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High-volume assessment:

What’s better for the candidate experience: short online assessments or serious games?

Imagine that as an organisation you need to deal with large numbers of candidates during your recruitment and selection process. What’s the better option, psychological tests or serious gaming?

That’s quite a difficult question. What is clear, however, is what you shouldn’t do: CV selection based on obscure criteria and then troubling the entire organisation with meetings with candidates who have not been preselected. Yet this is often what happens. If you don’t want to think about implementing online testing or serious gaming, at least take a look at Lou Adler’s thoughts regarding killer questions.

Psychological tests (the correct ones that is) have been proven to be reliable and valid. They have been assessed according to scientific criteria, to determine their usefulness in the selection process. They measure relevant predictive traits such as intelligence as a whole, specific aspects of it, personality structure or motivation factors.

Commitment and psychological testing strengthen one another

Psychological tests can increasingly be taken entirely online. Even the capacity tests, that measure parts of intelligence, can be taken online and at home these days. The disadvantage is that they’re generally not particularly fun to do. An organisation can ask a candidate to complete an online assessment once they are reasonably far into the application process, and seriously considering connecting themselves to the company.

A self-assessment makes a candidate curious

An important aspect of a self-assessment is that the results are meaningful and relevant for the candidate. This also leads to a willingness to complete tests and questionnaires. Anonymous capacity tests during the sourcing phase, for example, enable a candidate to decide for themself if they meet the required standards. The test is then also relevant for the candidate, as it gives them new insight into themself.

A fun recruitment game is a great way to break the ice

So, what about serious gaming? This can not only be fun to do, it’s often also referred to as being immersive. Candidates are immersed in the gaming experience. Numerous gaming mechanics are applied to draw players more into this experience. Making serious gaming more fun and more accessible than testing. It’s also easier to tempt candidates into participating. And, if the game is set up well, they’ll also play till the end. This makes gaming seem to be more suitable for the sourcing phase. But there are also disadvantages: the psychometric qualities of the games currently available are not yet very convincing. Several parties are working to address this, but this is very much a case of ‘work in progress’. The scientific bulk of evidence that makes good psychometric tests robust still needs to be collated. Learn more about the differences between recruitment and assessment games

The question ‘what’s better for the candidate experience?’, therefore continues to present us with a dilemma: robustness and high- quality feedback, versus accessibility. It is already clear that the market requires both. So perhaps the solution, for now at least, is to consider both, as the different phases of the candidate journey demand their own distinct approach.

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