How gamification is helping companies hire top talent

  • Opinion
  • November 9, 2017
  • Michael Gilmore
How gamification is helping companies hire top talent

Need to hire new employees? Make the process a game. And it's more common - and easier to do - than you might think.

The labor market has changed drastically in the last few decades. Today, companies are competing to detect and recruit new talents, so young professionals with enough skills and knowledge don’t have to search for job opportunities anymore. Instead, HR managers find them.

At the same time, the unemployment rate in First World countries is reaching an all-time low. For instance, the New Zealand jobless rate has fallen to 4.8 percent - the lowest in eight years. In such circumstances, recruiters are creating new methods to attract employees. Gamification is one of those methods.

How to Combine Games and Recruiting

Around 15 years ago, an average opening sat unfilled for 19 days. Now, it's 28 days. This clearly suggests that contemporary recruiters need more time to convince top talents to accept the job in their company. They need something new and exciting to grab the attention of young prospects.

This is why HR executives have turned to gamification. Namely, it is the process of adding games or gamelike elements to something (such as a task) in order to encourage participation. This is exactly the purpose of gamification in recruiting – to engage people and make them participate in the hiring processes. It makes the whole procedure more interesting and amusing, which is why some people even call it "recruitainment."

Dave Watson, HR manager at Careers Booster, explains, that gamification has three distinct objectives in hiring processes: 

-To attract top talents: This is the basic goal and the first thing you should have in mind while adding gaming elements into your talent search.

-To educate before the actual hiring: The best thing about gamification is that it helps new employees to learn about the business before they even become regular employees.

-To improve brand awareness: Just like all other games, recruitainment can also go viral on social media. It helps companies to boost brand awareness and generate new leads and conversions. This is the secondary role of gamification, but certainly a valuable one as well.

With so many features taken into the calculation, it is not surprising to learn that more than 350 companies launched major gamification projects in the last seven years. But what are the most common gamification models? Let’s take a closer look.


Recruiting websites can add rewards as gamification elements to make the process goal-oriented. Every time a candidate performs some activity on your website, you give him a few points as a reward. This activity could be anything from rating a photo to leaving a comment about one of your posts. With each point they receive, they have a better chance of getting the job interview invitation. 

Virtual job fairs

Using modern technology, it is easy to organise a thematic job fair and invite top talents to take part. You need to design a webpage dedicated to this event with all relevant materials about the company and its employees. The most important thing is to promote it precisely, detecting your target group on social networks.

Crosswords, tests, and quizzes

A lot of companies are creating special challenges in form of crosswords or quizzes to test the knowledge of potential employees. This makes recruiting very entertaining, which is why the generation of Millennials – who are born in the Internet era – consider it a big advantage for the overall company image. You can create online quizzes quickly, using a minimum budget. 

Video-based interviews

Contemporary HR managers utilise video interviews because they are cheaper and more efficient than traditional models and because they deem more interesting to the candidates. All you need is a computer with a camera and you can start the quest. On some occasions, you can also test the actual skills of job prospects, setting up a genuine office environment around you and asking people how they would react in any given situation. 

Real-time progress

Watching your real-time progress is a popular feature of all classic video games in the last 30 years. That’s why some recruiters use it to post a challenge and let talents compete to fulfill 100 percent of their tasks as soon as possible. It makes the procedure result-driven, which is excellent if you need ambitious and hard-working employees.

There are many examples of all these gamification techniques. For instance, audit giant Deloitte created a website quiz with several questions to test the behavior of their candidates. Their campaign 'Will You Fit into Deloitte' is exploring office experience decision-making to see how potential employees think. As the recruiters explained it, this is the “campaign about the company’s culture and various service lines in a ligh-hearted, innovative, and interactive way.”

The second example is Upwork, the biggest freelancing website, which uses real-time tracking and progress bars to assess both remote workers and employers. The process goes two ways: companies are giving marks and comments about the work conducted by freelancers, while their former employees also assess the quality of communication and instruction. This means that candidates will not accept a job offer in case user reviews are bad – and the other way around.


Modern companies cannot find talented and reliable employees easily anymore. Recruiters have to try hard to attract top prospects and that is why they embraced gamification as the means of hiring. In this article, we explained how this whole process functions. Now you know how gamification in recruiting works - and how to use it in your own hiring efforts. Good luck.

This story was originally published on Idealog. 

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Kiwi Property makes $138m net profit for the year

  • News
  • May 21, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Kiwi Property makes $138m net profit for the year

Kiwi Property has reported a strong full year underlying profit, as it continues to reinvest in its Auckland retail and office properties.

Read more

Thankyou’s latest campaign combines scent and charity work

  • News
  • May 21, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Thankyou’s latest campaign combines scent and charity work

Australian charity product organisation Thankyou has launched its latest Kiwi campaign, combining that fact that 100 percent of its profit goes towards helping end global poverty with its use of perfume-grade botanical oils in its products.

Read more

From edible insects to beautiful homeware: Made of Tomorrow’s co-founder talks its new venture

  • Design
  • May 21, 2019
  • Idealog
From edible insects to beautiful homeware: Made of Tomorrow’s co-founder talks its new venture

Most people would be in agreement that bugs, planters and room dividers don’t have much in common, but Matt Genefaas and Dan Craig would beg to differ. The two juggle running an edible insect company, Crawlers, as well as a homeware company, Made of Tomorrow. Genefaas has a chat about what the new furniture range, Space Between, was inspired by, as well as how him and Craig spend their days in slashie roles moving between pushing dried insects to the world, as well as polished mirrors and space dividers.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Why is the next generation so anxious? Here's how young founders can avoid burn-out

  • Opinion
  • May 21, 2019
  • Jennifer Young
Why is the next generation so anxious? Here's how young founders can avoid burn-out

There may be good reason to be concerned about our young entrepreneurs. Millennials and Generation Z have been labelled generation burn-out, generation snowflake and described as narcissistic, entitled, tech-dependent and fragile. They’re also oversaturated with headlines about the raft of issues like climate change they have to tackle, plus concerns about the impact of technology and social media on their mental health. Jennifer Young explores possible reasons why the younger generation is so anxious, as well as what young founders can do to avoid burn-out.

Read more

Vodafone NZ sold to private investors for $3.4b

  • News
  • May 21, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Vodafone NZ sold to private investors for $3.4b

Infrastructure investor Infratil is teaming up with a Canadian investment firm to buy the local operations of Vodafone for $3.4 billion.

Read more

Readings present revised plan for Courtenay Central

  • Property
  • May 16, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Readings present revised plan for Courtenay Central

The company that owns Courtenay Central in Wellington says it has big plans for redeveloping the complex - which is closed due to earthquake risks.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit