Assessing employees against pre-defined measures and success criteria for a said position is a practice used by organizations for decades. We can find psychometric assessments through human history across cultures, geographies, and religions. The modern psychometric test we know today has roots in France in the 19th century and was created by three renowned psychologists, Alfred Binet, Victor Henri, and Theodore Simon. While we have made a lot of progress in terms of reliability and validity of such talent assessments, there are still a lot of myths around their reliability and validity.
Assessments are undergoing a sea of change with the introduction of new-age technologies like robotics process automation (RPA), machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), gamification, natural language processing (NLP), voice recognition and conversion, social media, and big data analytics. These technology solutions are transforming the way organizations approach talent assessments in the fast-paced world devoid of geographic boundaries.
Talent assessments within HR solutions make for an interesting space, and we attempt to look at the forces shaping this space. Based on working with a wide and varied client base, here are the top five trends we've identified that are changing how assessment is conducted and delivered. These trends have a wide-ranging impact on how organizations use assessments to hire, train, and retain employees.
1. Movement away from traditional assessment methods
Organizations across industries are taking a game-based approach to assessment for informed decision making. Game-based assessments are psychometric assessments intentionally built as games. They have several key advantages over more traditional methods of assessment.
Because of their fast-paced and immersive nature, game-based assessments reveal a candidate's natural behavior and responses in a way that traditional testing methods cannot. Unlike traditional assessments, game-based assessments are progressive-they adapt as the candidate engages with it. Framing the assessment as a 'game' rather than a 'test' reduces anxiety, making the hiring process more inclusive and accurate for candidates who get nervous during formal testing.
Game-based assessments test a candidate's abilities to solve new problems and to think logically, and their level of motivational drive to succeed. Psychological research on the key determinants of employability, job performance, and career progression shows that these qualities are critical in the modern workplace. Game-based assessment performance is highly predictive of future performance and cultural fitment in the workplace.
2. Much more engaging and stress-free assessment
The gameplay is significantly more engaging than a traditional psychometric assessment. Some organizations experience dropout rates of over 30% with a traditional approach to assessment. Candidates are more likely to complete a series of games than a lengthy test and are more likely to enjoy the experience.
The immersive nature of the game tasks reduces stress resulting from the so-called stereotype threat (i.e. negative stereotypes about e.g. cultural and/or gender differences raise inhibiting doubts and high-pressure anxieties in a test-taker's mind). Games may minimize socially desirable responses, by eliciting more authentic behavior.
3. Increasing levels of data collection and insights
With the technology getting embedded in every HR process and touchpoints, there is a huge amount of data being collected on candidates and employees. The ability of HR to use this data as a primary decision-making tool for hiring and development is evolving every day.
The advanced algorithms and machine learning would not only be able to predict the fitment for a role but learning with the data collected after a candidate joins in helps improve the success rate or attrition rates. As more and more data are available, the insights will become more accurate and actionable.
4. Assessments are much more candidate-centric
A major goal of a psychometric assessment is to find a perfect match between a person and the job they are vying for. Psychometric assessments help candidates find jobs where they can make most of their unique strengths and abilities. It also helps candidates take better career choices by making them more self-aware around their interests, values, and work styles.
Psychometric assessments provide employers with precise information about the training needs of an employee. They also help candidates understand their learning needs and redirect their efforts to advance in their careers.
Game-based assessments also minimize bias from a candidate perspective: Games do not assume that the test-taker is aware of one's personality and the design of games is inherently engaging, typically resulting in improved focus by the candidate on the assessment.
5. Torch-bearer of the Employer Brand
A well-designed objective and repeatable selection process is critical for sustainable and scalable talent identification. It allows recruiters to leave a lasting positive impression on applicants (who are not only prospective employees but also potential or existing customers).
80% of candidates consider the traditional pen-paper assessment process to be very stressful and frustrating. The biggest loss of brand a company can face during hiring is from the candidates who quit in the middle of the assessment cycle.
Game-based assessments convey a fresh and dynamic employer image. The enhanced candidate experience creates an important competitive edge for companies in an increasingly global war for talent.
Attracting the right talent at the right time within the right cost is critical to achieving business success. With game-based assessments, talent acquisition teams can be smarter about uncovering candidate experiences and preferences, as well as the keys that will help them thrive and prosper as employees.