By Neelie Verlinden

Self-learning algorithms, people analytics, artificial intelligence… Slowly but surely, the HR industry is evolving thanks to the adoption of innovative technologies. ‘Gamification’ is another one of those terms that deserves a place in the Dictionary of 21st Century HR. It’s also the topic of today’s post. Because buzzword or not, fact of the matter is that more and more organizations gamify parts of their businesses. Here are 5 reasons why.

What is Gamification?

Gamification sounds a little heavy, but  it’s nothing more than an application of ‘game dynamics’ in a non-gaming context – such as project management, marketing or recruitment. The idea is to turn a (usually) quite dull process or task into something more competitive and fun, like a game.

In everyday life, nearly every industry uses gamification. As a consequence, elements of gamification are all around us. Think of the countless fitness apps that grant virtual medals for example. Or the branded retailer apps that reward their customers with promotional offers if they spend a certain amount of money. In HR, gamification is used for slightly different reasons. Let’s have a look at the ones concerning the selection process.

1. It Makes Your Selection Process More Fun

Even though we’re well into the 21st century, many organisations tend to stick to ‘old fashioned’ selection methods and instruments like the resume and cover letter. Although these tools may work for a (small) percentage of job openings, the resume is not predictive for success anymore. Hence the often high turnover rates, the bad quality of hire and the many culture mismatches.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that there’s a lot of room for improvement here. When do candidates get to see your company for example? Or how do they find out what the job really entails? And where’s the fun in all this? The use of HR preselection software can provide all these things. Applicants go through an online environment that challenges them via various fun games. Rather than a battery of boring assessments, a gamified preselection process challenges the applicant in a fun and engaging manner that as a result, makes candidate satisfaction rates skyrocket.

2. It Boosts Your Employer Brand

These days, a great candidate experience is just as important as a great customer experience. We’ve written about its importance before (go here if you’ve missed it), but what it comes down to is this: how you treat your candidates – from the moment you write a job advert all the way to the point where you have to reject them -matters. Because if your applicants had a positive, fun experience throughout the process, they’ll spread the word about your organization. They’ll recommend your product to their friends and family and are likely to remain a customer themselves.

Games are a good way to engage candidates with your company and create an innovative recruitment process. What’s more, a challenging, gamified selection process can be a big plus for your employer brand in terms of publicity. A good example of this is Google’s software-writing competition Code Jam.

3. It Helps Candidates Self-Select for the Job

Now this is an interesting one. We’ve said it before, but selecting candidates is a two-way street. On the one hand, an employer gets to see a lot of the applicants and on the other hand the applicants get to see a lot of their future employer, job and office. Adding elements of gamification to your selection process can help applicants to self-select for the job. Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) for example show candidates your organization in a fun and engaging way. They also present them with a couple of real-life, on-the-job scenarios that require adequate actions and answers from the applicants. Whether or not candidates enjoy ‘playing’ the role they apply for helps them in their decision to work for your company.

4. It Manages Candidate Expectations

In retail alone, 40% of the attrition that takes place in the first 9 weeks is caused by wrong candidate expectations. Applicants expected certain things when they started the job and reality turned out to be fairly different. A huge waste of time and resources, both on the organization as well as the candidate’s side.

An interactive video tour of the company gives applicants a realistic preview of what life in your organization is like. Add a few of the SJTs we mentioned earlier to let candidates experience some of the (tough) situations they’ll face once they take the job and your turnover rate is bound to go down. Check out this video to see what this looks like:


5. It Assesses the Skills Needed for the Job

Every job requires specific skills. Think of a customer service agent for example. Not only do they need to be terrific listeners, they also need to be able to multi-task (among other things). Rather than an applicant’s degree or previous work experience, games can be a great – and objective – way to assess these kinds of skills. For more information on how a gamified preselection funnel can benefit your organization, visit our Knowledge Base for more in depth reading.

Game On?!

So there you have it, 5 times why more and more organisations gamify their selection process. Although this list isn’t exhaustive, it gives you a fair idea about the many different applications of gamification in HR. Our guess is, this number will continue to grow over the next few years. In other words: It’s time to get your game on.


Don’t Forget! Get Your Free Copy of Our E-Book! 

Gamification combined with Predictive Analytics can be a powerfull combination in assessing candidates. Did you know we wrote an e-book about predictive analytics in HR? In it we go way down the rabbit hole regarding this topic. And the best thing about it? It’s free! Spread the knowledge!