Gamification: a meeting point between artificial intelligence and motivation

“That Artificial Intelligence has come to stay and every day it is more present in numbers of devices”


For a few years we have lived with expressions like “insert coin”, “game over” or “do you want to keep the changes?” that appear both in our working and leisure environments. These expressions evolve with the support of technological innovation, always with the aim of making life easier for users, always walking towards what is called artificial intelligence (also called artificial vision).


But we should not forget one thing, that Artificial Intelligence has come to stay and every day it is more present in numbers of devices, not only in famous voice assistants like Siri or Alexa but in elements of our daily life (when it comes to writing an email, on TV/Streaming platforms, or our vehicles), those that analyse our habits and behaviors to suggest or recommend decisions. This is what is called machine learning, or how the machine learns by itself through algorithms and patterns.


Behind all this, or rather what users do not see, is called “back-end”, which refers to a sum of languages and algorithms which analyze each and every one of our decisions to turn it into suggestions, with the objective of improving our decision-making, on a “front-end” that is what we see on the screen and what we interact with. Think of an online shopping platform (Amazon), which is an example of good user experience since it is intuitive in browsing, searching and filtering, but above all it proposes products based on data analytics to customers.


All this sums up what we can call “machine learning”, with the aim of predicting future results from historical data that we leave each time we interact with these platforms (not only amazon, but with any social network such as Facebook or Youtube), it also happens on music platforms such as Spotify, in which from the record you must indicate a series of groups and musical styles for machine learning to gather information about what you hear, etc… and with all this “data” analyzed propose suggestions according to your user profile. This complexity is achieved through interrelated algorithms to draw conclusions and act predictively.


The sum of each and every one of these concepts mentioned and which can be found in our daily lives (artificial intelligence, machine learning, algorithms, machine learning, etc.) combined with predictive techniques more linked to psychometrics (understood as the branch of traditional psychology that measures human behaviour) makes it possible to apply artificial intelligence to processes related to talent and skills, that is, to the processes of business selection.


In recent years, companies such as E&Y, Inditex, Cepsa and Kiabi, among others, have incorporated artificial intelligence into their processes and dynamics, adding an innovative and differentiating element such as gamification. Today, finding and retaining talent is a challenge, especially among the so-called “Z Generation” (born since 1995), these being digital natives, accustomed to the immediacy based on technology, in constant search of innovation, with high doses of intuition and without fear of change. These profiles are focused on companies, who see technological innovation and gamification as a necessary tool for their identification and selection.


In addition, Z Generation looks at companies that promote in addition to values aligned with their expectations, an attractive brand image, innovative and sees technology as a lever of change and unfolds with respect to the market.


If we used to talk about algorithms and “back-end”, gamification has an attractive motivating and challenging power for candidates, giving them the possibility to make their competencies visible in selection processes. This is the success of this methodology, which reached $11 billion in 2020 (according to Statista 2021).


Gamification together with simulation are the most popular dynamics, since they allow recreating immersive and real-life situations in which candidates individually or by teams stand out for their creativity and competitiveness, making decisions, negotiating, planning… these and other competencies are the ones that companies currently most demand, and with these methodologies provide participants with the possibility to show them consciously and sometimes unconsciously. Something that in a traditional process is complicated.


It is inevitable to talk about gamification and allude to video games, which is that both have a vital element of the human being, such as motivation. There is a great difference between two, gamification is used for purposes that go beyond play and leisure, merging these two elements we can identify both intrinsic (video game) and extrinsic motivation (gamification). That is, while in the first prevails the appeal and fun, the second premiums the challenge to achieve the best possible assessment.


Gamification is increasingly present in competency assessment processes either in the selection process or in internal assessment of companies seeking promotion or mobility functionality. In addition, studies show that candidates who react positively to a gamified process tend to recommend other potential candidates to postulate in that company, which shows their commitment to technology and innovation.


In Gestionet Group we have been the technology partner of companies that are committed to innovation, Artificial Intelligence and digitisation of key processes, especially in human resources department (HR Tech). And we see day by day, how companies that bet on gamification and simulation in talent uptake processes rely on digital platforms and solutions in which candidates and employees can feel competent autonomous, and especially have the scenario in which they can demonstrate their expected capabilities and results. Definitely being the ideal candidate for that company.


Mikel Escriche Iturrate

HRBP Gestionet Group