2 Reasons Why Game-Based Assessments Should Be Playful

Here are 2 biggest misunderstandings about whether playfulness has a place in the recruitment process and why it is something to be desired.
Anete Vesere (1)

Anete Vesere

Content Marketer

When we talk about playfulness in the context of recruitment, it is important to clarify that we are not referring to activities like playing Monopoly or any other casual games. Instead, we are specifically referring to the playfulness incorporated in game-based assessments. 

Game-based assessments have gained significant popularity in talent acquisition, leveraging elements of playfulness such as engaging game mechanics and immersive simulations. These assessments provide a more tangible and captivating approach to measuring candidates’ skills and attributes.

However, sadly certain misunderstandings still exist around the concept of the playfulness of game-based assessments in the recruitment process.

In this blog, we’ll tell you about 2 biggest misunderstandings about whether playfulness has a place in the recruitment process and explain that it is actually something to be desired.

2 reasons why playfulness has place in the recruitment process

It’s understandable that as a hiring manager or recruiter, you may have concerns about using game-based assessments in the hiring process for senior positions. However, it’s important to recognize that these fears, while understandable, are not necessarily true.

Misunderstanding 1: Game-based assessments are too playful when hiring for senior positions

As a hiring manager or recruiter, you may be concerned about using game-based assessments for senior positions due to the potential negative assumption that candidates may not take them seriously. 

And in fact, “I’m worried that job applicants will find it too playful and won’t take the process seriously” is the objection against game-based assessments we hear the most. 

This can be especially concerning for senior positions, where the stakes are high and the need for accurate evaluation is critical. You may worry that if candidates will not put in their best effort or take the game-based assessment less seriously than they would with more traditional evaluation methods, which could lead to inaccurate or unreliable results that do not reflect their true abilities or potential as an employee.

However, playfulness is there for a reason

When it comes to recruitment, it’s important to not only assess a candidate’s skills and competencies but also consider how they behave in different situations, such as when they’re feeling stressed versus relaxed. Traditional assessments can sometimes fail to provide an accurate representation of a candidate’s natural behaviour, as the stress of being evaluated can cause them to act differently.

While some may assume that the playful nature of games may lead candidates to not take the assessments seriously, it actually has the opposite effect. By incorporating playful elements into the recruitment process, candidates are more likely to feel relaxed and engaged, providing a more accurate representation of their natural behavior. 

Furthermore, the positive candidate experience that game-based assessments create is increasingly important in today’s competitive job market. Candidates who feel that they are being evaluated in a fair and engaging way are more likely to have a positive perception of the organization and be more likely to accept a job offer.

Misunderstanding 2: Not enough pressure for candidates

The assumption that game-based assessments do not provide enough pressure for candidates is a common one in the industry, especially, when it comes to using these assessments for senior positions.

Positions for which the ability to handle the workload and do so efficiently, as well as oftentimes under pressure, is absolutely essential. This assumption stems from the belief that traditional assessments, which may include strict time limits and difficult questions, provide a more realistic environment for evaluating candidates. However, this assumption is not necessarily accurate.  

However, engaging experience should be the main priority

It’s worth considering whether administering an assessment that intentionally creates pressure is the best way to assess a candidate’s ability to handle pressure in a job role. Job application procedures are already high-stakes situations, so candidates may naturally experience nervousness and stress, even without additional pressure from the assessment itself.

Creating a high-pressure environment during assessments will lead to adverse outcomes:

  • Candidates will become overly anxious or nervous, thus negatively impacting their performance and providing inaccurate evaluation results. 
  • High-pressure assessments will increase candidate drop-off rates during the application process.
  • High pressure and stress induced by traditional assessments are likely to negatively impact, neurodiverse candidates, who make up about 20% of the talent pool.


Instead of trying to recreate a high-stress environment, game-based assessments focus on specific elements of what we consider pressure, such as workload handling, task prioritisation or decision-making. This targeted approach provides more valuable and more accurate insights into a candidate’s ability to handle pressure without causing stress and/or anxiety. 

Ultimately, the goal should be to strike the right balance between creating a challenging environment that simulates real-world job pressures and ensuring that the assessment remains fair and inclusive. By doing so, you can make more accurate hiring decisions and attract a more diverse pool of candidates for your open senior positions.

Don't let this hold you back

Your organisation and your candidates deserve an assessment experience that is engaging, meaningful, and inclusive. So, let’s challenge the status quo, adapt to the changing workforce, and embrace the future of talent acquisition with game-based assessments that bring playfulness to the forefront.

It’s something you won’t regret.

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