25 June 2019

7 reasons why games beat traditional assessments in recruitment.


”Are you going to tell me that flipping hamburgers, inflating balloons or building towers is a better method to assess my candidates? No way.”


That’s what someone told me 8 months ago. Today this person works with Equalture’s pre-selection tool and we laugh about this statement every day.

In this blog I will share the 7 reasons why games beat traditional assessments and therefore why our product contains gamification.



Before sharing the 7 reasons.

I can’t wait to share the 7 reasons why you should immediately replace your traditional assessments by games, but first let me start with ensuring you one thing. Games are reliable!

Every single recruiter, HR Director or founder I’m having a coffee with starts with the questions: ”Can you really trust games?”. Well, yes you can, if your games are developed by a professional assessment agency. Because all these agencies do is using all valuable insights from already validated questionnaires and tests and find another way to ‘ask/assess’ the exact same thing. So yes, it’s based on research. And yes, every professional provider of gamified assessments will work hard every day to validate the games and make them even better.

So now that you know where these games come from, namely an assessment agency, let’s talk about the 7 reasons to embrace these fun games.

The time has come to start the job hunt.

My friends are currently at the age at which you start applying for your first fulltime job after graduating (yes, I’m in the millennial age category). The big, prestigious corporates are of course always interesting, but the rise of startup popularity amongst graduates is also something you shouldn’t underestimate.

Anyway, all I ever hear about their application procedures has something to do with the assessment stage. It’s never about a surprising first application, cool interviews, the friendly first call or an impressive offer. No, the one thing that sticks into their minds is just the assessment stage. And this is why.

#1. Time

Based on the stories I’ve heard from my friends (and of course some quick research), it would be short if a traditional assessment takes you under an hour to complete. An hour!

  1. Games: Takes candidates 5 to 15 minutes to play;
  2. Traditional assessments: Takes candidates 45 to 90 minutes to complete.

#2. Candidate behaviour

Every person shows two types of behaviour: Conscious behaviour and subconscious behaviour.

95% of all human behaviour is controlled by our unconscious behaviour, meaning that we show certain behaviour without us being aware of it. This is in particular behaviour that consists of our daily habits, how we interact with others and how we are experienced by others.

With conscious behaviour we first think, are aware of what we would like to do and we only take specific actions after that. The thing is that we only show this behaviour about 5% of the time.

So decision making processes for instance are more controlled by your conscious behaviour, while reactions to unexpected situations stimulate your unconscious behaviour.

  1. Games: Reveal both conscious and unconscious behaviour;
  2. Traditional assessments: Reveal mainly conscious behaviour because this stimulates the feeling that you’re assessed.


#3. Candidate Experience

So a candidate already knows that he/she will be assessed, which can cause quite some stress. Why should we then also make it boring besides stressful?

  1. Games: Are fun to play and therefore make candidates forget that they are assessed;
  2. Traditional Assessments: Are boring and therefore make candidates more aware of the fact that they are assessed.


#4. Measurements and data

Of course outcomes are important, but how about the steps taken to come to that point? Shouldn’t the road to success be just as important as the success itself?

That’s also how it works with games.

  1. Games: Measure a candidate’s outcome and all data concerning skills and behaviour to achieve this outcome;
  2. Traditional Assessments: Measure purely outcome.


#5. Adaptivity

This reason is also about data, but in a slightly different way.

Let’s imagine you’re quite nervous when starting an assessment – because you know someone is ‘watching’ you. It’s just like playing tennis; the first two games can be pretty hard due to the nerves. Now if you don’t have the feeling after these two games that it’s slowly getting better, your nerves will win.

That’s also how it works with assessments. Once you feel like you’re not doing a great job you can quickly end up in a downward spiral. That’s why adaptivity of an assessment is so important, meaning that the level of the assessment adapts to your level at that point. This not only provides candidates with a more pleasant feeling, but moreover enables you to continuously analyze how candidates fluctuate during an assessment (which is valuable data).

  1. Games: Are fully adaptive to be able to continuously adjust the level of the game to the candidate’s level;
  2. Traditional Assessments: Aren’t adaptive, meaning that the level will be exactly the same for all candidates regardless of performance.


#6. Social desirability

Although you won’t believe it, at least 50% of all companies that implement an assessment still value the old-fashioned personality questionnaire asking whether you’re the person in the corner or the center of the room during a party. I think this is the perfect example to prove social desirability in assessments.

Of course intelligence isn’t something you can fake; personality, however, is one of the easiest things to fake. No, it’s indeed not smart to do, but you just want that job.

  1. Games: No room for social desirability since candidates often don’t know which traits are measured per game and the only thing you can do is trying to win.
  2. Traditional Assessments: More room for social desirability due to the way of questioning (which already reveals what is measured underneath this question).


#7. Bias

And last but not least: We shouldn’t forget about bias during this process. For instance words we use can already cause some cultural bias in an assessments. The more you do with words, the more room you create for bias.

  1. Games: No room for (cultural) bias by communicating via a game instead of words.
  2. Traditional Assessments: Room for (cultural) bias due to the way of questioning.

So these are the 7 things I hear from my friends when it comes to traditional assessments. Of course I can imagine that you might still be a bit sceptical towards games or maybe you haven’t seen a gamified assessment before so you don’t know what to expect.

Just reach out to us so that we can show you some examples of neuro-assessment games for recruitment. No strings attached, it’s just to make you as much of a fan of gamification as we are!


Cheers, Charlotte