Vol 02 | Issue 01 | April 2020

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Campus Talent Acquisition programs have been traditionally designed over the years to put a group of candidates from the same graduating batch through a "funnel" (a set of gateways designed to successively eliminate candidates till a minimum number is reached), typically consisting of group discussions, group tasks, presentations, aptitude tests and so on, followed by a personal interview. The major merits of this method are quality of selection, validity and uniformity of approach. However, over the years, several inherent flaws have come to the fore. There are possibilities of unintentional bias against a candidate based on gender, language, ethnicity, abilities, sexual orientation, as a result of which opinions get formed during group discussions and presentations. Also, the process is time consuming and taxing on the assessment panel, thus increasing chances of error. This does not contribute to candidate experience as well as the employer branding. Freshers who invest a day in the campus placement process only to find themselves eliminated, end up carrying a negative feeling about the process.

Therefore, we decided to look at alternatives to the traditional approach. Our first consideration was candidate experience, followed by accuracy, validity of approach, time and cost of the process. We began benchmarking campus talent acquisition programs and explored vendors to evaluate their offering. Our research showed that though cognitive based and personality-based assessments have been an integral part of recruitment and selection process for a long time, very few organisations had actually taken the step towards gamification and game - based assessments.

Another method or mechanism was interpretation - the tool had to be concise and quantitatively predict a candidate's likelihood of success, while highlighting the working style and key motivational drivers of each candidate. Additionally, the tool had to be customizable, to our unique set of leadership competencies and tailor the assessment to understand the candidate's job-fit, competency match and potential.

After a lot of trials, we finally partnered with a service provider who had a unique game-based cognitive approach. The tool was created through the confluence of technology and psychology, providing a highly engaging experience for candidates that can assess their personality, attitudinal and cognitive abilities. Over half an hour of game play, it uses around 45 Situational Judgment test scenarios, that capture around 5000 data points. This information is consolidated in a customized competency-based framework and can be effectively used for candidate profiling and mapping for specific job roles. Analyzing actions and decisions of candidates during immersive gameplay provides for better assessment than traditional questionnaire based psychometrics.

The use of AI in construction of the tool itself ensures better customization to the organization's requirements. Simultaneously, the system also tests the user experience and resulting data generated that candidates found it to be more engaging, less tiresome and perceived to be less time consuming. Also, the tool also seems to correct the issue of faking, that colors the reliability of traditional psychometric tools. Finally, and most importantly, the tool enabled us to significantly shorten our process time, and we were free to run the tool before the team landed on campus, thus providing more time for a meaningful personal interview with candidates shortlisted through the tool. The tool has been in place for two years now, and we find that the quality of candidates coming to the final stage of selection has also significantly improved.

Thus, through deploying the game based assessment tool, we were able to ensure a lasting positive engagement with candidates and reinforce our unique employer value proposition.

Mr.Vivek (AGM - HR, Ashok Leyland) has around a decade and a half of experience in Human Resources with Ashok Leyland Limited, and has held various roles in Business, Location and Corporate HR. He is a champion of his organisation's culture and values, and specializes in partnering with business leaders to help them build their teams effectively and ensure all people decisions are based on data



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