Gamification in Recruitment

Over recent years gamification has grown in the recruitment field, being attractive due to its potential to improve candidate engagement, enhance hiring decisions and quicken the recruitment process.

Its rise in the recruitment space has come about through the influences of different fields, including behavioural science, neuroscience, and gaming. According to HR Technologist, “gamification uses game theory, mechanics and gaming design to engage digitally with and motivate people for a goal or target achievement.”

One benefit of applying gamification to the recruitment process may be to allow the assessor to observe certain skills or behaviours that are more difficult to see in a traditional interview. Indeed, candidates can be inclined to plan and memorise their answers to interview questions, while the recruiter´s objective is to assess the candidate on a deeper level. By applying game-style assessment techniques, recruiters may be able to overcome this challenge and observe candidates´ real-time decision-making as they are confronted with new information and unfamiliar situations. For example, recruiters can use simulative exercises which expose candidates to scenarios designed to test time management or creativity.

Another advantage of simulation is that it can give candidates an insight into the tasks involved in the role. As mentioned in Forbes, one of these companies, a postal service, did so as a measure to combat a high turnover rate, which was becoming a financial drain on the organisation. Applying gamification in this format may be mutually beneficial to the candidate and the employer in terms of job fit and retention: it gives candidates exposure to the work they would be doing in the role and can therefore help them to decide if the job will suit them in the long run, while it simultaneously allows the recruiter to assess how the candidate behaves in a situation modelled on the real job.

In terms of candidate experience, gamification can make the assessment experience more fun and thus improve organisational attractivity, reputation and branding. The gaming element may also help to put candidates at ease, which could mean those who struggle with nerves or performance anxiety will more likely be able to demonstrate their competencies and abilities during the recruitment process.

Additionally, the use of online games in the screening phase may help to reduce time to hire, because it eliminates the time needed for candidates to complete tests and instead provides an instant result. This could reduce the chance that a candidate drops out of the process and thus save the organisation time, resources, and ultimately cost. In one tech startup, replacing the former interview process with a coding gaming challenge produced a 40% shorter interview cycle, as well as a 62% higher offer ratio.

Using gamification in the initial application phase could also bring in employees with a greater breadth of experiences, thereby aiding companies who want to orient recruitment around skills and future potential as opposed to previous experience. Indeed, such an approach may mean that candidates possessing the desirable skills and behaviours are given the opportunity to show them and are not eliminated from the process if they do not possess relevant work experience. This could boost organisational diversity and improve the quality of hires.

References:

  1. Gamification in Recruitment: All You Need to Know, November 2018, HR Technologist.
  2. Seven Benefits Of Gamification In The Hiring Process, March 2020, Forbes.
  3. Gamification in recruiting: How and why to give it a shot, Workable.