Gamification in Recruitment: How Can It Help You Hire Effectively?

By Georgi Todorov

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Did you know that the global gamification market is expected to grow to nearly $12 billion in 2021?

Gamification is being used for educational purposes, learning, team building, leadership training, and recruitment. In 2019, 78% of employees said that they will be more inclined to work for a company that uses gamification during the recruitment process. 

Do you think leveraging gamification in recruitment is a new tactic?

Not really. Big brands such as Google have been deploying it to hunt the right talent for their companies for a long time. Gamification is also prevalent in other parts of online life. Gamification in eCommerce is a common way to build customer loyalty and increase AOV.

Back in 2004, Google attracted mathematics geniuses using a mystery billboard placed in the heart of Silicon Valley. The billboard posed a complex mathematical question for all readers.

It read:

“{first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits}.com"

The answer to this riddle was:, which would lead the people who solved Google’s riddle to a web page that had another equation to solve.

Till now, there was no sign that this game was hosted by Google.

When people solved that equation, they were redirected to a page of Google’s research and development department. The page read:

“One thing we learned while building Google is that it's easier to find what you're looking for if it comes looking for you. What we're looking for are the best engineers in the world. And here you are.

As you can imagine, we get many, many resumes every day, so we developed this little process to increase the signal-to-noise ratio."

And yes, the math-minded individuals who cracked both the riddles were then hired by Google.

That’s not all.

Google also hosts programming challenges to easily attract pre-screened, high-quality candidates for different jobs. This helps them find great candidates who have the skills they need.

Let’s take a look at ways in which gamification can help you hire more effectively.


Test Candidates for Specific Skills

What are you looking for in the perfect candidate for a specific job? Is it creativity? Or, is it analytical skills and basic reasoning?

While you can ask relevant questions in the job interview, it will still be difficult to analyze whether or not a candidate meets your criteria. A game such as a riddle, Solitaire, Mahjong, coding test, or equation solving can help you judge candidates for the capabilities you’re looking for.

For example:

If you want to hire a candidate with great time management skills, you can develop a time-based game to test them. When they’re attempting it, you can attack them with different types of distractions to identify the most focused and dedicated candidates.


Make the Recruitment Process Less Stressful

Most companies hold multiple rounds of interviews and test assignments, which can get stressful for candidates. An easy way for HR experts to make the recruitment process less stressful is to leverage gamification.

Games are usually fun and interactive, which makes them less tedious and scary than answering interview questions. It can help you engage candidates in a better way.

At the same time, using the right games will still allow you to analyze the personality and skills of the applicants.

To help with this, automated talent acquisition frameworks can save you time with job posting, screening, and assessing. Using such platforms can significantly enhance the productivity of the whole recruiting process, and combined with gamification, bring the best people to your team.


Evaluate People with No Prior Work Experiences

The most difficult part of the recruitment process is to hire freshers for different fields of work. As they have no past experience, it’s difficult to judge their aptitude for working in a certain department.

For example:

If you want to hire entry-level salespeople, how will you evaluate if a person will be able to sell your goods efficiently?

You can ask them to play a well-curated game that tests their persuasive skills, creativity, and sales-oriented mindset. This will prevent you from rejecting candidates who may not have an impressive resume but have a high potential to become a good salesperson.

Gamification also helps you evaluate the capabilities of candidates who are changing their industry and have no experience in the current job role. Games can help you judge their ability to adapt and learn new things.


Save Time on Finding the Right Candidates

The traditional way of finding the right candidates, testing their skills, and recruiting the best ones is tedious and time-consuming. Whether you’re hiring remote sales agents, painters, or in-house designers, using gamification in recruitment can help you save time and screen candidates more effectively

Only those who really meet specific criteria will be able to pass the game or achieve a set score. Then, you can interview pre-screened candidates to find the right one for your business.

For example:

You want to hire a new chef at your restaurant. Instead of holding a cooking test or competition, you can create a game that allows people to cook their own digital dishes with virtual ingredients.

One such game was Domino’s Pizza Legends, which allowed users to choose a pizza base, sauce, and topping combination with some extra magical ingredients. Though this game was aimed at offering personalized pizzas to customers, you can also use similar games to test the creativity and knowledge of potential chefs for your restaurant.

This will help save you a lot of time that you would otherwise spend testing all applicants in the kitchen. When you test applicants with a game, you’ll only be left with the best ones for the actual interviews.


Quick Tips: Using Gamification in Recruitment

Before you decide to introduce gamification to speed up your recruitment process and make it more efficient, you should learn what it takes to get it right.

You should:

  • Plan well.
  • Choose the right games based on the skills and knowledge you’re looking for in the ideal candidates for a particular job.
  • Make it as engaging and fun as possible. Candidates should not feel like they are being monitored. In fact, you can also launch games anonymously so that the right people come to you without knowing that the game will lead them to a job. For example, you can use gamified pop ups to increase the overall engagement
  • Include some sort of reward system or scorecard in the game you launch. This will help you measure results instantly. You can pre-screen individuals who managed to reach a certain level or score.
  • Promote the game well. If you’re launching a game anonymously to attract the right candidates, you should ensure that it is available to a larger audience. For example, Google placed its ad on a billboard in Silicon Valley to attract candidates with mathematical minds.

Are You Ready to Hire the Best Candidates Using Gamification Techniques?

Gamification does take a lot of work but it is worth all the efforts. It is a perfect option to spice up your hiring process, save time, and generate great results.

You should develop a clear plan to create a game that can test candidates for relevant skills and knowledge. Make sure that you use a reward or score system to filter high-quality candidates easily.

You might need to take help from tech experts to make this happen.

After a candidate is hired, an awesome employee onboarding experience to get them up and running quickly will help keep the best employees around.

Do you have questions about using gamification for recruitment? Have you tried using this hiring tactic before? Share your experiences and questions in the comments below.

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