Gamification, the concept of applying game elements in non-game contexts, has become a popular term in recent years, particularly in marketing campaigns and products. However, can it be used in recruitment to simplify the hiring process? The last decade has witnessed a rise in various business gamification examples across the world, such as The Coca-Cola Company's Refresh Project, SAP's Business Game, and Microsoft's Office 365 Developer Challenge.
The answer is a definite yes! Gamification in recruitment has the potential to transform candidate assessments, offering several benefits, such as increased engagement, improved data quality, and better insights.
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An important theoretical foundation of gamification is the goal-setting theory. Goal-setting theory proposes that individuals are motivated by the pursuit of goals that are specific, challenging, and achievable (Locke & Latham, 2002). Gamification in recruitment can leverage this theory by setting clear and challenging goals for employees and providing them with the tools and resources to achieve them. This can create a sense of accomplishment and progress, which can further motivate employees.
Another relevant theoretical framework is the cognitive evaluation theory (CET). CET suggests that extrinsic rewards can either enhance or undermine intrinsic motivation depending on the type of reward and the perceived locus of control (Deci & Ryan, 1985). Gamification can utilize CET by providing rewards that enhance intrinsic motivation, such as badges or recognition, while avoiding rewards that may undermine intrinsic motivation, such as overly controlling or competitive rewards.
Social comparison theory suggests that individuals evaluate themselves based on social comparisons with others (Festinger, 1954). Gamification can use social comparison by providing employees with feedback on their performance relative to their peers, which can motivate them to improve their performance and enhance their sense of relatedness.
Empirical evidence has shown that gamification in recruitment can increase engagement, motivation, learning, and performance. A study by Hamari et al. (2014) found that gamified learning environments had higher engagement and knowledge retention levels than non-gamified environments. Similarly, a study by Burke et al. (2015) showed that gamification increased employee motivation and performance in a call center setting.
- Enhances employee engagement and motivation by making work more fun and rewarding:
Gamification adds a layer of excitement to mundane tasks by turning them into games. This motivates employees to participate in activities they might otherwise find tedious.
By rewarding progress and achievements with badges, points, or other incentives, gamification provides a sense of accomplishment and recognition that keeps employees engaged and motivated to perform at their best.
- Increases productivity by creating a sense of healthy competition and a desire to achieve goals:
Gamification turns work into a game, creating a friendly sense of competition and a desire to achieve goals. This can be especially effective for repetitive tasks or requiring a lot of attention to detail.
By creating clear goals, feedback loops, and rewards, serious games yet fun provide a sense of purpose and direction that can lead to increased productivity.
- Reinforces learning and development by creating interactive and engaging training programs:
Gamification is a powerful tool for training and development. Creating interactive and engaging training programs can reinforce learning and increase retention.
This is because games create a sense of fun and excitement, which makes the learning process more enjoyable and memorable.
By incorporating elements such as quizzes, simulations, and decision-making scenarios, gamification in recruitment can help employees learn new skills and reinforce existing knowledge.
- Boosts retention by increasing employee satisfaction and providing a more engaging work environment:
Gamification can help increase employee satisfaction and retention by creating a more engaging work environment. Employees are likelier to stay with the company by making work more enjoyable and rewarding.
Especially true for younger generations who have grown up playing video games and expect a certain level of engagement from their work. Companies can retain top talent and reduce turnover by providing a fun and interactive environment.
- Encourages collaboration and team-building by fostering friendly competition and shared goals:
Gamification can be a powerful tool for fostering collaboration and team-building. Creating shared goals and friendly competition can encourage employees to work together towards a common objective.
This is especially effective for projects that require cross-functional collaboration or creative problem-solving. By creating a fun and interactive environment, gamification can break down barriers and encourage employees to work together towards a common goal.
- Provides valuable data and analytics on employee performance and engagement, which can be used to improve HR practices and talent assessment strategies:
Gamification in recruitment also provides a wealth of data and analytics on employee engagement and performance. By tracking progress, engagement levels, and performance metrics, companies can gain valuable insights into how employees perform and what motivates them.
This data can then be used to improve HR practices and talent assessment strategies, such as identifying training needs, creating personalized development plans, or refining performance metrics.
- Promotes a sense of autonomy and ownership by giving employees more control over their development and performance:
Games in talent assessment can promote a sense of autonomy and ownership by giving employees more control over their development and performance.
By providing opportunities for self-paced learning, personalized goal-setting, and individualized feedback, gamification puts employees in the driver's seat of their development.
This can lead to a sense of empowerment and engagement that can motivate employees while fostering a culture of continuous learning and development.
According to a survey, an overwhelming 95% of employees prefer a gamified work experience. Almost all employees enjoy aspects of gamification at work. Many job seekers see it as a desirable feature in employment, with 78% saying it would make a company or position more appealing.
Game-based learning is also favored, with 30% of employees finding it more engaging. Not only does gamification increase productivity for 90% of workers, but it also increases on-the-job engagement levels. A survey of 500 business workers found that 30% said gamification led to an increased desire to be engaged while at work, 27% said it inspired them to be more productive and 20% claimed it helped them avoid distraction.
A gamified workspace can significantly positively affect employee engagement, happiness and productivity, with 89% of surveyed workers reporting that it made them feel happier and more productive. This is compared to the 53% of American workers who are unhappy at work. Additionally, a gamified workspace can help with employee retention, with 69% saying they would stay at a company for more than three years if gamification were utilized.
