.
What is the difference between traditional aptitude tests and game based assessments?
Traditional aptitude tests and game-based assessments differ in their approach to measuring candidate abilities. Traditional aptitude tests are typically standardized and consist of questions that assess cognitive abilities such as numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and logical reasoning. These tests are often timed and can be administered in a controlled environment, such as a testing center, during an assessment center or online. In contrast, game-based assessments use interactive games or simulations to assess cognitive and non-cognitive skills in a more engaging and immersive way.
While game-based assessments can be used to replace traditional aptitude tests, they are better suited as an augmentation to more traditional assessments. This is because game-based assessments provide a unique and interactive way to measure skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making. However, traditional aptitude tests remain an essential tool for measuring specific cognitive abilities such as numerical reasoning or verbal comprehension.
It’s important to note that both traditional aptitude tests and game-based assessments have their strengths and limitations. Traditional aptitude tests have a long history of research and validation, and are widely accepted as an objective way to assess cognitive abilities. On the other hand, game-based assessments provide a more engaging and interactive way to measure skills and can be used to assess a wider range of competencies. Ultimately, the choice between using traditional aptitude tests or game-based assessments will depend on the specific needs of the organization and the skills that need to be assessed. A balanced approach that uses a combination of both types of assessments can be most effective in identifying the right candidates for the job.
Objectively assess your candidates using our end-to-end range of aptitude and game assessments.
What skills can be assessed in candidates through game assessments?
Game-based assessments utilize game scenarios to test candidates’ abilities, such as problem-solving, decision-making, and critical thinking. In this section, we will explore the 5 various skills that can be assessed in candidates through online game-based assessments and their importance in the hiring process.
- Cognitive Abilities
- Cognitive abilities refer to the mental processes involved in perception, memory, reasoning, and problem-solving. Game-based assessments can evaluate cognitive abilities such as logical reasoning, spatial awareness, and working memory. These abilities are crucial for job roles that require complex problem-solving, decision-making, and analytical thinking.
- Soft Skills
- Soft skills are essential for success in most job roles, and game-based assessments can help evaluate them effectively. Soft skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership, and adaptability can be assessed through game-based scenarios that simulate real-world situations.
- Job-specific skills
- Game-based assessments can also evaluate job-specific skills such as programming, data analysis, and customer service. These assessments can simulate job-specific scenarios to test candidates’ skills and competencies.
- Emotional Intelligence
- Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s emotions and those of others. Game-based assessments can evaluate emotional intelligence through scenarios that require candidates to display empathy, self-awareness, and social skills.
- Response time
- How quickly a candidate can assess what is being measured and make decisions under time pressure. Response time can be an important measure of a candidate’s cognitive abilities, such as attention, working memory, and processing speed.
Game-based hiring assessments can evaluate cognitive abilities, soft skills, job-specific skills, and emotional intelligence, which are all crucial for success in most job roles. By utilizing game-based assessments in the hiring process, hiring managers and HR professionals can make informed hiring decisions that lead to improved job performance and lower turnover rates.
Why should employers use pre-employment game assessments in hiring?
8 Reasons (PROS) to use Game Assessments in Recruitment
Pre-employment game assessments have become an increasingly popular tool in hiring. As technology advances, so too does the range of options that can be used to assess job applicants. In recent years, game-based assessments have emerged as an innovative and effective means of measuring a candidate’s suitability for a given role. In this section, we will explore why employers should use pre-employment game assessments in hiring.
- Enhancing the Recruitment Process
- By using game-based hiring assessments, employers can provide candidates with a fun and engaging experience that is more likely to attract and retain top talent. This can help to increase the pool of high-quality candidates, making it easier for employers to find the right person for the job.
In fact, a 2020 study found that candidates who participated in game-based assessments reported higher levels of enjoyment and engagement compared to those who took traditional assessments.
- Predicting Job Performance
- Game-based assessments have convergent validity and reliability. This means that employers can use game-based assessments with confidence to make informed decisions about which candidates to hire and have a more accurate picture of a candidate’s potential.
- Reducing Bias:
- Traditional recruitment processes, like interviews, may be subject to unconscious biases, which can affect the selection of candidates. However, game-based assessments are designed to be objective and impartial, ensuring that all candidates are assessed based on their skills and abilities rather than on any preconceived notions or biases.
- Saving Time and Money:
- Game-based assessments can be completed online during the digital hiring process, allowing employers to screen candidates quickly and efficiently.
