6 Gamification Examples: A Real Game-Changer for Recruitment and Career Services


If you have seen the film, The Internship, it chronicles two washed-up salesmen as they compete with a group of young, tech-savvy millennials for a coveted position at Google. The film comically captures Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson playing quidditch, developing a creative app and assisting as many customers as they can within an hour. While this movie puts a humorous spin on competition and gamification in a work environment, there’s a lot to learn from it. This blog post will explain gamification, highlight best-in class examples, and equip recruiters and career service offices with ideas to capitalize on games and drive engagement by making them a part of their strategy.

What is Gamification?

Recruiter Box defines gamification as “the concept which uses game theory, mechanics and game designs to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.”

It actually dates back to the late 1800s and was originally used as a reward system by companies to encourage people to buy from them while building loyalty. Fast forward several years to the computer age, where gamers were born! Marketers, educators, policy makers and businesses followed suit and began using the benefits of instant feedback and rewards to entice prospective buyers.

How is Gamification Used?

Today, gamification has spread to the recruitment and career services industries, where it's used to garner interest in job openings, provide previews of applicant’s future job performance and further motivate users to engage with the interview process or career services office.

Many companies use gamification as a way to convert humdrum training materials into an easily-digestible, interactive experience. Games may integrate points to further engage candidates. This strategy may also be used to test how a candidate reacts using scenario-based learning, walk the prospect through a virtual experience, or award badges when tasks are completed.


Gamification Examples

Let’s take a look at the best-of-the best to see what you can emulate for your own gamification strategy.


Marriott International developed a gamed called My Marriott Hotel to recruit millennials. It enables candidates to run their own virtual hotel restaurant and other operations. Players design their own restaurant, purchase inventory on a budget, train employees and serve guests. They’re awarded points for satisfied customers and they lose points for poor customer service. This serves as a playful way to screen potential new hires.

Kaplan University

Kaplan students can participate in an internal CareerNetwork featuring badges and quests for students who build resumes and social media profiles, read career related articles, practice interview and apply for jobs. This year, Kaplan will also introduce a feature enabling students to compete against each other in aresume competition. Employers post a job description to Kaplan’s job board. Then, students are encouraged to submit their resumes for that job. From there, five resumes are selected for a showdown. Personal information is blocked out and the recruiter provides feedback to students on how and why one resume is declared the winner. It’s a positive and fun way to drive student engagement with the career services office.


GradLeaders Career Center offers a Student Scorecard feature to further engage students with the career center. The Student Scorecard allow administrators and students to quickly understand the level of job-seeker profile completeness as well as view individual student activity broken into key categories (# of logins, # of job applications, # of advising appointments and more). The Scorecard can further gamify the student experience by defining goals and displaying the scorecard to your students. Summary reports then allow administrators to export data and identify top performing students and those that may need assistance.

U.S. Army

For years, the U.S. Army has done a great job using games for training purposes, but now it’s using gamification to attract new recruits and promote awareness for the U.S. Armed Forces. America’s Army has attracted millions of potential new recruits. This effort dates all the way back to 1999. In 2008, four transportable “Virtual Army Experience” units made appearances at public events. For over a decade, the U.S. Army has used its expertise in creating training games as a powerful recruiting tool.


Treehouse is a virtual training academy for learning code and app development to build career skills. Students can select a learning track for defined outcomes and earn badges as they work through a library of courses to put their achievements on display to potential employers. A tracker displays progress as players work towards their goals and the more points you earn, the higher your potential salary.

Beat the GMAT

Beat the GMAT is a social network for prospective MBAs completing the admissions process. Created in 2005 by a Stanford MBA student from his dorm room, it has since evolved. The platform offers a badge reward system for engagement using simple games with points and levels. The MBA Watch feature enables applicants to pool their stats and compare themselves to others to identify areas of improvement.


What Are the Key Takeaways?

The bottom line is, millennials are highly technologically savvy. To keep them coming back to your career center, or applying for your jobs, it’s important to use a motivating strategy. Gamification could be the the “game-changer” you’re looking for.


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Catie Ewen

Catie Ewen joined the GradLeaders team to create strategic, industry-related marketing and sales materials. Primarily responsible for content and digital marketing efforts, Catie helps GradLeaders build and maintain its brand, while promoting its exclusive network, recruitment technology, and career management tools. Catie graduated from Miami University in 2014, with dual degrees in both Journalism and Mass Communications.

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