Gaming In Recruitment

How to add gaming as a recruitment tool

It seems that in the western hemisphere, playing video games is the most popular pastime. Whether hitting up the Xbox, PlayStation or simply gaming on your humble phone, playing these games is a great way to relax and have a mindless and stress-free couple of entertaining hours. There are some experts who believe that the same scenarios playing out in these games, and the skills needed to navigate through them, might also serve as useful tools for the next generation of next workforce recruits.

Gaming is Big Business 

The latest stats show that there are an estimated 2.7 billion gamers all banging on their controllers and keyboards around the world. They spend a collective $159.3 on the hardware, including both consuls and games. All told, they spend around 25 minutes per day playing. As both the cost and availability of mobile phones has fallen along with lower bandwidth cost, the gaming market is opening up to groups of players of all ages. It’s not a huge leap from playing games to dealing with new recruits via, say, a mobile app.

One company that has jumped straight into this new idea is the massive global brand of Unilever, which is a supplier of a huge number of brands, particularly in the personal care and refreshment product arena. Each year the company receives over 250,000 graduate applications. The only way to work their way through such a huge number of applications is via digital technology. To that end, they have introduced a new gaming platform which is part of the overall interview process. The company’s chief HR officer, Leena Nair says that this helps them sort and find the best candidates. As she says, "From the CV, to the candidate search, to the interview, we're using technology to create a truly interactive experience allowing us to get a more meaningful connection with applicants."

How does this work?

Once an application has been completed, then the applicate is invited to play a number of games. The manner in which the candidate deals with each game allows Uniliver to determine that candidates potential as a new member of their team. They can also see how they connect with the company’s purpose and goals. After this stage, there’s a video interview and finally, a face to face interview for the real job possibility and carrer consideration. The company likes to call the gaming stage, the equivalent of slaying the dragon and getting into the castle (sounds like a very dated game they’re playing over there!)

Recruiters say that gaming is a highly complementary medium for them. Isabel Williams, a UK  based HR Specialist at BizDb says, "The thing about gamification is that it essentially provides a great incentive for action. Rewarding and recognizing the highest-achieving players in the hiring game, recruiters can easily spot those candidates that fit the offered position." many of the games on offer for recruitment offer a built-in scoring system along with a means of rating the candidates. This is a great means of removing any recruiter bias from the interview process. This simplifies the whole job of selection for the HR departments of large companies.

Using Gaming to Attract And Select Candidates

Fortunately, there are a number of methods available to employers when integrating gaming elements into any stage of the recruitment process. This can support greater engagement with potential hires and help remove bias in candidate selection.

Today, as the idea of using gaming within the context of a job interview becomes more commonplace, we can see that there are various ways that this can be approached from the perspective of the recruiter. We’ve made a list of what we consider to be the most important factors;

Interview Tests - Before you have any face to face interviews, it’s a good idea to send the applicant a game as a form of a test, to be done before the actual interview. This will then act as a great focal point, as well as an ice-breaker, during the actual interview.

Rewards System - A the candidate works their way through the whole interview process, then there should be a reward structure in place, that rewards them each time they complete a section. So, by adding a resume, adding references or filling out their personal information, there should e some sort of incentive to encourage them to continue with the whole process. This can be a great motivating feature.

Video Tryouts - You can certainly spice up the regular dull interview process by adding an extra element. We suggest that having video live chat sessions with other members of the team they’re being recruited for. In between, the candidates can be sent to a “gaming station” to earn extra points for the next stage of the interview process.

The above are just a few ideas about the introduction of games into the regular interview and recruitment process. The aim is to streamline the application process from the point of view of the recruiter. These days, any company worth their salt can design a simple but effective gaming portal to help HR, with built-in self-evaluation, analytics and any other features that will save time in finding the best of the best.

Some Things to Consider 

It’s perfectly reasonable if a candidate baulks at the idea of playing games as part of a job interview. Most games are played in someone’s own personal time and therefore shouldn’t have such a strong influence on work skills. Also, on a simple level, some candidates don’t and have never players online or offline games, leading them to feel disadvantaged during this whole recruitment phase. So proper and inclusive game design is of paramount importance.