LEADERSHIP INTERVIEW: HR Digital Today Features The Talent Games

The Leadership Team of The Talent Games has been featured in the latest interview conducted by HR Digital Today.

About HR Digital Today

HR Digital Today is an HR tech hub and news information portal, connecting entrepreneurs, investors, and HR decision-makers, with a special focus on Asia.

Please share with us briefly what you do.

Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Shail Niazi is the Managing Director of The Talent Games, a Singapore-based HR Tech company that pioneers in AI-driven gamified assessments.

Our cutting-edge assessment technology combines gamification and artificial intelligence with the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience to allow companies to engage top millennial talent at scale, resulting in better matches and improved employee performance.

More than just a video game, our AI-driven gamified assessments are scientifically proven to accurately evaluate each candidate’s personality, cognitive ability, aptitude and behavior, all while they play our recruitment game.

What were you doing before this?

Shail: From spending a decade in the corporate world with some exciting companies to starting a smartwatch brand and another consulting firm and now The Talent Games.

I have been constantly pushing my boundaries as I believe that our life is a product of our experiences and hence one should make conscious efforts to make these experiences count.

Paul: Over the past 25 years, I have designed and delivered transformational interventions for 100+ blue-chip organizations in countries across Asia, Middle-East and Africa.

I have been a part of Unilever for over 12 years as their VP Human Resources in China, Vietnam and then Pakistan. Engage Consulting is another venture of mine which I’m heading simultaneously along with The Talent Games. I have also been associated with RBL as a Principal consultant for over 7 years.

10 Ways Recruitment Games Can Improve Your Candidate Experience

Recruitment Games are getting immense popularity across the globe as more and more organizations gallop towards recruitment games to secure top talent. But what is it exactly about gamification that makes it so unique? It seems to be going smooth for candidates ever since the job market surged with new record openings, especially in the U.S. market. The pressure is shifted onto employers who are faced with the challenge of filling these positions with not just any candidates but only the best.

Organizations have found it increasingly difficult to attract, employ, and retain supremely talented employees. Efforts to secure candidates’ interests begin at the point of recruitment. Traditional recruitment methods and strategies are fast dissipating ever since recruitment games came into effect.

Gamification is the use of gamified elements and situations in a completely non-game environment. The incorporation of human resources and technology gave birth to the innovative prospect of gamification. Its primary objective is to transform the recruitment process.

What exactly are recruitment games?

A number of companies incorporate games in their recruitment processes. This is done in order to get the best talent out there. The game can even help the candidates start taking interest in a job they would not even consider before.

As the candidates pass the phase of application, they can understand how they would like to be hired for a certain role. On the contrary, the employers can assess the candidates as to how their on-the-job performance would be like in a simulation of the real workplace.

candidate experience

This is all done by creating an exciting candidate experience where applicants come across fun and engaging assessments in the form of game simulations. Such assessments judge their cognitive abilities, critical thinking, talent, intellect, leadership, and much more.

Recruitment games can eliminate subjective bias and any foreign intervention, which can influence the employers’ judgment. It is a powerful mechanism disrupting the HR and recruitment industry. It also makes the whole hiring process less stressful and more interesting for candidates. Employers can also utilize recruitment games tailored to their specific needs.

The Candidate Experience

“Candidate Experience” remains a popular HR term, used in modern-day recruitment marketing. It implies a candidate’s experience of the hiring process, their perception of the company, as well as their learning and exposure. It sounds simple but complex in theory, especially when it is a matter for organizations to enhance it.

Recruitment games carry the potential to improve the candidate experience.

Let us take into consideration exactly how it can make a difference, using a few recruitment games examples of some of the biggest companies in diverse business sectors applying gamification methods:

Recruitment games are better than written tests

Employees take on tests and assessments prior to job interviews. The tests are meant to determine their merit and capabilities, passing which is mandatory to proceed further.

However, employees do not feel encouraged to take time-consuming tests, which sometimes may not reveal their true abilities. It often results in the recruitment of bad fits. Recruitment games are designed in a way to facilitate candidate experience, allowing them to perform at their fullest potential.


As a compulsory step, organizations are required to offer full transparency in their goals, job descriptions, and expectations from candidates. However, when candidates get hired, they build their own perception of the company and the job’s scope using their own thought process and on-job experience.

Many candidates reported a difference between their expectations and the actual job, and the reason behind this is the lack of transparency they deal with during hiring process.

One of the companies using recruitment games, is a French postal service by the name of Formapost is implementing transparency using gamification.

