SEPTEMBER 08, 2021


Key points:

  • Gamifying the recruitment process can help companies evaluate which candidates have the appropriate skills, experience, and attitude needed to take on the role they’re applying for.
  • In turn, gamification provides applicants a peek into how engaging the company they’re applying for really is.
  • HR professionals and recruiters can gamify their recruitment processes in many ways, one of which can involve the use of common technologies such as virtual rooms, online platforms, and mobile or desktop apps.


With millennials and Gen Zs now gradually taking over the global workforce, it comes as no surprise that companies are modifying and improving the way they recruit talent. In this digital age, it’s certainly crucial for HR leaders to keep up with new demands and trends. One way that HR leaders and recruiters are changing the “game” is through gamification.

As the name implies, gamification is the process of applying gaming elements such as point scoring, competition, rules of play in typically non-game activities to increase the engagement of participants. Gamification helps boost people's natural tendencies for competition, achievement, collaboration, and charity. Gamifying the recruitment process has been an HR innovation since the early 2000s as companies find more and more ways to engage potential employees and easily filter good candidates from bad ones. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the many ways gamification benefits HR leaders and recruiters, how it’s helped big companies today, and how other organizations can keep up with this new HR trend.


Benefits of gamification

Among other things, gamifying the recruitment processes helps HR leaders and recruiters identify certain skills that candidates may possess such as innovative thinking, creativity, time management, and more. Similarly, recruitment games can help evaluate which candidates have more experience than the others. In addition to resumes, references, and sample works, letting candidates play games before they’re hired can be a good way to save time and effort in assessing their skills and abilities.

Second, gamification injects candidates with motivation and makes the hiring process more interactive, thus projecting a company culture that’s enjoyable and fun. Having such a workplace is especially important for younger employees. A study by Gallup revealed that 55% of millennials are not engaged at work, which can be a disadvantage for companies as they might lose their employees who don’t feel fulfilled or motivated. Therefore, gamification can help quality candidates decide if they want to continue applying to a company or not.

Finally, gamification helps HR leaders and recruiters weed out candidates who are unmotivated, incapable of working in a team and possess other undesirable traits. Recruiters can save time and effort in interviewing and assessing candidates if they know early on which ones actually do want to join the company. Games require a considerable amount of time and effort to complete, depending on their complexity. If some candidates don’t want to complete a game to apply, it then says a lot about how interested they are in the company.

Examples of gamified recruitment processes

A good example of a successful gamified recruitment process is PricewaterhouseCoopers Hungary’s Multipoly. In an effort to better engage its pool of job candidates, PwC launched the online game―the name of which was inspired by the popular board game Monopoly―letting applicants virtually solve tasks and real-world business problems to measure their readiness to work at the firm. Some of the tasks test their building business acumen, digital skills, and relational skills. According to Pwc Hungary regional recruitment manager Noémi Biró, Multipoly helps candidates get acquainted with the company’s vision, services, and skills needed for success, helping them better prepare for “live” face-to-face interviews. Since the launch of the game, PwC Hungary saw a 190% increase in job candidates, with 78% of Multipoly users saying they are interested in learning more about working in the company.

Another good example is tech giant Google. Since 2003, the company has been gamifying its recruitment process and even incentivizing winners through Google Code Jam, an international programming competition where developers and engineers are tasked to solve a set of algorithmic problems in a fixed amount of time. Winners of the competition can receive a cash prize of up to $50,000, as well as a chance to work in Google as the competition serves as an avenue for the company to filter potential hires who align with the appropriate skills.


How to gamify the recruitment process

HR leaders and recruiters can integrate a number of gaming mechanisms or existing games into their recruitment processes. Some of these are:

  • Game show-style quizzes to replace boring exams
  • Leaderboards and dashboards to easily filter the best candidates
  • Themed breakout rooms to replace traditional interviews
  • Incentivized activities to increase interest, motivation, and engagement
  • Simulations and puzzles to replace tedious competency tests

Of course, companies are free to gamify their recruitment process in the most creative way possible. In this day and age, it would be easier and more practical to implement these games using technology, such as virtual rooms, online platforms, and even something as simple as mobile or desktop apps. It’s all just a matter of making unique ways to hire talent and work with quality employees.



Overall, gamification presents numerous benefits for companies looking to improve their recruitment process or make it more exciting while at the same time still gain quality hires. As millennials and Gen Zs continue to take over the global workforce, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to keep up with modern trends, as well as digitize their processes so that they won’t fall behind.



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SEPTEMBER 08, 2021

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