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What does it mean to gamify recruitment and how does it work? 

Gamification is a technique that applies game elements and thinking to traditionally non-game processes. Therefore, to gamify recruitment means to add these “games” as an addition to the recruitment tool kit.

By using game mechanics in non‐play contexts, candidates and recruiters can converge in a “win‐win” zone. Behind the colorful and attractive screens, these game-based assessments rely on neuroscience and psychology to find the best fit in terms of cognitive and emotional traits of the candidates that the company is looking for. These game elements can be included in the recruitment process for example by re-creating an experience of the company and posing a challenge to see if the candidate and company are a right fit for each other.

A mixture of these game-based assessments are being implemented in a diverse range of industries: legal sector, banking, advertising/media, rail/engineering, technology companies, retail, property/estate agents and construction. They are in use across several functions across these industries: Human Resources, IT, Supply Chain, Finance, R&D, etc.

Gamification is a new dimension in the world of recruitment that transcends the traditional human resources framework. The candidates, reconverted into users, become the protagonists in a digital psychometric story whose reward may be the job of their dreams.

How effective is it compared to traditional recruitment systems?

Recruitment processes have changed and, to a large extent, technology has become the main catalyst to enable this transformation. The reality is that the future, and increasingly the present, evolves to the rhythm of newly created words, such as gamification, the nexus between science and recruiting.

In the case of US-based Pymetrics, technology is showing a 5x improvement, as opposed to traditional recruitment processes. Whereby in a typical process 25% of the applicants would be qualified, when employing a system such as this, the qualified applicant rate increases to 100%. We have also seen the interviewed candidate rate skyrocket from 5% all the way to 25-50% and consequently, the hiring rate rise from 1% to 5-9%. Furthermore, on a positive note regarding retention, the 3 month turnover has decreased from 30% following a typical process, to 10-20%. Finally, if we consider the pool of candidates that the company can tap into, the reach is infinitely scalable with such innovative systems, while in a traditional process companies are limited by recruiter staff.

Gamification is extremely effective in the initial filters of a selection process, and then complemented by traditional elements such as assessment centers and interviews, amongst others.

How do these game-based assessments benefit both candidates and recruiters?

The benefits are not only exponential, but they are also two-fold, for both candidates and recruiters.

From the point of view of the candidates, it is a true paradigm shift. For example, these “games” can offer candidates a chance to assess the company by creating an experience exactly like the company or organization to help them understand what it would be like to work there and whether the role is a right fit for them.

Therefore, the frustration of applying to massive amounts of jobs to which they receive little or no feedback, and have minimal chance of success, is reduced dramatically as well as the stress and nervousness of traditional interviews, which can distort the job skills of valid candidates. Now it’s simply about how you naturally tackle challenges and tasks with a technological device that will connect you with offers for which your profile and thus skills should prove a fit.

On the other hand, companies are becoming more agile and effective in their selection processes. With this new technology, objectivity plays a major role and is a way of ensuring with greater certainty that only those candidates whose skills are most in line with the vacancies will advance in the process. Introducing game elements can help recruiters assess more fully the profiles of candidates and determine characteristics such as their ability to perform under pressure, their creativity and resourcefulness to problem solve, their drive for innovation, etc.

Therefore, there is a significant increase in qualified candidates, candidates interviewed, hiring rates and subsequently, a reduction in rotation following the three-month trial period.

Is there an advantage for people that have experience playing video games?

Companies such as UK‐based Arctic Shores assure that these game‐based assessments have been carefully designed to avoid any advantage based on video game experience. Furthermore, analyses have found that there is indeed no effect of this on in‐game points or psychological trait scores. As a result, the recruitment process begins to be understood as a continuous process by companies, regardless of the momentary needs to fill vacancies. In short, gamification succeeds in breaking down barriers that make it difficult for talent to enter companies.