Innovation in HR: Gamification

getwork user
By Mash Juzar

28 July 2021







Gamification is a growing trend, especially in the education and training industries. The concept involves using the theory, principles, and design of a game to motivate individuals to achieve goals in a virtual world. It is now being used in the recruitment world. In today’s competitive marketplace, companies are rapidly implementing gamification to improve user experience and sustain engagement with their brand.


Gamification & Recruitment

Interviews are all about gauging the candidate’s ability to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses. Candidates often show up to interviews with practiced answers to probably interview questions. This leaves interviewers trying to assess the candidate’s behavior, attitudes, and mindset.

Integrating gamification with the interview process can allow recruiters to use interactive quizzes, behavioral tests, and industry-related challenges to make the screening process a lot more engaging and meaningful. Simulated work environments will also allow recruiters to assess the candidate’s practical skills in terms of creativity, innovation and problem-solving.

A famous example of successful gamification integration in recruitment was back in 2004 by Google. They released mathematical riddle on billboards across Silicon Valley that led to a series of puzzles and challenges. Candidates were able to enjoy the games and possibly land a job at Google, while the tech giants seamlessly were able to attract fresh new talent.

Gamification holds endless possibilities. There are various ways that you can structure games to attract desirable talents. Marriott Hotel developed a game that allows candidates to design and manage their own restaurants. They applied gamification techniques such as a point-based reward system to their business simulation. LinkedIn tied up with Flipkart to run the first Recruiting Hackathon where teams were in competition with one another to fill vacancies in the least amount of time. They were able to score 226 candidates in less than 5 hours.

The buzz around gamification is massive. A survey by TimesJobs revealed that around 60% of organizations are using gamification to hire or engage their employees. With half of them using it at the time of screening. Employers are looking for new ways to hire, engage and retain employees with innovative strategies. Gamification could be a solution.  

Why you need Gamification

  1. Test Practical Skills: These structured games will reveal the candidate's behavioral traits, time management, innovation skills. You will also be able to assess the motivation of the candidate especially if they are completing all rounds of the challenge.
  2. Fast Elimination Process: You will have very rich data collected at the time of screening that will quickly tell you which candidates are right or not right for your organization. You will be able to quantifiably assess these candidates and use the data to modify the games.
  3. Enhanced Sourcing, More Engagement: Candidates will start coming to you. By giving an engaging experience, you will attract talent relentlessly. That’s exactly what happened with Google.
  4. Brand Value: Because you’re engaging talent and providing a solid candidate experience, you’re in turn increasing your brand value. In today’s digital world, brand value is everything. Your candidates are talking about their experience, and a good experience means your brand will garner more attention.  
  5. Less Stress: Candidates will be a lot more at ease to complete a game than sit in front of a recruiter answering questions. Giving your candidates an environment that allows them to convey their skills with ease will show you what they’re really capable of. The tense interview rooms are far from the environment that your candidates will actually be performing in.
  6. Keep Up with Competitors: Gamification IS picking up across industries. Namely, the Logistics, Travel & Tourism and Tech industries are seeing the value of using simulated game assessors to gauge the quality of their applicants. These industries also tend to hire in bulk, making it easier to screen candidates. Interview only the candidates that match your criteria closely.

Need to Knows to Use Gamification

  1. You can avoid Biases.

    The good things about using these interactive gamification processes is that you would be making decisions based on the candidates practical and cognitive skills. Your HR teams would be able to make bias-free decisions. Candidate qualifications and experiences will be secondary to their results.

    There is a gradual shift in the HR ecosystem where several talent acquisition representatives are starting to prioritize the actually skills versus the paper degrees an applicant has. Currently, recruiters use resumes just as a tool to narrow their applicant funnel. This needs to be done as it is impossible to go through hundreds of applications. But putting criteria for education and experience (years) these days could mean very little especially in India.

    Quality candidates are coming in from various backgrounds and with varied experiences. Candidates need to be assessed in new ways.
  2. Resources will be used. Extensively..

    Gamification is not a walk in the park. It is going to take a lot of effort and resources. Finding the right vendors and crafting the right game design to ensure you’re collecting the right kind of data from your candidates to assess their eligibility for your vacancy is imperative.

    Your current applicant tracking systems probably do not hold extensive features for you to run such types of challenges and quizzes. It would definitely involve employing a third-party organization or utilizing an in-house development team. Moreover, different vacancies would require different types of games.
  3. Craft your games wisely.

    Being creative is essential. If your games are dull and boring and have a poor gameplay, candidates could have a negative experience and that will severely hurt your brand image. It will take a lot of research and testing to ensure that your games are drawing the desired results.
  4. Plan. Plan. Plan..

    As the previous two points allude to, you will require a lot of planning. You will have to dedicate teams that will be working on designing the games and these processes. Your team will continuously have to develop new designs and concepts and challenges to ensure gamification is delivering the right results.

    Setting up your designs once is not how you will make the most of gamification techniques. You will have to assess the progress and engagement of your games and keep on developing your strategies.
  5. Measure the Results

    That brings us to the final points. You have to be able to measure the results properly. When developing the games, be sure to keep in mind how you’re planning on assessing certain soft skills or technical skills. By measuring your results you will be able to track your applicant’s engagement and understanding of your product and company.





Gamification takes time but the results are worthwhile. It gives you the ability to extract rich data from your future employees and from the workforce in general. The data you collect about your talent pool can help you reassess your expectations and also the kind of training your new employees will need. With each new generation, we see a change in how they work and the kinds of things they prioritize in their career. Gamification could be a fun way to get this data instead of inviting your talent pool to take part in feedback surveys.




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