Is there a place for gamification within your recruitment strategy?

Gamification in recruitment

The adoption of gamification has increased significantly over the last 15 years, with games being used to determine candidates’ risk tolerance and other traits that could indicate how well they’ll perform in certain types of roles.

From filtering applications to onboarding new hires, gamification can play a part in any stage of the recruitment process. One of the main challenges for HR professionals is to contextualise their needs – which part of the existing recruitment or selection process would genuinely benefit from gamification? At what levels could gamification be appropriate and add value?

In our eBook, Gamification in Recruitment, the Resource Solutions Innovation team evaluates the pros and cons of incorporating elements of play and competition into your recruitment strategy.


  • Get more honest insights into your candidates
    Personality questionnaires can rely on the ability and willingness of candidates to accurately describe themselves. Research has shown such self-report questionnaires are potentially open to considerable distortion, especially when a job is on the line. Gamification can reduce this risk.

  • Entice jobseekers with niche skill sets
    Bob Nowill, Director of Cyber Security Challenge UK, believes that gaming is the way to get talent interested in the sector. “The next generation of cyber security talent is likely to come from the gaming environment,” says Nowill, “so we have to reach them in their own environment.”

  • Appeal to the tech savvy segments
    According to game designer, J McGonigal, the average western millennial will have spent 10,000 hours on computer generated gaming by the time they are 21. Millennial and Generation Z talent expects to interact with technology constantly. According to a 2011 study conducted by Cisco, millennials view the internet as important as air, water, food and shelter.

  • Raise brand awareness online and offline
    Gamification can be online or face to face, providing recruiters with a blended approach to communicating with talent. Whilst many games are housed online, Google’s Code Jam event attracts 7,500 participants, with the finals being held at their New York office. In this case, gamification not only becomes a means to filter candidates but also a promotional opportunity for their employer brand.

  • Administering a test or a game remotely has the potential to screen out entire classes of workers
    Whilst online games are popular with multiple demographic groups, there is a clear link between social deprivation and internet use. Those who never use the internet are likely to live in a more deprived geography, potentially limiting the talent engaged via gamification recruitment initiatives.

  • Measuring the ROI from gamification can be difficult, and at times impossible
    This is of particular significance as the cost of recruitment focused games can spiral. There are critical ongoing costs that are not always obvious, including compliance/legal costs, community management and policing and continuous creative (such as avatars and challenges).

  • The need to keep up with the latest trends and technology
    Technology is evolving so quickly that games targeting specific and/or multiple cohorts will appear outdated soon after launch, resulting in further costs and ongoing investment to stay current.

  • Potential reduction in engagement 
    Games do not typically offer a tailored, bespoke experience for different users. This could result in less engagement unless complemented by events or face to face communication. The success of early careers networking events hosted by companies such as Bright Network suggests that top tier applicants also expect a personalised approach.
Find out more about how you can enhance your recruitment efforts using gamification tools by downloading our Gamification in Recruitment eBook.