Game-Based Assessments and Candidate Experience

Assessment science has come a long way in the last decade, and so has the emphasis on candidate experience. Game-based assessments have refreshed the pre-employment testing experience in recent years, aligning with the new-found focus on candidate engagement. But do candidates actually prefer game-based assessments to traditional testing methods? We decided to find out.

In Criteria’s 2022 Candidate Experience Report, we asked candidates how they felt about game-based assessments compared to the traditional question-and-answer format. From their responses, we gathered that, on average, candidates do prefer game-based assessments, with 26% of candidates strongly agreeing and 25% somewhat agreeing with that statement.

How Candidates Feel About Game-Based Assessments

When we dug deeper into the data, some interesting trends emerged around which demographics prefer game-based testing. One not-so-surprising finding was that younger job seekers – those 34 and under – were more likely to prefer them than older job seekers. 35% of under-25s preferred them, as did 30% of those in the 25-34 age group. As the age bracket increased, preference for game-based assessments dropped, with only 16% of job seekers in the 55+ preferring them. This makes sense – people typically favor things that they find familiar, with older generations feeling more comfortable with traditional methods of assessments compared to the more tech- and game-savvy younger generations.

Additionally, we found that candidates looking for work in particular industries made a difference in how they felt about game-based assessments. Candidates in Accounting/Finance (30%), Retail (34%), and Technology (35%) were the most likely to strongly agree that they preferred game-based tests. At the other end of the spectrum, candidates in the fields of Education (19%) and Government/Public Service (18%) were the least likely to prefer them.

Interestingly, we also found differences in preference for game-based assessments related to race and ethnicity. Asian (35%) and Black (27%) candidates were more likely to strongly agree that they favored game-based assessments, with White Candidates sharing this attitude the least at just 17%. This difference may stem from the notion that game-based assessments feel more fair to diverse candidates, as it’s well-documented that traditional testing formats put people of color at a disadvantage compared to their White peers.

Game-based assessments have lot of benefits. They are typically a quicker way to evaluate your talent pool while keeping candidates engaged and boosting your employer brand. Game-based assessments are just as effective at identifying candidates with the skills and abilities to succeed as traditional pre-employment tests. This makes them an excellent way to strike the balance between gathering objective and predictive data on candidate performance and creating a positive candidate experience.

So how can you know if game-based assessments are right for your hiring process? Like most things in life, the answer depends on a few factors. While game-based assessments won’t win over every candidate in every industry, they can help you create a more positive candidate experience, especially when you’re hiring for entry level roles.

To learn more about how candidates feel about the hiring process, download Criteria’s 2022 Candidate Experience Report today.