Gaming-it up to improve the recruitment experience for candidates

In response to growing market demand for innovative personnel selection methods, Revelian’s team of Organisational Psychologists worked alongside other professionals to develop a world first game-based cognitive ability assessment for high stakes selection. 

Revelian was founded in 1999 and is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment assessments. Revelian’s winning project, Cognify, is a game-based, highly engaging psychometric assessment designed to measure job-critical cognitive abilities. 

Jason Blaik, Organisational Psychologist and Lead Psychometrician at Revelian, shared his reaction to Revelian’s Workplace Excellence Awards (2018) success in the category of Emerging Directions in Organisational Psychology

“Receiving the WEA award was a real honour and privilege. It was also a welcome recognition of the time and effort spent on Cognify, a project that spanned several years and involved a highly diverse development team. This included not only Organisational Psychologists but also software engineers, game developers and instructional designers.” 

Using the Cattell, Horn and Carroll (CHC) theory of cognitive abilities to guide development, the result of this work was Cognify – a Revelian game-based assessment where candidates complete up to seven individual mini-games targeting four broad psychological characteristics featured in the CHC model. 

“The Cognify game suite was constructed through a rigorous and scientifically robust process, from the development of the games to the validation of the tool itself as a psychometric instrument” says Jason.

Since its launch in late 2016, Cognify has been used to assess over 80,000 candidates from every continent of the world and across a diverse set of industries and management levels. 

Large-scale internal validation exercises and independent external research activities, conducted with both industry and academia, have consistently demonstrated the strong psychometric properties of Cognify. These studies, as well as feedback from many employers, have also displayed highly positive candidate and client perceptions of Cognify and its use in personnel selection. Revelian Organisational Psychologists have also recently taken Cognify to the world, presenting at the Society of Industrial and Organisational Psychology’s 2018 Annual Conference in Chicago.

Game based assessments, unlike traditional assessments, take more into account than just the correct answer, providing richer insight into a candidate’s strengths and abilities. Cognify employs a state-of-the-art analytics engine that provides insight into every aspect of game play and candidate actions. This allows Revelian to identify not only whether or not the candidate got the correct answer, but also how they got to that answer. 

“Cognify is designed to offer candidates a testing experience that they find engaging and fun, while also motivating them to perform to the best of their ability.”

Revelian’s commitment to independent research on Cognify

Revelian partnered with a large multinational technology company to conduct an independent validation study with employees in the United States, United Kingdom and India. This research was undertaken to examine the relationship between employee scores on Cognify and scores on another measure of cognitive ability. Over 220 employees participated in the study by completing Cognify and the second cognitive ability assessment. The second assessment was a well-established, traditional test currently used by the organisation in recruitment. 

Findings showed a significant relationship between Cognify scores and job performance attributes for the sample of participants, supporting the criterion validity of Cognify. 

Participants were asked to rate their impression of Cognify, with 60% indicating the assessment positively influenced their perception of the organisation, and 74% indicating that Cognify aligns better with their perception of the organisation compared to the traditional assessment. 

In addition, underrepresented minorities in the study felt that Cognify would provide a greater opportunity to showcase their abilities compared to the traditional assessment. Finally, participants reported positive impressions of Cognify, including describing the assessment as fun, interesting, engaging, different and challenging. 

The team of Psychologists at Revelian are proud of their contribution to workplace excellence - “From a Revelian psychologist perspective, I’d say that we assist our clients to better understand the people they hire and the people they work with, and in doing so we help people to enjoy the work that they do.”