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New Success Stories - Asia
CEO Interviews - Exclusive for HR Digital Today with market leading HR Tech pioneers - Haneo Talent
James Daniels, Managing Director of Haneo Talents

Gamification into human resources, is it a gimmick or a change in the industry?

According to Newzoo, the global games market will reach $108.9 Billion in 2017 with mobile taking 42%.


With more than 2.2 billion gamers worldwide, it make sense to bring gamification into the commercial world and solve one of its biggest pain point - recruiting.


We speak with James Daniels from Haneo Talent to learn more about how his company applies that for his clients. and help them in attracting, participating, measuring, understanding, retaining and developing talents.


1. Please share with us briefly what you do.

We help companies attract candidates, engage and develop employees through video/mobile games.


2. What were you doing before this?

I had various leadership roles with IT providers and payment companies, from Regional MD to Global head of sales.


3. In one sentence, how would you describe what your product does

We have two ranges of products: games based assessments which analyse employees or candidates natural behaviour and fitness for a role or a company, and games based learning products to train corporate soft skills to employees such as leadership and team management, time management and personal productivity, negotiations, customer service, etc. all this through video/mobile games.


4. How did the idea for your business come about?

I was never been an HR person, but I spent most of my career recruiting and was always disappointed by the lack of tools for objective decision.

I built my own processes and my own tools, but always thought it could be more integrated, modern, objective. It had to “measure” people’s abilities rather than asking them about their abilities.


5. How does it work?

While the candidate is playing the game on mobile or computer, the system captures over 5,000 data points based on job-related personality and cognitive traits, aptitude and general mental ability.

It captures real decisions and behaviours as candidates respond spontaneously to simple and engaging tasks, meaning we can observe real behavioural preferences in action.

From these data points, we produce a data rich report with precise, meaningful candidate insights for objective selection decisions. This process can be fully customised to the needs of the job role, culture and business.



We have also extended the product suite to add Serious games: We realized that attracting and selecting the best fit candidate is key, but useless if you don’t retain them.

We all know that to stay employees must feel that they are growing, constantly learning and feel valued.

Serious games tap in all of that and teach employees leadership, team management, negotiations, customer service though video games and video games competitions.


6. What are the key benefits that your product brings?

  • Attract candidates, engage them in the process, makes them feel valued.
  • Increase quality of hire (role “fitness”), build an objective, data driven process (remove human bias).
  • Save up to 75% time in a mass recruitment process.
  • Learn about the personalities that are the best fit for each role, learn about actual company culture in the process.
  • Identify high potential and potential for internal recruitment.
  • Develop, engage, retain employees.


7. Who are your closest competitors?

Game based assessments: Revelian, Pymetrics

Game based training: Every corporate training company! so a long list…


8. Who is your first customer and how did that happen?

The first user of the game bases assessment was Deloitte and that came about after a discussion with one of their partners in the telecoms advisory business.

He was saying how innovation was going to be a big part of their future strategy but didn't know how to promote and measure this in the recruitment process.


9. What were they using before this, and why did they switch?

Before that they were using a traditional numerical and critical thinking test.

They introduced our game-based assessments to get a broader view of their candidates, especially their potential to innovate, but also to create a great candidate experience.

Their candidate approval rating went up to over 85% by introducing game-based assessments.


10. How do you price your product?

Per assessment or per training, basically per game.

For big volumes, we offer yearly licence fees where number of games can be flexible.


11. What’s your business focus for this year?

Creating awareness. Our products are still very new, especially to this part of the world and although people understand why games in the corporate environment make sense not many truly understand the many values.

Using a game to assess someone’s fitness for a role may still sound very alien to many corporate leaders.


12. What is your favourite failure (and what did you learn from it)?

Although I do find failures necessary and great learning experience, they are still painful! so difficult to qualify any of them as favourite…

And still damage the company one way or another, which is exactly why we have now launched a new suite of games based learning, where we can teach employees to learn, but also to try, fail and learn from failure all within a complex simulator.


13. What’s one productivity hack you would recommend to everyone?



14. Where can people find out more about your product offerings and you online?


More about James

  • Born:     France
  • Marital status: married, 2 kids
  • School: Network and Telecom engineering in France + management in UK
  • First job: IT engineer in a Bank, in Singapore
  • Favorite book: Fiction: “Shantaram”. Business: “Let’s get real or let’s not play”
  • Last holiday:       Canada