(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is sponsored by Criteria Corp, a leading provider of pre-employment testing services. Their testing system, HireSelect, is a SaaS (software as a service) solution that enables organizations to increase recruiting effectiveness using state-of-the-art technology. Criteria Corp has clients in all 50 U.S. states and 30 countries. Enjoy the post!)
Let’s face it. Looking for a new job isn’t always fun. It takes time to send out your resume out to lots of companies (aka “spray and pray”.) It involves waiting. Lots of waiting. So, what if I told you that it was possible to have a bit of fun while trying to find a new job?
Our friends at Criteria Corp have launched an app called JobFlare (iOS, FREE) that allows users to play “brain games” that are scientifically created to test the cognitive abilities that every employer wants AND are considered the key predictors of job success. Let me explain how the app works.
Cognitive Ability Correlates with Job Success
I don’t want to get too far into the weeds, but there is scientific research spanning the course of almost a century on the predictive validity of hiring methodologies. The research has found that cognitive aptitude is one of the most predictive factors of job performance, just after work samples (which is obviously hard to beat). So JobFlare allows users to play games that are highly correlated with cognitive aptitude tests, which have been consistently proven as one the most predictive factors of job success.
JobFlare offers six games. Each game in JobFlare takes 90-seconds. Users can play the games as much as they like.
- Math games (Infruition, Weigh Station)
- Verbal games (Words of a Feather, Mumble Jumble)
- Mental Fitness games (Robot Inspector, Expert Witness)
While JobFlare isn’t designed to improve cognitive function, Criteria Corp did share with me that candidates who are playing the games can regularly improve their scores. I believe using brain games in this way could reduce or eliminate some of the common apprehensions about job-related test-taking like “I was nervous so I didn’t do my best.” Or “If I could take it a second time, I’d do better.”
In my experience, employers really aren’t looking for employees to be perfect on a test. They do want employees who can think, reason, and improve with practice. And it’s important to note, employers don’t have direct access to see scores, so if a person starts out with a lower score, they don’t need to worry about anyone seeing them.
JobFlare Partnership with ZipRecruiter
Josh Millet, CEO of Criteria Corp, says that JobFlare takes the best of gamification to help users find a job. “Brain games are already a popular activity on smart phones. JobFlare uses games to measure the specific cognitive traits – problem-solving, learning ability, critical thinking, and attention to detail. These traits have been shown to best predict work outcomes and are coveted by most employers. We’re excited to partner with ZipRecruiter to deliver relevant job postings to JobFlare users.”
Here’s how the job posting feature works. Once an individual starts playing games, they can set up a user account including the job positions and industries they have an interest. Play all the games as many times as you want. After you play at least one of each game, you will start to receive email notifications from ZipRecruiter based on the information you provided. Now, let me offer a couple of caveats:
- Please remember that every job in the universe isn’t posted on ZipRecruiter. That’s not a ding against them. They have thousands of job postings. But there’s no one site with every open job.
- I talked with the JobFlare app developers and they gave me a high-level overview of how the job posting algorithm works. Basically, the emails start out very broad – meaning you will see lots of jobs – and get more focused over time based on the job openings you express an interest in (i.e. the ones you click on to learn more).
Flexibility Sets JobFlare Apart
I’ve been test driving this app for a few weeks and the thing I really like is its flexibility. When we’re looking for a job, we need to be flexible and the app provides it. JobFlare users can engage with one or both parts of the process as you wish.
- If you want to play the brain games and receive job postings, great!
- If you want to just play the brain games but aren’t ready to receive job postings, fine!
- And if you want job postings but don’t want to deal with the brain games, that’s okay too!
Some of you might still be wondering about brain games, cognitive ability, and validity. Criteria Corp also offered to send me the nitty gritty correlation coefficients and more, but as much as I love statistics, I didn’t really think it was necessary. I did ask Millet to set the record straight about brain games. “Let’s be clear: our games aren’t designed to be ‘brain training’ games, they are gamified ways to measure cognitive aptitude. No doubt they do play a role in sharpening your skills a bit, but they don’t increase your cognitive abilities. We designed the games with this in mind – all of our games are strongly correlated with our cognitive aptitude tests, which are designed specifically to predict job performance. We believe JobFlare represents a unique vehicle for connecting undiscovered talent to opportunity.”
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Adding a Few Fun Games to Your Job Search Isn’t a Bad Thing
While anyone can use JobFlare, it’s an ideal app for professionals at the beginning of their career, people considering a career or industry change, and individuals looking to downsize their work commitments (i.e. retirement). It provides an opportunity for self-awareness and education, which is always a good thing. Check out the JobFlare iTunes page for more details and to download the app.1