How to use gamification to recruit talented employees

Photo: Tom Haak

Gamification is an approach which has been brought to us by modern technology, and one which has been gathering steam in the past few years. There has been a lot of talk of using gamification in education, as well as language learning, but there are only a few examples of it being used successfully in business. One area where gamification can be used to benefit both parties is recruitment. According to Jobvite, 65% of the recruiters name lack of right candidates as their biggest problem.

And some of them are starting to use gamification as a means of making a selection among the candidates. For example, there is a company called Knack, which, instead of the usual boring interview, provides a game called “Wasabi Waiter”, where you have to play a role of a waiter. But, while the game may look cute and interesting, it was actually designed by a team of designers, developers, as well as data and behavioural scientists. The game measures your reactions, the way you act around the customers, keeps tabs on which areas of the screen you touch the most, and a whole bunch of other factors which are important to the company you are applying with.

Shell is also in on it, with “The Shell Exploration Game”, where potential employees are required to explore a given region and squeeze out as much energy out of it as possible by solving problems and puzzles. Then there is the “America’s Army”, which has been developed for over 10 years by the U.S. Army. It was developed as simulation of the actual army, giving the recruiters a chance to familiarise themselves with the army at their own pace. But, it is also used a tool for screening and selecting the candidates.

Here are a few ideas on how you can use gamification to recruit new talent.

1. Organize a competition

To attract top talent in your industry, you can organize a competition, which is something Google does on a regular basis. There are several benefits of this approach. You attract those which are competitive and passionate, and your company gets some positive exposure, which can drive even more people to apply. On the other hand, you will get more by offering cash prizes in addition to an open job position, which can set you back financially. Nonetheless, it’s a small price to pay in order to hire the best candidate out there. Although 49% of the companies think that their employees put their salary in front of everything, things like work-life balance and opportunities to learn are nearly as important.

2. Start a virtual job fair

UBM Studios Unicruit has conducted a survey regarding virtual job fairs, and found that 92% of the attendees asked to be invited back in the future. Also, 84% of them would recommend a virtual career fair to a friend. There are plenty of tools online which enable you to create a virtual job fair with ease. You can also design your fair in a way that will also test your candidate’s skills and qualifications, narrowing down your choice of the right people.

3. Have your candidates solve tests and puzzles

While your candidates’ qualifications and experience are somewhat easy to check, checking their other abilities, such as their ability to think under pressure or problem-solving capacity are not. To get to know your candidates better and gather valuable data about them, present them with a short test, puzzles, and problems during the interviewing process to assess their abilities. That way, you can find a candidate which may not be the best on paper, but which certainly can become the best down the line.

4. Do video interviews

Video interviews are beneficial for both the employers and future employee.

Employees can save down on the costs, because they don’t have to go looking for the appropriate facility, but also because they can back to doing work fairly quickly. On the hand, the experience is less stressful for the candidates, because they can present themselves from the comfort of their own homes.” –  said Steven Davis, who is an HR manager for CareersBooster.

This is also the only viable option available if you are looking to hire a remote worker. On top of that, if you are a recruiter or an employer, you can record the interviews and view them later, and make sure that you’ve chosen the best possible candidate.

5. Show a progress bar

You can a lot of this nowadays. For example, if you are putting together a profile on freelance websites, or anything similar, you will be able to see an indicator bar which tells you how far along you’ve come in the process of creating your own profile. The same approach can be used to keep to job candidates engaged and to motivate them to move on to the next stage as soon as possible. Once they have reached the end, they will be able to claim their reward.

A final word

If you are having trouble scouting the right people for a position inside your company, perhaps you should try to gamify the entire process. Not only will you make the entire process less stressful and more entertaining for both parties, but you will also be able to gather valuable information about the best talent out there, which you will be able to rely on in the future if needed.


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