Game-based assessments represent an exciting new frontier in the way we evaluate candidates in the hiring process. While traditional pre-employment tests measure your candidates’ skills through familiar test formats like multiple choice, game-based assessments turn the testing experience into a game.
There are a couple of key advantages to this. First, games are more fun and engaging, creating a more positive candidate experience and reducing candidate dropoff in the process. Second, and more importantly, they provide a lot of value if they can evaluate candidates in a scientifically validated and rigorous way, ensuring that the game is measuring qualities that are ultimately predictive of job performance.
Here at Criteria, we recently released a game-based assessment called the GAME, or General Aptitude Mobile Evaluation. The GAME is a mobile-first, game-based assessment of cognitive aptitude, which is one of the best predictors of job success. The assessment evaluates many of the critical factors that contribute to on-the-job performance: critical thinking, problem-solving ability, attention to detail, and the ability to learn and apply new information. At just 5-6 minutes in length, the GAME can be taken anywhere, anytime on any device. (Learn more about the GAME here.)
But how do game-based assessments like the GAME actually fit into your everyday hiring process, and how do they differ from traditional pre-employment tests? To answer this, we’ll explore the five W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why) of game-based assessments using our own GAME test as a reference point.
Who: Who do you test using game-based assessments?
The easy answer is: anyone! But in reality, game-based assessments are more ideal for certain job types. For example, a mobile-friendly game-based assessment that is short and sweet can be especially conducive for hiring entry-level or early-career candidates for roles that experience a high volume of candidates. This is clear when you think of a traditional hiring funnel:
For entry-level roles, you’re likely to get a relatively high number of incoming applicants, and it may be difficult to identify which applicants have the most potential, especially if they don’t have that much past job experience. Quick and easy game-based assessments can provide an extra data point on your candidates, enabling you to make a more informed decision about who to prioritize as you move to the later stages of the hiring process. Some examples of roles for which game-based assessments can provide the most value include retail salespeople, bank associates, call center reps, and technicians.
What: What kinds of qualities should you test?
We’re a firm believer that cognitive aptitude is one of the best qualities to evaluate in your candidates because it’s scientifically proven to be strongly predictive of job success. That’s why our first game-based assessment was designed to measure cognitive aptitude just as effectively as a traditional test.
But how does cognitive aptitude help you hire entry-level or early-career candidates? The reason is that cognitive aptitude provides a strong measure of a candidate’s ability to learn quickly and adapt within a role; in other words, it provides a measure of a person’s “trainability,” or how easily they pick up on training. This is especially critical for entry-level roles for which your candidates may not have much prior job experience. The majority of their skills will be learned during the training and onboarding process. Finding trainable candidates means that your new employees will be more likely to pass the initial training phase, leading to lower turnover for new hires.
When: When in the hiring process should you give game-based assessments?
With a mobile-first game-based assessment, you have the flexibility to ask candidates to take the assessment at any point in the hiring process. However, short and sweet game-based assessments make it particularly easy to test candidates earlier in the hiring process, either at the time of application or before a formal interview.
Candidate dropoff is always a concern when administering any type of assessment. Hiring managers of course want as many qualified applicants as possible and don’t want to risk losing anyone by administering too many assessments up front. Our own research has indicated that you really don’t start to see a lot of candidate dropoff until the assessments start exceeding 40 minutes.
With a game-based assessment like the GAME lasting just 5 to 6 minutes, the risk of dropoff is even lower, enabling you to test earlier in the hiring process in order to gain valuable data that you can use to decide which candidates to prioritize. Testing early in the hiring process can also help to highlight candidates that you might have overlooked based on their resume alone, giving you the opportunity to identify a few hidden gems in your applicant pool.
Where: Where would candidates take the assessment?
Mobile-based assessments are great because they make it easy for candidates to test anywhere, at their own convenience. Criteria’s GAME assessment, for example, can be taken on mobile devices but also desktop computers or tablets, giving candidates the flexibility to complete the assessments in the way that works best for them. This makes it easier to test candidates early in the process. Availability on different devices also makes the process a little more fair because candidates who don’t have access to a certain device will still be able to complete the assessments.
The GAME makes it easy to test remotely without worrying about the risk of cheating as well. With dynamic questions, each candidate sees a unique set of questions, minimizing the likelihood of cheating.
Why: Why use game-based assessments at all?
While game-based assessments don’t necessarily make sense for every job type or industry, they do provide a number of key benefits beyond the scope of traditional pre-employment tests. We’ve mentioned a couple of these already, benefits like reduced candidate dropoff, a fun and engaging candidate experience, and the flexibility for candidates to play the games anytime, anywhere. The most important benefit is that, with scientifically validated assessments like Criteria’s GAME, you get highly predictive information about a candidate’s future job performance in just a fraction of the time, helping you prioritize your candidate pool early on in the process.
Want to learn more about game-based assessments? Watch our webinar on-demand: How Game-Based Assessments Can Enhance the Candidate Experience