Gamification in Recruitment: Everything You Need To Know

Gamification in recruiting brings out candidates' natural propensities for competitiveness, self-expression, and even altruism. Read on to know more about recruiting games.

Gamification in Recruitment
Gamification in recruitment - Adaface recruiter guide.

Gamification is an increasingly popular strategy used across organizations. Projected to grow from 9.1 billion USD to 30.7 billion USD in just the next five years, the gamification market is something every industry should be looking at.

Some of the biggest organizations that use gamification in recruitment include Google, Siemens, and PwC. Spoiler alert - it’s not just for fun. Gamification in recruitment has slowly taken its place for the following two reasons:

  • Millennials are entering the workforce.
  • The majority of them are probably gamers.

Gamification in Recruitment: Everything You Need To Know

The word "Gamification" is thrown around so much – what exactly is it and what is the best possible way of introducing it in your hiring funnel?

What's included:

What is Gamification in Recruitment?

Generally speaking, gamification is a technique used to engage and compel individuals to reach a goal, specifically through elements of game mechanics, theory, and design.

In today’s world where finding the right talent has become highly competitive, most organizations believe that gamification can prove to be a major differentiator that can increase the employer branding as well as the candidate experience during recruitment.

Why do you need Gamification in Recruiting?

Introducing gamification in your recruitment process can make it more entertaining for the candidates involved as well as impart a lot more benefits to the organization as a whole.

More than 78% of candidates believe that some sort of gamification in a recruitment process makes a company more desirable.

Here are some insights into the benefits of implementing gamification in your hiring process.

  • Specific skills can be tested for – games can be designed to test a candidate’s creativity, organization, time management, and more – these skills can’t be understood from a resume.
  • The candidate can gain a deeper understanding of what the company culture is actually like and what their role will be in the day-to-day of the company.
  • Candidates who have prepared/memorized interview answers that may not reflect how they would perform are eliminated – a simulation highlights genuine behavioral capabilities.
  • You can hire people that may not have as much industry experience but maybe really good at adapting, learning, and staying motivated.
  • The recruitment process is a lot more interactive and exciting, attracting Generation Z applicants to a youthful company dynamic.

Gamification in Recruitment Examples

Below listed are some of the easy ways to replace the boring and frustrating tasks of recruitment, selection, and onboarding into a gamified process for everyone.

  • Leaderboards – With targets and scoring sheets available, the ranking of candidates can become a much easier process. Seeing names on a leaderboard can motivate candidates to engage in some healthy competition!
  • Puzzles/riddles – These are a great way for candidates to feel like they are playing a game and not just answering questions. They also provide a lot of insight into how candidates think, leading to a more efficient hiring process.
  • Rewards – People are more incentivized to perform a task if they receive a reward. Recruiters can set up a rewards system in which candidates can receive points or badges whenever they visit the website, complete a task, or engage with polls or comments.
  • Progress charts/dashboards – Having a progress tracker in which a candidate can see how far along he or she is in the process is important. This will incentivize individuals to keep going so that they can reach the end and collect a final reward. This goal-gradient marketing strategy is commonly employed by coffee shops and online learning platforms.
  • Employee referrals – Gamification is used across various social media platforms in order to share the availability of vacant positions.

When has Gamification Worked in the Past?

Gamification in recruiting - Adaface recruiter guide.
  • In 2004, Google’s billboard mathematical riddle attracted numerous individuals into solving a series of challenging equations. Whoever reached the end was potentially shortlisted as a highly motivated and competent candidate that could be fit for a job at the company.
  • Luxury hotel giant, Marriott developed a game known as “My Marriott Hotel” in which individuals can get a virtual understanding of how a hotel is run. After playing the game, interested individuals can apply for a job to “do it for real”. This technique has encouraged numerous digitally oriented candidates to apply to a company they may not have been considering.
  • A division of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) released an online simulation known as “Multipoly”. This virtual game environment is a 12-day simulation that allows students to experience what it’s like to work at the company. This increased student engagement in the recruitment process and also met the rise of applicants. In fact, 78% of students surveyed over four years said they wanted to work for the company after they completed the game.

    Introducing Gamification to your recruitment process

    Here are some of the important steps you need to take to introduce gamification to your recruitment process:

    A very good planning

    Before you decide to introduce a game in your recruitment process, you need to ask yourself some questions and plan accordingly.

    1. What type of game will this be?
    2. What skills are you testing for?
    3. How will the game help you test for the required skills?
    4. How will you measure the results?
    5. What tech stack is required to make this happen?

    Below mentioned is a list of measurable goals you would want to achieve by implementing gamification in your hiring process:

    • An easier, less time-consuming, and an efficient recruitment process.
    • Measuring on-the-job related skills.
    • A good job description that gets attention on social media.
    • Creating good brand awareness.

    All the above goals are achievable if the entire gamification process is properly planned and executed.

    Making the game interesting and engaging

    The entire point of implementing recruiting games is to keep the candidates engaged and entertained, but not confuse them with MCQ questions or test.

    The game "My Marriott Hotel" was a Facebook game launched by Marriott to hire more than 50K positions for different Marriott chains around the world. On its release, the game attracted more than 25K users within a single week.

    That is the kind of engagement an organization should try to achieve with its gamified recruitment process.

    Measuring the results

    Incentivizing recruiting games with rewards has multiple benefits. Firstly, it encourages candidates or users to perform better. Secondly, these rewards or points help in screening great talent from the candidate pool. This makes the elimination process simpler and effective.

    Promoting the game

    The existence of the gamified recruitment process must be a knowledge to a much larger audience. If the game is promoted across all channels and through the job description, it eventually boosts the visibility of the brand and gets the top candidates interested in it.

    Whenever an organization introduces gamification in the recruitment process, it gains a chance to prove how it’s better than its competitors.

    How to choose games and vendors wisely?

    Games that are developed for the recruitment process need to be entertaining as well as valid. If the game is to be developed in-house, then extensive research (and a lot of behavioral science) is used for game development.

    If you are not interested in developing the game, it is best to look for companies that specialize in gamification in recruiting. When evaluating possible vendors, keep the points in mind to help you make your decision:

    • They have done extensive research behind their games.
    • They are keen on improving their products via new data and methods.
    • They can showcase results from existing customers.
    • Their games are easy to use and understand.
    • The design of their games is attractive and is candidate-friendly.
    • They have a clear strategy about how their games can be used.
    • Their services are within the budget you are willing to allocate.

    The sentiment against Gamification in recruiting

    Implementing gamification into hiring is a novel idea, but there are a couple of reasons that makes it not very practical.

    • Gamification is a highly-resource driven process. If this is being done in-house then, your development team would need to plan the game, build it, and figure out how to integrate it with your current hiring process. This takes time, resources, and money.
    • A game as a part of the recruitment process is not everybody's cup of tea. Some passive candidates still prefer traditional application-based questioning.


    Gamification has a very bright future in some aspects of business operations other than hiring.

    Gamification in recruitment is way ahead of conventional interviewing standards, as it allows the entire recruitment process to become more interactive and in-depth, without the possibility of tedium or complexity. However, it is hard to imagine gamification paving its way into the formal hiring process at this time.