About half of American workers are casual gamers outside of work, with an estimated 80 million white-collar workers playing casual games. A survey found that 24% of all U.S. white-collar office workers play casual video games on the job, and as much as 35% of top-level executives play casual games at work. Of those who admitted to playing games at work, 65% did so at least once a month, with 61% playing during lunch breaks and 52% during work hours. Moreover, 61% of U.S. employees receive training with gamification at work, with 83% feeling motivated by it. In contrast, 61% of employees who receive regular training without gamification elements feel bored.
The global gamification industry is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27.4% over the next several years. Between 2020 and 2025, experts predict the international gamification market will grow at a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 27.4%, increasing from $9.1 billion in 2020 to an estimated $30.7 billion by 2025. During this time, gamification is expected to yield a higher return on investment with the substantial market growth fueled by employee engagement and performance.
Gamified learning is expected to be valued at $25.7 billion by 2025. Gamification in education is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14% between now and 2025. At that rate, the market will be worth $25.7 billion in 2025—$12.3 billion more than the current market value.
Gamification, which adopts gaming principles, has become a hub of creative imagination and innovation for brands.
Let's look at some well-known instances of gamification in recruitment across companies.
The game America's Army Proving Grounds was developed by the U.S. Army to gamify its recruitment process and increase the number of recruits.
This game creates a realistic simulation of wartime scenarios, providing applicants with an authentic feel for what is expected of them as potential army recruits. Through gamification, the U.S. Army successfully achieved its business goal of attracting more recruits.
In an effort to decrease their onboarding time for new hires and reduce training time, a leading technology service provider company implemented gamification in their New Hire Training process.
The results were impressive, as they reduced the onboarding training time from 10 days down to zero! Through gamification, the company achieved its goal of getting new hires up to speed quickly and efficiently.
When Domino's needed to train new employees on their menu, AllenComm created a gamified mini-course to make the learning process fun and effective.
By turning the pizza-making process into a web-based course with gaming elements such as points, achievements, and levels, new employees could quickly and accurately learn how to top all the delicious pizzas that Domino's offers.
Additionally, printable on-the-job resources were provided to reinforce the web-based training, ensuring that employees had all the necessary information to feel confident and perform well.
PwC's Multipoly Next is a prime example of recruitment gamification. This virtual simulation is designed to make players feel like they're part of the PwC team for 12 days.
Players are presented with various missions throughout the game, such as joining the online community, negotiating with a mock client, and attending product training classes.
Upon completing each task, players earn points and are one step closer to being offered a job. This approach to recruitment has proven to be highly effective for talent assessment.
To keep top-level executives engaged in their learning management system, Deloitte turned to gamification. They partnered with the Behavior Platform Company Badgeville to introduce game mechanics throughout their website.
Deloitte used three game mechanics to measure, surface, and reward engagement: rank and rewards, missions, and leaderboards.
Executives earned points and achievements for interacting with DLA content and performing high-value behaviors, completed missions to achieve learning goals, and competed on leaderboards based on their engagement in twelve development areas.
As expected, Google has also embraced gamification in their workplace. They developed a travel expense game that focuses on employees who frequently travel for business.
Every penny that employees save on their business travels is reimbursed to them as an addition to their salaries, or they can choose to donate the amount to a charity of their choice.
This approach encourages employees to be more mindful of their spending and promotes a culture of cost-consciousness. It also fosters a sense of camaraderie and social responsibility among colleagues who can collectively make a difference through their donations.
As a business owner, you strive for the best talent assessment opportunities and possibilities for your company. However, the process of finding and hiring the right individuals can get a little too much. The key is to select the appropriate type of game that serves as a pre-qualification tool.
When considering serious games for recruitment, there are two options available:
• Templated game: This option involves adding your company’s content to existing game templates. Plug-and-play interfaces allow for a seamless integration of games with your brand and content. Templated games offer some level of customization at a lower cost. Some turnkey game-based solutions include The Training Arcade, Knack, and Pymetrics.
• Custom game: This option is best suited for companies that require a more intricate storyline, personalized environments, scenarios, and characters. Both options have proven to attract potential candidates, evaluate skills and personalities, and make better hiring decisions than conventional recruitment methods.
Games offer a unique advantage over traditional hiring methods like resumes and interviews, which can often be exaggerated or manipulated. In contrast, gamified assessments can provide a more accurate measure of a candidate's knowledge, skills, and behavior.
By creating games that test specific knowledge or skills, hiring managers can better assess a candidate's expertise in a particular industry or subject area. Games can also test a candidate's soft skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and empathy, using branching scenarios that simulate real-world situations.
Gamification allows for a complete assessment of candidates in a shorter time, often just a few hours. Games can be designed to adapt to the player's level of performance, ensuring that the assessment is tailored to each individual.
Hiring managers gain insight into their personality, behavior, and thought processes by engaging candidates on a deeper level.
Moreover, gamification can help identify the most motivated candidates. A well-designed game should be thought-provoking and provide feedback to help candidates understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Candidates who complete the game demonstrate a level of commitment and motivation to work for the company, as well as an understanding of the company's products, processes, or values. Overall, gamified assessments offer a more accurate and engaging way for talent assessment.
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Gamification refers to incorporating game elements, such as rewards, challenges, and competition, into a non-game environment, like the workplace. This marketing technique is commonly used to enhance customer loyalty and increase engagement among employees.
Gamified training can significantly impact employee engagement and overall motivation, making them more enthusiastic and productive while reducing boredom and disengagement. By transforming mundane tasks into engaging activities, gamification can improve learning outcomes and job satisfaction.
Gamification can be implemented for various purposes in the workplace, such as reducing travel expenses, enhancing employee onboarding, transforming tedious office tasks into enjoyable games, decreasing employee turnover, and developing HR analytics skills, among others. Using gamification, companies can promote a more dynamic and engaging work environment, improving performance and increasing job satisfaction.
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