Gamification in Recruiting: The Why and How of This Trend

Gamification in Recruiting: The Why and How of This Trend

Since 50% of the workforce in the US is made up of Millennials, and more GenZers are graduating every day, hiring managers need to start adapting their recruiting methods accordingly. Companies that want to appeal to this creative, forward-thinking talent, will be forced to think up ways of competing for the candidates’ attention and keep them engaged. Gamification in recruitment will not only help make the hiring process more enjoyable for applicants but will also help improve your employer branding, which in turn, will help attract the right talent for your culture and values.

Take the British intelligence agency GCHQ as an example. The company decided to include an encrypted message on its website, as a part of the application process. Those who couldn’t crack the code, could not move forward. With this simple gamification, the company provided a sense of the role, while also weeding out candidates according to the necessary skills. All of this was done in a creative way, adding a challenge and intrigue to the process.


What is Gamification in Recruitment?

First, let’s zoom in on the gamification term. The definition of this is using game theory, mechanics and gaming design to engage digitally with and motivate people toward a goal or target achievement. The military has been using this tool for a while as a way of training soldiers for high-pressure situations, and as a method of solving problems and testing skills, all by keeping them interested, thanks to the game format.

While gamification in recruiting is still relatively new, it continues evolving, with new and exciting tools available. Whatever the tool is, however, they are all based on the same principle — keeping the candidate engaged with the process. It is no secret that some candidates will choose to ghost your company if they find something better, or if they feel that the hiring process is too tedious. By creating your skills tests through gamification, you can improve the rate of candidates who continue with the process, while also reducing some of the pressure of testing.

Additional benefits of using gamification in recruitment include saving time and money. Imagine that instead of testing candidates through a trial period, you can simply design a game, where a few candidates will be tested at the same time, and the best one will be hired? Gamification in recruitment can also help drive diversity in your company. It can attract candidates that may not apply to a traditional job post if their skills don’t exactly match what you are looking for. But with gamification in recruiting, they will have the opportunity to prove they possess the needed skills.


Gamification in Recruiting – How to Get Started

We won’t sugarcoat it — gamification in recruitment is not cheap. It requires planning, and more importantly, development. Even if it’s something as simple as the GCHQ encrypted message, it needs to be written, designed and marketed. If it’s a skills test, there’s software that needs to be built, tested and learned by the hiring managers.

Consequently, before choosing to go the gamification route, you should make sure you know what your goal is. Do you want to create a viral job ad? Do you want to attract the most talented candidates in your niche? Do you want to create a targeted skills test? Do you wish to improve and shorten the recruiting process? After deciding on a goal, move on to the development stage:

  • Create a game that’s both fun and interactive. Remember that the aim is to get candidates to want to play.
  • Don’t forget to measure progress. If the candidates receive points for positive progress, they will want to continue playing. This will also make it easier for you to eliminate the less successful candidates.
  • The game should not only produce information about the candidate but include information about the company, to help candidates learn about your company culture, values, and the specific role.
  • Security is also an issue, as you want to make sure that the results you receive are as close to the truth as possible. When hiring based on gamification, there’s no room for cheating.

Another great example of gamification in recruiting comes from the Marriott Hotels. The company created a game on their Facebook page that simulates the tasks needed to be a hospitality manager. The best players were considered for the actual position. This game attracted more than 25K players in one week, checking all of the boxes — fun, interactive, informative, rewarding and testing the right skills; all of this while being marketed well.

As today’s workforce is born into a technologically-driven world, gamification is a natural step when it comes to recruiting. It is another way of assessing the candidate’s personal traits and expertise, which is not as tedious as adding interviews and written tests. It is, however, something that needs to coincide with your company’s culture and brand, in order to attract the talent that is best suited for you.