Ability to attract and retain talent has remained as one of the most important factors behind the success of any enterprise. Year after year, Leaders all over the world have been seeing this as one of their most important challenges. To make matters interesting, recruitment is a science as well as an art. So, the leaders have to make recruitment a success by addressing not only the the science part but also the art. This is a complex task compared to some of the other domains of HR such as onboarding, payrolling, compliance etc. We need to deploy a systematic and rigorous process because recruitment is a science and at the same time, we need to be arty while tailor-making the solution based on the context of the organization and the role.
Business in the last two decades has become much more fast-paced than what it has been traditionally. Moreover, India Inc. is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Hence, business leaders have been consistently demanding great speed and quality in recruiting.
Unfortunately, amidst the fast pace of growth in Indian economy, our education system has not been able to sync with the changing demands of the industry. As a result, the students holding educational certificates, diplomas and degrees do not necessarily match the industry requirements. So, this mismatch between the supply and demand of talent poses another challenge to recruiting. When the Talent Acquisition specialist calls for applications, her email and phone remain abuzz with enquiries and interested candidates. But, most of these jobseekers are not good enough for the initial stage of screening. Essentially, it is the recruiter who has to find creative ways of preventing the incoming spam, getting rid of the junk and searching for the needle in a stack of hay.
Solve the problem of plenty!
Gamification helps her achieve these seemingly tedious tasks. Technologists have been able to leverage the competitive spirit that each human being is endowed with. They have been able to shape various steps of a process into a series of small steps and invite the applicants or candidates to go through these steps in an engaging manner. And the automated system keeps rewarding the participants at each stage of the process and thus, fulfilling the need of instant gratification. Secondly, they tap into the competitive spirit of each person to make one compete against the other and thus, bring out the best that a person has. They use scorecards, leader-boards and status scores etc to attract the participants to outdo the others. Several organizations around the world have used these methods and some of the case studies are documented.
You need to orchestrate like a maestro!
Recruiting function is successful when a number of things work in unison:
- the team has the right intelligence about the talent market,
- they are clear about the value proposition of the employer organization,
- have understood the roles well enough to be able to attract the right candidate,
- screen the most suitable ones,
- present the candidates appropriately to the interviewers,
- prepare candidates well for the meetings with the interviewers,
- keep up the interest levels of the candidates throughout the process,
- set expectations right for the candidate as well as the interviewers,
- close the offer quickly with the candidate,
- engage the candidate till he or she joins the firm,
- conduct pre-employment checks,
- help the candidate get mainstreamed with the rest of the organization.
It is a long list of 12 steps in the process and there are multiple stakeholders! With many variables, a process becomes complex to control; hence, it is difficult to assure quality of the output.
It is easy to notice that the recruiter keeps juggling between a bunch of tasks and a large number of candidates. It is difficult to stay focused and engaged on each of the recruiting assignments that she is working on. Most often, the assignments are in various stages of execution. Moreover, India Inc. is yet to have mature IT systems that keep track of the process, help identify bottlenecks and solve them. Hence, some assignments get abandoned mid-way; cycle times are long and process efficiency is low. As a result, the success of recruiting function becomes a hostage of an individual’s ability to multi-task, hold a lot of information together and think creatively to spot talent and engage them.
It is obvious, for India Inc., a recruiter’s individual brilliance and determination to succeed play the most crucial role in the success of the process. Thus, it is one major reason why the process is being gamified to keep the recruiter engaged and bring out the best. Leader-boards, score cards, ranking methods and similar such tools motivate the top recruiters to go higher up the rank. Not only the good performers get better, the poor performers feel the pressure to either shape up or ship out.
Another important part of the strategy is to convert these scores into individual rewards and team recognition. That creates a positive environment within the organization, builds team spirit and channelizes the energies in the right way.
Find the Best Match!
The second stakeholder in recruiting process is the candidate. Given the fact that a recruiter has to find the needle in the hay-stack, it is critical that an automated system helps the recruiter in eliminating the junk from a large pool of applicants. Again, gamification methods are used to attract the applicants to test their suitability for the vacant position. The games are designed in such a way that the required competencies are tested in various stages of the process. Since the process is highly engaging in the form of a game and has multiple stages, it is not easy for a candidate to put up a brave face and produce the most desirable response. So, the advantage here is to provide a realistic preview of the job and hence, set the right expectation. Secondly, this helps the company experience the behaviour of the candidate in his real self. Another benefit of the gamification process is that the candidates get a superior experience compared to the traditional methods of an assessment centre, interviews, psychometric or aptitude tests.
Last but not the least, the employer organization is able to act fast on the incoming applicants, simulate situations which are near-realistic and assess suitability of the applicants based on the most likely response to a real life situation at work.
Gamification is still in the works and deployment is limited to a very small percentage of organizations in India. It is gaining popularity and in the next 2 years, we will see nearly one-third of all firms adopt this practice. There is no doubt, that in the coming years, gamification will be indispensable and a keystone of HR strategy for India Inc.