The Gamification of Hiring

Gamification is on the rise.

Due to digital transformation and increasing demand for consumer engagement, gamification (infusing game elements such as points, rewards, and activities into non-game typical contexts) is growing in popularity. It’s goal is to transform tasks into interactive content, encourage participation, and enhance user experience.  Recently, hiring teams are turning to gamification to make the recruitment process more enticing and effective.  Below, we’ll explore why gamification matters and how it can enhance the candidate journey.

Benefits of Gamification

Attract Top Talent: Gamification can make your application and interview process more enjoyable, which may appeal to job seekers, and attract high-quality candidates to apply.

Candidate Experience: Traditional recruitment methods can be monotonous and laborious, resulting in un-engaged candidates and attrition during the hiring journey. Gamification injects interactivity into the process, capturing potential employees’ imagination and likely retaining their interest throughout the process.

Skill Assessment: Games allow recruiters to assess candidates’ skills in a more comprehensive, and unbiased way. Instead of relying solely on CVs and interviews, gamification provides a dynamic assessment platform that can equalise the ranking of potential employees.

Types of Gamification

Simulations: These involve scenarios or challenges that mirror real-world situations. Candidates handle tasks relevant to the job, such as customer interactions or problem-solving. A virtual tour of the workplace and a day-in-the-life simulation are other tactics to immerse job seekers in a virtual environment related to the vacancy.

Assessments: Gamified assessments test specific skills. For example, coding challenges or language proficiency quizzes.

Rewards: Offering rewards (virtual or tangible) for completing stages or achieving goals can keep candidates motivated.

Competitions: Creating friendly competitions among candidates can add excitement and encourage participation.

Examples of Gamification

Google: Code Jam: Google hosts multiple coding competitions, including Code Jam, Hashcode, and Kick Start. Participants solve algorithmic coding puzzles through multiple rounds, competing for the title of Code Jam Champion and often substantial monetary prizes. They often offer job opportunities to competition winners.

GCHQ: Can You Crack It?: The UK’s intelligence and security agency, GCHQ, designed an innovative challenge to engage code-breaking enthusiasts. Successfully solving the challenge led candidates to a career page, revealing their job opportunities in cyber security.

Siemens PlantVille: Siemens developed “PlantVille,” a gamified training platform for plant management. Participants learn about industrial processes, supply chain management, and sustainability by managing a virtual factory. The game helps the company identify candidates’ with relevant skills and passion for their industry.

PwC’s Multipoly: Accounting and consulting firm PwC introduced gamification to engage job applicants more fully. After noticing that the average candidate spent only 10 minutes or less on their website, they created a game called “Multipoly.” Candidates were placed on teams and presented with scenarios similar to those they’d encounter on the job.

Effectiveness & Considerations

Validity & Job Relevance: While gamification makes the process enjoyable, it should neither overshadow nor replace skill assessment. Candidates should focus on showcasing their abilities, more than the game aspect. The assessment should align with the job requirements, and reflect effective hiring criteria.

Standardisation and Bias: Not all candidates are equally comfortable with technology or gaming interfaces. Technical glitches or compatibility could frustrate potential candidates and deter them from applying.  To avoid unintentional bias, be cautious of game design elements (avatars and scenarios) that may favour certain demographics.

Candidate Perception: Without clear communication of the purpose of gamification, candidates might associate the organisation with gimmicks, rather than professionalism. Avoid confusion through transparency and context.  Ensure candidates understand how the gamified assets relate to their evaluation, and how it measures skills related to the required job tasks.

Costs & Resources: Developing, adopting, and optimising gamified assessments requires ongoing time and financial investment. If poorly built or executed, gamification can waste both candidates’ and recruiters’ time.


Gamification in recruiting can make the hiring journey more dynamic, enjoyable, and informative. When implemented thoughtfully, it can lead to a better candidate experience, and more effective assessment of fit.

Interested in exploring how gamification can enhance your hiring process? Connect with Insight Global – we make hiring easy.