The term ‘gamification’ has been construed in many different ways. Many people associate it with the type of gaming done using consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One playing games involving shooting, quests, and sports. Recent research by Penna, a people management company, found that 89 percent of consumers don’t even know what gamification is. Among talent management organizations, a generally agreed upon definition is that gamification is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve goals.
In all areas of business application, gamification has become more popular. Recent Gartner research forecasts that elements of gaming will be used in 25 percent of redesigned business processes in 2015, and 70 percent of Global 2000 businesses expect to manage at least one gamified application or system by the end of the year. A recent report on gamification by Markets and Markets predicts that the gamification industry will grow 67 percent by 2018 and be worth an estimated $5.5 billion.
Source: M2 Research
Its application in HR is still in the beginning stages with few companies implementing it in practice and many curious, with a recent report finding that 54 percent of HR departments are interested in using gamification to improve the performance of their workforces. The concept of using rewards, incentives, and performance measurement is not new to HR professionals, but organizations are still hesitant to implement gamification fully into their business practices. In a recent survey of HR directors, when asked about general barriers to adding gamification to their organizations, industry culture and capital cost were cited as top reasons.
However, organizations that have instilled gamification in their recruiting practices have already shown that there are many benefits in motivating individuals to complete tasks in fun, rewarding, and engaging ways.
Examples of Gamification Success
Several companies have overcome organizational challenges and resistance to install and derive benefits from Gamification in their HR departments. In 2013, KPMG successfully used gamification to recruit talented graduates. Marriott Hotels has also created a recruitment campaign to attract potential workers using an online game that encourages talent to take an interest in hospitality as a career path. Cafcass, a children and family advisory and support service, has used gamification in an online portal to promote the health and well-being of employees. The United States Army has created games so that individuals can get a better understanding of what a career in the army might be like. Accenture has four different games on Facebook designed to entertain potential candidates and teach them about the company. And one of the hottest companies in the market today, Uber, just released a Google Maps-based game that mimics what it’s like to be an Uber driver. The app is for entertainment, but also designed to be a learning tool for would-be drivers.
PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC) is a prime example of the success of gamification in recruiting. Their gamification platform simulates the first year on the job as a PwC employee. The idea to include gamification came about two years ago, when the HR department at the company noticed that job candidates were spending less than 15 minutes on their career site and the company was interested in more fully engaging its pool of candidates during the search process. This resulted in the development and launch of a game that allows PwC job candidates to virtually test their readiness for working at the company by working in teams to solve real world business problems. The game presents users with tasks based on the PwC competencies that the firm is developing for current employees. Hiring managers noticed that the game better prepared candidates for face-to-face interviews by pre-educating them about PwC as a company and the skills required for success. And by using the game, new hires at PwC found the onboarding at the company easier, as they had already experienced company culture through the game. Ultimately, PwC saw a 190 percent growth in job candidates, and 78 percent of those who completed the game were strongly interested in working at PwC.
Statistics about Gamification Users
The Penna report on gamification discovered that many HR directors have misconceptions about who games, what devices they use, and for how long they remain on the platform.