- Improving Diversity and Inclusion
- By using game-based assessments, employers can identify candidates with a diverse range of skills and abilities, and are not limited to traditional measures such as education or work experience. This can help to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
- Offer speed in selection, minimize time-to-select
- Thousands of candidates can be tested in a matter of days and the results are available immediately after test completion.
- Enhances employment brand
- Game-based assessments convey a fresh and dynamic employer image. The enhanced candidate experience creates an important competitive edge for companies in an increasingly global war for talent.
- Candidates don’t need to have prior experience
- Unlike games, game-based hiring assessments design ensures there is no need for prior gaming experience. The assessment process is as simple as a traditional psychometric test.
Did you know? Game based assessments have been proven to alleviate test-taking anxiety. This can help to ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly and objectively, without being hindered by external factors such as anxiety.
By incorporating game-based assessments into your hiring process, employers can make more informed decisions about which candidates to hire, leading to a more successful and productive workforce.
However, like any assessment methodology, there must be a consideration of the drawbacks in using them to make an informed decision for your hiring process.
4 Points (CONS) to Consider When Using Game-based Assessments in Recruitment
- Limited Scope – Game-based assessments tend to focus on specific skills or traits, such as problem-solving or decision-making, rather than providing a comprehensive evaluation of a candidate
Solution – Combine with other types of assessments, such as traditional cognitive ability tests or personality assessments. This can provide a more comprehensive evaluation of a candidate’s abilities.
- Face Validity– games don’t show a true reflection of how a candidate will perform in their day-to-day job. The games are designed to be “fun” but they are not real, scientific assessments.
Solution – Game based assessments have been scientifically validated as a selection tool.
- Cheating – it is technically possible that an online game-based assessment can be cheated and completed by someone else.
Solution – Whilst looking for solutions on the market, consider checking what measures the test providers offer to prevent cheating.
- Cost – Developing and implementing game-based assessments can be costly, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. The cost of developing or licensing the games, administering the assessments, and analyzing the results can be prohibitive for some employers.
Solution – Partner with third-party vendors or providers, like Assess Candidates, who specialize in game-based assessments. We can offer cost-effective solutions that are tailored to the needs of the employer, including pre-existing games. Additionally, employers can consider using game-based assessments as a supplemental tool rather than a replacement for traditional assessment methods, which can help reduce the overall cost of the recruitment process.
When should you use pre-employment game assessments in hiring?
Are game-based assessments suitable for all roles or organizations? The answer is – not necessarily. For example, roles that require specific technical skills or knowledge may be better evaluated through traditional assessment methods.
When deciding whether to use game-based assessments, it’s imperative/critical to consider the specific needs of the role and the organization.
For example, game-based assessments may be particularly effective for evaluating candidates for roles that require strong cognitive skills, such as data analysts or software developers. They can also be effective for evaluating candidates for leadership or management positions, as they can provide insight into a candidate’s decision-making and problem-solving abilities.
4 Examples Where Employers Should use Pre-employment Game Assessments in Hiring
- For roles that require specific skills: Such as coding or problem-solving. Game-based assessments can test candidates’ abilities in a way that traditional assessments may not, allowing employers to identify candidates with the exact skills they need for the role.
- For high-volume recruitment: If you are recruiting for a large number of roles, pre-employment game assessments can help you to streamline your recruitment process. By using game-based assessments, you can quickly and efficiently screen a large number of candidates, allowing you to focus your time and resources on the most promising applicants.
- Game-based assessments in high volume recruitment are typically used by organizations who launch specific graduate programs and need to select several candidates in a relatively short period of time to commence the programme. For instance:
- Accenture and many more.
- For roles with high turnover: If you are hiring for roles with high turnover rates, pre-employment game assessments can help you to identify candidates who are likely to stay in the role for longer.
- To attract younger candidates: If you are looking to attract younger candidates, pre-employment game assessments can be a great way to engage them in the recruitment process. Younger candidates are often more familiar with technology and may find game-based assessments more appealing than traditional assessments.
Invite 5 candidates on us to see if pre-employment game-based assessments are right for you.
Which industries use game based assessments for recruitment?
Game-based assessments are frequently used during the recruitment process for various industries including technology, consultancy, and finance:
- Technology– game-based assessments are welcomed in technology roles. Some employers that implement game-based assessments into their application process are Samsung, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft.
- Finance – game-based assessments are often used for banking and finance jobs. Most banks and financial institutions use game assessments and among them are Barclays, HSBC, JP Morgan and Bank of America.
