RTT – Gamification in Recruitment

These are the thoughts and takeaways from the latest Resourcing Think Tank (RTT) held on Thursday 10th October 2013 hosted by Harrod’s Jenna Davies (Resourcing Manager), titled ‘Gamification in Recruitment’.

The following summary has been prepared to reflect a segment of the discussion held amongst senior HR and Resourcing professionals from leading national and international businesses. Specific company details, experiences and examples have been omitted from this summary as all discussions are held under ‘Chatham House Rules’.

‘Gamification’, a term that’s becoming more and more prevalent in the world of HR and recruitment. Increasingly, companies are becoming more innovative with their sourcing methods and are opting for more interactive solutions, such as recruitment Gamification. This popular tool is credited with increasing candidate engagement, tapping into the competitive fires of applicants, reducing long-term business costs when recruiting volumes are high, providing a better insight into the employing business and reducing unconscious bias.

Measuring what good looks like

In order for Gamification to have maximum impact it is vitally important that there is a clear understanding of what good looks like, both specifically for the role and more widely within the business. It is exactly this that lacks some articulation and therefore makes the process of benchmarking candidates particularly challenging; even more so when assessing against Gamification tools. In order for this forward thinking method of recruitment to be embraced within an organisation there needs to be a clear, succinct picture of what the ‘ideal candidate’ looks like and the boundaries that rest against this expectation.

What are the tangible reasons for using Gamification?

When looking at introducing new and innovative methods of recruitment, the immediate focus will generally be on cost, the value it can add and the tangible benefits it can offer the business. As Gamification is a relatively new initiative there is limited information to testify its success rate and therefore gaining the buy in from stakeholders will realistically only be achieved through creating a business case and evidencing the value add that Gamification can have. Particular emphasis is placed around the selection piece; Gamification can reduce the number of telephone interviews taking place and subsequently reduce time to hire windows, offering a cost saving benefit to the recruitment process.

Identifying the areas that Gamification will have the most impact

The first step to achieving success within Gamification is identifying the problem you are trying to solve whether it be at the attraction, engagement or selection stage of the process. By doing so, this offers a fast track solution to implementing Gamification in the areas of the business where it will have the most impact and therefore achieve the highest results. It would seem that Gamification is likely to be most beneficial at a particular level and banding. Therefore, initially concentrating on the final outcome will positively assist with getting the most out it. As a side note, it seems the idea of Gamification removed from technology is often overlooked whereas there could be a large section of appeal within non-tech focused resourcing games and something that could offer a substantial cost saving.

Using Gamification to create a positive experience

An understanding of the target market is the first stepping stone to making Gamification successful, by doing so you can then appeal to this market and create an attractive and engaging process that will leave candidates with a positive experience.

By integrating this gradually into small pockets of the business, you can tweak and enhance the process to positively contribute to candidates’ and Hiring Managers’ experience. Over time the benefits will become apparent, for candidate attraction and engagement, and notably for key internal stakeholders.

Enhancing the employer brand through Gamification

Employer branding will naturally contribute to the success of Gamification. Through effective brand exposure and awareness, you can access new pools of high calibre candidates and showcase the individuality and culture of your business in a more interactive / engaging way. This raises the question of how exactly you want candidates to feel about your business, what thoughts and perceptions you want them to leave with and how Gamification can positively enhance their experience.

On the flipside, many people consider Gamification to simply be a buzzword. Therefore, its true essence and effectiveness lies with the ‘client’ and candidate experience and how it contributes to amplifying the brand and extending market reach. By using this innovative and exciting recruitment tool not only can a business stand out from its competitors but it can also act as a simple, cost effective way of getting a global recruitment message into the public domain.


  • The general opinion around Gamification is the impact it has in creating a positive experience from both a candidate and client perspective. Subsequently attracting the relevant and highly skilled, and hiring them into the business through a concise and smooth process that amplifies the reputation of the organisation.
  • Some further research needs to be conducted regarding making the attraction process more appealing and engaging for the smaller, more niche businesses with less of a brand reputation to sell their organisation.
  • The area that evoked most discussion was the processes of measuring what good looks like and having a clear picture of how this has been supported by Gamification in the design process. It seems there is a lot of uncertainty in the area.
  • Looking ahead to the final goals, from the start, is key for ensuring that Gamification will be cost effective and make the required impact on the recruitment process.
  • It is vitally important that businesses move with the developments in technology and Gamification sits at the forefront of this. Making sure that businesses are utilising the opportunities that the tool offers will act as a key contributor to attraction and engagement initiatives.
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