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Are PSGs becoming the cornerstone to digital recruitment?

Are PSGs becoming the cornerstone to digital recruitment?


Different jobs require candidates to fulfil additional requirements, and beyond applications, CV submissions, and possible digital or face to face interviews, other strategies have started to take growing prevalence. While PSTs (Problem Solving Tests) have become a familiar and regular occurrence across multiple job application processes, a new recruitment style has become prevalent. Different industries and organisations are trialling it.

So, what possible tests or checks could a recruiter do throughout an application and screening process?


  • CV and Cover Letter screening
  • Face to Face or Digital Interviews also includes one-way digital interviews.
  • Phone interviews
  • Online checks- this can include your social media and LinkedIn profiles
  • Checking References
  • Using ATS systems (Applicant tracking systems)
  • This can include a range of testing, including situational judgement testing, problem-solving tests and case study interviews and testing.
  • Assessment days and assessment centres
  • Trial and shadowing day


Some of these forms of testing are relatively new, and others have been put in place in recruitment strategies for a very long time. Recruiters have used pSTs to reduce bias firstly, but to also see what different skills a candidate has that would make them the most suitable for a role. There are now multiple formats of PSTs that can check for reading, writing, numeracy, data handling, data reporting and much more.

There are many benefits to PSTs, and here are some of them:

  • See how well candidates work under pressure
  • Their ability to think outside the box
  • See levels of analysis and interpretations skills
  • Ability to explain and draw conclusions from data
  • Unbiasedly testing cognitive ability


Some of the drawbacks PSTs


  • It is not very useful for assessing interpersonal communication skills, though it can evaluate other communication skills.
  • PSTs may not be capable of testing well for soft skills [such as communication skills, emotional empathy, social skills and more] there is not yet an accurate test for these skills, and there is obviously the question whether this type of test is the best for judging social skills in a candidate
  • Depending on where a candidate has to fulfil testing requirements, there may be early judgement on a candidate who may have better interviewing and communications skills


Moving on from PSTs there has been a new a strategy which is starting to take more and more prevalence, and n certain companies are replacing PSTs. PSGs stand for problem-solving games, where instead of a standard testing format, candidates are asked to play certain games to assess their critical thinking, amongst other skills. This phenomenon has become known as the gamification of recruitment, looking at how the rising gaming can be used to assess new candidates.


A question needs to be addressed: Are PSGs better than PSTs?


As problem-solving games are built to assess skill and strategy, one of the overarching benefits is that it does not feel like a test, which means that you may be able to immerse yourself into the world of the game you are in. If a candidate is a casual gamer as a hobby, then this can be beneficial. However, it may also be essential to note that some candidates may be at an advantage over others if they are gaming more regularly. To rectify this issue, there are detailed explanations, tutorials, and games that can be universally understood and completed by all candidates who get to that stage.


One of the most significant benefits, as already discussed, is that gamification is a step away from test formats, and this means that in real-time activities such as gaming, candidates have the opportunity to demonstrate all of their skills. Also, the fact that testing format is now a game means that there is less of an onus on candidates to prepare for the tests which means that they may be on more of an even playing field when assessing cognitive abilities, so there is the argument that gamification helps bring out more ‘natural’ abilities so to speak.


However, it may be difficult to do adequate numeracy and literacy testing that is required for specific jobs, it is possible that software is yet to be developed. Still, on the other hand, traditional formats of testing may just be more effective.


With advantages and disadvantages to this new recruitment testing strategy, it is an exciting era watching how the advancement of technology is making for new methods to test people’s aptitude for a job.


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