- Consulting– game assessments are used in consulting jobs. Some consulting companies using game assessments consist of: KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and EY (the big four.)
Below is an outline of some roles in which game-based assessments may be used and how it applies to the given role:
Relevance of game-based assessments in consultancy roles:
|Consultancy Role||Role Description||What skills apply to this role?|
|Trainee Consultant||A consultant trainee works to establish a knowledge base and expertise in the underlying industry and develop a client portfolio. They will conduct research, fielding calls and answering inquiries, and organize clients’ databases and consultants’ schedules||– Numerical skills|
– Response Time
|Management Consultant||Management consultants help organizations to solve issues, create value, maximize growth and improve business performance. They do so by providing objective advice and to help an organization develop any specialist skills they may be lacking.||– Risk taking|
– Response Time
|Recruitment Consultant||The main duties of a recruitment consultant include negotiating contracts, interviewing prospective applicants, and matching them with vacancies at client companies, screening candidates and drawing up shortlists of candidates for clients to interview.||– Emotional recognition|
– Response time
Relevance of game-based assessments in technology roles:
|Information Technology Role||Role Description||What skills apply to this role?|
|Technical support||Technical support team members monitor and maintain the technology of the workplace. They respond to requests to help the users in the business. Technical support provides you with the opportunity to work in different types of companies and the chance to explore different industries.||– Cognitive ability|
– Numerical ability
|Business analyst||Working as a business analyst is about looking for ways to improve the processes and business operations using technology. You will be required to analyze business needs, gather requirements, and create a project plan to design technological solutions.||– Emotional recognition|
– Response time
– Risk Taking
|Software engineer||As a software engineer you will be required to design and program system software. This requires the understanding of software and hardware functions. The role provides a lot of interaction with other areas of the business to assess and provide solutions.||– Cognitive ability|
– Risk taking
Relevance of game-based assessments in finance roles:
|Finance Role||Role Description||What skills apply to this role?|
|Finance/accounting Graduate Scheme||Entry Level Financial Analysts are responsible for consolidating and analyzing budgets and income statement forecasts. They perform analysis of actual results at corporate and division levels.||– Numerical ability|
– Response time
|Mortgage Advisor||Responsibilities as a mortgage advisor include meeting clients in person, or over the phone, assessing which type of mortgage is most suitable for each client, keeping up to date with new mortgage products and changes in mortgage regulation.||– Numerical ability|
– Emotional recognition
|Bank Cashier/Clerk||A Bank Cashier, or Bank Teller provides face-to-face services in banks and handles customers’ concerns and complaints. Their duties include greeting customers, opening, and closing accounts and handling deposits and withdrawals.||– Numerical ability|
– Emotional recognition
– Response time
Often online game-based assessments are used in conjunction with other psychometric tests so the decision to qualify a candidate to the next round may be based on combined results as well as on the type of role. If you would like to get a better understanding of how to use game-based assessments and other reasoning tests, please contact us for free advice.
We will now cover game assessments commonly used by employers in recruitment.
What game-based hiring assessments are commonly used by employers for candidate selection?
Game-based assessments can differ from simple games that examine cognitive skills within an interactive format, to an immersive job simulation experience that can analyze a candidate’s personality traits.
Below is a table that outlines the different online game-based assessments from Assess Candidates, the skills that are measured and the industries they could be used in:
|Assess Candidates Game-Based Tests||Skills Measured||Industries the game assessments would be useful in|
|Cognition-A™||Cognitive Attention||Consulting, Pharma|
|Cognition-M™||Cognitive Memory||FMCG, Consulting, Technology|
|BART||Preferences & Risk-Taking||Banking, Consulting, Finance|
|i-EQ™||Emotion Recognition||Banking, Consulting, Finance|
|MathBubbles™||Mental Arithmetic||Banking, Consulting, FMCG, Technology|
|Flanker Task||Selective Attention||Banking, Consulting, Technology|
|PassCode™||Attention and Resilience||Banking, Finance, Technology|
|MTA-Tray™||Organizing, Attention and Multitasking||Accounting, Banking, Consulting|
Here is some more detail behind each of these pre-employment game-based assessments.
Based on ‘The Stroop Effect’ (Stroop, 1935), candidates will see a rectangle box and will have to match the coloured object in the center with one side of the rectangle, for example; the red coloured object would go to the edge that is labeled ‘red’, no matter the color of the background. If a candidate makes a mistake the session will finish.
