Gamification: playing our way into a job

Blog Takeover – Gamification: Playing our way into a job

James Morris from InHouse Recruitment Network explains why we should sit up and take note of gamification. Let’s face the facts: recruitment is not all fun and games. Digital natives are influencing the spring of recruitment. An increasingly candidate-led market means recruiters have to compete more than ever to attract the best talent. Despite this, many companies are starting to adopt gamification to become more innovative and creative in their recruitment process, drive motivation and engagement, and increase internal competition.

It’s time for traditional recruitment strategies to become more fluid with a flair of creativity even an interactive methods of assessment. Interviews are no longer enough to reflect an applicant’s true potential. Companies have started looking into gamification to reach candidates outside of their typical barriers.

How does gamification work?

Gamification applies game elements to various business scenarios to intensify candidates’ interest in the employer brand and test their aptitudes at the same time. It puts a fun spin on the recruitment process as it uses company related quests and quizzes to get a better view of candidates’ suitability for the job. Applying computer game logic to recruitment processes achieves a combination of advanced talent analytics and improved candidate experience. This ultimately allow recruiters to attract and retain the best employees.

Most noteworthy, this industry, although seemingly new, has existed for a long time. There have been elements of this in rudimentary formats for many years. For example, Psychometric testing outside the barriers of simple question and answer formats. Individuals are given a series of choices to be made and from these decisions, a profile of the individual’s identity is formed. Are they a leader or a follower, team player or a lone wolf? From these experiences, candidates can be whittled down to the ideal candidates for these roles, although modern techniques are far superior, and the level of engagement and measurability have improved the principle remains the same. They assess the candidate’s ability, skills and knowledge within a simulated experience.  In addition, they provide incremental rewards for completing tasks to create a sense of competition.

But no game is complete without a reward system. Badges and rewards are received after each completed task keeping players engaged and motivated to give their absolute best.

The Benefits

Gamification can help cut down time to hire by testing key skills like time management and creative thinking in a quicker, more engaging environment. What’s especially relevant is that it also helps candidates better understand the company’s mission and values. A win-win situation!

Such online games are not a universal solution to recruitment, however. Whilst they may be popular with some demographic groups, it’s important to note that not all candidates have the means or tools necessary to access them. Before jumping on the gamification bandwagon, review your talent pool and ask whether they can all equally benefit from it!

The adoption of gamification for recruitment will increase as more and more companies realise its value. The recruitment process is more entertaining and engaging. Recruiters can use gamification data to make smarter recruitment decisions.



Unless you happen to be one of the candidate attraction giants, it is unlikely that you can get away with using job boards and nothing else as your attraction technique. The candidates are available, but they need a little push and a little inspiration to engage with your brand. This is where the gamification element can help massively. Shouting “WE HAVE JOBS” hasn’t worked for quite some time. Brands have had to be more and more innovative to attract the candidates to their stands at events. Candidates now have a choice of where they work, so we must give them a reason to come and say hello. Introducing an evaluation process at the stand can help bring out the competitive side within your candidates. Rewards-based games will keep the candidate engaged. Likewise, the experience will help create a positive image of brand while improving footfall and success at the event.

Every year Google host their own event ‘Code Jam’, where software developers battle it out in a game format for $50,000. This helps Google attract the best candidates with correct skills and knowledge.

At home

We have seen several VR experiences this year that have driven applications within the tech industry. From games designed for psychometric testing to problem solving experiences to help discover skill sets, progress to the next stage is halted until the last task task is completed. This ensures that those progressing in the application process have the right skills and knowledge for the role. This is a much faster and efficient way of establishing a suitable candidate base. Plus, its competitive style will engage with people who normally would not have applied.

Jaguar Land Rover and Gorillaz worked in collaboration to recruit the next generation of world-class electronics and software engineering talent with a code-breaking challenge found in the virtual band’s app.


We have looked at various interview styles and approaches over the years. From video chat to skills tests, to team games and so on. All these methods have merit and all of them give a unique insight in the individual’s skills and personality. The team games are widely used and one of the first versions of the gamification within the recruitment process. The modern versions of this using technology, increase engagement and allow people who normally would maybe shy away from “team games” during recruitment process to show their skills and their attributes in a way that they wouldn’t have been able before.

Is gamification the future of recruitment or just a passing fad?