December 8, 2020

Gamification for recruitment – inspiring HR trend you want to use


Kasia Ceran

Digital Value Manager

Does the recruitment process have to be boring? Absolutely not! On the example of one of our internship projects, we will show you how to maximize the potential of interns while testing their knowledge and skills. Moreover, instead of a standard question-and-answer conversation, we propose… a game. What about some unconventional recruiting strategy?

Gamification - definition and examples

Let's start from the beginning. What is the meaning of the magic word "gamification"? This is nothing more than using game-design elements in the areas that at first sight have nothing to do with games. In terms of game-design elements, we are talking about elements such as points, rankings, prizes, levels, collecting, rewards, goals, challenges, or progress. In what areas can we use games? Thankfully, there are no limitation on gamification usability - from everyday shopping (let any one who did not collect stickers that can be exchanged for gifts to throw a stone), through education (honourable mention for completed tasks) to professional life (achieving goals or place/position in the rankings).

In taking up the subject of gamification in our project we went further - we didn't use one or more game-design elements, but created a game sensu stricto. Nice, right?

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From idea to realization

How to use the potential of interns? Bringing onto the team and delegating tasks from day one. That’s what happened in the project that was created during the internship under the Młodzi w Łodzi programme (implemented by the City of Lodz in cooperation with local employers and higher education schools). At Liki, we believe that internship is an ideal opportunity to gain knowledge and experience - most wanted labor market values. That's why we delegated a project that could be a useful product. By the way, potential employees had a chance to see what real teamwork on a commercial project looks like.

Our interns formed their own team supported by the experienced Liki developers and graphic designers, who taught them how agile software development best practices look like. Work organized in this way allowed them to learn in practice some ways of communication and project management - skills so desired by employers.

The result of a month's work was a Bugs Defence game. The team was dominated by developers, so they had to take care of the code, as befits a developer.

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Bugs Defence - let's take a closer look

Bugs Defence is a tower defence game. What are the tower defence games? This popular strategy game has its roots in the 90s, but it's still popular today. The player's task is to stop enemies by setting up some defensive towers or other elements on the road the enemies are moving. In most games, types of towers vary in skills or upgrade.

Due to Liki being a software development house, our game took the form of defending a code by developers. Smart, right? Towers are developers whose task is to stop bugs (opponents) before they reach the Deadline. The defence means to answer development questions - every good answer destroys some bugs. You also need to know that there are three types of towers representing different levels of difficulty - Junior, Mid and Senior Developer. The higher the level, the harder the questions, but also the bigger the attack strength. Moreover, there are also different types of opponents, each assigned with some points. Choose your tactics - a large number of towers with low level of difficulty and low attack force (Junior), or maybe a few solid Senior Developer towers that will not give bugs any chance? If you are keen on developing, do not hesitate to test your front end knowledge.

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At the end of the game, you can check your score. Remember about your health during the game - every bug crossing Deadline deducts some points. The result is an excellent opportunity to test your level of knowledge - both from the perspective of the user and the recruiter. It is an excellent example of the best software developer recruitment methods.

Gamification as a recruitment method - a win-win situation

The game as such can be successfully used in the hiring process. At this point, we return to game-design elements, which have an impact on recruitment and selection. Each recruitment interview must check and evaluate the candidate's level of knowledge - questions at different levels of difficulty and a built-in ranking largely help the recruitment team. So, on the one hand, we have an effective recruitment tool that facilitates, speeds up, and unifies the HR operations and, on the other hand, it is a way to show the candidate that the company in which he is applying for a job is innovative and unconventional. Let’s surprise him!

Also, this modern recruitment approach strongly influences employer branding. For many candidates job interviews are very stressful, so why not reduce tension and offer some kind of fun. The reward (we return to game-design elements in the context of gamification) for completing the game, in addition to candidate satisfaction, will therefore be an opportunity to take part in the next stage of recruitment.

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We strongly believe that this kind of recruitment game can replace the first stage of verification of a candidate's knowledge. For example, Liki uses Bugs Defence game at the job fairs. We have a stand where candidates have a chance to test themselves in the game and it is always very popular. The combination of the element of surprise (unconventional and modern HR solution) and competition (comparison with other candidates) gives extremely positive feedback. An interesting fact is that 95% of players rated the game positively and praised our recruitment process vs. other companies.

Those players who obtain the best result are given access to the recruitment form - for a company it is the first step of verification of the future employee, and for the candidate a stress-free form of presenting knowledge and remembering the company as interesting, innovative, and open to new challenges. For sure it is one of the successful employer branding best practices.

Ensure true diversity in recruitment

We do not expect you to create your own game, which in the long run will be used in your recruitment strategy - we will gladly do it for you. Dedicated recruitment game for your company? Sounds great!

Our software house will customize the game to suit your industry (design, characters, questions etc.). We will provide an innovative product based on built-in questions that can be used in the recruitment process. What's more, nothing stands in the way of encouraging your current employees to play - who will be the best in the team?

Our game (literally from scratch) was created in just a month! Maybe we will not make it for you yesterday, but we will be close. At this moment we have tools that can be flexibly adapted to any company. Liki works fully agile, which gives high-quality projects in a short time period. Check us out!

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Meet the author


Kasia Ceran

Digital Value Manager

Feel free to contact us!

We will answer all your questions and find the best solution for your project.

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