Need a job? Experts say you should work on your video gaming skills
NEW YORK (CNN) – If you are in the market for a new job, you may want to beef up your gaming skills.
New computer games are being designed to help employers spot top recruits.
Some of the games measure how fast employees read and react to certain situations.
More companies are using online video games to test job applicants’ reaction times, how attentive they are to detail and how emotional or impulsive they might be.
Frida Polli, the CEO of Pymetrics, said, “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.”
In the test, applicants have to judge a person’s emotional state from a series of photographs.
The test measures whether or not the employee is more likely to gamble if the financial reward is higher.
Job matching sites, like Pymetrics and Knack, are both frontrunners in the race to make video game testing the norm among recruiters.
Polli said, “The main benefit of this is if someone is going through thousands of resumes. This type of testing can be way more informative than looking at someone’s GPA score.”
Experts also stress that some of the games can lead to discrimination.
They say reaction times may be faster for younger people than in older folks and then there’s the question of social background.
Ben Dattner, a psychologist, said, “People who are from sociological groups where they’ve been exposed to games, technology, puzzles, problem-solving will do better than 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.”
Some companies are asking their best sales person to take the test, so they can hire people who are as similar as possible.
Barbara Marder, a senior partner at Mercer, said, “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 the best practice and the rest of the group.”
She added, “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.”