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
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.