Recruitment 4.0: Gamification of Your Talent Search

In our digitized reality, everything is software, everything is an operating system – even if only by analogy – and that includes HR practice and procedure. So, how about recruitment? Well, Recruitment 1.0 was the traditional, time-consuming, advertising in the press, get-a-body-in-the-role approach. Recruitment 2.0 was when we moved online: job boards, internet advertising, CVs on the web (much the same as 1.0; i.e. find the best jobseeker for the post, but on a screen. Recruitment 3.0 is a shift to searching for the best talent, whether they are looking for you or not; it’s about engaging, creating communities, employer branding, etc. So far, so good.

Recruitment 4.0

But there has been a lot of talk online this year about Recruitment 4.0, the so-called future of recruitment which will see the value of the 3.0 communities being leveraged fully. Positions will fill via crowdsourcing tactics, not to mention the decline of the traditional recruitment agency. At the heart of these predictions is the gamification of recruitment - the use of gaming mechanics and features to drive broader and more effective engagement in the recruitment process.

The question is, how close are we to that future? Well, it’s already happening in isolated examples. Think about how Pepsi engage with consumers, inviting them to create new can designs; that allows PepsiCo to assess potential talent, no? Likewise, MI5 have been using online games to assess information-processing and analytical skills. A well-known example is Marriott running a Sims-type game in which players act as hotel managers; it’s hosted on their Facebook recruitment page.

So, it’s already beginning to happen. Gamification of recruitment is being used to attract job candidates. How else can game techniques be applied to parts of the recruitment process?

Early Bird Catches the Worm

Why not, start the engagement process early, before candidates are even thinking about jobs at all? The Deloitte Virtual Team Challenge is an online, real-time business simulation played by high school students all over the U.S. It creates brand awareness, allows players to show off their business-applicable skills and raw potential and doesn’t depend on their previous workplace experience to do so.

Candidate sifting is a key part of the process which gamification can streamline. With the ongoing state of national and global economies, it’s hardly unusual to have thousands (or millions, why not?) of applications for vacancies. The old Recruitment 1.0 ‘by hand’ sift panel approach just doesn’t cut it anymore. Sure, you may have applicant tracking systems but all they do is keep the data straight. If you want to find out who which candidates should go on to second-stage assessment, well-designed gamification of recruitment methods not only brings in a bigger field but also then narrows it down for you.

Never forget, gamification is like any other business tool; it may appear more fun than most but it’s still there to boost your business.

Post-recruitment, the current hot tip for future tech is the use of games in the onboarding process –perfect for helping new people understand the organization, its culture, the brand, and so on.

But never forget, gamification is like any other business tool; it may appear more fun than most but it’s still there to boost your business. You have to be clear on what you want it to achieve. For any business, gamification can potentially broaden and speed up recruitment activity, however key question to answer is, exactly what behaviors and values to you want to attract and how will you know them when you see them?

author image
Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

author image
Dave Foxall