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The technical hiring landscape is constantly changing, most notably within the last decade. As millennials increasingly join the job market and the demand for company innovation grows, companies are trying to figure out the best way to appeal to prospective candidates (and, in return, figure out the best way to sort out the most qualified). A report published by the Aberdeen Group in 2013 showed that 49% of polled organizations were struggling to find suitable new talent to enhance company growth. As a result, to make the hiring process more effective, some organizations have started to incorporate gamification in hiring.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is a system that contains all the elements of typical game-playing: competition, reinforcing points and violations, increasing levels of difficulty, and a platform to create and evolve. Currently it’s being used by some as a workplace tool created to empower employees and candidates by providing them with engaging, game-based structures to actively showcase their skills.

Gamification was initially used as a marketing tactic by some companies in an attempt to engage their consumers. Pokemon Go was a huge hit because participants were involved in an interactive app that allowed them to compete with other real-life people and were rewarded with points to ascend to higher levels. Snapchat uses a points system and a variety of whimsically shaped trophies to reward user activity under the guise of reputation and popularity.

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Gamification in Technical Hiring 

Incorporating gamification for candidates give them the chance to prove themselves. It also gives more power to individual candidates. Millennial workers are not just into technology, but are more competitive and highly motivated by game-based learning. According to Joanna Weidenmiller, the CEO and co-founder of 1-Page, “For the first time, companies are not discriminating candidates based on their resumes; instead, employers can select the best people based on what they can bring to the table.”

As the hiring process is constantly changing, so should your hiring tactics. Applying gamification to your hiring process can attract more enthusiastic candidates whose work abilities can be witnessed firsthand, in real-time, providing a more accurate representation of what they have to offer your company in comparison to what some may call an exaggerated, nicely structured piece of paper. 

Companies Using Gamification

Many companies have started to use gamification in hiring. Google invites candidates to participate in Google Code Jam annually and is approaching its fourteenth year of hosting it. British intelligence agencies invite their candidates to attempt to create encrypted messages as a part of the application process. Even Domino’s invites people to create virtual pizzas as a way to develop a positive brand association.

Incorporating gamification in your company isn’t difficult -- you don’t have to get too crazy. All you need is a captivating, interactive program that you believe can properly express your company’s goals and message. Think about it: the hiring process is like a game, and you are that final level that each character seeks to reach.

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