Their gamification model, “Jeu Facteur Academy” is like the gameplay of a typical day at work of a postman. It lets their workers understand the job and its complexities on every step.

Elimination of subjectivity and bias

The best recruitment games use algorithms and technical input in the form of artificial intelligence. It has massive implications in maintaining honesty, integrity, and fairness in the hiring process.

Candidates can be of different racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, expecting potential employers to value diversity and inclusivity. These games eradicate any judgment based on subjective notions or human intervention.

Non-stressful environment

Appearing in interviews and aptitude tests are anxiety-filled experiences when a candidate can feel let down due to feeling nervous or pressured.

Recruitment games are on-the-go, easy to play, and engaging. Therefore, they eliminate the stress factor that becomes a hinge in the candidate experience. It gives them a chance to let their true selves out comfortably and perform on the basis of it.

This factor is especially relevant to millennial candidates. A relaxed and comfortable environment remains a priority for the millennial candidate pool.


These games for recruitment are integrated with constructive comments, classification charts, and final accumulated report. It is basically a form of extending valuable feedback for the prior notice of candidates.

A job seeker has an opportunity to learn from feedback, find a direction, and punch their input after knowing what they need to do. Candidates also complain about a communication barrier from the organizations’ end.


The element of “fun” is an important constituent in the modern day business environment. Employers and employees both are taking steps towards having fun at work, rather than keeping it serious and impersonal all the time.

Recruitment games entail an experience offering a chance to have fun. Who does not like to take quirky quizzes about “Which wildlife animal are you?” or solve a puzzle “where your life is on the line.” It should be noted that the former quiz would determine one’s personality traits and the latter puzzle actually determines one’s ability to cope with pressure, work under stressful environments, decision making, wit, etc.

LEGO is changing the way it hires its designers. It runs a very innovative gamification model. Potential designers are tasked to create videos of making LEGO designs. The selected people are invited to the headquarters to play the special design game by LEGO. These games include completing puzzles, working under pressure, and in collaborative environments.

Learning experience

The entire experience of recruitment games is fun, engaging, and challenging which also offers candidates a chance to learn a thing or two about themselves, or more than that. It reveals insights due to psychometric evaluations.

People are keen on learning new and different information about their personalities. It can also be a method of know the areas of improvement in one’s character, mind, and skillset.

Builds trust

Lack of response from employers is a top reason for a candidate’s frustration. Especially millennials, who are optimistic, want feedback, recognition, and fairness, like structure and organization, and always want to improve themselves.

Recruitment games offer a chance to build consistent communication, create a level of transparency, and merit a strong connection. Candidates would finally find it ideal to trust organizations because of that.

Make it less monotonous, mind-numbing, and time-consuming

Time is money for even candidates and for far too long, job interviews and recruitment assessments have been nothing but bogus. Games for recruitment purpose can transform a candidate’s experience by enriching creativity, engagement, and amusement.

Uber is doing that with UberDRIVE, a game where you get to be the driver of the day. It is a fun way of knowing the actual job and being judged on your competencies. You get to drive around in a simulated arrangement, pick up customers, and drop off to their destinations, using short and safe routes as well as employing driving skills.

Meeting expectations

Candidates have keen expectations from employers. These expectations are often not met in conventional recruitment processes. However, gamification aims to address this major concern of candidates. It lets a candidate know exactly what they are getting to, helping them make the right decision which is integral for their career growth.

Many candidates feel that their workplaces fail to live up to their expectations or offered less clarity during hiring process.

Knack, a company in Silicon Valley does this using its model called Wasabi Waiter. Candidates become waiters and their actions and reactions are being noted. This allows candidates to get a firm idea of what do they exactly need to expect from their employer.

Final Thoughts

The evolution of recruitment and gamification processes opens a new dimension in the world of selection that transcends the traditional human resources scheme. It is quite evident.

Behind their colorful screens, these recruitment games heavily depend on theories of neuroscience and psychology. This is to come up with a blend between the cognitive and emotional traits of candidates.

When a candidate applies to multiple places without receiving any feedback, he gets frustrated. The frustration is amplified when there is little chance of success, which in turn increases the level of stress in the mind of the candidate and will also distort his skill set. This all sums up to extremely bad candidate experience, which can be sorted out with nicely tailored recruitment games.

In some cases, the challenges posed in these assessments simulate those specific problems that the worker would have to face in his future work environment. Encouraging his preparation in case of being hired.

