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Recruitment Buzz Meets: Allan Cottell; Associate Partner at Games for Business


It is no secret that technology has changed the world of recruitment, with disruptive tech re-imagining the way we recruit, on-board and retain. Today, we at Recruitment Buzz speak with a man that lives and breathes recruitment technology; Allan Cottell. As an Associate Partner at international brand, Games for Business, Allan talks to use about everything Gamification, sharing his knowledge and experience in this exciting, emerging space.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I’m Passionate about harnessing technology to create a positive impact for organisations. Many businesses are looking at their own digital transformation and how they can utilise technology to create a more efficient, sustainable and productive environment.

My main focus is Gamification and how the psychology of Game Mechanics can support next generation Recruitment, On-boarding and Learning. I’m a big believer in Virtual Frame Stories and how they lift individuals out of their everyday context into new intriguing and motivating worlds.

By far the best part of my work is being involved in a company’s evolution from a very bland and boring Recruitment, On-boarding or Learning System; to an exciting virtual journey that’s engaging, innovative and fun. Our most recent project is a Game App developed for Apprenticeship End Point Assessment preparation. It was huge amounts of fun to work on and really captures the imagination of the learners to create voluntary participation. Think something like:

”The year is 2117 and your Space Craft ‘Explorer’ has malfunctioned; having made an emergency landing on an unknown Planet, your mission is to get your Crew to safety. To do this you must make it to the Planet Tekaraxis. You’ll encounter a range of missions that will challenge your knowledge. Successful Pilots will collect Galactic Currency to purchase gifts at the lunar shops. Astro Stars allow access to virtual rewards, new Space Crafts and Co-Pilots with a wealth of knowledge who make useful mentors. Purchase Hyper Cells to jump to light speed and progress your learning journey more quickly. Take control and get you and your crew to safety”…………………….

Can you tell us more about your company?

Games for Business develop highly engaging Recruitment, On-boarding and Learning Solutions which are fully customised to individual organisations. We incorporate the very latest technology including the integration of Virtual Frame Stories, Augmented Intelligence, Gamification, Mobile Learning and Micro Learning.

In recent years, we have implemented over 70 learning projects, and worked together with international clients, such as BP, HBO Europe, PwC, KPMG, Grundfos, SAP, IKEA, Aegon and Telekom. Several international business and professional portals (e.g. have written about our projects.

Our unique solutions are fully customised for a range of organisations. We lift the users out of their every-day context and immerses them in virtual worlds where they’re the protagonist and take control of their own development. Frame Stories capture the imagination by taking the form of adventures, quests or missions. Learning content is strategically integrated as progress is made through the journey.

Could you give us a sneak preview of your seminar at the expo?

We’ll be looking at the growth and future predictions for Gamification and how leading organisations are incorporating it into their recruitment and employee development strategies. We’ll see what companies have said about it, how it’s affected employee engagement and the ROI they’ve witnessed.

We’ll explore What is Gamification as it has numerous definitions and can be something different to everyone.

We’ll look specifically at gamification for Recruitment and explore ‘Work-like Reality’. This is where we re-create a company’s workplace or head office through 3D images. The candidate becomes the character when they enter the virtual company’s world and are able to navigate around the different offices, explore different meeting spaces or even head to the cafeteria. They can meet real colleagues through virtual interaction and get a true idea of what it would actually be like to work for the said company. Plus all of this can be done from the comfort of their sofa at home.

We’ll see how Work-like Reality can:

1. Increasing Brand Appeal and attract top talent by providing an immediate ‘WOW’ Factor.

2. Eliminate Boredom Associated With the recruitment process – reviewing endless job descriptions, job boards and attending career fairs can be time consuming and not the most exciting past time. Work-like Reality enables candidates to spend a week or so interacting in a new company, meeting colleagues, completing tasks and understanding the culture.

3. Exceed Employee Expectation – We talk a lot about millennials and next generation candidates, but we find most candidates respond more positively to enjoyable experiences; they expect to be engaged within the recruitment process. We’ll look at how Gamification personalises and adds a fun element to recruitment.

Let’s not forget about the organisation who’s recruiting. Yes, they want to be seen as harnessing technology in the age of digital transformation, yes they want to be seen as cutting edge and innovative; but Hiring Managers need instant insight into skills such as time management, product knowledge, communication and leadership. A well-constructed solution can also offer insights into skills such as creativity, critical thinking, innovation, problem solving and motivation.

Virtual Recruitment Platforms can integrate additional benefits such as; during strategic points throughout the Frame Story you can disseminate your general company information and policies without the need to ask candidates to read huge staff handbooks or long policy documents that very rarely ever get read.

Looking to 2019, what do you see as the biggest opportunities for the recruitment Sector?

The integration of technology to make recruitment a more exciting and enjoyable experience; this is vital to attract the best candidates.

Is there anything on the horizon the recruitment sector should be worried about?

The use of AI, Chatbots and organisations being able to reach huge amounts of job seekers themselves (Google Jobs)

What are your thoughts on Brexit and its impacts on your space?

We work internationally and have a number of European Clients. Brexit is very unknown at present and our solutions are customised across all languages and all countries. The main worry is established UK businesses continuing to thrive and being able to invest in technology.

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give a recruiter?

The recruitment process is extremely time consuming for both the candidate and Hiring Managers. Many candidates are immediately turned off and don’t last the distance of the endless application stages. My over-riding piece of advice is to make the process interactive, enjoyable and fun.

Automation: friend or foe to recruitment?

Definitely Friend, enough said.

What advice would you give to anyone attending the expo this year?

Attend with an open mind. To attract the best talent traditional recruitment methodologies simply have to change. Ask yourself – Is your recruitment process engaging for the job seeker and hiring manager?