Gamification in Recruitment: Why and How?

Using gamification to re-engineer your recruitment process for better candidate selection and engagement.
Gamification in Recruitment: Why and How?
Amrit Acharya

The traditional recruitment process is no longer providing the best outcomes for companies. For example, the questions asked in interviews often don’t really showcase a candidate’s true potential.

While gamification as a concept isn’t new, HR teams are looking at data to understand which part of the existing recruitment process would genuinely benefit from gamification.

Recruiters found that most Gen Z candidates are fond of gaming.

Using the same mechanics found in games, it could be possible to attract and screen the candidates. Moreover, the use of gamification will lead to better outcomes and insights.

So you must have been wondering, why make this change in the recruitment process now? And what on earth is Gamification? Read on to learn more.

What is Gamification in Recruitment?

Gamification in recruitment refers to adding a game-like experience during the recruitment process. The end goal is to avoid candidate drop off during the recruitment process.

According to experts, the gamification process helps to grow a candidate’s interest in a job. Using gamification also shows that you’re a progressive employer. This process also helps recruiters get into the insights and potential of each candidate.

During the recruitment process, gamification creates touch points at any stage. For example, Marriott Hotels hosted a game on their Facebook page where players were required to virtually run the hotel and perform tasks.

When they reached a certain level, they were shown a “Do it for Real” button which routed them to the job application page. As a result, Marriott receives high quality potential leads and increases its’ hiring funnel.

This game attracted young candidates looking to join for a real job in the hospitality sector.

In an applicant screening test, games can easily be used to unearth a candidate’s potential. Industry knowledge, creative skills, and problem-solving abilities can all be creatively tested and scored in a game.

This method of screening gives you potential candidates before they even apply for a job at your company.

Why use Gamification in recruitment?

Let me take you through the insights into how gamification has changed the hiring process and how recruiters benefit from using this.

1. Save time and test candidates’ industry knowledge

Job applications can be super time-consuming and boring. Recent recruiting stats reveal that 42 percent of job applicants were put off by the long job application procedure.

Interview questions are often templated and it’s easy to fake answers. Game-based applications test the domain skills and soft skills of an applicant. It’s difficult for a candidate to fake expertise during a real-time, game-based assessment. This process saves recruiters and management a lot of time.

42% of job applicants are put off by a company’s job application procedure.

2. Make the recruitment process less stressful and more engaging

Recruitment is a stressful process for both the candidate and the recruiter. Do you want to avoid having multiple interviews? Try introducing a gamified questionnaire.

You can use this to introduce candidates to the organisation’s vision and values. Seeing as games usually involve fun, candidates will feel less pressured and more at ease to put their best foot forward.

3. Keep up with your competitors

Most of the major companies in the market have already started using gamification in recruitment. The younger workforce is more attracted to dynamic, gamified application processes and assessments.

To engage with the best quality candidates, you need to show them you represent an innovative organisation where they can be themselves fully and grow in their careers.

Adopting this change in hiring also shows that you’re in step with technology trends and investing in the company’s growth.

Now that we’ve got a clear idea about what gamification is and why you should consider making use of it, let’s see how it can benefit recruitment for your company.

How to use Gamification in Recruitment?

Early adoption of gamification in business was designed to boost employer branding. Today, games are used for both recruitment and branding. Below are a few steps on how to use it effectively in recruitment:

1. Make a plan

It would be best to plan before using a game in the recruitment process. What goals do you want to achieve? What kind of game will it be? What do you want to measure and how are you going to track the results? How will it help you to test the relevant candidate skills and knowledge that you want to test? How will you make it happen and what resources do you need?

2. Make the game as engaging as possible

The main purpose of using a game is not to confuse the candidate, but making a fun game will make them feel less stressed. This way, candidates will be more engaged during the recruiting process and therefore your game should be simple, entertaining, and highly interactive.

Your game should be simple, entertaining, and highly interactive.

3. Create a reward system

Playing games has an advantage: it gives instant results and rewards. So, to make candidates aware of the reward system and keep them motivated, show them the progress of how they’ve performed.

A simple system to measure and track the game results will make the elimination process more efficient.

4. Promote the game

The game needs to be available to a larger audience to attract a pool of candidates. Whenever companies use games in hiring, it can also be used to boost their brand compared to their competitors.

If you plan to promote your game, you’ll get access to a larger pool of available talent. In addition, promoting it on the right platforms will help your brand visibility and grab the attention of top candidates.

A couple of great organisations have already adopted gamification for recruitment. Let me walk you through how they use gamification in their recruitment processes:

How have companies incorporated Gamification in Recruitment?

Fiverr Employee Referral Gamification Program

Employee referral programs are the perfect use case to implement gamification in recruitment by revitalising a usually boring process. Most large organisations start employee referral programs with a bang but fail to sustain the momentum.

Fiverr — a freelancer marketplace — provided employees with points and credits for each applicant who applied via their referral. Employees often competed to stay at the top of the referral leaderboard.

  • Fiverr set up a rewards programme and awarded their referring employees appropriately. Gamifying this aspect of their recruitment process created a virtuous cycle.

Google’s Code Jam

Code Jam is an annual coding competition organised by tech giant Google and is one of the best examples of gamification in HR. It is their way of finding new talented coders to work for the company.

Google’s gaming competition doubles up as their recruitment process.

Usually, engineers and developers enroll in contests and compete to win a monetary prize. Instead, Google uses it as a platform to attract potential candidates with the right skills required for the job and the company.

The contest winners, or the ideal candidates, are eventually offered a job at the company.

Virtual Games by US Army, Domino’s and Marriott Hotel

The US Army was one of the first to implement game-based assessments. America’s Army was the official game of the US Army. On similar lines, Domino’s developed a game app where anyone can make their pizzas and learn their recipes. We’ve already mentioned the My Marriott Hotel game which runs on the hotel chain’s Facebook career page.

All these games have one thing in common. They provide applicants with a virtual experience of a day on the job. These games test for decision-making, emotional intelligence, and conscientiousness.

Get Started

It takes a lot of effort and design thinking in order to gamify a recruitment experience. However, companies implementing these gamified assessments have hugely benefited. In the end, it’s all about providing a great and memorable candidate experience. Use gamification to re-engineer your recruitment process for better engagement. Engage with your applicants and showcase your company culture.

About the author

Amrit Acharya is the head of products at Xobin. Amrit and his team help over 600 companies with bias-free recruitment using online assessments. An avid tennis fan, Amrit writes about recruitment optimisation, hiring strategies, and product management.

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