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December 6, 2022
Companies Must Consider A Gamified Approach to Hiring

The talent shortage is increasing at an alarming rate and according to a recent Korn Ferry study, this could exacerbate unemployment by creating 85 million unfilled jobs by 2030 as well as a loss of $8.5 trillion in potential revenues for companies. 

The talent shortage could result in a loss of $8.5 trillion in potential revenues for companies. 

In fact, according to the UN’s World Population Prospect, ageing populations, declining birth rates in the Global North, and rapidly changing industry requirements, will result in almost 100 million fewer people in the labour market by 2050. The talent shortage is not just a concern for the future, however. A 2019 survey by Challenger of 150 HR leaders found that while 82% of hirers were actively recruiting, 80% struggled to find employees. Further, 42% of hirers who said they had many applicants, felt that applicants did not have the required skills.

A 2016 study by Schmidt, based on 100 years of research findings on personnel measures, concludes that the strongest measure for predicting job performance is general mental ability (GMA) or cognitive ability. This relates to the speed at which an employee can acquire knowledge, both in depth and breadth. An employee’s acquisition of job knowledge is a sign of an overall higher GMA and therefore greater job performance. This cannot be measured with traditional CV-based hiring however, and points to a necessary shift towards ‘hiring for potential’.

The strongest measure for predicting job performance is general mental ability. 

The correlation between work experience and job performance is only 0.16, while the correlation with education is even lower, at 0.10. Dr. Marcia Goddard, a neuroscientist and work floor behaviour specialist, highlights that gamified assessments, which create an engaging and immersive experience, extract the natural behaviour in people. It allows for a GMA measurement by assessing how quickly the applicant extracts information from her virtual environment to solve a challenge and achieve a goal. 

Utilising game mechanics (such as the desire to compete, to win, or to achieve a goal), will enhance the applicant’s motivation due to the way in which these mechanics trigger the brain’s dopamine system. As a result, the applicant will perform at her peak, signalling a better indicator of her potential. 

50% of all employees will need to reskill by 2025.

By focusing on scientifically backed performance predictors such as general mental ability and by including non-traditional pathways to hiring, like gamification, companies will ensure that they are hiring for future potential, and for the applicant’s ability to acquire job knowledge quickly through experience and training programs. At the same time, they will  overcome unconscious biases and open the door to more diversity hires by tapping into diverse talent that might otherwise be overlooked. 

Since 50% of all employees will need to reskill by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, the sooner companies jump on the gamewagon and start hiring for potential, the better.

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