Gamification in recruitment will tell you the truth? (as opposed to CV)

According to one report cited by Forbes, the global gamification market was valued at $6.8 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach an impressive $40 billion in 2024. Companies use it for different purposes - gamification in recruitment is one of them. Is it true that it can help you engage potential employees immediately? Let's find out. 

What is gamification in recruitment?

The purpose of what we call recruiting is to assess a candidate's skills and knowledge. But during the process, you can also determine if the candidate fits in with the company's culture. It seems unrealistic during the speed recruitment. On the other hand, gamification in recruitment can be of benefit to recruitment specialists in various fields. They can, among others save time and increase the chances of hiring the right person for the job. The key is to implement an appropriate style of play that will allow candidates to be pre-qualified.

Despite the increased media attention in recent years, gamification in recruitment is nothing new. In fact, one of the earliest attempts in this area was made by the US Army in 1999. It did so with America's Army, an online game that allows players to virtually take part in skirmishes. For military recruiters, the knowledge obtained in this way helps to determine whether a potential soldier corresponds to their needs, interests and skills. America's Army is still used as a recruiting platform. However, as organizations compete for the best talent, gamification in recruitment has undoubtedly changed significantly. Games today are used to determine job applicants' risk tolerance and other characteristics that can determine how well they will perform in certain types of positions. They are also helpful in assessing the skills and abilities for specific roles that an employee would fulfill in an organization. 

The Entertainment Software Association reported that approximately 164 million people play games in the United States alone. The average age of these people is 33 years. Google, Siemens, and PwC are just a few of the big corporations that are currently using gamification in recruiting. And it's not for fun, but as an important part of your strategy employer branding. These companies saw two important facts. First, most of their new hires are millennials. Second, they are probably gamers too. 

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The benefits of gamification in recruitment

According to Jane McGonigal, an American game designer who advocates using mobile and digital technologies to drive positive attitudes and collaboration in the real world, millennials will spend 10,000 hours playing games before they turn 21. So it's no surprise that Millennial and Gen Z talents expect constant interaction with technology. As early as 10 years ago, according to a study by the Cisco System, millennials considered the Internet as important as air, water, food and shelter!

What else makes gamification in recruitment a highly justified activity? Personality questionnaires may be based on the applicants' ability and willingness to accurately describe themselves. Research has shown that such self-assessment questionnaires are potentially susceptible to significant distortion. Especially when a candidate is desperate for a job. Gamification can reduce this risk.

HR specialists note that games are also a great way to attract talent in the industry. For example, the next generation of cybersecurity talents probably comes from the gaming landscape. Gamification in recruitment is a way for employers to reach these people in their own environment. In principle, however, it does not have to be exclusively online. Communication strategy as part of gamification, it also gives the opportunity to meet face to face, providing recruiters with a mixed approach to communicating with talents. What speaks in favor of using game elements and game design techniques in a non-gaming context is also that the games appear to resonate with the target audience. It is estimated that gamification-related applications for employees currently outperform customer-oriented gamification-based applications. 

Gamification in recruitment - examples of activities

Gamification expert Yu-Kai Chou (born 1986) says that gamification is the project that puts the greatest emphasis on human motivation. Basically, in order to bring the expected benefits, it must be human-oriented. This is why gamification in recruitment works so well. Especially when the company wants to put the employee at the center of this process.

Gamification can occur at any or all stages of the recruitment process. For example, Domino's Pizza builds employer brand awareness by encouraging people to create their own pizza and earn badges and money every time it is sold. It attracts young candidates who want to join an innovative, fun and creative team.

gamification in recruitment helps to spot real talents

Games can also be used during the selection phase to test candidates for industry knowledge, product knowledge, and skills such as creativity and problem-solving. A great example is the Google Code Jam program, where programmers compete against their coding skills. The winner wins the championship title and $ 15,000. Award for Google? A short list of candidates who have proven their skills before applying for a job. But gamification in recruiting isn't just useful for finding and hiring the right people. When a new employee joins the team, it is worth using gamification also for onboarding. Why? Because companies that do this typically experience close to 50% increased engagement and 36% lower staff turnover. 

The advantage of gamification over the classic CV

It's easy to put your own stories on paper or make a special make-up to present yourself in the best possible light during an interview. But it's harder to fake extensive knowledge of a topic or get good results during gamification. Gamification in recruitment allows you to get a 360-degree view of each candidate within a few hours.

Many games adapt to the player's performance, giving him a sense of fulfillment, regardless of their level of play. Most of them are designed to start with easy questions / scenarios and increase / decrease the difficulty depending on how the players are playing. Such interaction engages candidates at a much deeper level. The employer, on the other hand, gains insight into their personality, behavior in a specific situation, preferences and thought processes. So he gets to know them much faster than in the "classic" approach, when the actual predispositions and skills of the employee are verified by life.

problems of entrepreneurs

In many cases, employing a given candidate turns out to be the right decision. Worse, when the character he "played" during a traditional job interview shows his true face shortly after signing the contract - expressed, for example, in an inappropriate approach to customers, and thus resulting in lower sales.  

The key principles of gamification in recruitment

Gamification is a way to check the competences of candidates before inviting them to official recruitment meetings. This is a way of searching for talents that can bring spectacular results.

