by Andre Bourque

How entrepreneurs use gamification to boost recruitment

Feb 01, 2017

Video games have become the game-changer for the future of recruiting.

gamification road sign
Credit: Thinkstock

Given that half of the adults in the U.S. play video games, it’s no surprise that the idea of using games to recruit people is fairly commonplace. One of the most famous early examples of gamification came to us courtesy of the U.S Army, which used gaming to boost recruiting efforts. It was joined by other organizations such as Marriott and L’Oreal.

Using games in this way is usually called “gamification” — the process of using the science and psychology of games to reward and motivate people and encourage them to behave in a desired fashion. It’s become an incredibly popular and powerful tool for engaging the online community and attracting people to an organization.

Humans are naturally competitive. We are compelled to share games with our friends and challenge them. This makes it even easier for brands to stand out and engage their user bases through gamification. Games provide people with important information about the brand without specifically targeting them and putting them off.

Gaming on the rise

In 2014, BlankMediaGames was started by two 24-year-olds: Blake Burns and Josh Brittan. They launched with Town of Salem, a game in which players need to forge alliances and try to deceive one another. Today the game has over 3 million registered users and 800,000 regular users a month. Brittan says that the company has seen such success because it uses gaming to create social experiences. People keep playing Town of Salem because it gives them a unique experience that they couldn’t find with another game.

Another niche example is the approach taken by Nestiny, a website that aims to help people buy homes in a fun and low-pressure environment. Nestiny recently launched a game called Home Pinwheel. Think of it as Tinder for home styles. Users can play the game to figure out their preferences for home design. Nestiny reports that traffic and signups have improved 50% month-over-month.

Games have crossed every gender and age boundary. The average age of video gamers is 35, and the gender breakdown of people playing video games is almost an even split: 48% are women and 52% are men.

“It’s hardly surprising that games are as popular as they are,” says Ty Stewart, a software expert and founder of Simple Life Insure. “Youth today have gone from being born with a silver spoon in their mouths to being born with a silver phone in their hands. These devices are commonly crammed with games used to improve hand-eye coordination, teach kids to read, learn a foreign language, along with helping them draw, paint, play music or just foster creative and logical thinking. There are also games such as Burger Shop that teach how to manage a business.”

Employers that get in early on this trend will have an advantage when it comes to recruiting. Games are going to be the key to getting the cream of the crop. While younger people may not necessarily be looking for jobs, they could find themselves noticing opportunities at your organization as they play your game.

Recent reports on U.S. practices by the Entertainment Software Association show that 155 million Americans are regularly playing video games. Moreover, there is someone who plays games regularly in 63% of U.S. homes, and 48% of the people who spend the most time gaming are playing social games.

Technology is changing to create a true paradise for gamers as well. Asus recently introduced an HDTV smartphone called ZenFone3. This means that gamers will now be able to enjoy high-definition gaming on a mobile device. Virtual reality and holo portation are also changing the gaming industry at an incredible pace.

Gaming has become a central part of our lives and culture. The approach that your organization takes to online gaming could end up being your best recruiting tool. If you aren’t sure how you can make gaming part of the future of your organization, start here.

Bottom line

Ask yourself how gaming technology could be used to fuel your recruitment efforts and improve engagement with everyone who connects to your business.

As strange as it is to say; video games have become the game-changer for the future, so make them a part of your organization now.