SmartRecruiters Blog

Gamify Your Talent Assessments for the Candidate’s Sake

“Gamification is the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging.” –wiki

Forget all your recruiting challenges for a moment, and think about the future. How would recruitment ideally function?

First, you’d have a seamless process. Every candidate, active or passive, who saw your company had an open position would make their full work history, personality, aptitude, and other relevant skills/information available to you for selection purposes.

Second, the process for gathering that critical information – resume, assessment, interview – would be as easy as posting a photo online or swiping the unlock screen of an iPhone.

Third, you would have access to an unlimited, broad, and deep talent pool that touched nearly everyone qualified for the position you’re looking to fill.


Back to reality

Unfortunately, the talent search and selection process is far from this Utopian ideal. At the present, most candidates (not all) are still asked to do a huge amount of work just to get their “application” (whatever that means) available to your recruitment team.

Successful recruitment organizations – those who consistently receive far more qualified applications than they can possibly use – recognize the reality of the application process from the candidate perspective. They adopt the same tactics used by online advertisers. These best in class organizations realize that the company is paying a high advertising cost to get in front of candidates. In your case, that may be on-campus recruitment, fees for posting to job boards, or recruiter time to directly reach out to candidates.

Don’t believe me? Well, if you’re like most (non-SmartRecruiters) companies, you only get 100 applications for every thousand people who see your ad. If you were an online marketer, you would work tirelessly to improve that conversion ratio.

And what are the things preventing you from getting all 1000 people who saw your ad into your candidate pipeline? How many candidates start an application and never finish? Chances are you’re losing applicants because your process is just too damn annoying and time consuming to complete.


How games get you closer to the future of hiring

The power of games in recruitment becomes apparent in their ability to help you convert more of the people who see your job opportunity into active applicants in your pipeline. Treating candidates like customers is widely regarded by the top thinkers in recruitment as essential to ensuring that top-quality talent develops an interest in your company as an employment destination. Just like optimizing the conversion flow for a customer, you want to optimize the conversion flow for a candidate.

That’s the genius of games! If you can disguise your application and assessment process as a game, you’re much more likely to not only convert the top talent who saw your ad, but also engage candidates who would normally never consider your company. That’s the power of creating a viral loop.

At ConnectCubed, we find that candidates enjoy our games so much that they spend over 3x the required time. That’s right – they finish the assessment and come back for more! And remember, every minute they spend on your application is an opportunity to get your brand and your message front and center.

It’s amazing to see the process spread from person to person. Back in 2011, I joined our user experience team on a trip to conduct live user testing of a new game at a US college campus. In between focus groups, I wandered in to the library to see a group of students we hadn’t met with playing the new game.

Thinking I was being witty, I leaned over the shoulder of one of the students and said, “Hey, cool game you’re playing there.”

He turned his head and said, “Have you heard about this? It’s so cool, right?”

Two hours later and the game was already clear across the other side of campus. More students came pouring in throughout the day.


Additional benefits throughout the candidate pipeline

If you are using a tool like ConnectCubed, not only are your games adding to the attractiveness of your application process, but also delivering actionable insights into candidate fit for the role. This type of data not only helps you improve performance and reduce turnover, but also allows you, as a recruiter, to focus on only the most promising candidates in your pipeline.

If you use games in your application and assessment process, there will be a statistically significant boost in employer brand. It’s a fast and easy way to differentiate your company from the competition. If you’re fighting for talent, you want to put your company’s best face forward. Candidates who are given a game as part of their application process come into interviews with a noticeably higher opinion of the interviewing firm as an innovative and forward thinking place to work.

Isn’t that something we all want?


Doing the right thing

Recruiting is hard. It’s hard to manage overflows of applicants, and it’s hard to seek out top talent in tight labor markets. Sometimes, that means we cut corners. We let our technology take over the human element of building strong relationships with candidates who ultimately become our colleagues.

If the candidate is willing to share part of his or her day with our organizations, we owe it to him or her to make the process as easy and efficient and fun as possible. Through games, we can do that. We can get closer to the ideal of a seamless application process that provides a deep and broad talent pool, with meaningful data on each applicant.

It’s good business sense. And it’s the right thing to do.

connectcubedMichael Tanenbaum is CEO of ConnectCubed. Using the power of big data, ConnectCubed utilizes epistemic gaming technology and psychometric testing to create next-generation pre-employment screening tests.

Meet Mike June 26 in SF at Smartup: Art & Science of Talent Assessment. More on information on the new SmartRecruiters Assessment Center.

Michael Tanenbaum