The 3 objections your manager might have against gamified assessments and how to refute them.

© Equalture, 2019

Last week I visited a company that already felt like a new client. Everyone was enthusiastic about Equalture as a pre-selection technology and in particular about the games to assess candidates. It was 99% sure. All we needed was a final yes from the Managing Director. That last 1%. And then he said no. The reason: ‘’I think the games might be a bit too trendy for us.’’

Gamification in recruitment. It might even be the biggest trend in recruitment this year. It’s cool. It’s fun. It’s innovating. But it’s also a big change. And changes might scare the more traditional managers or founders.

In this article I will summarize the top 3 objections we hear from those traditional managers or founders against gamification in recruitment and how to refute them.


(1) How can you let candidates flip hamburgers or blow up a balloon and still receive valuable information afterwards?

In other words: can we really take this serious? Yes, games are fun for candidates, but what’s the science behind those games?

It might surprise you, but 99% of all games is just the interactive variant of a traditional assessment. All research behind traditional assessments is used to develop games. Our games for instance have been developed by a company that’s a traditional assessment agency originally.

So games lean on the exact same science. Cool. But that makes games sound just as good as traditional assessments while they’re actually better. And this is why:

  • Measurements. While a traditional assessments focuses purely on a candidate’s outcome (i.e. you’ve got 7 out of 10 -> 70%), a game measures both the outcome and the steps a candidate has taken to achieve this outcome. So games simply measure more data, and more data means a higher reliability.
  • Adaptivity. A traditional assessment isn’t capable of measuring a candidate’s performance level during the assessment, so the level of difficulty will be constant during this assessment. Games on the other hand are capable of continuously tracking performances and therefore can adjust the level of difficulty to a candidate’s performance level. This has two big benefits: (i) de games are suitable for different IQ levels for instance and (ii) you’re now able to see how a candidate reacts on difficulty changes, which will be included in calculating the actual results.

(2) Does gamification fit our company branding?

Another thing we often hear is that companies are afraid of the fact that games might be too trendy or don’t fit their branding.

Alright, I can imagine this train of thought. I you would say this to me last year. Now we’re living in 2019! The market for recruitment games has grown with 275% over the last two years. So although it still might seem very new and maybe even a bit scary, it’s becoming more and more normal.

That also means the start of a slow, painful death for traditional assessments. Maybe candidates will still accept questionnaires this year. Just for this year. But if you’re still working with only traditional assessments (questionnaires, etc.) in 2020, you should really worry about the level of adaptability and innovation within your company.

(3) Are candidates going to like this? After all, it’s all about Candidate Experience.

Yes, they will, don’t worry. And this is why.

Everyone loves having fun. And everyone hates stress.

Traditional assessments are the number one cause of stress during an application process. Why? Well, how would you feel if an assessments starts (which really looks like a serious test which you could pass or fail), the counter starts to run and the level of difficulty won’t adapt to your situation, no matter what? Well, it least you will take it seriously.

Then there’re games. Short, with a new, welcoming design, a winning element, giving you the feeling that you’re really just playing a game ánd they adapt to your situation and performances. Sounds like a quite fun and stress-fee situation to me.

The less serious they take it, the better.

Alright, I can imagine that sounds a bit weird, so let’s explain this sentence. A person can show two kinds of behaviour: conscious behaviour (the type of behaviour that we’re aware off) and subconscious behaviour.

Subconscious behaviour is the type of behaviour that we’re not fully aware off. It consists of our daily habits, how we interact with others and how we are experienced by others. This behaviour reveals our most important cognitive skills and personality traits; the biggest and most important predictor of job success.

Games stimulate your subconscious behaviour while traditional assessments can’t. This is why games are capable of doing that:

  • Say bye to stress. Stress stimulates conscious behaviour and games lower your stress. So more games means less stress and less stress means less conscious behaviour;
  • And hi to having fun. If you’re having fun you’re likely to show subconscious behaviour more easily. This is because you will easier forget that you’re in a situation where people are going to evaluate what you’re doing.

So these are the 3 objections we hear quite a lot while talking about gamification in recruitment. And we fully understand these worries. However, games have proven to be way more valuable and reliable when it comes to assessing candidates. So it’s not only fun or cool, it’s really helping your company.

Do these objections sound familiar to something you’ve experienced in the organisation you’re working now? Just let us know, we’d love to discuss how to convince your manager. 👌

Happy hiring!

Cheers, Charlotte