Gamification represents a new dimension in the world of recruitment that transcends the traditional human resources scheme. Candidates turned into users, become protagonists of a video game whose reward may be the job of their dreams.

Looking to Take Your Millennial Candidate Experience to the Next-level?

Building Your Millennial Employer Brand with Gamified Assessments

In today’s tech savvy world, having a well-perceived millennial employer brand has become a must have feather in the hat of an organization that aims to lead.

Importance of Building Millennial Employer Brand

Building an employer brand for millennials requires you to market yourself as an innovator and a tech-friendly organization, with a culture that complements a workplace lifestyle that millennials strive for.

A growing concern for organizations is the pacing number of millennial candidates in the job market. One is compelled to ask, “How to attract special talent?”

Millennial Employer Branding: Innovation in Recruitment

For companies, it is a matter of completely remodeling their recruitment processes. But, why should they? Why cannot millennial candidates stick up with the processes that past generations followed?

Multiple researchers from Harvard Business Review and Pew Research Center offer some explanation.

The millennial candidate pool looks something like this:

Millennials identify as a generation that

  • Sees life as a challenge and their objective is to “win the game”
  • Stays up to date with technology
  • Optimistic and confident about the future
  • Indulges in maintaining connections with one another
  • Wants to know the rules and fair rewards
  • Always looking for constant feedback on their performance and consistent communication
  • Is more likely to be attracted towards organized, structured, and planned out career prospects

millennials playing

Gamifying Assessments: Amplify Your Millennial Employer Brand

Organizations are developing dynamic recruitment strategies, methods and processes that sit well with the profile of these candidates. Research and studies identify that one of the most effective methods is the implementation of gamification in recruiting millennial talent.

It simply refers to incorporating game design techniques, gaming mechanisms, and a gamer’s thinking potential to non-game contexts – recruitment process.

Employers can develop their millennial employer brand with gamified assessments. Since Millennials love to play games, companies can make use of gamification principles to bring gaming into their hiring process. The millennial talent finds game simulations as competitive, fair, engaging and more fun than any static written tests out there.

It also hands out rules to follow through and engage with constant feedback. All of this follows up in a structured environment built together by advanced technology, and that is something where this generation’s creative interests lie.

Examples of Good Millennial Employer Brands

Let’s breakdown typical game mechanics, most games are integrated with:

  • Maps
  • Quests
  • Badges
  • Leader boards

These are key aspects which can be applied to the recruitment process, career facilitation, and performance evaluations. This opens up an opportunity allowing participants to navigate towards what they like and what they are capable of.

Some of the big organizations that are “doing it right” when it comes to building their millennial employer brand are:

  • Google: Google Code Jam is a fantastic example of how great millennial talent is attracted by allowing the programmers to compete in a coding competition and the winner is given a monetary reward along with the title of “The Champion”. The best coders are shortlisted and are then onwards assessed more for a given position.
  • PwC: PwC used a multipoly 2-Round game to assess how interns would perform on the job by taking into account their performance on the game.
  • Domino’s: Domino’s Pizza Mogul game allowed them to amplify their millennial employer brand by having candidates create their own pizza and earn badges as those pizzas would get sold. This gave out an excellent impression to the millennial candidate that Domino’s is a fun place to work for that appreciates creativity and are flexible with guidelines.

Rock-star Millennial Employer Brand:

Organizational socialization

A step that follows the orientation of new recruitments, filling paperwork, viewing presentations, reviewing contracts and documents, taking on tests, and attending on-the-job training.

It depends on organizations as to how do they create this orientation process. But the most important aspect here remains that it is a millennial candidate’s first impression of the company.

Gamified assessments have immense potential to replace such a course. A simple game where a player walks through a map progresses on levels, and earns points by attending presentations, meeting with institutional experts, and taking on group assignments. A gamified model would draw interest in the whole onboarding process thus building on the millennial employer brand.

Performance measure

Harvard Business Review asserts that millennials are moved by a democratic management style. A conventional performance measuring process grows into conflict with what the millennials actually aspire for. It clashes with their values, and as we close up on the generational draft, the current standards are going to be obsolete.

Gamified Psychometric Assessments can change that:

  • By offering achieves via successful execution of projects, achieve a level of high problem solving with coworkers, participation in activities, training rounds, etc.
  • By seeking acknowledgement from other members who give personal remarks on a candidate’s profile, their skills, and performance.
  • By a formal recognition of completing tasks and job functions.

