HR Management & Compliance, Technology

Could Gamification Help Recruit and Retain Talent?

Using artificial intelligence (AI) on day-to-day, mundane tasks frees up recruiters and allows them to spend their time where it matters the most: with prospective candidates. As we know, the candidate experience is vital to attracting and retaining talent, but could AI be used to lure jobseekers in, as well?


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A new gamification platform, ImmersionOne, aims to make the recruiting process both fun and informative for all parties involved. This platform uses algorithms and principles to screen jobseekers to find candidates who are the best fit for the role. It can also be used to successfully onboard new employees and retain employees through interactive corporate learning and development.


In today’s hot job market, companies today are struggling to hire employees, particularly in sectors such as retail or fast food services. As of June 2018, for the first time in 20 years, the number of job openings exceeded the number of jobseekers, according to the US Department of Labor.
From hiring parties, to text messaging, to quarterly bonuses, to mobile apps for employees to swap shifts, to regularly soliciting suggestions from staff, companies are doing everything they can to find and keep the right retail employees. And this doesn’t just go for the retail sector, it’s pretty much for all employers at this point.
To make matters worse, today’s youth aren’t as employed as in the past. Just 19% of 15- to 17-year-olds had jobs in 2018, compared with almost half in 1968, according to Pew Research Center. It wasn’t much better for 18- to 21-year-olds: in 2018, 58% had been employed in the previous year, down from 80% in 1968.
As we know, younger generations seek out employers who offer the technology they crave. These younger workers also want employers who offer training and professional development opportunities; by using gamification platforms, employers are basically killing two birds with one stone.
ImmersionOne specifically connects employers with potential candidates in an interactive, 3D representation of the company, which allows potential candidates to learn more about the business, its brands, and its values. You can also screen candidates using behavioral science-based games, and test employees on traits that are critical to your business.


Hiring employees is just the first step. Proper training is required to ensure employees can perform their tasks in alignment with brand expectations. One example of onboarding success comes from Chick-fil-A.
According to Business Insider, “Chick-fil-A says its service is so consistent because it invests more than other companies in training its employees and helping them advance their careers—regardless of whether those careers are in fast food.”
“The better we train, the longer people stay with us,” says Kevin Moss, a Chick-fil-A manager. Talent retention is crucial in a tight labor market, as some employers are looking to retain and train talent when they can’t find the right fit for the role.
By using gamification, it makes training actually fun, versus a dreaded chore that employees avoid. If you are considering using gamification as an onboarding strategy, here are three things that can help make it more effective:

  1. Recognize progress and achievements. New hires and employees are more likely to enjoy gamification/onboarding when they’re being rewarded for using it. Create and use a digital checklist to keep track of employees’ tasks and achievements. When they complete those tasks, send them a congratulatory note or some other form of recognition.
  2. Encourage leveling up. In video game terms, “leveling up” refers to acquiring a certain number of points or achieving a certain number of tasks before moving up a level. The same concept can be used in the onboarding process. Create “levels” or “goals” that can motivate employees and keep them learning and moving forward.
  3. Create quests. Quests involve giving an employee somewhat longer, more involved tasks rather than simple onboarding activities, like filling out forms. New hires could interview at least one employee from each major department, for example, and then relay what they’ve learned about how the organization interacts internally.

As one expert notes, “it’s safe to assume that Millennial employee turnover rates are directly related to their employer’s ability to meet their needs when it comes to learning and development (L&D).” When offering gamified onboarding, you’re not only meeting the needs of Millennial and Gen Z workers, but you’re getting ahead of potential turnover, by giving workers what they want. And, unlike traditional onboarding methods, your new hires may come away from the experience more engaged because they used something fun and exciting.