Gamification in Staffing and Recruitment 101 

Gamification in Staffing and Recruitment 101

Table of Contents

  • Precious
  • March 15, 2023

Tech leaders are constantly looking for new ways to spice up hiring processes and make their companies more appealing to prospective candidates. Who doesn’t want to lay their hands on the most suitable match for a role?

If you’ve never heard of gamification, you’re in for an exciting ride. This article will help you uncover everything you need to know about gamification in staffing and recruitment. Grab your favorite drink! It’s time to learn how to level up your hiring process.

What is gamification in recruitment, and how does it work?  

Gamification is the secret sauce to making recruitment a total blast. With game-like elements such as quizzes and competitions, it’s all about making it more interactive and exciting for candidates. Points, badges, and leaderboards? Oh, you better believe they are the best way you can motivate and inspire your applicants to be their best.

For example, candidates can earn points for completing a specific task, such as submitting a resume or attending an interview. Gamification attempts to instill in users the same sense of accomplishment and victory when playing games with family and friends.

This approach isn’t just a new concept being innovated—it has gained popularity over the years. A related trend includes Marriott Hotels’ game on Facebook, where players could virtually run the hotel and complete tasks. When they reached a certain level, they were directed to a job application page. This helped Marriott get more high-quality leads and fill their hiring pipeline.¹

Until today, Google still provides various coding competitions, including Code Jam, Hashcode, and Kick Start to attract competent professionals. Interested participants engage by completing a series of coding skills tests, including multiple rounds of algorithmic coding puzzles, to compete for the title of Code Jam Champion and a prize of 15,000 USD.² These competitions are open to participants of all skill levels, and winners are often offered job positions.

A successful gamification experience taps into participants’ emotions—provides them with the best activities to achieve shared goals while also providing immediate feedback and guidance toward new accomplishments.


Point-blank, how can you incorporate this approach?—Gamification ideas for staff recruitment  

Interactive assessments: Instead of the usual online job application forms, companies can incorporate interactive assessments that challenge candidates to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a fun way.

These assessments could be mini-games or quizzes that provide instant feedback and rewards for correct answers.

Scavenger hunts: Scavenger hunt is a fun and engaging way to get candidates to interact with the company’s physical or virtual space. An example includes creating an online scavenger hunt that requires candidates to explore the company’s website or social media pages to find clues and complete challenges.

Simulations: Simulations can give candidates a realistic preview of the job they are applying for.

For example, a hotel chain might create a virtual hotel management game that requires candidates to manage the operations of a hotel, including customer service and financial management.

Employee referral programs: Employee referral programs can be gamified by creating a leaderboard that shows the top employees who have referred the most candidates or by offering rewards and incentives to employees who refer successful candidates.


What tech stack do you need to launch? 

To implement gamification in the hiring processes, you need to invest in a technology stack that supports the features and functionality you want to offer. This may include:

Gamification platform: You can use a gamification platform that offers pre-built game mechanics and APIs that can be integrated with your existing recruitment software. Some popular platforms include Bunchball, Badgeville, and Gigya.

Assessment tools: Your assessment procedures may be cognitive, behavioral, or skill-based. To create interactive assessments, you may need to use specialized software such as Pymetrics, Traitify, and Mettl that supports gamification elements.

These tools allow you to create game-like assessments that can be customized to meet your organization’s specific needs.

Virtual reality tools: If you want to create simulations for candidates, you may need to use VR tools that allow you to create realistic 3D environments. These tools can help you create immersive experiences that give candidates a taste of what it’s like to work for your company.

Mobile-friendly features: As more and more people use mobile devices to search for jobs, it’s essential to ensure your gamification elements are mobile-friendly.

You may need to create a mobile app that supports the game-like elements you want to offer or ensure your existing recruitment software is optimized for mobile devices.

Analytics tools: To measure the effectiveness of your gamification efforts, you may need to use analytics tools that track user behavior and engagement. These tools can help you identify which elements are working well and which need improvement.


Oops! Gamification comes with its limitations  

You’re probably familiar with the saying, “With an advantage, there’s always a disadvantage”

While gamification can significantly benefit your recruitment process, you may face some drawbacks, including:

Cost implications: Compared to traditional instructional design, games require more time and resources to develop. This means that going over budget is a real concern, as the development process can be lengthy and demanding.

Poorly disguised features: Creating truly interactive and enjoyable games that don’t bore the pants off learners requires a healthy dose of creativity and effort.

If the gamification elements are not aligned with the goals and values of the company or do not accurately assess the candidate’s skills and abilities, the recruitment process may be less effective.


Gamification in staffing and recruitment requires careful planning and execution  

Here are some things to consider when implementing this approach:

Understand your audience: Before implementing gamification, it’s essential to understand your target audience’s preferences, needs, and behaviors. This will help you design a game that resonates with them.

Define clear goals: Define clear goals for your gamification strategy. Do you want to increase candidate engagement, improve employer branding, or enhance candidate experience?

Keep it simple: Make sure your game mechanics are simple and easy to understand. Avoid adding too many rules or complicated gameplay, which may discourage job seekers from participating.

Measure and evaluate: Measure and evaluate the effectiveness of your gamification strategy. This will help you identify areas for improvement and refine your approach.


What’s the greater good?—Benefits of gamification in recruitment  

Despite the odds, gamification is worth the try because:

It offers a chance to attract tech-savvy candidates. According to a survey by Deloitte, millennials will make up to 75 percent of the workforce by 2025.³ The internet is a vital aspect of life, and investing in the latest technology has become crucial for attracting top talent. With the average western millennial expected to have spent about 10,000 hours on computer games by the age of 21.

It offers a solution to the problem of bias in the recruitment process. Because games remove the potential influence of socially desirable behavior, gamified assessments eliminate the chance of cultural background affecting the assessment outcomes. These assessments are based on extensive research in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, ensuring that recruiters can hire based on scientific evidence instead of their biases.

Grows Brand awareness. By injecting some fun and creativity into your candidate acquisition strategy, you’ll attract top talent while showing off your company’s unique personality and values. With gamification, you can build brand awareness, engage candidates, and create a personalized recruitment experience that will have everyone talking about how awesome your company is.


Need help reaching skilled professionals? Allied Insight is here for you!

Being a full stack marketing agency, Allied Insight your one-stop spot for the development and actualization of your hiring goals. We’re not only here as the partner you need for your staffing business, we act an extension of your executive team and invest in your success beyond the marketing we deliver.

Contact us today!



1. Marriott Using Gamification to Recruit Top Talent in Hospitality|Human Resource and Organization Behavior|Case.” Management Case Studies with Solutions, Accessed 17 February 2023.

2. “Google’s Coding Competitions – Code Jam, Hash Code and Kick Start, .Accessed 17 February 2023

3. “The Deloitte Millennial Survey.” Deloitte, Published January 2, 2014. Accessed 17 February 2023.


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