In a world where the job market is increasingly hard to break into, new research has found many recruiters are more likely to hire gamers over other candidates due to the skills developed while playing games.
As anyone who games can tell you, it isn’t always as easy as pushing buttons on a controller. Skills like teamwork, problem solving, and communication are necessary for success, and line up well with the typical attributes employers look for when recruiting.
Research conducted by Censuswide and commissioned by YouTube surveyed the opinions of Gen Z and recruiters based in the UK, and found that 56% of UK recruiters are more likely to hire someone who is a gamer. Similarly, 63% would be impressed by someone who uses a hobby such as gaming to demonstrate how they’ve been able to build skill sets useful in the working world.
Dr. Matt Barr, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at the University of Glasgow, and author of the book Graduate Skills and Game-Based Learning said: “In a way it’s not surprising that players have made this connection between the games they play and their future careers.”
“My own work in the area has shown that playing video games may help develop important employability skills, such as communication, resourcefulness, and adaptability. A smart gamer can see the parallels between what they’re doing in a game and what they might have to do in work or at university or college, and feel confident that they have tools at their disposal to succeed, because they’ve done something similar in their favourite game.”
The research found recruiters deemed communication, eagerness to learn, good time management, and the ability to take initiative as the most valuable skills for their organisation. This aligns closely with the skills many young people say gamers are most likely to have: strategic thinking skills, problem solving, the ability to keep calm under pressure, and communication.
According to Dr. Barr, the most suitable games for developing the skills employers look for are Real Time Strategy (RTS) games and Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games. Similarly, Censuswide’s research showed playing strategy games and multiplayer games are amongst the top hobbies that give young people the best chance to develop skills that will be useful in the workplace.
Ian Storey, Director at Hays Recruitment Agency, said: “Skills acquired through gaming can be very relevant in today’s job market and the gaming industry has been credited with helping to encourage people into the tech sector, especially in areas which are skill-short, such as development. When it comes to including gaming as part of your CV, it’s about how you either make it relevant to the job you are applying for, or how it makes you more interesting as a potential employee.”
In the last five years, 71% of recruiters have noticed an increase in the number of young people listing gaming as a hobby on their CV. Despite this, only 40% of Gen Z said they would mention gaming in a CV or job interview.
A spokesperson for Megan Cheong, Account Director at GEEIQ, spoke to GameLuster about this research. They shared that Cheong grew up gaming, and used the skills she developed playing management sims, such as Two Point Hospital and Tropico, to help her get a directorial position and improve her workflow.
Cheong said: “I am always trying to find a better way of doing something at work, which is what you’re forced to do in these games. This hospital [from Two Point Hospital] could run as it is now but it would be better if, let’s say, the doctors are trained better, or if I upgrade my equipment.”
“In my everyday tasks, even if something starts out as a manual task, I immediately think how I can make this quicker or slightly more efficient. It’s an important way of thinking that I’d like to think I’ve picked up from the countless simulation management games I’ve played.”
What are your thoughts on this fascinating look at the latest research in the gaming space? How do you use gaming skills in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below, and keep your eyes on GameLuster for more gaming news.