Immersive Assessments - How They Can Support the Recruitment Process

By t-PHI: Promoting Human Integration

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?A Change to the Status Quo

Companies and their recruiters are facing three big questions in today’s job market:

1. Are you getting the right kinds of candidates when you are faced with skill shortages and many competitors?  You attract and you engage them, right?

2. Do you want your candidates to be impressed by your brand even if you don’t offer them a job?  Their experience of your assessment is cool and fair, isn’t it?

3. Your assessment results predict how well new employees perform and contribute to your organisation?  After 30 minutes of online assessment you have evidence about how well they will fit into the job!

Immersive assessment techniques answer all of these questions in the positive, now let us explain why…

Assessment techniques vary widely in what they are assumed to measure – personality and cognitive ability tests for example are aimed at measuring core personality traits and intellectual strengths. The rationale of the use of these measures of the ‘building blocks’ needed for job roles is that such assessments will better predict future potential, competency or capability.

Psychometric measures of personality and cognitive ability, when deployed correctly, do certainly provide stable indicators of future potential – but at a general performance level.

The content used in these measures of potential is necessarily generic, and the predictions they provide are correspondingly general. As such, they work best in classifying large groups of people, and less well when comparing individuals on specifics.

The knock on effect:

For recruiters: Sifting through applications and administering generic assessments in search for the right candidate can be time consuming with a loss in productivity.

For candidates: Being dismissed from talent pools with little/no engagement and a bad overall experience can result in lack of confidence in the organisation and potentially damage the employer brand.

But is primary recruitment – and the assessment that goes with it – transforming?

Change is happening: Growth, Management, Transparency

t-PHI has witnessed three changes to the workplace that we believe significantly impacts the initial assessment arena for both the applicant and the recruiting organisation – and it’s about being more specific and more focused on what a job requires.

#1 The growth of the ‘pre-employment’ workforce

The growth of and investment in internships and apprentice programmes, means that organisations can now take a much longer-term view of recruitment. Organisations and hiring managers can induct interns or apprentices and only after several months or years, decide who will be offered permanent contracts. They want to be able to see how a candidate works within, reacts to and deals with specific job tasks and problems.  


#2 The need to manage the supply of talent to the business

Organisations have learned lessons from the past and they know that they need to manage the supply of people they need from the pools of talent available in the addressable labour market. How they do this, varies with circumstance.  Those larger organisations with dedicated recruitment resources, may need to understand what specific talent is available in external talent pools and engage with it perhaps months before recruiting. Those in smaller organisations where every hour spent recruiting lowers their business productivity, need to quickly identify how to short-list people with effective potential for a specific job role.

#3 The candidates desire for better job familiarity

There is also a change in the way in which potential employees want to engage with a prospective employer. They want to better understand the job, the team, the company even before deciding whether to apply, and their prolific use of apps and online technology means that they expect to do this, and the subsequent initial assessment, online. They want to know that they are being seen as an individual – and that their specific skills are being assessed and recognised. As such information presented by the company about opportunities needs to go beyond a basic corporate careers webpage, and assessment beyond a standardised general ability reasoning test.

What to do? Immersive assessment: the new kid on the block

t-PHI has been combining user experience and psychometrics to help UK organisations to address these changes since 2011.

Two relatively new types of assessment now take the very best of technology and psychometric science to create engaging, efficient and exacting tools.

These two forms of immersive assessment are:

the ‘looking in’ simulation where the participant has a fixed viewpoint into the simulation and the world and avatars appear before the participant (e.g. HR Avatar)


The ‘walking around’ simulation where the participant can walk through a virtual environment and engage with other avatars (e.g. VirBELA)

For example, in the online tool HR Avatar, each job role simulation is built around a specific job.

Such tools are valid, reliable and fair because each specifically measures traits that have been proven to demonstrate success in the job. They can be used early in the selection stage as they’re   administered completely online (sent directly to the candidate) and provide the recruiting or hiring manager with a usable report which collates rich information on the candidates suitability for the role, even making a recommendation for potential interview.

On the other hand, virtual worlds allow people to be brought together in an assessment context from where they are working and in assessments by VirBELA, hiring managers can meet and assess participants virtually in structured exercises from wherever they are in the world.

For example, a manager can be seen ‘sitting’ at a desk and starts the one-to-one interview with a participant who could be anywhere in the world (but is shown anonymously on-screen to reduce bias). The manager can inject easily a simulation into the interview and other assessors can attend without being seen or influencing the flow.

In a nutshell, Immersive Assessment enables more specific situations and work contexts to be simulated, can reduce resource time, be cost effective and most importantly FUN!  

The quality of the experience is vital, t-PHI encompasses the use of candidate-centred evidence-based methods to ensure the following:

  • Great Candidate Experience with Fair Assessments
  • Improved Employer Brand
  • Reinforcement of Organisations Values
  • Measurable & Reliable Metrics

The shift in initial assessment is happening and it is very real. It is taking place earlier and with a greater emphasis on candidate engagement and experience. So, what are you doing about this?

?Take an opportunity today: We would love to have your feedback

If you are interested in exploring avatar based job-specific simulations we will set you up with up to 3 FREE HR Avatar logins so you can evaluate how well it works.

What’s the catch?

None, but we would like to hear what you think, and in particular what we can do to improve its fit for use in the UK market.

What do I do?

If you are interested you can either contact us or send an email directly to: [email protected] and lets go from there!  :-)


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