Gamification is a term still widely misunderstood. Often thought to have something to do with online gaming, it is in fact using game theory, mechanics and design (with all its fun, play, competition and addiction) to engage, motivate and recognise people in workplace situations – anything from learning & development to yes, recruitment. As Matt Jeffery, SAP vice president, global head of sourcing and employment brand, HR talent acquisition, says: “What we are really talking about are the dynamics of engagement. A great computer game ingrains itself into the consciousness and subconscious of the player to make them have one more play. We need to take that philosophy and work out how we can apply it in recruitment.”
Capable of being cost effective if well delivered, gamification is set to become an intrinsic tool in the attraction, recruitment and retention processes. It is capable of an impact few people yet realise. Gamification in companies is becoming so popular that, according to Gartner research covered in a Harvard Business Review blog post, elements of gaming were expected to be used in 25% of redesigned business processes by 2015, and 70% of Global 2000 businesses expected to manage at least one gamified application or system in 2014.
Here’s a real-world example of how gamification can be deployed, thanks to Jeanne Meister, Contributor on Forbes.com:
PwC Hungary developed a game called Multipoly to simulate what it’s like to work for the firm (candidates solve real world business problems). Traditionally, prospective candidates spent less than 15 minutes on their career website, they spend up to one and a half hours playing the game! Noémi Biró, PwC Hungary’s regional recruitment manager, noticed candidates who have played the Multipoly game were better prepared for the “live” face-to-face interviews, as the game “pre-educated them about PwC and its vision, services and skills needed for success.” Biró says new hires with Multipoly experience also find on-boarding at PwC easier, as they have already experienced company culture through the game. Since PwC launched Multipoly, the firm has reported 190% growth in job candidates with 78% of users reporting they are interested to learn more about working at PwC.
Games, simulations, and other multimedia-rich applications are not only predictive of on-the-job performance in that they show the natural behaviour of candidates, but they also help the hiring organisation to:
- Attract a more diverse group of applicants.
- Project an image of innovation.
- Provide insight into different lines of business within the organisation.
- Make the recruiting process more fun.
If you are not quite ready to launch a full-scale game, there are still ways you can build elements of gamification into your recruitment process, according to Isabel Williams, HR Specialist at BizDb:
- Virtual job fairs. The web is full of tools that allow you to easily create a virtual job fair, perfect for sharing more information about various positions. This will help you attract candidates and, if the design is suitably engaging, help you to test their qualifications.
- Tests and puzzles. This is both an effective and relatively inexpensive strategy for getting some valuable data throughout the hiring process. Incorporate games, multi-person discussions, short tests and problem-solving tasks to help assess a candidate’s competencies.
- If you’re running a candidate focused website as a part of your recruitment process, this could be a place for gamification. Every time a candidate leaves a comment, rates a video, takes a poll or performs a different action, you can give rewards like points and badges to make the process more engaging.
- Real-time progress. Another good idea for candidate focused websites is to provide a neat progress bar so candidates can instantly see how far they are into the recruitment process, helping them to focus on reaching later stages and collecting the ‘prize’.
- Video-based interviews. Giants like Sherwin-Williams or Starbucks are already using ‘video try outs’ for some jobs. It really is a perfect tool. Use a camera, prepare a script and you’re ready to test your candidates. Review their real-time reactions later; it will only add support to your hiring decision.
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