Talent Assessment Series Part 3: How to successfully use Game-Based Assessments

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Validity of measure, completion rates, and candidate experience are three critical factors HR teams consider when selecting talent assessment tools. While many assessment tools fulfill 1 or 2 of those criteria, it was previously hard to find one that could cover all. Enter Game-Based Assessments (GBA’s). Combining the science of psychometrics with the engagement and fun of video games, GBAs are now an essential assessment for HR to turn to.

What Are Game-Based Assessments (GBA’s)?

Imagine a combination of computer games and traditional psychometric tests. GBA is becoming a more commonly used tool for screening thousands of applications to find the best candidates. The standard psychometric test has evolved with time to provide employers and candidates more benefits, regardless of whether they are the validity or reliability of the results or the candidate’s experience. Gamification is the next step in the process and is receiving positive feedback from candidates and HR teams. Game-based assessments can be used in conjunction with or instead of traditional psychometric testing solutions. Most psychometric measures are transitioning to gamified platforms, including verbal reasoning, logical reasoning, numerical reasoning, situational judgment tests, and personality tests. It provides job seekers with a more engaging and realistic experience and provides employers with thousands of data points that can be used to select candidates more accurately. This shows why companies like Accenture, PWC, Deloitte, and more have adopted GBA’s.

So how exactly are these traditional measures of psychometrics being converted and absorbed into GBA’s? Below are examples of how some globally used GBA’s have done it.

Measure Traditional Test Format GBA Format
Numerical Reasoning Paragraphs or data sets of number heavy information to which the candidate must identify if the question statement or equation given is true or false Two number sets appear with colors indicating multipliers to which the candidate must decide if they are equal, less than, or more than the other
Verbal Knowledge Paragraphs or reports of text-heavy information to which the candidate must identify if the question statement given is true or false An interactive passage is shown in which candidates must identify mistakes in spelling, error, and punctuation
Problem Solving A logical grid is given in which candidates either identity the pattern occurring or find the output of sequences A Tetris like gridlock appears in which the candidate must solve how each piece given can complete the whole structure
Emotional Intelligence A situational questionnaire is given to which the candidate must either say how in control they are or place a preference on how they would react Interactive faces are shown some with situational context and candidates must guess the emotions being conveyed
Traditional measures of psychometrics being converted and absorbed into GBA

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Why Use Game-Based Assessments (GBA’s)?

HR teams play a crucial role in creating a strong employer brand and a major step towards this is creating a great candidate experience which then begins with a great recruitment experience. However, this is easier said than done as many outdated recruitment processes are unfavorable to the changing expectations of candidates. As Aon’s Talent Assessment Trends Report cites; 60% of job seekers report a poor experience when applying for work. GBA’s help enhance the recruitment experience for both the recruiter and the candidate because it:

  • Meets New Generation Expectations: GBA’s offer more enjoyment and engagement than traditional testing methods. They are fun to use, designed to be mobile first and feel natural to Gen Y and Gen Z candidates.
  • Reduces Drop Off Rates: Some organizations experience dropout rates of over 30% with a traditional approach to assessment. Candidates are generally more likely to complete a series of games than a lengthy test and are more likely to enjoy the experience.
  • Enhance Employer Brand: It allows recruiters to leave a lasting positive impression on applicants who are also prospective customers. GBA’s convey a fresh and dynamic employer perception which creates a competitive edge for companies in an increasingly global war for talent.
  • Reveals True Abilities: Because GBAs are fast-paced and immersive, it reveals the candidate’s natural behaviors and reactions in ways not possible with traditional testing methods. Also, unlike traditional assessments, GBA’s are progressive and adapt as the candidate engages in it. In addition, it can reduce anxiety by framing the assessment as a ‘game’ rather than a ‘test’.

What to consider when choosing a Game-Based Assessments (GBA’s) provider?

1.   Ensure Fair Testing

Organizations should choose a provider that gives every candidate an equal chance of success. Candidates should be able to play the game on any standard smartphone/tablet. The layout and format should resize appropriately to display any text, image, or video elements. Also, candidates should be able to take the assessment even if they have no previous gaming experience. Always, ensure that the reliability and validity tests have been done and the tests meet the standards of credible institutions like the British Psychological Society.

2.   Availability of Norm Groups

Benchmarking of candidate scores is important to ensure they are being compared against the appropriate job level. Providers should have norm groups available, preferably on a global level, and also have the option to create internal norm groups for your organization. This will help in identifying the most suitable candidates for the organization.

3.   Easy Deployment And Integration

Choose providers with GBA’s that can be downloaded on any smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop. It is important that instant reports can be generated and the scores can be used to filter the right candidate and other data points. Integration availability should also be a key point as the scores can also be integrated with your existing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

Gaining The Most Out Of Game-Based Assessments (GBA’s)

1.    Understand Where To Use GBA’s

Like best practices for other assessment tools, GBAs themselves have strengths in certain use cases within the HR process, and understanding this is crucial to getting the most out of them. GBA’s typically sit in the talent acquisition side of HR and are best used when recruiting younger audiences such as Gen Y or Gen Z. This is why GBA’s prominent popularity comes from using them for Non-Experienced Hires Graduate Recruitment Programmes and Scholarship Programmes. Now, this isn’t to say that other age groups are not familiar with gaming. However, because these demographics make up about 35% of the global gaming industry (Statistica), they are used to the gameplay of the assessment. Also, GBAs are mainly made mobile-first, and many other demographics prefer to do pre-hire assessments on a laptop rather than a phone, whereas the gaming demographics are excellent using mobile devices.

2.    Harness GBA’s Data

One of the most powerful things GBAs can do is collect massive amounts of data and analytics. GBAs capture 20 times the data of a traditional psychometric test. A conventional test captures 150 data points in a 30-minute session, whereas game-based assessments typically capture 3000 data points simultaneously. This implies that the report is far more data-rich, and the insights are more precise. It does this by analyzing right or wrong answers and collecting extensive behavioral data on candidates. This means recruiters now have a score-based measurement on candidates and can see their behaviors while obtaining that score. Also, it is more complex for candidates to attempt to manipulate results with biased responses, unlike in traditional assessments.

Conclusion: A Case Study On Game Based Assessments (GBA’s) ROI

Australian-based Revelian, a company specializing in data-driven human behavior insights, has a portfolio of GBAs used extensively by organizations and with much success. Due to the mix of scientific validation and engaging interfaces, Revelian’s clients have had much success in proving GBA’s ROI to business. One such client was Fleetcare, Australia’s largest independent fleet management and leasing organization, with 42,000 vehicles under management. Through the deployment of Revelian’s cognitive, emotional intelligence, and skill-based assessments, Fleetcare was able to show benefits like improved candidate shortlisting, better team cohesion, better team productivity, and reduction in recruitment costs. Their CIO at the time said, “Gamified testing gave a much deeper insight into the candidates through the large data sets it collects during the assessment process, whilst making it interesting and engaging for the employee.” Read the full case study here

Tags – Business Continuity Career Pathing | Succession Planning for Talent Acquisition | HiPo Identification | Talent experience talent hiring | Game-based Assessments | 

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