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January 13, 2018 | Irene Employer's Corner

Let the Candidate play: HR & Gamification

Irene Gloria Addison and Abigail Oppong
Irne and Abigail Oppong
Irne and Abigail Oppong

Technology is an essential part of our lives today and only few people can imagine living without it. In the era of rapidly changing technology nearly every business has been affected in various ways.

HR has always been the most crucial part of any business, as finding the right candidate to meet the business requirement is very important. HR & Recruitment must embrace the technological changes to achieve both business requirements and employee expectation.

Although HRM today actively embraces Big Data, the Cloud, Social Media and all sorts of other sexy technologies, the candidate ends up been faced with a boring Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which require either 20-30 minutes of endless data-entry or some irksome corrections to all that information on your CV that was captured wrongly by the ATS; and all that, assuming that you have not lost your internet connection….

This is where Gamification can help and add value to both our HRM and Recruitment industries: it adds a refreshing new fun element to the whole (rather boring for the Candidate) recruitment process. It encourages the candidate to engage with a company by providing simulated work environment and recruiters can also check candidates' creative thinking and problem-solving capabilities.

Why use Gamification in Recruitment?
The normal thing every recruiter does is to search for the best employees for their company / their client (if the recruiter works externally for a Recruitment Agency like us- HIREghana). Thus, they need to be very careful in getting the right candidate for the right company.

What are the benefits of HR Gamification?

  1. The process of eliminating a candidate is easier as it allows companies to test specific personas.
  2. Helps the candidate to know more about the company while s/he is genuinely having fun.
  3. It has the potential to display all sorts of a candidate's skills and behavior to a company.

HR Gamification: Minor Comment
We use the phrase 'HR Gamification' because Gamification it can and does 'extend'/ is applicable to other HR Processes like Performance Management - even the whole Lifecycle of Talent Management.

Walmart began using gamification about 5 years ago to deliver safety training for 5,000+ associates in eight Walmart distribution centers.

Another example: Qualcomm has been using gamification to increase collaboration among employees.

How did it all start?
In 1999, Casey Wardynski -a Chief Economist at the U.S. Army- was looking for ways to simply broaden its recruiting base. His team came up with America's Army, the first military-developed video game.

The video game was aimed at young teenagers and it had a very simple straightforward objective: collect as many “honour” points. Eventually the teenagers will be rewarded with all sorts of digital Humvees, grenade launchers and all sorts of mass-destruction heavy weapons/ gunnery.

This was a free game, designed to 'hook' interested future US Army Recruits. Strangely enough, the game was from its release in 2002 till 2009 among the 10 most popular games in the world.

That is how it made almost every large organization to pay attention to it and translate into the gamification of corporate recruitment. The rest is history.

How popular is Recruitment Gamification?
Let's give you some numbers so you can draw your own conclusions:

  • By 2015 US companies were spending $522m dollars a year on gamifying their recruitment and other HR activities.
  • The projected value of the entire worldwide consumer and enterprise gamification industry is expected to reach
  • $5.5bn by 2018 and rise to
  • $11bn by 2020.

(we hope there would be Ghanaian Start-ups getting part of that 'pie')

Google Code Jam is a software-writing competition where you can win up to $50,000—but Google is really using it as a way to attract potential hires with the right skills for the job and company.

Another possible unusual example: British intelligence and security agency uses an encrypted message on CanYouCrackIt.co.uk as part of their application process for all sorts of wannabe spies.

PwC uses it, Deloitte uses it, and all sorts of big companies

All that said, we couldn't find any traces of Recruitment gamification in Africa with the exception of South Africa.

More on Gamification How-to.
Gamification is not about playing online computer games but on creating a game-like environment to engage the Candidate to learn more about your organization and apply for your vacancies.

What should you be aiming at / how to design your 'Gamification Environment'?

  • Candidates do be able to easily invite others to your 'gaming-area'
  • Candidates do be able to share your vacancies with their friends & family.
  • Can you identify whether a visitor is an employee- referral? Should that visitor be treated digitally in a 'different manner' (e.g. as VIP)?
  • Does the 'game' create a 'I must apply now' impulse- feeling to the right candidates?
  • Does the 'game' give a clear picture of the organization, the role, the culture, the methodologies and tools used, etc.?
  • Does the 'game' allow you to find out if a given candidate is a good match for a specific vacancy? How do you control cheating?
  • Does during the 'game' you allow / provide the candidate with opportunities to share 'moments' via Social media?
  • In general, how engaging is your 'game'?
  • Is your 'game' the same for all roles and all seniority-levels? Should it be?
  • How secure is your game as far as the candidate's privacy and data are concerned?
  • Does your 'game' allow several candidates to play as a team and extract conclusions on the corresponding Team Dynamics?
  • Does your gamification promote Employer Branding? How?
  • ………

What are the limitations of HR Gamification?

#1. It can fail! Most common causes of failure are games which nobody wants to play (does anyone remember the My Marriott Hotel game on Facebook? Total flop), or games with poorly thought-out gamification elements that reward the wrong behaviors (you might have seen those sites where you are 'sent' from link to link collecting endless points of zero value without really learning more about the company before deciding to apply).

#2. It assumes stable & fast internet connectivity.

#3. Socio-demographic Biases: Online games might be popular within varied demographics, but there is a clear link between social deprivation and internet use. Also, bad internet access in your geography can limit that local talent engagement.

#4. Can you really do psychometric testing online? Really? Honestly?

In Conclusion – What does the Future holds?

Gamification can turn any boring and frustrating recruitment experience into genuine fun! Gamification can assist internal and external recruiters to create real interest in their job openings and companies.

Gamification can also boost and build your Employer Brand by differentiating your company from all of your competition.

Gamification creates a great experience for the candidate and the company. And an engaged candidate can turn into an engaged employee!

Keep in mind that gamification is 75% psychology and 25% technology”. So, you better invest to understand what motivates your employees and potential candidates before you invest in Gamification.

By the way, America's Army can be still found here: https://www.americasarmy.com

Thank you and Good Luck,
Irene and Abigail
About the Authors: Irene Gloria Addison is the owner of HIREghana [Human Intelligence Recruitment], a niche HRM & Organizational Development Consultancy and a Leader Ghanaian Recruitment Agency, based in Accra.

Abigail Oppong is a 1st Year Student at Asheshi University (she has a Mastercard Foundation Scholarship) and one of HIREghana's mentees. Abigail did her fair share of the research and writing of this article.

Both Abigail and Irene welcome your feedback/ comments/ remarks/ suggestions via your email message to Press [at ] HIREgh.com. HIREghana can be reached at +233 50 228 5155 or +233 266 555 907

Our website is http://www.hiregh.com

© 2017 Irene Gloria Addison, Abigail Oppong and © 2017 Human Intelligence Recruitment

113201820734 20180113 140719

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