7 Benefits of Game-Based Assessments

September 20th, 2018

Clemens Aichholzer, SVP of Game-Based Assessments


Pre-hire assessments are one of the best predictors of success on the job. Today, organizations across industries are taking a game-based approach to assessment.

The Benefits of Game-Based Assessment

Game-based assessments are pre-hire assessments intentionally built as games. They have several key advantages over more traditional methods of assessment.

1) Reveals Actual Ability

Due to their fast-paced and immersive nature game-based assessments reveal a candidate’s natural behavior and responses in a way that traditional testing methods do not. Unlike traditional assessments, game-based assessments are progressive - they adapt as the candidate engages with it. Furthermore, framing the assessment as a ‘game’ rather than a ‘test’ reduces anxiety, making the hiring process more inclusive and accurate for candidates who get nervous during formal testing.

Game-based assessments test a candidate’s abilities to solve new problems and to think logically, as well as their level of motivational drive to succeed. Psychological research on the key determinants of employability, job performance, and career progression indicates that these qualities are absolutely critical in the modern workplace. As such, game-based assessment performance is highly predictive of performance in the workplace.

2) Every Candidate Gets a Custom Assessment

Gameplay is ‘adaptive’. The candidate progresses through finely calibrated game levels that adjust in real-time — getting harder or easier — depending on gameplay performance; this way, the candidate doesn’t get ‘bored’ or ‘frustrated’, while their limits are being reliably tested and challenged.

3) Quick Evaluation

Since every candidate effectively gets a custom assessment based on their abilities, there is no need for the “one-size-fits-all” approach necessary for static assessments. An array of cognitive skills (problem-solving, memory, attention, mental agility, numeracy, etc.) can be assessed in just 15 minutes.

4) Appears Relevant for Candidates

Many game-based assessments leave their psychometric foundation deliberately unconcealed.

This is the approach HireVue takes when designing its game-based assessments. We’ve tweaked game tasks according to consistent candidate feedback , and the “psychometric” part of the game can be ‘felt’ during gameplay. This contributes to the games’ face validity and their acceptance by candidates as both realistic and, therefore, fair selection tools.

5) Engaging for Candidates

Gameplay is significantly more engaging than a traditional psychometric exam. Some organizations experience dropout rates of over 50% with a traditional approach to assessment. Candidates are generally more likely to complete a short series of games than a lengthy test, and are more likely to enjoy the experience.

Mastering or failing levels also offers instant performance feedback that helps candidates learn which gameplay approaches are more or less effective.

6) Fair for Candidates

By design, assessment data is objective and as such eliminates bias that may arise from subjective interpretations of a resume, letter of recommendation, biographical information, or interviews.

As mentioned previously, games allow for more data points to be collected than a traditional multiple-choice assessment. Combining this with machine learning techniques provides increased predictive validity and, therefore, a more accurate picture of how a candidate will perform in the job.

Game-based assessments also minimize bias from a candidate perspective: Games are inherently engaging, typically resulting in improved focus by the candidate on the assessment.

Similarly, the immersive nature of the game tasks tends to reduce stress resulting from so-called stereotype threat (i.e. negative stereotypes about e.g. cultural and/or gender differences raise inhibiting doubts and high-pressure anxieties in a test-taker’s mind). Furthermore, games may minimize socially desirable responses, by eliciting more authentic behavior.

7) Enhances Employment Brand

A well-designed selection process is critical for sustainable and scalable talent identification. It allows recruiters to leave a lasting positive impression on applicants (who are not only prospective employees but also potential or existing customers).

Game-based assessments convey a fresh and dynamic employer image. The enhanced candidate experience creates an important competitive edge for companies in an increasingly global war for talent.

Learn About the Next Generation of Assessments: Free Whitepaper