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Gamification: Attraction Isn't Assessment

Gamification: Attraction Isn't Assessment

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Gamification apps and ideas have an extraordinary pull on our psyche. Boys and girls, men and women all fall for different games but, make no mistake, everyone falls for them. This recent Wall Street Journal article by Sarah Needleman, Play this Game and Win a Job! is an excellent accounting of the roles of games in attracting new talent but too casual in depicting their ability to actually assess that talent.

Developing games is still an art form fully entwined in our Employer Branding efforts. Ideally by taking an element of a job- especially and attractive, intriguing, innovative element and expanding it with challenges, collaboration, competition and more resonates with the audience we most want to attract. We, in turn, are attracted to look closer at those who seem to be more enthusiastic about what we want and need and yes, the match gets made faster and in a higher proportion than other methods.

It is easy to see that the attraction experience for both the prospect and the company can be high. Conversion from lead to interested prospect to a candidate who has applied might also be high. Selection from a pool of candidates is a higer probability route for those who play the game well. All good? Maybe- unless we're relying on art and missing the science.

The assumption that those who play the game are, in fact, better in some way than those who don't is not proven. That those who 'score' higher are in some way better is definitely not almost every case. If the science of recruiting, gets short shrift during gamification, even the value of these tools for attraction will be diminsihed.

Keep them separate.

The Science of Recruiting if coupled with gamification is to develop a complete and vald 'simulation' (a continuation of the game) once the Attraction phase has been completed.

Science requires we systematically weigh ALL the elements required to do the job well or that signal the candidates ability to learn the elements. Science then asseses the candidates capabilities against those doing the 'whole' job today (concurrent validation) and eventually demonstrates that those assessed as better, when hired, eventually perform better (predictive validation).

Gamification alone often doesn't even answer the question "would that same person do as well on two similar games (reliability)?". The biggest danger to any candidate offered a job by winning a game is that their decision, not just the company's decision, fails to consider more important context considerations about the culture of the company, the management style of the boss, the collaboration with the team, etc, etc.

Gamification is not assessment...from either side. It's a great reason to talk further.

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