Gamification in Recruitment

Author Tobias Stenzel
February 25, 2021

Gamification has become distinctly more popular in the corporate world in recent years. This trend consists of using game principles and techniques in a non-game context. Gamification is often used for employee performance and motivation, but more companies have decided to incorporate it into their recruitment process, to catch the attention from top candidates and/or the younger generation. In fact, the latter are more receptive to innovative ways of recruiting and therefore more incline to play the “game”.

Gamification can be an effective method for evaluating applicants before inviting them for a formal interview, by, for example,  asking them to answer interactive quizzes or solve puzzles. Using games in the recruitment process has several advantages:

Tests or assignments take several days for candidates to complete and usually some emails are exchanged between them and the recruiter for clarifications. On the contrary, a game takes only minutes to play and the results are sent automatically. Therefore, candidates are screened immediately in a fun way instead of shortlisting candidates and screening them later.

Job seekers are usually sending a good number of applications to maximise their chances of getting and interview. Making the application process more fun and original can break the monotony and give a good idea of the company’s culture. It also shows that the company is keeping pace with technology trends and this can be seen as an asset by candidates.

If the evaluation of candidates is based on their relevant experience, then those who are making a career or industry change might be excluded. These people may have different experience but they might also possess transferable skills and the ability to adapt. Games give them the chance to highlight their actual competencies and their agility.

In practice, the French postal service Formapost, launched over ten years ago, “Jeu Facteur Academy”, to try to solve their employee retention’s problem (after a short trial period, around one-quarter of new hires left the company). The game allows players and potential candidates to “live” a week in a life of a new hire postal carrier. The players have tasks such as getting up early in the morning or learning about postal work. This initiative was a big success; drop-out rate went from 25% to 8% after the game was introduced in the hiring process, according to Enterprise Gamification Consultancy, and the company found candidates were better prepared and asked better questions. This is a great example where gamification helped a company identifying more suitable candidates who better understood the daily tasks related to this job and who made the conscious choice to accept it.

Gamification proves to be a valuable tool afterwards too, once the chosen candidates are hired. Deloitte, for example, have gamified their onboarding process: new employees form teams with other starters and learn about privacy, compliance, ethics and procedures online. They can launch pre-set questions into their team that everyone has to answer. Thereafter, the answers and possibilities are discussed in the team, with the goal to come up with one answer. This approach combines the learning of functional elements with collaboration, and creates a strong sense of belonging from the first day a new employee starts.

Gamification can also be used in other areas of a company, but before implementing new tools, companies need to ask themselves what business goals are. The key is to determine if gamification is something that can contribute to solving a problem, or if it will supplement existing plans. Many tools are available and it is crucial to compare them and to identify which ones would truly work.

Have you implemented games in your recruitment process, or more generally in any of your HR processes?


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Gamification in recruiting: Why and how it works for hiring talent | Workable

Why You Need Gamification to Interest Millennials – Business 2 Community