Gamification, and its uses in recruitment...
The definition of gamification in the context of recruitment, according to ‘Social Marketing Fella’ Andre Bourque, is “the process of using the science and psychology of games to reward and motivate people, and encourage them to behave in a desired fashion”.
Used by some organisations to help individuals understand the ins and outs of a role - by seeing it in practice, on an augmented reality basis – means gamification is useful when training new and potential recruits - something the US army has been doing for a while. The opportunity to ‘teach’ transferable skills, using gamification, is another aspect. Games such as ‘Burger Shop’ can give users the understanding and skills needed to run a business – qualities many employers could make use of.
But teaching and demonstration are not the only uses for gamification in recruitment, however. Unilever have incorporated gamification as a way to prevent unconscious bias at the outset of the hiring journey; as part of the process, candidates play games as well as engage in video interviews. Unilever believes it gives them a good insight into candidates’ skills and potential. They also think gamification is effective in increasing brand awareness, encouraging engagement from candidates, and - recognising how much of us use our tablets or smartphones – adapting to our shortening attention spans. Their hope is that this digital process will attract talent to the company. Bias isn’t intentional, when hiring; Unliever have found that assessing candidates based on their skills, rather than their appearance or how well they cope with interviews, gives the company “more options”.
Of course, screening candidates and subjecting them to such as anonymous psychometric tests to ascertain their abilities and qualities is not a new concept. However, gamification takes it one step further. Candidates can be put, virtually, in actual situations, rather than simply reading about them in a hypothetical question. Seeing how they may handle a scenario can tell an employer much more than their ability to understand or guess the right answer from multiple choices.
Another aspect is that gamification in the hiring process makes it fun!
But it’s not simply adding games into the selection process to boost candidates’ moods or for novelty value. The aim is to increase engagement, such as incorporating it into relevant points during the application process, i.e. social media channels and job board/career sites. Recent research showed that 48% of Americans play ‘social’ games online – which could tell employers a lot about a person they may be looking to employ. Surveys, opinion polls and league tables are all examples of simple gamification to attract and engage potential hires.
Simple target-based gamification is already around us. Think of your Linkedin profile…every time you log on, there’s a progress bar that encourages you to upload or supply more information. Some recruiters also use targets as encouragement when it comes to referrals, offering points for each person recommended, towards a benefit of some sort.
Experts recommend that any gamification used has a strategy behind it. So, you may get likes and shares, but what does that translate to? Are you measuring traffic, creating a buzz, or both?
These examples of gamification in recruitment aren’t particularly new; however, applications that are more game-based are rising in popularity. In some cases, it’s not necessarily about incorporating them into the recruitment process, but of highlighting opportunities within a company to users playing their game – even if they’re not actively looking for a job. Tech recruiters believe it helps them find “the cream of the crop”.
For recruiters, gamification has a wealth of possibilities, from attracting top talent, filtering applicants, increasing awareness and engagement, assessing skills, to demonstrating the role in hand in an almost real-life situation. It’s a real game changer.