How companies are using video games to make hiring decisions

Tech Corner
Friday, January 10, 2014 - 12:03pm

You may want to beef up your gaming skills.

New computer games are being designed to help employers spot top recruits.

More and more companies are using online video games to test a job applicant's reaction times, how attentive they are to detail and how emotional or impulsive they might be.

"Users can go on and play short fun games to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are and then have those mapped onto different careers."

Job matching sites like Pymetrics and knack are both frontrunners in the race to make video game testing the norm among recruiters.

But can a video game know you better than you know yourself?

This test labeled me as good at memorizing and generous but it also said i was emotional and impulsive.

Polli: The other thing is that you're really good at expending effort for reward.
Zain: So I'm a hard worker? Frida: Yes, you're a hard worker!
Polli: The main benefit of this is if someone is going thousands of resumes, this type of testing can be way more informative that looking at someone's GPA score.

But One Word Of Caution.

Experts say some of these games can lead to discrimination reaction times might be faster for younger people than in older folks, and then there's the question of social background:

"People who are from sociological groups where they've been exposed to games, technology, puzzles, problem solving will do better than people who people who are from sociological backgrounds where that was not part of their experience when they were growing up...and that's unfair and wrong."

But HR companies like Mercer are so intrigued about the benefits of online game testing that they're asking their best sales person to take the test, so they can hire people who are as similar as possible.

"Basically what these tests do is run the best people through the games and create a profile and then run everyone else through the profile and they're trying to figure out what is statistically different between the people who are best practice and the rest of the group."

But should a company really want to hire employees that all share the same traits?

"I think that diversity is very important. It's just that if you're exhibiting very strong sales capabilities, we wanna make sure that we're playing to your strengths."


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