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Dream of Gamification

Dream of Gamification
When I first began my career as an Organisational Psychologist in the new millennium, I was a rather enthusiastic albeit ‘green’ graduate. The new century was full of possibilities, yet we still used paper and pencil psychometric testing. Our diligent test administrators spent time running between candidates in a classroom style setting, handing out various forms where questionnaires need to be ticked and work preferences marked with an x in little boxes. One of our more artistic candidates even drew a cartoon of a lab rat sitting at a desk!

Not long after I started my career, we started using the internet to administer assessments and for candidates to complete testing in a supervised setting at a computer in our office. No need for test administrators to sit over score cards, marking assessment answer sheets and entering results into the database. The future had arrived! Still, the idea of allowing candidates to complete assessments unsupervised in their own homes was a way off and certainly raised a few eyebrows amongst the skeptical psychologists. Could we trust our candidates? Would the technology hold up?

As we approach 2020, not only is unsupervised testing commonplace, but gamification of psychometric testing is becoming the new medium to test candidates. Some candidates can baulk at the prospect of pouring over numbers, performing calculations and answering questions about their preferred work style, so a different approach to psychometrics can make for stronger engagement and more accurate results.

Gamification of psychometric assessments means that psychometric assessments are provided in a game format. The candidate may have to perform tasks in the game such as blowing up virtual balloons for money with the knowledge that at some point the balloon will pop and all the money is lost. It’s often used for risk management and decision-making assessments.

The value of administering psychometric tests in a game format is to engage the candidate and create a fun experience. In particular, gamification may appeal to millennials being assessed for roles. A large number of data points can be gathered from the candidate’s approach to the game, that provide valuable information about their potential work approach. As technology continues to evolve, the potential for gamification within psychometric assessments becomes even greater – we’re already seeing virtual reality being used as an assessment tool during other stages of the hiring process.

18 years after I started my career, I am still an enthusiastic yet far less ‘green’ psychologist. However, I still wonder what is next in the area of workplace assessments. Will we have microchips inserted that measure our thought patterns and stress levels? Will artificial intelligence assess our capabilities? I will have to wait and see what the next 18 years brings.

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