Meet our CSO

Dr. Nikolaou is a Work & Organizational Psychologist, Associate Professor in Organisational Behaviour and Director of the MSc in Human Resources Management at Athens University of Economics and Business.

He has written and contributed work in several books and has also published extensively in peer-reviewed scientific journals; with his main research interests laying in the field of Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources Management, and more specifically in employee recruitment, selection and assessment.

He is a member of the Academy of Management, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology and he is also the co-founder of the European Network of Selection Researchers (ENESER).

Taking into account his expansive expertise, industry knowledge and skill set, Dr. Nikolaou is Owiwi’s Chief Science Officer and we consider him a vital and integral component of our endeavors. He is responsible for all scientific matters pertaining to the development of our tool as well as for providing key insights and trends in the HR sector.

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Yes, it works.
But how did we make it?

The game presented by Owiwi has been developed following the most recent rigorous methodology in psychological construct development. The scientific team of Owiwi followed the methodology of Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs) in developing the assessment behind Owiwi.

What is a SJT?

SJTs are a popular personnel selection method, designed to assess an applicant’s judgment regarding a situation encountered in the workplace. Their popularity is based on the assertion that they assess soft skills and job-related skills not tapped by other measures, with a low adverse impact that nurtures positive applicant reactions. SJT’s present respondents with work- related situations and a list of plausible courses of action. Respondents are asked to evaluate each course of action for either the likelihood that they would perform the action or the effectiveness of the action. Thus, SJTs tend to determine behavioral tendencies, assessing how an individual will behave in a certain situation, and knowledge instruction, which evaluates the effectiveness of possible responses.

The predictive validity of SJTs

Several studies have demonstrated the predictive validity of SJTs. These studies have demonstrated that SJT scores have an average observed validity of .20, and have incremental validity over cognitive ability scores and Big Five personality ratings. One advantage of video-based SJTs is that the increased fidelity of presenting the situations in video format might lead to higher predictive validity whereas SJTs’ higher realism might result in more favorable applicant reactions. The most important step in the development of the SJT is to establish its construct validity. Construct validity responds to the question, “does the measure actually measure what it claims to measure?” This is the decisive issue for every new measure/assessment.

What Do We Measure

Owiwi’s scientific team carried out extensive literature research in order to identify the core competencies / skills that organizations are seeking from candidates. A list of the most crucial ones was created and those were chosen for the SJT and the game.

Why A Game?

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” - Plato We’re not the first to say that, but Plato was right; and science proves it. Extending previous research on Work/Organizational Psychology and traditional selection methods, we introduce a game-based assessment designed to measure candidates’ soft skills that is found to be associated with self-reported measures of performance. By incorporating game elements into assessments that do not use self-reported measures, but assess behavioral intentions, test-takers’ attractiveness and engagement into the assessment might be enhanced, while it might be more difficult for them to understand what is being assessed and what the correct answer is. As such, the use of game elements and designs improves the validity of assessments.

Why is this game more accurate than traditional selection tests and performance?

It beats traditional selection methods because several studies and meta- analyses support not only the validity of cognitive ability and personality tests but also their effective combination in predicting job performance. It’s more accurate, because the addition of game elements into the assessments render the assessments more difficult for candidates to decode and identify what the correct answer is, as personality traits or intentions and behaviors are assessed indirectly. It’s perfect, because every detail matters. In a gamified Situational Judgment Test (SJT) the clothing of the scenarios and answers with game elements might make the desirable behaviors less obvious to candidates and as a result, more difficult to distort what their reactions would be in a given situation as it is away from real life situations.

We built it on the concept of stealth assessment

Stealth assessments can accurately and efficiently diagnose the level of candidates’ competencies by extracting continuously performance data that are gathered during the course of playing/learning. In other words, stealth assessment is an assessment that is seamlessly woven into the fabric of the learning or gaming environment so that it’s virtually invisible, thus reducing test anxiety while not sacrificing validity and consistency . Along these lines, a gamified assessment environment might distract candidates from the fact that they are assessed, reducing test anxiety and promoting behaviors that are more likely to appear unconsciously instead of the desirable or socially acceptable ones.

So how do applicants perceive and evaluate gamification in the selection process?

They love it. Recruiters love it even more.

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