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My point of view regarding HR & Gamification

Today I’d like to explore a bit a very controversial topic (at least for me, but I guess not only me) that is the Gamification.
First, I will use one of common definition you can find on internet, for instance using Wikipedia (I know, I know is not the best possible source of info, but for our purpose can be used without problem of interpretation or meaning). “Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts”. The basic concept of gamification isn't new, but the word itself is a 21st-century addition to the English lexicon. The word refers to the incorporation of game elements, like point and reward systems, to tasks as incentives for people to participate. In other words, gamification is about making something potentially tedious into a game. Gamification is effective because it taps into people's natural desires for competition and achievement. Teachers, managers, and others use gamification to increase participation and improve productivity. Gamification is also often an essential feature in apps and websites designed to motivate people to meet personal challenges, like weight-loss goals and learning foreign languages; tracking your progress is more fun if it feels like a game.
For instance, your company can use gamification to promote a positive corporate culture by rewarding employees for cross-departmental collaboration, providing process or product improvement suggestions, or even participating in company-wide volunteer programs, for example.
You can use a gamified platform to track these activities and opportunities, as well as showcase employee participation to their co-workers to provide intrinsic motivation.
As an added benefit, the platform maintains a record of all employee activities in the program, which is quite valuable information when it comes time to consider promotions, raises, and other tangible rewards.
Try to imagine: mandatory HR training, like harassment, diversity, and other compliance programs are often not high on most employees’ priority lists, especially when they don’t see a relationship to their day-to-day job duties. Motivating them to take time out of their busy day to complete these programs in a specified time period can be challenging, so adding a gamification experience to the online learning program can spur action. Employees who earn rewards and recognition for having completed these tasks, or missions in the gamification lexicon, are far more likely to make it a priority.
In brief seems this could be a new trend and some well-known companies (one of the Big4 and a global leader in FMCG already implemented in their recruiting program). My personal opinion is that generally speaking is important to consider some pro and cons that I’d like summarize as follow.
Pro about gamification:
1) According to game designer, McGonigal, the average western millennial will have spent 10,000 hours on computer generated gaming by the time they are;
2) Millennial and generation Z talent expect to interact with technology constantly. According to a 2011 study conducted by Cisco System, Millennials view the internet as important as air, water, food, and shelter;
3) Personality questionnaires can rely on the ability and willingness of candidates to accurately describe themselves. Research has shown such self-report questionnaires are potentially open to considerable distortion, especially when a job is on the line. Gamification can reduce this risk;
4) Some Cyber-Guru believes that gaming is the way to get talent interested in the sector: the next generation of cyber security talent is likely to come from the gaming environment, so could be a good idea reach them in their own environment;
5) Gamification can be online or in a face to face setting, providing recruiters with a blended approach to communicating with talent. Whilst many games are online, Google’s Code Jam event attracts 7500 participants, with the finals being held at their New York office.
And here go some cons….
1) Administering a test or a game remotely has the potential to screen out entire classes of workers. Whilst online games are popular with multiple demographic groups, there is a clear link between social deprivation and internet use. Those who never use the internet are likely to live in a more deprived geography, potentially limiting the of talent engaged via gamification recruitment initiatives;
2) Measuring the ROI from gamification can be difficult, at best, and at times impossible. This is of particular significance as the cost of recruitment focused games can spiral. There are critical ongoing costs that are not always obvious, including compliance/legal costs, community management and policing and continuous creative (such as avatars and challenges;
3) Technology is evolving so quickly that games targeting specific and/or multiple cohorts will appear outdated soon after launch, resulting in further costs and ongoing investment;
4) Games do not typically offer a tailored, bespoke experience for different users, potentially resulting in less engagement unless complemented by events or face to face communication opportunities. The success of early careers networking events hosted by companies such as Bright Network suggests that top tier applicants also expect a personalised approach.
In the end, we cannot stop the progress and accept that World is changing. We can ride the changes or live in our traditional way. Both scenarios have implications and the roadmap for the future should be defined together being aware of the technologically implications, no matter the sector of business where you are.
Let me concluding backing to my ‘environment’ the HR. I just would like to present a piece of advice of what you should consider before applying gamification to your recruiting strategies. Hopefully will help you I case of thinking is time to move forward in this direction:
• What specific benefits could gamification offer to your HR strategy?
• Which platforms do your target audience currently use?
• Could gamification potentially reduce the number of applications?
• For which vacancies could gamification be considered appropriate?
• What is the geographic footprint of your preferred provider? Do they understand your local market nuances?
• How will gamification be measured and assessed? Can ROI be accurately calculated?
• Has your recruitment team been involved in the development process before?
• Do you have the time& resources to set aside to develop and deploy a game that suits your recruitment needs?