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Video games, an enjoyable, effective personnel selection technique

Job market -
26 November 2014

Video games, an enjoyable, effective personnel selection technique

Job interviews are unavoidable but often stressful for candidates and sometimes for recruiters too. With candidates who panic and become confused and HR managers who trust to standard questions for the selection of new employees, the limitations of the conventional interview are obvious. However, the personnel selection process can be both enjoyable and effective if, for example, a video game is used.

Instead of using a conventional interview, the employer can put candidates to the test by simulating the tasks to be assigned to them in the workplace. Still little used, this technique has undeniable advantages, especially the potential for fairer assessment of candidates’ abilities. According to some studies, this play-based method is actually twice as effective as a conventional personality test. Video games purpose-made for staff selection are able to reproduce a real working situation. This enables the employer to make a more effective assessment of the candidate’s ability to perform the tasks required by the job.

Designed above all for the selection of young people, more at ease with video games, simulation software packages are starting to attract firms’ interest. Video game developer Knack has also started to create tools specifically intended for staff selection for a wide variety of jobs. Candidates can use these apps too, sharing their results on-line to prove their skills. In the United States, even the army has turned to gaming for the recruitment of the soldiers of the future. L'Oréal, for example, has a simulation game site that allows potential candidates to check out a job on-line.

At present, corporate HR departments have decided to restrict the use of video games mainly to training activities. In Japan, McDonald has chosen this technique for teaching its employees how to take orders and serve hamburgers. The vast potential of simulation games is also starting to bear fruit in Switzerland. Banque Cantonale Vaudoise (BCV) has already been using tools of this kind to teach its staff sales techniques for a number of years.


Christelle Genier

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