What candidates really think of gamified job assessments

3 minute read

Posted by Emily Hill on 7 September 2023

We recently conducted a survey involving 1,000 recently hired individuals, seeking their insights on various recruitment practices.

You can download a copy of the Candidate Expectations vs Reality Market Report here: thrivemap.io/candidate-expectations-gap-report/.

One of the key themes we explored was the use of Game-Based Job Assessments.

Gamified tests incorporate game elements. In recent years, they have been popular with hiring teams as there is a perception that gamification makes the assessment process more enjoyable and reflect the brand as being fun.

However, we wanted to learn – what do candidates from different backgrounds think of game-based assessments?

And do candidates think that they are fair?

Here are four of the key findings:

1. Bias and reduced diversity:

An overwhelming 95% of respondents believe that certain individuals are disadvantaged to some extent by gamified tests. This indicates a perception of bias and a negative impact on workforce diversity.

When candidates believe that they may be unfairly treated due to these assessments, it can discourage individuals from diverse backgrounds from applying or succeeding in the recruitment process. This, in turn, can lead to a less diverse workforce, which can have various negative consequences for an organisation, including limited perspectives and reduced innovation.

2. Accuracy concerns

Candidates expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of gamified tests in selecting the best candidates for the job. They ranked these assessments as the least accurate method for job selection, suggesting a lack of trust in their ability to make fair and accurate hiring decisions.

3. Gender differences:

The survey revealed gender disparities in perceptions of gamified tests. A higher percentage of male candidates (80%) found them appealing compared to female candidates (61%).

Additionally, a smaller proportion of men (7%) disliked them compared to women (21%).

Moreover, more men (27%) expressed a strong willingness to take such tests when asked, compared to women (18%).

4. Age-related differences:

Older candidates (55+) were less enthusiastic about game-based tests, with 28% expressing disinterest, higher than the overall average of 13%.

Furthermore, 24% of this age group would feel annoyed if asked to take such an assessment, compared to the 13% overall average.

Alternative approach:

It’s evident that gamified tests may not effectively promote gender fairness, diversity, and inclusion in the hiring process, and they may inadvertently introduce bias, negatively impact the candidate experience, and hinder long-term retention and engagement among all employees.

If you’re considering alternatives to gamified tests, we recommend exploring Realistic Job Assessments.

For more information on this alternative, please visit: https://thrivemap.io/realistic-job-assessment/


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About ThriveMap

ThriveMap creates customised assessments for high volume roles, which take candidates through an online “day in the life” experience of work in your company. Our assessments have been proven to reduce staff turnover, reduce time to hire, and improve quality of hire.

Not sure what type of assessment is right for your business? Read our guide.

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