Gamification in recruitment does not have strictly defined rules. Enterprises have a wide range of possibilities. Creativity and commitment to the entire process are what counts. However, it should not be forgotten to identify the incentives that motivate the group to take part in this form of recruitment. For most people, an effective motivation to act will be such factors as: willingness to compete with others, willingness to perform tasks that will bring specific results, achieving better and better results and comparing with others. These stimuli have a positive effect on the reward center located in the human brain. They cause a surge of dopamine, and thanks to it, a person feels pleasure and satisfaction in performing tasks.

Matching the dynamics and rules of the game to the specific requirements of the target group is the key to success. What elements cannot be missing in the recruitment game? First of all, continuous feedback in the form of clear, fair scoring. Points awarded for completing subsequent tasks in the form of immediate feedback are motivating. The participants of the game are fully committed to overcoming new challenges. The levels work in a similar way - they provide an appropriate structure in the game and motivate to act. Moving to the next level is an end in itself. It is a stop on your way to victory.

In normal games, level is an indicator of status. A high indicates that the player has devoted a lot of time to the game and deserves respect. It can be a good motivator for action, so it is important that it is visible to other players. A clear leaderboard is essential for this. The scoreboard increases competition awareness.

How do you get points and reach new levels? By completing the tasks! There is no shortage of quests in traditional games. Players on different levels have to defeat powerful bosses, deliver valuable items to the indicated places, collect various materials, treasures or other items. In recruitment games, it is worth including missions that will allow participants to prove themselves - they will test the specific skills of candidates and knowledge of topics important from the point of view of the company. Tasks should be manageable. Each participant must believe that they can win. Faith in winning will be a motivation to get involved, overcome weaknesses and take risks. Each obstacle will become a challenge.

The tasks in the recruitment game can perfectly prepare the candidate for the job of the company. Values that are important from the point of view of the game can be useful in everyday functioning in the company.

For completing each task, the player should be awarded, for example, with a badge. It could be something significant. Something that will make a participant feel special will gain respect in the eyes of competitors.

The game can introduce elements that will showcase the company. They will allow participants to get to know the brand better - its mission, vision, organizational culture, values and other areas important to the employee.

How to introduce gamification in recruitment?

Gamification in recruitment is the introduction of fun elements where originally this game was not. The game involves emotions, and thanks to this, the candidates show features that would be difficult to catch during a traditional interview. Gamification is a free form of recruitment that can bring benefits. However, it is important that it is introduced in an appropriate manner.

The elements necessary for the effective implementation of gamification are:

  • excellent knowledge of game mechanisms,
  • the ability to match the mechanics of the game and the plot to the vision, mission and functioning of the company,
  • awareness of the importance of competition in gamification and knowledge of consciously building commitment,
  • appropriate technological facilities.

Do your employees lack motivation?

Time to change something in the activities so far!

First, you need to define the goal of gamification. The goal may be to attract the best candidates, diversify the recruitment process, significantly selection of employees at the first stage of recruitment, increasing the involvement of candidates, reducing stress related to recruitment, etc. The goal is necessary to determine the form of the game. The dynamics of the game is of great importance. Addictive dynamics allows you to get the effect of "flow", that is, concentrated motivation. The participants are so committed to the task that it seems as if time has stood still. The plot is also important. It is what binds the game together, makes it interesting. Earning new badges or levels cannot be boring and predictable. Gamification is supposed to introduce an element of fun, so it must be interesting, designed in a creative, unusual way.

The game must have specific, detailed rules - awarding points, leveling up, reward system, etc. The rules should be clear and understandable to all participants. This will avoid misunderstandings and other unpleasant situations.

When introducing gamification to recruitment, we must remember the principle that failure is not the end of the world. The game should be designed in such a way that the player could improve his results, repeatedly approach the solution of those tasks that make him difficult. It should show that we can try multiple times, and that's okay - also in the real world. Sometimes you have to fail several times to be successful. The main thing is to be persistent and be patient. In such a context, gamification can be a very effective way to introduce new employees to work.

How does gamification in recruitment affect the company's image?

Image creation is a demanding process that assumes a long-term strategy. The strategy should include the company's goals, its vision, organizational culture, detailed aspects that distinguish it from the competition, consistent visual identification and many other elements. It is important to image building was a conscious, well-planned process. This will allow you to achieve success - create a strong brand that is very popular on the market.

The image is not only how the company is perceived by customers and contractors. No less important are the opinions of employees and potential employees. Thoughtful internal employer branding that's the basis. This is the key to building a strong one the employer's brand – create a positive image of the employer on the market by ensuring favorable employment conditions, attractive benefits, or employee programs supporting team development. Employer branding It starts already at the stage of designing job advertisements.

Announcements must be detailed, in accordance with the authentic state, and specified. They should contain information about the real salary range, terms of employment, duties in a given position and other things important from the point of view of the employee. However, clear announcements, excellent benefits, a friendly atmosphere at work and a good pro-employment policy are not all. In the era of a rapidly developing market and strong competition, innovation, searching for and implementing new, interesting solutions are of great importance. This is an important aspect, especially from the point of view of talents - employees desired by employers. Companies often outdo each other in their efforts to find outstanding employees. To get them, you have to stand out in some way. Gamification in recruitment is perfect for this.

Gamification makes the candidates perceive the company as modern, keeping up with the times, open to new experiences, new sensations, new opportunities. One where work is a pleasure. Gamification in recruitment is a confirmation that the employer offers inspiring working conditions, is able to create an atmosphere conducive to productivity and creativity - based on clear, and at the same interesting, rules different from all the others. Gamification in recruitment or gamification as part of everyday functioning in the company are the elements that make the employer desirable - this allows you to attract the attention of talents.

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