Harshita Kumbhar

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Game, Set, Recruit

Game, Set, Recruit

Recruitment is different in every company. The processes depend on company sizes, hiring needs and efforts put by the recruitment team. There are three leading actors in any recruitment process - recruiters, candidates and employees.


It is proven that referrals are the best way to hire today. Then, why is the success ratio so low in many companies?


A great candidate experience is the key to conversions. Then, why are we unable to provide one? It is because we still haven’t been able to bridge the gap of engagement with both - employees and candidates. We are still following the traditional ways to do so without realising that our audience has changed. We are hiring a generation that is exceptionally social and has a short span of attention. As a result, we have to adopt newer ways to engage them.


Have you heard about gamification? What strikes your mind when you first hear it?


Games? Points? Winning and losing? Ranking? It’s similar. Gamification is a subtle science of psychology. It is the science of applying game mechanics and techniques to business scenarios to achieve tangible results. We all have played enough games to know the impact it creates on our minds. You start again even when you have lost a game repeatedly. We do so because we are challenged to achieve a certain goal.


When it comes to employees, gamification can engage them and help you get referrals. Monetary incentives aren’t the only driver to refer somebody today. Recognition and other non monetary rewards are equally important. Employees want to be recognized for helping the company by bringing in a great new employee. You can give them points, badges and recognize them. While points, badges, leaderboard and levels are most commonly known, the key facet of gamification is activity loops. Activity loop is the science of bringing about repetitive behaviour while making the process fun. For example, submitting time sheets is a boring and repetitive activity. Gamifying it the right way can result in people engaging in repetitive loops to file their timesheets before the deadline. There are four ways in which you can use the game elements to perform the following actions in a referral process:


1.  Recommend friends: Game elements can propel them to perform the actions and make sourcing easy for you. You can define some points for referring, some more if their referral is shortlisted and upgrade their level once the referral is offered the job. We have seen that in 8 out of 10 times, an employee does not see success with his/her referrals. These points and badges encourage them to participate again even after facing failure.


2.  Share the jobs on social media: When employees share the jobs on their social network, they are not only sharing jobs but also spreading the company culture. It becomes a catalyst for candidates to apply. Gamification can be used to drive social shares. Define badges that the employees will get if they share each job on all of their social networks. Run the same activity for a week and reward the employee who shares a job most number of times. This incentivizes them to participate and when their referral is hired, they are automatically motivated to do it again.


3.  Post offer engagement: We all lose top candidates at the offer stage. It hurts when everybody in team finally agrees on a candidate but they don’t join. Would it not be awesome if the employee could talk the candidate into joining the company? The impact created when an employee explains them about growth and opportunities in the company is huge. You could easily incentivise this behaviour too.


4.  Onboarding: Now that their referral has accepted the offer, employees can also be encouraged to help recruiters with a good onboarding. A mainstream onboarding process usually includes a lot of documentation. They can be recognized as employee of the month or quarter for helping mentor a friend/colleague get started well.


A good company culture’s only drawback is that a lot of people want to join your company. In which case, you can start by assessing who fits the skill set.


You can run coding competitions, hackathons, assessments for a particular role, etc. because you can’t assess each of them one by one and this eliminates junk. A gamified hiring process is one that makes employers more attractive in the eyes of job seekers. Think about the competitions organised by tech giants like Google or Facebook – Google Code Jam and the Facebook Hacker Cup. These both resulted in two-fold gains: more exposure and an opportunity to acquire fresh talent.


These competitions can be run on points, badges and levels. Usually, the competitions go on for weeks and engaging candidates becomes tough. A live leaderboard can keep them engaged. Showing their competitions boosts them to give their best. Grouping them can help in choosing the best faster. You can also measure some soft skills like time management, teamwork spirit, the passion about their work, etc.


Another good idea for candidate focused websites or career site is to provide a neat progress bar so candidates can instantly see how far they are into the recruitment process, helping them to focus on reaching later stages and completing the goal.


While gamification can have a tremendous impact on how you identify and hire people, it can be just as powerful—if not more so—as a tool for keeping them engaged after they have been hired. Engagement has become a hot topic today, with Gallup reporting that nearly 70% of U.S. employees overall (and more than 70% of Millennials specifically) are not engaged employees. Given that ADP estimates the cost to a company of just one disengaged employee is more than $2,200 a year, it’s no wonder businesses are looking for ways to encourage employee engagement.


Gamification in companies is becoming so popular that, according to Gartner research covered in a Harvard Business Review blog post, elements of gaming will be used in 25% of redesigned business processes by 2015, and 70% of Global 2000 businesses expected to manage at least one gamified application or system.


The power of gamification comes down to this: It taps into the competitive fires that we all have. As we play a game, we become more engaged. We are willing to go the extra mile to achieve the goals and attain a greater sense of accomplishment.

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