Gamification in Recruitment: All You Need to Know


The French postal service used a gamified recruitment approach to reduce recruit dropouts from 29% to just 8%! We explore all the hype around gamification in recruitment, its real-world benefits, and how you could go about applying game theory to any recruitment process.

Gamification is now a buzzword across businesses and industries. So, what is gamification?

In definition, gamification uses game theory, mechanics and gaming design to engage digitally with and motivate people for a goal or target achievement. Companies use these gaming modules to improve a customer’s or an employee’s interest in a brand, deepening engagement. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, most companies believe gamification can prove to be a major differentiator. Let’s now zero in on why gamification in recruitment makes perfect sense.

Also read: Gamification — A Game Changer for HROpens a new window

Gamification in Recruitment: Self-Analysis and Intelligent Screening

An interview is all about a candidate’s ability to self-evaluate. Typically, candidates tend to pre-plan their answers while recruiters try to delve deeper into a candidate’s sentiment, behavior, and overall experience. This is where gamification can make a difference. By integrating gamification with common interview processes, one can introduce interactive quizzes, company-related quests, behavioral tests, and other industry challenges, to make the screening mechanism more conversational, entertaining and meaningful. It will also help the candidate consider simulated work environments and recruiters can check on an applicant’s creativity, innovation, aptitude, and problem-solving capacities.

“Right now, gamification in HR has primarily focused on employee performance and motivation, yet there are solid grounds for arguing the case for gamification reaching into recruitment. Google and Facebook are already immersing potential candidates in coding challenges to uncover the most skilled of developer talent; while other, non-multi-billion tech brands, are also getting in on the act,” commentedOpens a new window  Merin Mathew, Writer and ‘Gigital’ Strategist with years of experience in the space.

Let’s now look at what are the many benefits of gamification in recruitment.

Simpler, Smarter and Fun: Why you Need Gamification in Recruitment

In simplest terms, a recruiter’s job is to better understand a candidate’s past experiences, previous roles, behavior and sentiment, confidence and ambitions, and finally assess whether he/she is a good fit with the organizational culture. When gamification is applied to this process, it can yield several major benefits.

  • The elimination process is way faster as companies can test specific skill-sets such as innovative thinking, creativity and time management.
  • The candidate can easily garner ideas on the role and the organization while making it fun and vibrant.
  • On-the-job performance of a candidate can be assessed by offering simulated scenarios, thereby unraveling behavioral traits and capabilities.
  • Gamification is a smart and attractive way of interviewing and screening possible applicants. It makes recruitment more interactive and adds to the brand value of a company, given its youthful and energetic verve.

Also read: Gamifying the Recruitment ProcessOpens a new window

So, how do you gamify the recruitment process?

Applying Gamification to Recruitment and Making it Work

Modern-day hiring teams now know that gamification is the best way to identify millennial candidates, who have grown up living on smartphones, playing virtual reality games, and constantly staying active on social media. So, here are some of the ways you can link gamification to recruitment.

Leaderboards & dashboards: These come with predefined goals and scoring sheets, making identification of the best candidates much easier. They also allow for the tracking of recruitment progress, recognizing top performers, leading to healthy competition within the hiring team.

Employee referrals: Gamification can be used to boost the sharing of vacant positions among current employees across social media. This would work just like an in-house referral program, except that it now has a much wider audience. Tools like CareerBuilder already includes this feature (more on this later).

Virtual headhunting: There are several online tools with which recruiters can create engaging virtual job fairs, attracting candidates.

Puzzles: These are highly effective and a low-cost approach towards understanding candidate competencies, cutting through boredom and time-consuming legacy testing procedures.

Rewards: If your organization has a branded career site, there is an excellent opportunity for gamification in recruitment. One can add reward points and badges for the candidates who come by the site, share a comment, take a poll or rate your company’s performance.

Real-time progress charts: Another way in which gamification can change things around is by adding a progress bar, where a candidate can check where he/she stands on the recruitment pathway. It will also keep the candidate engaged and enthused on reaching the final stage and winning the ‘prize’.

Also read: How Gamification Achieves High Scores For Internal CommunicationsOpens a new window

Now that we have established the many facets and benefits of gamification, let’s close by offering an interesting and enlightening case study.

An Example of Gamification in Recruitment: When Being a Postman is Great Fun

The French postal service, Formaposte, was struggling with employee retention. After an initial period, around one-quarter of new hires continued to leave the company, making a major dent in recruiting and hiring budgets. To address this, the company considered gamification in recruitment.

Formaposte created and launched the Jeu Facteur Academy, where players/potential candidates could live the life of a postman for a week, waking up early, experiencing the various elements of the work cycle, and even its ethics and essentials. Needless to say, the effort was a tremendous success. Dropout rate fell from 25% to 8% Opens a new window and the game became a permanent part of the recruitment process.

Also read: Gamification and Learning – What You Must KnowOpens a new window

A Final Word

Well, the argument for gamifying recruitment is indeed compelling. If you’re not comfortable with building a gamified recruitment process from scratch, there are ready-to-deploy tools like CareerBuilder Opens a new window available to help get started. CareerBuilder’s Android and iOS apps support gamification, where job seekers can earn points and potential rewards for taking different actions.

Ahead of conventional interviewing standards, then, gamification allows the entire recruitment process to become more interactive and in-depth, without the possibility of tedium or complexity. It also lets recruiters use several other channels and platforms, from online tools to social media. In other words, it helps to assess candidate quality and behavior genuinely, thereby choosing the most fitting applicants for the right roles, in-line with organizational targets and culture.