Gamification and recruitment – Can we really learn anything from Mario?
When you have been in recruitment for as long as we have, you tend to develop a little bit of, well, perhaps suspicion is too strong a word, so let’s say wariness of the current buzzword trend. Over the years we have seen a lot of ‘next big things’ come and go. The impact they have is occasionally a real shake-up of how we all work and sometimes nothing more than a flash in the pan. Telling the difference is sometimes not easy, but gamification is a buzzword that you will hear more and more in the future.
At the simplest level, gamification is exactly what it sounds like. It is taking the elements of gaming and applying them to other areas. It has been in use in teaching and marketing for quite some time and works very well. Broken down a game has a series of building blocks such as:
· Challenges to be overcome
· Enjoyment of success
· Point scoring to measure progress
· Rewards for achievements
· Competition against others to meet a set goal
and so on. If you think about a game you play or have played and look at what elements make up the actual gaming process, you will see what we mean.
There is a reason games are so popular
There is a reason games are so popular. Simply put, we enjoy playing them, and perhaps the main reason for this is that they present us with an enjoyable way of completing a task. They normally consist of a simple to use interface, like a set of buttons or a character to move around and this is what we use to tackle the real challenge, which is the puzzle or task to be completed.
Usually, though, they are not considered as much more than a distraction, something to pass the time.
If you take the principles of gaming and apply them to the recruitment process, though, you open up a world of potential.
How? Well, let’s look at a few possible applications.
When a candidate applies for a role, they are telling the client they are suitable because they have a range of skills, talents, personal qualities and, of course, the experience to perform well in the role. These are then matched to a potential position before the candidate is called to interview where they arrive with rehearsed answers. Add game elements to this process, and you could:
· Introduce games to test skills with scenarios and job-related tasks
· Include personality testing through online portals
· Check skills with quizzes and puzzles to be solved
· Allow candidates to perhaps score their own potential for the role
The advantage of all this is that essentially you can examine some of the actual elements of the role and the likelihood of the candidate fitting in with the existing team and culture before the hire. Done right, gamification can bring a whole new set of criteria to the hiring scenario.
For the candidate, a gamified application could well be far more engaging
For the candidate, a gamified application could well be far more engaging. Rather than the usual form filling, they will find themselves on a meaningful, fun and interactive process. Not only does this potentially allow them to measure their own suitability and monitor their progress, it has the added bonus of encouraging a very positive attitude towards the potential employer.
Adding the elements of gaming to recruitment is an interesting prospect because it could allow for a more conclusive and comprehensive assessment of the ‘right fit’ for both candidate and employer. As a concept, it is not about simply adding games to your process; it is about taking the things that make gaming attractive and applying them in a way to that benefits the recruitment chain. Many larger businesses have adopted it in their own HR processes, and familiar gaming elements such as progress bars, leader boards, puzzle-solving, first-person task solving, and many others could well prove commonplace in the near future.