This sponsored post is produced by Jindrich Liska, Chief Product Strategist, Social Distribution at iCIMS.

Gamification capitalizes on the natural motivators of people, such as competition and achievement, to encourage desirable behavior in diverse business areas. Recruiting has been one of the critical processes where gamification has gained popularity, as it’s useful for driving employee participation in referral programs, sharing career content, and building brand awareness.

But what role does gamification play in the job-application process?

It used to be “good enough” to present job candidates with a plain text job description in font size 11 and an apply button, but those days are long gone. Nowadays, employers are challenging candidates with code-cracking games and role-playing simulators to attract the best and brightest to their companies. While not every company has a budget to create their own version of The Sims, other practical ways to leverage gamification are out there that can help bring in the right candidates for open positions and create strong talent pipelines for future hiring needs.

As in life, first impressions are the most lasting, and gamifying job postings is a great way to start off on the right foot. Here are some tips for gamifying the candidate experience:

Tip #1: Show candidates how they stack up against the competition

Show how many candidates have already applied for the same job and how well the candidate’s skills rank against those of others. This competitive intelligence motivates candidates to act on the right opportunities and gives them the opportunity to be better prepared for an interview.

Tip #2: Encourage candidates to apply with their social media profiles instead of a résume

The simplicity of a one-click job application with a social profile invites action. If you must have a resume, allow candidates to upload their resumes from a cloud service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Think mobile — some people don’t have their resumes on their smartphone, but just about everyone has access a cloud storage app.

Tip #3: Show the candidate any social connections within the company

Suggest how candidate’s networks compare to the networks of the competition and enable candidates to message their employee connections directly from a job posting. Based on our proprietary research in which we analyzed over a million job postings, the feature that enables job applicants to connect with current employees ranked as one of the most engaging features.

Tip #4: Once a candidate applies, keep them engaged with your organization

Staying in touch with the candidate increases the probability of winning in a multiple-offer scenario. Update the candidate each time they reach the next level in the process, such as successfully passing all interviews or receiving positive feedback from references. A combination of email notifications and graphical progress bars works best. These achievement metrics create a positive candidate experience and make your brand memorable.

Tip #5: Gamify your talent pipeline

Don’t stop at active job seekers. Candidates who are not ready to apply to a specific position but are interested in your company represent a huge opportunity in potential future hires. Allow these potential candidates to connect with your organization to receive company career notifications and be alerted to other relevant job openings. Invite these passive candidates to measure their skills in various virtual contests, hackathons, or quizzes. By the time a candidate is ready to apply, you will have gained far more knowledge about their background and skills than could be glimpsed from a résume, and alternatively, the candidate has become familiar with your company.

Tip #6: Open your referral program to nonemployees

Although referral programs have historically been designed for employees, an increasing number of companies are opening these programs to candidates who are members of their talent network. While referral rewards play a positive role, they may not be enough for a successful referral program. Ease-of-use and regular progress updates drive the referral activity and ongoing engagement. Even a simple thank you note for every referral goes a long way.

Tip #7: Go mobile

Take full advantage of gamification and enable candidates to engage with your employment brand anywhere, any time, and on mobile devices. Enable texting in addition to emailing and sharing. Ensure that every step of your application process is optimized for mobile devices, from viewing a job to submitting a resume from a cloud storage app, checking application progress, and messaging a recruiter.

Each of these tips can help you become more engaged with both active and passive candidates, and in turn help your organization connect with more of the right candidates. It’s a game in which everybody wins!

Jindrich Liska is the Chief Product Strategist of Social Distribution at iCIMS. iCIMS, a leading provider of innovative Software as-a-Service (SaaS) talent acquisition solutions, is an Inc. 500 and Software Satisfaction honoree focused on solving corporate business issues through the implementation of easy-to-use, scalable solutions that are backed by award-winning customer service. iCIMS’ Talent Platform, the industry’s premier candidate management solution, enables organizations to manage their entire talent acquisition lifecycle from sourcing, to recruiting, to on-boarding all within a single web-based application. iCIMS is one of the largest and fastest-growing talent acquisition system providers with offices in North America, U.K., and China. To learn more about how iCIMS can help your organization, visit

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