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How can gamification increase diversity

Why is gamification such a good tool for recruitment? With Arctic Shores, Tietoevry achieved increased diversity and decreased bias when making hiring decisions.

Anna Gulliksen / December 01, 2020
Digital HR Insights Community

Attracting talent is a challenge for any employer. Designing a recruitment process which would satisfy over 90 percent of applicants and result in a more diverse and fairer candidate selection sounds almost impossible, but technology helped Tietoevry to achieve it.

Did you know that in a survey of 2000 bosses 33 percent said that the time it would take for them to decide whether or not they will hire, is 90 seconds? Short time for a strategic decision? It also showed that we base our first impression (and potentially future decisions) 55 percent on the way we dress, act and walk, 38 percent on how we sound and speak, and only 7 percent on what the person actually says. 

Is it possible that we are unconsciously biased when making hiring decisions? 

It is a fact that competence is not defined by sex, age, ethnical background, religion or other personal details. With a general lack of skilled talent today, the market is employee lead. Organizations need to understand the importance of attracting this talent. 

Can new technologies, such as gamification, help increase diversity and candidate experience? 

Four years ago, our company was facing big challenge. We knew that if we were going to deliver according to our promises to our customers and to help them succeed, we needed more competence in new technologyWe needed large volumes of new graduates. And the competition for these people was fierce. Demand markedly outweighed supply. 

To attract our target group, we had to create an attractive recruitment process. We also needed a process that ensured that we found the right talents without taking gender or ethnical background into account – a fair and objective process. Communication was crucial since we had to ensure we framed our message to reach our target group – graduates within the IT and business economyOur main message was dynamic but elegant, Shape the future today, and we built our communication campaigns with blogs, videos and other content relevant for the target group. 

We then turned the traditional recruitment process upside down and used gamification. All candidates that met the formal criteria (relevant education and age) received our gamified test, assessing cognitive thinking, problem-solving, and personality traitsNext, we conducted video interviews and looked at their cv. All was designed to be as unbiased as possibleIt wasn’t until these steps were completed that the selected candidates were invited to meet their potential managers.  

Humans are biased, but that did not matter. All candidates that we invited to meet the managers were employable. They filled the formal criteria on education, problem-solving, cognitive skills, personality traits, location, etc. The managers could use their famous gut feeling, without the risk of recruiting the wrong people. 


Why is gamification such a good tool for recruitment? 

Firstly, it works for all types of psychometric tools. It provides a richer picture and predictive data on a future hire. The quality of hires increases by 50 percent using such tools. 

Secondly, fairness and equalityImagine you have an open position with ten requirements. Female candidates typically will only consider applying for such a position if they fulfill at least eight of the ten criteria. Male candidates, however typically will apply if they meet just five of the ten criteria. Additionally, dropout rates for underrepresented groups continually increase as we progress later into the hiring process. If our process to assess relevant competencies uses a more engaging format, in a less stressful and ultimately more joyful and fun environmentdropout rates decrease.  

Thirdly, when we are hiring, we may end up with one happy candidate, the one that got the job, and 99 disappointed candidates that did not. Over the years, we have had nearly 10000 applicants of which we have hired about 10 percent. That means that there are 9000 dissatisfied former candidates out there. Of those, 92 percent think that gamification positively reflected our employer brand, meaning that we have more than 8000 potential ambassadors out there. Our gamified recruitment process improved the candidate experience and subsequently the employer brand 

What about diversity from the gender perspective? 

Over the years, the ratio of females to males in our graduate hires has altered between 36 and 45 percent. That´s a good result in the context of the tech industry where the usual female to male ratio is between 22 and 25 percent. For our internship program, the female to male ratio is 50 percent, and some of the programs have up to 13 different nationalities. Gamification with a structured approach increased diversity and our attractiveness as an employer. 

As the famous Swedish entrepreneur, Jan Stenbeck said: Tech beats politics Machines can help humans. 


Are you interested to learn more about the gamification tools we use for attracting young talents to Tietoevry? Check Arctic Shores product page.

Anna Gulliksen
Head of Talent Acquisition

  • Passionate about Talent Acquisition and Employer Brand.
  • Excited about building a culture and workforce based on engagement, diversity and equal rights.
  • Love to use new technology in order to increase fairness and objectivity.

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