Human resource professionals increasingly enhance their assessment tools with game elements—a process typically referred to as “gamification”—to make them more interesting and engaging for candidates, and they design and use “serious games” that can support skill assessment and development. However, commercial, off-the-shelf video games are not or are only rarely used to screen or test candidates, even though there is increasing evidence that they are indicative of various skills that are professionally valuable. Using the strategy game Civilization, this proof-of-concept study explores if strategy video games are indicative of managerial skills and, if so, of what managerial skills. Under controlled laboratory conditions, we asked forty business students to play the Civilization game and to participate in a series of assessment exercises. We find that students who had high scores in the game had better skills related to problem-solving and organizing and planning than the students who had low scores. In addition, a preliminary analysis of in-game data, including players’ interactions and chat messages, suggests that strategy games such as Civilization may be used for more precise and holistic “stealth assessments,” including personality assessments.

Assessment, Gamification, Human resources, Recruitment, Serious games, Video games,
Review of Managerial Science
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Simons, A, Wohlgenannt, I. (Isabell), Weinmann, M. (Markus), & Fleischer, S. (Stefan). (2020). Good gamers, good managers? A proof-of-concept study with Sid Meier’s Civilization. Review of Managerial Science. doi:10.1007/s11846-020-00378-0