With Gartner reporting last year that 80% of gamification projects will fail to meet objectives, primarily because of poor game design, its fair to say that gamification is still struggling to find its way, particularly in the HR and recruiting arena.  Just mentioning gamification of hiring to many recruiters could result in some funny and bemused looks. I mean what is gamification, after all?

Gamification typically involves applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging. Gamification has been called one of the most important trends in technology by several industry experts. Gamification can potentially be applied to any industry and almost anything to create fun and engaging experiences, converting users into players.

Well, in a hiring sense, its the idea of using game mechanics, usually in the form of competitions to help screen candidates for jobs.  And in many senses, there is nothing for  recruiters to be afraid of, because the hiring process has been using game mechanics for many years to select staff, but it has simply been using it a different point in the process. For example, many companies use aptitude tests, attainment tests (where candidates are ranked like in a competition) as well as various other  competition like assessments to assess candidates. The  main difference with this ‘early’ gamification versus the ‘new’ gamification is that companies are now also using them at the start of the hiring process to actually attract candidates and not just to rank their skills. Gamification has become a talent attraction tool in itself.

Gamifying your hiring process is easier than you think. You just need to be bold enough to try it. So, how do you get started? I think there are four main steps to go through.

Gamification Recruitment

4 Easy Steps to Gamify Your Hiring Process

1.Business Case; you might need some time and money to implement your new hiring initiative, so build your business case showing how it can improve key hiring    metrics such as: number of applicants, time to hire, cost per hire, quality of hire and ultimately output and productivity.

2. Low hanging fruit

Also, focus on ‘low hanging fruit’ or areas that have been shown to benefit already from gamification in hiring such as technology staff and sales people, the latter of which are known to have a competitive streak. You are likely to get a better engagement levels in these spheres.


There are a range of gamification platforms on the market, which make it very easy for you to deploy an on-line, company branded game like competition for your hiring campaign, such as:

Your own company website: Simple; have your team develop your own competition which could be an online quiz or game focused on a particular skill. Have your developers build a simple delivery system which allows your talent community to do the test on-line, receive a score and a position in your league table.

  • Qmerce; This software makes it easy for technical staff or non technical staff to create a branded game or tournament for their communities. The level of technology offered here suggests that this system is about making on-line games to attract relevant talent and interest and less focused on ‘hard testing’.
  •  Kaggle; This is a gamification platform for data prediction competitions which comes with its own  talent community of 94,000 Data Scientists. You can create data analytic  type challenges and invite the data scientist community to compete in your competition to supply your business with an answer to a problem. The prize can be money or it can be a job, as in the Yelp Recruiting Competition for a Data Scientist.
  • Crowdspring; This is a a gamification and talent community for Graphic Design where you can host and market design competitions to their graphic design communities. Rather than generate proposals, they generate designs and you choose the best one. The prize is money, but you could perhaps combine this with an interview to help attract qualified talent.
  • RippleHire: This is a fully gamified employee referral software tool that turns employee referrals into an exciting game, encouraging your employees to compete and win the game to be the best talent scout.

4.Market your tournament and attract participants

 Many of the options such as Kaggle and Crowdspring come with their own ready made talent communities so your game is self marketing. If you are using something like Qmerce or your own website, you will of course need to market the tournament effectively through social media, google, advertisements etc…


Good luck with gamifying your hiring process…Love the idea?  Hate the idea?  Want to know more?  Comment below.