Perk Up Hiring with Games for Recruiters

By Roy Maurer Aug 23, 2016
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Many organizations are leveraging games to engage potential candidates with the employer brand and assess applicants for skills and fit. So why not bring those same gaming techniques in-house and allow recruiting teams and staff to track their successes in a fun way?

"When it comes down to it, many recruiters have a mindset much like that of a salesperson or marketer and are driven by a competitive spirit," said Ben Eubanks, SHRM-SCP, principal analyst at talent acquisition analysis firm Lighthouse Research and Advisory, based in Austin, Texas. "That lends itself well to a gamified experience where points are offered to create or reinforce specific behaviors. I see this as particularly valuable on the sourcing end, where specific reward values can be placed on gathering qualified candidates to put into the hiring funnel." 

Agency recruiters have been using leaderboards and measuring recruiting activity for years, said Tim Sackett, SHRM-SCP, ‎president at HRU Technical Resources, a Lansing, Mich.-based staffing firm. "It's one of the reasons agency recruiting is more robust than the corporate side in terms of activity," he said. "HR wants to know 'How do we get our recruiters to act more like agency recruiters from an activity and production aspect? How do we get them on the phones and being hunters vs. farmers waiting for the candidates to come to them?' That really is the dividing line between corporate and agency recruiting."

Tom Gimbel, president and CEO of LaSalle Network, a Chicago-based staffing and recruiting firm, said morale has increased among a beta group of sourcers who have been testing a motivation platform called Hoopla.

"A complaint we had previously was that people didn't know where they stood compared to their peers," Gimbel said. "The technology basically creates a profile for each person with their pictures and rankings, and when they hit a certain milestone, it will play their chosen theme song over the intercom. We have daily and weekly winners, but it's all friendly. People cheer for each other and they know where they stand."

Gimbel said that as his firm continues to grow, data analytics has become more important. He plans to expand the beta test beyond his sourcing teams and track "three to four key metrics across the board, not just recruiting and placement."

Chicago-based software company QUEsocial offers a platform which uses gamification to motivate recruiters and employee advocates to convert their social media connections into talent pools. "Users receive points for everything they do in social media: adding connections, sharing content, commenting and engaging," said Patrick Rooney, the founder of QUEsocial. "A leaderboard shows the standings based on points, which zero-out at the beginning of each month so that anyone has the chance to be at the top of the leaderboard in any given month."

Points and activities are aligned with recognition rewards, exclusive access to a conference or lunch with the CEO, and monetary prizes.

As users progress in the game, the challenges focus more on converting a connection into a referral, candidate or new hire, Rooney said.

Not Just for Recruiters

Employee referral programs that incentivize activity, offer rewards and make the process fun have a much better chance to actually work, experts agree. "Not investing in automating the referral process is one of the biggest misses in talent acquisition," Sackett said. "Those organizations that apply gamification to referrals are putting their referral programs on steroids."

The final piece to the process is communication. "Users want to know how they are doing and that their efforts are not in vain," Rooney said. "Otherwise, motivation wanes over time. A constant flow of communication back to users, both to report success and to issue new milestone challenges, is critical to sustaining engagement. Unfortunately, this is where so many efforts fail."

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