Talent Search of the Future

Using Cognitive Science and Games to Help Select Future Employees

Many can agree that as times have changed the hiring process has not improved much at all. Applicant pools have become much larger and there are so many more jobs on the market, so how can employers sift through hundreds of resumes to find the best possible candidate? That’s where gamification comes in. By using games backed by neuroscience it may now be easier to identify who may be a good fit for a job regarding both technical and interpersonal aspects. 

There are many ways games are being used for hiring purposes today. Some are used to identify cognitive and emotional abilities of their candidates while others demonstrate critical thinking and teamwork skills [1]. These all can be seen in the games produced by the start-ups KnackApp, Scoutible, and many others, which all aim to use gamification to increase the efficiency of the hiring process. When it comes to KnackApp they have a four-step process. First, the user plays one of their free games, secondly, they offer personalized careers guidance based on the results. Thirdly, they show list the user’s strengths and skills. Finally, KnackApp connects you to communities where they believe you would fit well, and thus help you get discovered and hired [3]. Scoutible is a very interesting example as well. An RPG puzzle was created in which you interact with NPC’s, do quests, and solve puzzles. The result shows the user what their top soft skills are, and also allows the employer you are applying to view the results as well [4]. You can test their games out by playing them online or getting them through the app store. 

While many claims that gamification helps to remove bias in the hiring process, some have also claimed that it will instead increase an unconscious bias. One way to look at it is employers would be biased to only hiring those who they think have the ideal personality, which they deduced from a game. However, these results could be flawed in many ways. For instance, since the game could determine whether one is hired or not, people who are applying for the job could very easily play the game a certain way to make themselves look as good as possible in the eyes of the employers. There could also be issues arising when someone who hasn’t played games very much would be at a disadvantage when playing since they would have a harder time understanding how to go about the game [2]. 

To conclude, gamification is truly an interesting way to go about the hiring process especially in the market as competitive and oversaturated as they are today. However, we must be careful to not rely too much on the results of these games when hiring as they may not be as useful to hiring as foreseen due to unexpected challenges. 


[1] Hak, A. (2019, May 21). How to remove hiring bias through gamification. Retrieved from https://thenextweb.com/work2030/2019/05/20/how-to-remove-hiring-bias-through-gamification/ 

[2] Horton, A. P. (2018, February 22). The Downsides Of Using Personality Tests For Hiring. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/40533339/the-downsides-of-using-personality-tests-for-hiring 

[3] Join KnackApp. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://knackapp.com/ 

[4] Scoutible. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.scoutible.com/