A proper game’s quest can create extensive reviews on a player’s performance. It would offer encouragement to those who have performed and at the same time, allow candidates to learn about their competencies. This easily eliminates the “subjectivity” of performance assessment, and a fair evaluation can be ensured.

All of this happens while getting our positive message across the millennials that we are here to empower them and to accelerate their progress, which in turn builds immensely on the millennial employee brand.

Career growth

Developing a career growth model can be done using the same principles of gamification. Traditional approaches find an employee learning the feedback of their supervisor or manager to devise plans regarding their development goals in their career. This is a process that rewards career progression in a linear form. You get rewarded for your merit and skill.

However, this is not the right fit for millennials. It implies that linear growth is the only metric to ensure career growth. It also means that monetary compensations are the primary source of motivation. Millennials rather value job enrichment and values alike over an increase in salaries.

To build on one’s millennial employer brand, self-direct simulations should be incorporated in the game, so it provides players with a chance to progress along their path on a full map. This also offers a structure that is important for giving flexibility and margin of choice.

Such independence would mean freedom to self-direct one’s career, and to navigate forward using one’s potential, strengths, and skills. Such a set of values will let them attain mastery through a demonstration of one’s competencies.

Powerful Tips to Becoming a Millennial Employer Brand

Make it brand specific

A generic assessment will mean your organization’s model is no different than competitors. Generic solutions are adequate for short-term benefits. They have no relevance in the longer run and would only incur damages. If you really want to accelerate the process of building on your millennial employer brand, the whole assessment should feel like it relates to your brand and carries your workplace environments and organizational values.

Adopt clarity

Gamified assessments are developed for a plethora of objectives. It could be recruitment, pre-screening candidates, or on-job evaluation.

Make an assessment on the basis of your clear objective. The objective should be incorporated at all points, from the beginning till the end.

Define your objective first.  Move on to making it clear what you wish to achieve from the assessment. You could choose to assess critical thinking skills, cognitive abilities, resistance to pressure, collaboration and team work, participation, response time, attention to detail, creative potential, and many more.

At the same time, determine exactly what aspects need to come together and developed in order to achieve these objectives. A clear approach allows candidates to build their own understanding about the whole process that they have signed up for.

Refined experience

Your candidates are more likely to give accurate answers if they feel the need to do so. Assessments based out of Artificial Intelligence should be interesting. Immersive experience, attractive visuals, and accurate demonstrations of gamified scenarios should be fundamental aspects.

The time frame of playing games should also be a considerate amount. The assessment rounds must aim to offer a unique and thrilling experience, without having to go beyond the validated psychometric principles.

Leveraging Social Media

Candidates are active on social media and like to give opinions on activities they are taking on. If they do not enjoy or find the experience “mind-numbing” or a lackluster, they would not hesitate speaking about it on social media. A bad review can be detrimental to your goals and thus pulling down your millennial employer brand.

Game-play dynamics and compatibility

Organizations must always make sure the assessments that are gamified must be compatible with all devices and operating systems. The interface and display must appropriate designed and stay compatible with multiple device ranges.

Any elements of text, audio, images, animations, etc. must be sized appropriately and function normally. Candidates must not be under the impression that they can only perform best if use the program on iOS.

Stay up to date

Millennials are a demographic that demands more. Their expectations are always high and as a business, you are required to meet their specific set of expectations accurately. No AI based assessment is worth investing and developing if it does not match with the criteria.

No technological assistance can perform well unless an efficient user interface and attractive design is incorporated. No psychometric assessments tools are worth unless candidates feel comfortable to engage.

Your millennial employer brand should put forth an experience that offers:

  • Trust
  • Accountability
  • Engagement
  • Accessibility
  • A chance to have fun

You may incorporate the best catchphrases or design copies, but if they were not put together by attractive visuals or the right context, they would be doomed to failure.

Bottom Line

Effective millennial employer branding is crucial for businesses. Companies face a lot of challenges in recruiting and retaining top millennial candidates.

A company’s human resource (recruitment) department is faced with the task of setting their sights beyond the parameters of conventional recruitment practices. Of course, results cannot be achieved unless cooperation, assistance, and support from all departments of an organization are sought.

Companies can remodel their recruitment policies and structure by not losing touch of essential traditional aspects but mold them into gamified structures.

It is an effective and engaging way to draw the interest of millennial candidates who are set to thrive in the job market in the following years. These complexities also mean an organization can gear towards the keen objective sought by their ideal candidates: winning the game.

Want to Build Your Millennial Employer Brand?