Case Study: Game Based Assessment for Astra International

Study Case: Game-Based Assessment for Astra International

Study Case: Game-Based Assessment for Astra International

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As one of the biggest conglomerates in Indonesia, Astra International has touched various aspects of national life through its products and services. The wide and diversified business has made Astra International absorbing at least 200.000 employees and growing. As Astra International always promotes innovation, its recruitment division, Astra Recruitment Center (ARC) continuously explores new ways and methods to make the recruitment process more efficient.

In this article, Agate team has the chance to talk with the ARC team, represented by Brian Marwensdy (Assessment Development Center Department Head), Marsella Yulita (Recruitment System Analyst), and Sheeren Yolanda (Assessment Development Analyst) about the impact of Underwater Maze game, ARC’s game-based assessment that was developed in partnership with Agate back in 2014. Not only it became a new way of assessing, Underwater Maze also became the finalist of Astra Innovation Challenge 2014.


Study Case: Game-Based Assessment for Astra International

What were the original intention and result expected in creating the Underwater Maze game?

In the overseas, we see that there are a lot of companies that have started using games—as in gamification to gain people’s interest. Although we see most of these games are used commonly for marketing, it actually also works well to capture and measure some particular behaviours as well as specific treat. Underwater Maze game was designed to be an assessment game measuring the persistence behaviour of the employment candidate. Our original intention was to provide a comprehensive test with a different approach. We wanted the candidate to have a different experience—a fun one, when they conduct the test.

We made the call to shift one of our assessment instruments because we found out that the conventional paper-based test put so much pressure on the candidate, while at the same time quite uninteresting. In addition to that, we also found out that we can set our own customized measurement parameter with the gamification when the paper-based one isn’t yet advanced enough with such application. Through gamification we get much more data which includes the frequency of the player repeats the game, fails at a certain level, continues to try, as well as to the very detailed one, such as screen-tap frequency in order to work the game out. Then we used the data to measure the behaviour of the candidate. With the gamification method, we wanted our candidate to be more in tune with the whole assessment process, thus giving us a clearer insight on those who meet our qualification.

In what aspect did the game measure?

Underwater Maze was specifically designed to measure persistence. However, the mindset when developing the game was trying to always open to every kind of possibility. The output data apparently came with a lot of other insights and variables, hence the result could be measuring more than just the persistence point, but also deeper. We found that there are four kinds of traits related to persistence that has been confirmed and tested within the three years of usage, through hundreds of selected candidates that already spent one year review in Astra work environment.

Study Case: Game-Based Assessment for Astra International

How far the result interferes with the actual employees’ habit and behaviour?

The insight has been also confirmed by certified psychometrics expert. The point of the assessment was to recognize the candidate’s action tendency, i.e; the total distance travelled while playing the game is comparable with the-now-employees’ persistence in their actual daily working environment.

How is the reception from management team looking at the 3 years result of this assessment game? 

As this was once a new method we were exploring, sceptical gesture surely appeared every once in a while. However, as we are walking further and see the proximity between the output data with the actual condition of the once-candidates today, the management team is starting to embrace the idea of assessment using gamification and even suggesting to explore further. There are also some other divisions that are starting to put interest in implementing gamification into their own system. And as we are the pioneering division to implement gamification, we have attended some discussions about this and share the insight from our point of view.

Based on the usage and the result of Underwater Maze, would you like to implement gamification further?

We are actually once again partnering with Agate to develop a new game-based assessment. Only this time is to measure the leadership competency. So, we are looking forward to a new journey of result exploration with this game.

How does the Astra Recruitment Center see the gamification implementation in Indonesia? 

We believe that gamification is a breakthrough solution and a fun way to get people captivated, either in terms of assessment, onboarding, and even engagement. Gamification is something we need to anticipate, especially since it is estimated that the 75% of the workforce will be the millennial generation by 2020. However, the gamification in Indonesia is still fairly new, so there is still a lot to learn and explore. We hope the awareness of gamification usage in Indonesia will grow even faster so it can be utilized in all fields.


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