linkedin Skip to Main Content
Just announced! We now support spreadsheets
Back to blog

Tops Tips for Gamification in Recruitment in 2023

Hiring Developers

Gamification in Recruitment

The world of recruitment is highly competitive, and standing out from the crowd is a top priority. 

Current recruitment strategies aren’t delivering what candidates expect – studies reveal they’re typically too long, dull, or untransparent.


Gamification offers a solution. Gamification for recruitment is the process of turning the recruitment process into something more engaging and interactive with the help of game-like features. This offers an excellent opportunity for hiring managers and talent acquisition managers looking to optimize the hiring process.

By gamifying recruitment strategies, employers can engage top talent and screen them effectively, resulting in a mutually beneficial experience for recruiters and candidates. 

Why Gamify the Recruitment Process

To stand out and attract top-tier talent, recruiters must get creative and go beyond traditional hiring methods. 

Gamification is an excellent strategy for switching up dull and antiquated recruitment processes. 

In CodinGame x CoderPad 2022 tech recruitment survey, candidate experience was the top priority respondents intended to invest in – which includes gamifying aspects of the recruitment process. 

In a TalentLMS’s 2019 Gamification at Work survey 78% of respondents said gamification in the recruitment process would make a company more desirable. Robert Walters Group highlights several case studies of gamification in recruitment for top companies like L’Oreal, PwC, GCHQ, and Hackertrail, all of which produced favorable results. 

Here are the benefits of gamification for the recruitment process:

Enhanced Candidate Engagement

Games are inherently engaging. Applying aspects of gaming to recruitment, such as challenges, rewards, and levels, delivers an interactive experience. 

This is a far cry from lengthy, antiquated interview processes which fail to establish true skills. Moreover, gamified recruitment processes are fair and transparent – the candidate is given the time and resources required to complete the tests, which are the same for everyone. All these things contribute to exceptional candidate experiences that boost employee engagement in the short and long term.

Improved Candidate Assessment

Traditionally, recruiters assess candidates through resumes and interview responses. 

However, these methods can sometimes fall short of delivering an accurate understanding of a candidate’s skills. 

Additionally, 40% of people lie on their resumes, and classic interviews are increasingly viewed as overly subjective. Further, evidence shows traditional interview questions magnify biases and prejudices, leading to potentially non-compliant recruitment outcomes.  

On the other hand, gamified recruitment via tests and assessments is fair and transparent. 

In addition, gamification can simulate job-related tasks or scenarios, providing an objective evaluation without the pressures of interviews. 

This is invaluable in tech recruitment, where establishing a candidate’s precise technical skills is a top priority. 70% of developers believe coding challenges and tests are an accurate method of evaluating technical skills. 

Positive Employer Branding

Employer branding has a significant impact on talent acquisition. 

For example, Deloitte found that an astonishing 88% of job seekers believe company culture and branding are essential to the recruitment process. 75% of job seekers actively consider an employer’s brand before engaging with the company, according to LinkedIn

Gamification can help organizations stand out as innovative and forward-thinking employers. By offering a unique, engaging, and memorable candidate experience, organizations can differentiate their brand and advertise a transparent and pragmatic company culture. 

7 Examples of Gamification in Recruitment

So, how do you actually implement gamification into the recruitment process? 

Here are some examples of gamification across the recruitment pipeline, from job applications to assessments, candidate selection, and onboarding. 

Gamified Application Process

1. Augmented and Virtual Reality Assessments

Some companies use AR or VR to simulate real-world tasks. For example, Marriott Hotels also implemented a fantastic example of integrating AR/VR into recruitment by creating a hotel simulation game. 

Their hotel-themed game simulates managing hotel tasks and is designed to captivate those who find the process enjoyable. 

This has the effect of increasing applications from candidates who complete the game and likely score highly.

2. Interactive Assessments and Puzzles

Gamified assessments are dynamic and interactive. For example, GCHQ set up an online puzzle with an encrypted image that potential candidates had to solve before accessing the recruitment page. They also set up a game where candidates needed to surf the net to pursue puzzles and clues. 

Organizations like CodinGame offer gamified coding tests, enabling candidates to solve challenges and compete on leaderboards. This transforms the skill assessment process into something more transparent and engaging. 

This innovative approach does one thing that other interview processes typically lack: it makes applying to the job fun!

3. Game-Based Personality and Cognitive Tests

Game-based assessments offer psychometric assessments in game format, providing objective insights into a candidate’s traits and cognitive abilities. 

Research indicates that psychometric tests are fairer than traditional personality tests or other more subjective screening methodologies. This is because they cut through subjective values, which often differ culturally, instead focusing on what matters – skills and traits. 

Gamified Candidate Selection

4. Escape Room Challenges

Some organizations use escape room-style challenges to evaluate teamwork, problem-solving skills, and performance under pressure. 

Interestingly, escape room challenges seem to challenge the stereotypical roles established in traditional interview roleplay. 