This game-based hiring assessment will take 2-4 minutes to complete.
Candidates will be presented with a sequentially increasing number of squares with an orange design. The squares with the design will appear for a few seconds and then disappear, the candidates must identify which position they were in. The difficulty level increases after every correct answer. If the applicant makes a ms=istake the session will finish.
This game-based hiring assessment will take 2-4 minutes to complete.
Based on work from Lejuez et al. (2002), candidates will be presented with inflatable balloons. To inflate the balloon the candidate will press the ‘inflate me’ button, each time the balloon is pumped the more points they earn, they can then click ‘collect me’ to keep the total points earned for that balloon. However, there is a risk that the balloon could burst at any point and they will lose all the money for that specific balloon. There are 15 balloons in total.
This game-based hiring assessment will take 2-4 minutes to complete.
This game focuses on one aspect of emotional intelligence, assessing a candidate’s ability to accurately recognise emotional expressions from different faces and body language. There are 40 faces in total.
This game based hiring assessment will take 3 minutes to complete and consider all 40 faces.
Candidates are presented with bubbles and given a target number the sum within the bubbles should add up to. Applicants must select the bubbles that equal the target number. There are 10 bubbles per round and 9 rounds in total.
This game-based hiring assessment will take 4.5 minutes to complete with each round lasting 30 seconds.
Based on work from Eriksen and Eriksen (1974), candidates will be presented with a fish that points in a particular direction. They must focus on the fish in the center and press the right or left arrow for which way it is facing. There are 80 rounds in total.
This game-based hiring assessment will take 6 minutes to complete.
Candidates are presented with a phone with an empty passcode. They must select the green tick when the purple digit is highlighted. If they click too fast or slow and make a mistake, it will start over. There are 5 rounds.
This game-based hiring assessment will take 2 minutes to complete.
Candidates must sort out the mail for a large post office. There are different types of mail and they need to be sent to the correct centers. The different centers will award different points. There are 3 rounds.
This game-based hiring assessment will take 6 minutes to complete.
Why Use Assess Candidates Game-Based Assessments to Hire
At Assess Candidates, we specialize in game-based assessments that use interactive games to measure specific competencies or skills, providing a more engaging and enjoyable experience for candidates.
Here is an example of our reporting tool available on Assess Candidates, which will be accessible to you as a hiring manager or talent acquisition professional when assessing candidate performance.
Here are the top four reasons to consider using Assess Candidates’ game-based assessments for your hiring process:
- Expert Design: Our game-based assessments are created by chartered scientists, psychologists and psychometricians, which have undergone rigorous testing and validation to select top talent in multiple organizations. Ensuring they are built to measure specific competencies or skills accurately.
- Hiring Assessment Platform Compatibility: Assess Candidates’ user-friendly hiring assessment platform allows employers to view candidate performance and make hiring decisions confidently with flexible criteria. Employers can easily shortlist candidates based on how well they performed in each game-based assessment.
- Engaging Candidate Experience: Assess Candidates’ immersive and interactive game-based assessments provide a more engaging and enjoyable experience for candidates compared to traditional assessments. The game-based assessments are delivered on a fully branded portal for a seamless experience and are accessible from any device.
- Accessibility: Assess Candidates provides support for those with visual disabilities, including additional time, zoom features, and avoiding certain colors and images, in line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to allow for the use of screen readers.
Case Study / Our Experience
Clients Problem Statement
A mid-sized accounting firm was facing difficulty in identifying and hiring the right candidates for its entry-level accounting positions. The current recruitment was effective in bringing motivated and culturally great fit candidates, but their accounting knowledge or technical skills were more limited than required. This caused inefficiencies, more training needed, and dissatisfaction of business leaders with HR. The company needed a more effective way to assess candidates’ accounting knowledge, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Assess Candidates Proposal
Assess Candidates recommended using a game-based assessment, along with other traditional assessments, to accurately measure the key competencies needed for success in the roles. The game-based assessment, MathBubbles™, was chosen to evaluate the numerical abilities of the candidates and their ability to perform calculations accurately and efficiently.
As a result of using the game-based assessment MathBubbles™, the accounting firm was able to identify and hire top talent more effectively for its entry-level accounting positions. The game-based assessment not only provided a more accurate and reliable way to assess candidate skills, but it also helped attract high-quality candidates who were motivated by the engaging and innovative nature of the assessment. The use of game-based assessments helped the company meet its talent acquisition needs and maintain its competitive edge in the accounting industry.