At a very basic level, gamification is taking a regular application and adding some aspects of games (e.g. scores, animation, interactivity) to it. But that feels like a very benign and technical definition – the more robust definition should be taking an application and/or process and making it a fun, immersive experience – and this is where the magic begins to happen!
One of the more exciting aspects is Gamification in Staffing processes!
Joe Murphy from Shaker Consulting helps companies realize that gamification as part of the recruiting process. Shaker consulting builds applications that allow employees to try the job out ahead of time. What a great way to help potential candidates see if they would be engaged, or bored in a job? Shaker builds simulations for specific jobs to allow candidates to try out – and the employer gets the results too! Below is a great example:
So aside from being cool – some of the potential benefits of Gamification are:
1. The Candidate Experience is important
Jane McConigal, a Game Designer and TED presenter, explained that the average 18 year is spending 80 minutes a day playing games. So if you are competing for talent, the better you make it
2. Engagement Test for the Candidate
The Shaker app shows a great way for an employee to figure out if they want to do the job. Would you want to load warehouse pallets all day? The app gives a way for candidates to self-select out if the job doesn’t meet their objectives.
3. Tremendous Data on the Candidate
One of the more amazing ways this was explained to me was to ask if I have ever learned a lot about a friend while playing a board game with them – and the answer is absolutely! Now think about this in a candidate experience in the digital environment – you can measure everything about a candidate. Talk about an I/O psychologist’s dream!
What is next?
Forbes and Gartner are predicting that by 2014 over 70% of companies will have at least one application that is “gamified.” In HR this is definitely starting to happen, as gamification is showing up already in three areas – the first is the candidate experience (above), the second is the the referral applications. Applications like Talentvine allow employees to compete for leaderboards on how many job referrals they have sent. The last area is the Health programs that allow employees to set goals and compete with fellow employees (think Farmville type application). A great example is Keas which is focused on using social gaming to encourage folks to get healthy!
So for all of those involved in this new field – keep on going! I look forward to seeing how it will change the future of HR applications.