5. Gamified Technical Tests and Quizzes

Gamified platforms like CoderPad provide technical skills assessments that objectively evaluate skills and take-home projects, giving candidates the free will to engage in a project without being strictly timed. 

6. Simulated Work Projects

Candidates are given tasks similar to what they’d be doing on the job, allowing the employer to assess their skills in a realistic setting. 

For example, live tech interviews enable organizations to conduct coding assessments where recruiters can interact with candidates as they code

7. Competitive Online Challenges and Leaderboards

Companies can create online games where candidates can compete against each other and rank on leaderboards. 

This helps developers enhance their coding skills while getting noticed by top recruiters. For instance, CodinGame’s competitive programming challenges are fun, engaging, and immersive, providing a gateway to top recruiters. 

Best Practices for Implementing Gamification in Recruitment

Implementing gamified recruitment strategies requires care and attention, especially as traditional recruitment screening is often baked into an organization’s existing processes. 

Here are the best practices for implementing gamification in recruitment:

Align Gamification Elements with Job Requirements

Implementing recruitment games without a purpose won’t help capture the best candidates. 

Instead, games should be intricately matched to the skills required for the job.

The Marriott Hotel and GCHQ examples are excellent – the games directly relate to the company and the skill sets they’re searching for. Candidates who interact with and complete the games progress to the application process, meaning there’s an element of pre-screening genuine interests. 

Tests vary widely in software development and coding from simple entry-level coding tasks in common programming languages to exceptionally niche, high-level tasks for advanced engineers. 

CoderPad has over 90 preset job roles with different coding questions and assessments, enabling organizations to home in on appropriate tests for their roles. Additionally, there are over 70 specific technical skill tests and 4,000+ tests for junior, senior, and expert-level positions. 

Maintain Fairness and Objectivity in Assessment

While gamification makes the recruitment process more enjoyable and engaging, ensuring the assessment process is fair and objective is essential. 

The goal is to identify the most qualified and suitable candidates for the job – results and scoring systems should be transparent and based on predetermined performance indicators.

Moreover, all candidates should be given the same rules, conditions, and opportunities to succeed.

Provide Clear Instructions and Feedback

Games are daunting if the players don’t understand the rules. Assessment objectives should be articulated clearly, ensuring candidates possess everything they need to complete the tests. 

Constructive feedback is integral to any recruitment process, whether the candidate is successful or not. Share specific areas of strength and improvement with candidates to improve their confidence. This is good practice, regardless of whether you’re progressing an application or not. 

Ensure Accessibility and Inclusivity

Games should be as accessible and inclusive as possible, catering to individuals from diverse backgrounds. 

For example, games shouldn’t depend on predetermined subjective knowledge, especially culturally situated knowledge. Instead, tests should be intelligible and not hinge on skills that aren’t essential for the role. Keep tests simple enough for anyone to understand the requirements. 

Continuously Evaluate and Optimize Gamified Recruitment Processes

The world of recruitment is dynamic, and strategies that worked yesterday might not be as effective today. 

Therefore, it’s essential to regularly assess recruitment KPIs and make necessary adjustments based on feedback and performance. Additionally, regularly reviewing and optimizing your processes ensures that your process continues to be effective and engaging.

Frequently asked questions on Gamification in Recruitment

How can gamification enhance candidate assessment accuracy?

Gamification improves candidate assessment accuracy by cutting through subjective and cultural knowledge and biases and homing in on what matters: ability. 

Instead of relying on traditional, one-dimensional assessments like resumes and interviews, gamification allows candidates to demonstrate their abilities dynamically. 

This enables recruiters to objectively evaluate job-specific skills, problem-solving skills, and creativity. Gamification in talent acquisition attracts top talent who appreciate its fairness and objectivity. 

Are there any potential drawbacks or limitations to gamified recruitment?

Designing fair and effective games in-house is challenging. This is why it’s better to work with platforms like CoderPad, which has developed an end-to-end gamification platform with thousands of skills designed for different job roles and positions. 

How can smaller organizations implement gamification on a limited budget?

Smaller organizations can start with simple gamification elements that don’t require extensive resources. For example, many recruitment game providers deliver cost-effective, scalable games and assessments that slot into existing workflows and processes. 

Is gamification suitable for all types of job roles and industries?

Gamification in the hiring process can benefit a broad selection of roles and industries, but it depends on how well it is tailored to the job requirements and the organization’s culture. 

For instance, organizations should use gamification for roles that require problem-solving, creativity, and technical skills. Great examples include programming, marketing, and design. 

Conversely, gamified assessments may not entirely suit roles that involve interpersonal and soft skills, such as management and leadership roles. 

Are there any legal considerations or compliance requirements when using gamification in recruitment?

Gamified recruitment processes must be fair and non-discriminatory and respect data privacy laws.

While these laws vary worldwide, recruitment law tends to be strict. Working with trusted recruitment game providers helps ensure legal and regulatory compliance.