5 min read

Using Gamification in Recruitment

Ryan Green
Ryan Green April 21, 2021
Gamification in Recruitment

Gamification is not a new concept. It gained popularity around 2010. Since then it has stuck around as a successful tool to increase customer and employee engagement in a goal-oriented way. Simply put, gamification introduces game elements into non-game situations.

People have a tendency to stick to what they know and with the use of gamification, companies can easily mix this up. Especially within recruitment, gamification adds healthy competition and the opportunity for progression. Moreover, it motivates people to learn and solve problems in an unconventional way.

What is gamification?

Gamification is the strategic attempt to recreate job-like experiences and scenarios in the form of a gameplay environment to motivate and engage users. Users often compete and ultimately those who perform best are likely to be hired.

Gamification is ordinarily applied to solve problems such as crowdsourcing, recruitment issues, customer retention and engagement. Designers use gameplay elements in non-gaming settings.

Why use gamification in recruitment?

When doing something we enjoy, our brain is more active. Because of this, we're able to take in and absorb more information which is essential for learning. When gamification methods are applied to learning, the whole process suddenly becomes increasingly more enjoyable to the individual and it's an excellent tool for learning and acquiring a goal-oriented approach.

Introducing gamification into your recruitment process

Just like any new tool, gamification needs to be introduced carefully. Before applying gamification you need to first assess your goals through analysis and monitoring. Gamification elements need to serve their purpose and also be clearly measurable.

#1 Plan effectively

Planning is super important when it comes to introducing gamification. Some questions you should ask yourself are: what type of game will this be? What does success look like for recruitment? How will we align it with the job skills and knowledge needed? How will we measure results?

#2 Use gamification tools

There are many gamification tools available to help introduce gamification into your organization. For example benchmark games provides gamified assessments - a gameplay assessment tool taking 15 minutes for users to complete.

#3 Make the experience fun and engaging

Gaming is fun and entertaining. Assessment tests are not. So when introducing gaming to your recruitment process, ensure it's fun and engaging for users. You can do this by testing it on your current employees and getting user feedback.

#4 Get user feedback

User feedback is essential. From A/B testing to qualitative and quantitative surveys you need to capture data from users and use it as feedback to improve your user experience. If the UX sucks, you probably won't get the positive outcomes you're hoping for.

#5 Measure key metrics

Recruitment metrics are really important and introducing gamification will add even more crucial metrics to your monthly reporting. Based on your hiring goals you need to work out what the best metrics are for measuring

#6 Promotion and branding

Employer branding has never been more important. A fun gaming experience as part of your hiring process could certainly help promote your company. The key here is to ensure it's authentic and aligned with your organization's values (and brand guidelines).

You should work closely with your PR and marketing team to ensure you get as much coverage and user engagement as possible.

Gamification in recruitment example: Google Case Study

One of our favourite examples of gamification in recruitment is Google Code Jam. A competition designed by one of the biggest companies in the world.

Competitors enter by completing a series of coding skills tests - working your way through multiple rounds of algorithmic coding puzzles for the title of Code Jam Champ and $15,000 USD. It's one of 3 competitions that Google holds for participants of all skill levels.

Those who succeed in the competition are typically offered jobs to work at one of the best companies in the world.

Benefits of gamification

Gamification in Recruitment

1. Gamification works both ways

It can mix things up both for the recruiter and job applicants. Traditional interview formats don't always provide the best results for when you want to assess the candidate's abilities fully. The majority of job applicants pre-plan their answers for common interview questions.

By introducing gamification elements to the recruitment process, recruiters are able to present company-related situations better and see how well the candidates react. This can be done through industry-related challenges and company-centric quests.

2. Gamification allows testing of key skills

When gamification elements are used in recruitment, it is much easier to test particular skills that your company has pinpointed as essential for future employees. Aptitude tests, behavioural quizzes, and creative thinking tests for solving problems are excellent for testing whether potential candidates are able to fit in your company environment and bring additional value with key skills. This is excellent for candidate elimination allowing you to narrow your search.

3. Gamification can simulate the actual on-the-job performance

Gamification in Recruitment

You can always ask your candidates to imagine a potential everyday situation on the job and see how they respond to challenges. On the other hand, when you integrate the same everyday situations through gamification elements, the observed results can be more revealing.

For example, when the candidate is asked to run a factory in a game setting, it can reveal their time-management, leadership, and problem-solving skills better through action rather than description.

4. Gamification introduces healthy competition

Instead of traditional incentives, gamification is a fantastic tool to increase healthy competition among recruiters. It motivates learning and applying the newly acquired skills into a successful recruitment process.

In the same vein that leaderboards work in-game settings, they can also be applied to recruitment as recruiters have a clear points system based, for example, on the deals closed. This in return challenges their ability to look for solutions that would put them ahead of their competitors.

Ryan Green
Ryan Green April 21, 2021

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