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Work-Hard, Play-Hard Types Are Real: 3 Ways to Recruit and Keep Them One strategy that works is to use gamification in your recruitment process.

By Heather R. Huhman

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Work hard, play hard; it's not just a cliché. A report published in May in The Open Psychology Journal studied the relationship between the desire to achieve and the desire for leisure, and found a significant relationship. Participants were asked a series of questions to determine their attraction to religion, parenthood, accomplishment or fame and recreation.

Related: How to Attract Awesome Talent During Employee Recruitment

The study found a strong correlation between a person's attraction to both legacy and leisure activities. In other words, people who work hard also want to play hard.

So, what can companies gain from this knowledge? It's essential to know both how to recruit these individuals, and how to manage and retain them:

1. Make recruitment social.

It's no secret that job-seekers are using social media in their searches. In fact, 62 percent of candidates visit companies' social media to learn about company culture, according to the 2015 Employer Branding Study, published by CareerArc.

So, seize this opportunity by reaching these candidates where they already are -- on social media. Connect with them through those channels by bringing up the personal interests they've shared and discussing how they'd fit into your company culture. Once a relationship has been formed, point them to relevant job openings.

Use your official company accounts to showcase company culture. To engage work-hard, play-hard candidates, post information about the "cool" work they might experience at your company, as well as images of employees having fun. Emphasize that your company promotes that work-play balance they seek.

Related: What Startups Need to Know About Recruiting

2. Gamify your recruitment.

In addition to showcasing your company's culture on social media, making the effort to gamify your recruitment is another move likely to resonate with the work-hard, play-hard audience. It's only fitting that those who fit into that persona will be interested in companies that turn job applications into a game.

For example, PricewaterhouseCoopers gamified its recruitment of college students, with a 12-day game. In that game the accounting and consulting firm invited students to use Facebook to experience a virtual version of what it's like to work there.

The method worked so well that 78 percent of the participating students said they wanted to work for PwC after completing the game, and 92 percent indicated that they had a more positive view of the firm. The game also significantly increased the number of job applicants.

Gamifying recruitment can be made easy with tools like Klujo, which creates a "careers" tab on an organization's Facebook page and uses a proprietary gamification technology to inject gaming elements into the job application and assessment process. In other words, the job application becomes a fun and competitive activity, which is right up the work-hard, play-hard candidate's alley.

3. Work hard to retain them.

The initial study found that these work-hard, play-hard individuals were also concerned with their legacy, so recognition is a key factor in retaining this type of employee.

Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they'll quit in the next year, according to a June study by Gallup. Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but also increases productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention, according to the study.

Retain this type of employee motivated by immortalizing his or her accomplishments, with awards displayed in the office.

Many employees say they feel overworked but are still happy with their jobs, according to a March study by Staples. Additionally, nearly 60 percent of employees surveyed said they had a voice at work, and more than half said they'd gained more influence at work over the previous five years. By recognizing employees for their hard work, and giving them a voice, companies can better retain them.

Related: From the World of Recruiting, 4 Tips to Help You Rethink How to Attract Talent

Identify those individuals who fit the work-hard, play-hard mode, and attract them early on by showcasing a fun company culture. Then keep them happy at work with recognition for their hard work. Help them build their legacy, and they in turn will thank you by contributing to the company's legacy.

Heather R. Huhman

Career and Workplace Expert; Founder and President, Come Recommended

Waldorf, Md.-based Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager and president of Come Recommended, the PR solution for job search and HR tech companies. She writes about issues impacting the modern workplace.

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