Gamification in HR Part 1: Recruitment

What is gamification

Just as the name suggests, gamification involves applying game-like elements and characteristics to real life scenarios. When used in a business atmosphere, gamification allows employees to take activities and problems and solve them in a game-like-environment.

Gamification has great potential in upcoming years with the rise of the millennial workforce. An important characteristic of this younger workforce is their in-depth knowledge and familiarity with the digital world. This constant interaction with an environment that is more exciting and engaging has caused millennials to lack excitement in the real world, and if an activity does not grab their attention and maintain their interest they will lose enthusiasm and become disengaged. Utilising modern technology to create game-like business processes will create a much more exciting environment that will stimulate and motivate millennials to perform at their best.

Gamification in Recruitment

There are a multitude of ways firms can utilise gamification to motivate both employers AND job applicants during the recruitment phase for a more fun and engaging process. The first step is to understand what motivates their targeted audience, be it employees or potential employees. From here managers can design the right gamification technologies and scenarios for the recruitment phase.


Even if an applicant has the best CV in the world, no company can ever know for sure if they will perform as expected within the business. Gamification eliminates this issue and, by replacing the screening phase of recruitment with interactive game-like scenarios, managers will be able to understand how they perform certain tasks and gain an understanding of how they will perform within the business. This means a candidate can be evaluated on skills beyond their CV; candidates can be tested on their real-life skills, thought process, experience and ability to perform certain tasks. Candidates can be pushed to be creative and competitive, ultimately drawing on their best performance for a true assessment of their capabilities.

An example of gamification can be seen through Google who run a Google Code Jam competition to uncover individuals with the right skills for the job. Other examples include Dominos ‘Pizza Mogul’ game and Woolworths Rewards Program. Recruiting the right employees is imperative to a business as employees are an organisation’s backbone and their most important asset. Employees with the right skills and attitude will be a company’s key success factor.


However, not only is the gaming scene fun for employees, it is also fun for employers! Recruiters will enjoy their responsibilities more as they screen candidates in a fun and engaging environment that lets them build relationships through entertaining activities. Gamification also results in a much more effective process for employers, who are able to test the actual skill of employees, and observe traits that would otherwise be difficult to detect on paper or through interviews. It also helps identify what drives these future employees, what aspects they find fun and motivating, and what aspects they shy away from or require further training in.


Gamification is an extremely effective tool that will not only allow recruiters to attract and select the best and most suitable employees, but will also provide managers with a means of measuring and motivating recruiters on their ability to secure skilled candidates and motivate them throughout the process. It also generates a positive and fun vibe for potential employees, which will not only result in positive word of mouth, but also provide an effective introductory phase for individuals who make it through to employment.