June 2, 2012

Win a job!?!

Happy Hour is a new game, released on 29th May. In the game, you are a bartender who needs to tell which drink customers (many) want by the expressions on their faces, sell it to them and clean up, all in a short span of time.
Who should care about this game? Employers who want to hire bartenders, and potential candidates looking for this job.

The Economist just featured an article on the gamification of hiring. The article talks about how Knack, a start-up, is engaged in developing custom-made gaming solutions to improve hiring processes by testing cognitive skills and providing future performance indicators. They further test pattern recognition, emotional intelligence, risk appetite and adaptability to changing situations. Guess some clients who are on board with Knack to improve their hiring processes: Bain & Company and Shell.

Bas van de Haterd, a fellow blogger (much more accomplished) believes the use of gamification in recruitment is still in its infancy but has a huge future. He gives further examples of a game such as wordfeud could be used to sieve through candidates for journalist, media and PR roles.

Is it a coincidence that in this I find a creative combination of principles I have learnt in my life? Gamification is joining the dots between B. F. Skinner's reinforcement theory I studied in university and my work in recruitment.

These principles of reinforcement and inducing repeat behavior or stickiness have been successfully explored by gamification experts. Now it's up to employers, if they want to join the group of innovators who seek to apply it, and if they want to do that early enough or be boring and wait.

P.S. Tip for candidates, start looking for ways to beat this system. While you're at it, improve your visibility on LinkedIn by checking the 'completeness' of your profile. That's LinkedIn's gamified way of encouraging you to make the most exhaustive profile, for your and their benefit.

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