What is gamification in recruitment?
(Let’s get on the same page)

Gamification in recruitment is all about gamifying the components of the hiring process – most notably the assessment stages. But let’s be clear, it isn't about introducing frivolous games into the hiring manager’s decision-making process. Nor is it about making tests or assessments out of games (otherwise known as game-based assessment). Gamified assessments are entirely different.

Gamified assessments take robust, scientific psychometric tests and introduce some elements of gaming (such as progressing through levels, earning points, or getting badges) to create a more engaging and contemporary looking online test.

The result is a psychometric test, no different than a traditional psychometric test in that it measures the abilities it is designed to measure – but it has some gaming components built around it.

Question No. 1

Why is there so much talk about gamification in recruitment?

Quickly spotting the best in your applicant pool, engaging with your candidates and making sure you stand out from your competition are becoming increasingly essential for all recruiters. Graduate-age candidates tend to expect stronger engagement, immediate feedback and a selection process that is reflective of the mobile world in which they operate.

Taking all this into consideration, hiring companies want an updated type of psychometric tests that gives them the robust information they need about the capabilities of the applicants and a fantastic user experience for the candidates.

Question No. 2

What are the benefits of gamification in recruitment?

Those embracing gamification in assessment are seeing benefits over and above those of traditionally delivered psychometric tests, including:

  • Stronger engagement with applicants and a better reported user experience.
  • A differentiated selection process. Candidates remember the company as having an innovative approach to assessment.
  • A more “serious” assessment than the game-based assessments on the market which are set in outer space and the like! Candidates want the assessment to be serious as it reflects the importance of their application.
  • A hiring tool that supports any corporate, forward-thinking, market-leading brand value.
  • Supports the desire to create a more diverse and inclusive applicant pool.
  • A more contemporary assessment process. Gamified assessments are designed for, and delivered to, mobiles and integrate seamlessly with their application systems and ATS.
  • Generates more applicants – and higher quality applicants.
  • Recruitment efficiencies.

Question No. 3

And what are the downsides of gamification in recruitment?

Choosing the wrong assessment can have a negative outcome:

  • Too much “gamification” might give candidates the impression the application process isn’t serious.
  • Focusing on the user experience may mean you lose sight of the real value of the tool – the assessment and the information it gives you to make a more informed decision.

Question No. 4

How do the results of gamified assessments compare to those from traditional online psychometric tests?

A great question. Research* shows there is no significant difference between the levels of ability measured by more traditional online tests, and those that include gamified tests.

The same research study showed that test takers who enjoy games rate the hiring organization more positively as a prospective employer than those completing traditional online tests. But, those who say they do not particularly enjoy games, don’t rate the company lower.

So, using gamified assessment in your hiring offers you the opportunity to only improve applicant perceptions.

Question No. 5

Where does gamified assessment fit in the hiring process?

Gamification can be slotten in throughout the recruitment process.

Attraction – pre-application, realistic job previews have embraced gaming elements for a number of years. They help promote the hiring company’s brand and give potential candidates insight into the job itself. Typically, they include elements of a game such as instant feedback and scores, but for the benefit of the potential applicant and not the hiring company. Of course, the highest scorers are encouraged to continue on to apply!

Vodafone harnessed this approach when it commissioned the development of an online game to encourage applicants to apply for roles online.

Early in the process – sometimes known as applicant screening. Here the online gamified assessment is presented to all applicants early on in the process. The ease of use and completion, speed and powerful information-giving qualities make this assessment perfect for applicant screening to get a solid initial view of applicants' likelihood at success in your business.

Rolls-Royce deployed a gamified assessment based around typical situations or scenarios in its business. Candidates were asked to make judgments about what to do via a messaging app style of communication via their mobile. It gave Rolls-Royce a robust situational judgment score, and the candidates strong insight into the role.

Assessment Center stage – assessment centers have histrically been paper-heavy. Gamified assessment enables these selection events to become paperless, more efficient and more objective.

Nationwide commissioned the design and development of an escape-room style assessment helping it to stand out from its competitors, providing an innovative experience for its candidates and delivering efficiencies to its internal teams.

Question No. 6

Is gamified assessment already being used for real-world recruitment?

Yes! And increasingly so. But you need to be watchful that any gamified assessment is first and foremost, a high quality, robust psychometric test. Look for the evidence of this, and the feedback from applicants on the user experience.

Deloitte transformed graduate selection by including gamified assessment within a focused campaign, which resulted in:

  • 32% increase in applications.
  • Higher quality candidates applying and progressing through the process.
  • 58% increase in acceptance of offers.
  • A growth in the number of applicants from key target universities.
  • Better candidate experience with a short, mobile assessment.
  • Alignment with the core strategic aims of innovation and diversity.
  • Strong positive candidate feedback – 70% of responding candidates described the Deloitte graduate recruitment process and the gamified assessment as “market leading”.
  • Reduced time to hire due to process efficiencies.

Question No. 7

What do candidates think about gamification in recruitment?

A study with a consumer brands business measured applicant perceptions of its new gamified assessment compared to the more traditional online assessment they had previously experienced.

The results:

  • 91% reported it gave a better or the same impression of the company.
  • 94% said it was better at, or the same as, engaging them.
  • 93% reported that the gamified assessment held their attention more or the same as traditional tests.
  • 88% thought it as fair if not better.

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