Unless They’re Playing, You May Not Be Staying
Did you ever think gaming could help you land a job?
Mercy, I haven’t played video games since the original Legend of Zelda “back in the day” when I was in college. No Farmville or Bejeweled or any of those silly Facebook games either of late. Well, at least until Angry Birds came out, which I easily succumbed to, but no matter who tries to tell me it’s beneficial to my work in [enter your line of business here], I still say it’s only a great way to let all the life stressors of the day roll away into a mind-numbing, highly addictive, slingshot world of vengeful ball-bearing birds and thieving chortling pigs.
Even though I’m an old school man, the fact is more and more progressive employers are finding recruiting value in gaming for both external and internal job candidates, particularly when we’re talking about making applicant screening more fun and “engaging.” If you’re a digital native or convert, you get this and have most likely experienced it.
I mean, I continue to be amazed at how my three-year-old daughter has taken to my iPad and my wife’s iPod Touch, launching all the toddler learning games all by her lonesome and playing them. But not just playing them – working with them and learning – for example, in one of the word-builder games, the application sounds out the word and then the individual letter sounds upon the touch from the scattered letters that spell the word.
Pretty simple, yet extremely powerful and engaging. Imagine if you were screened for various skill sets and experience by simply playing games?
It’s happening now and you’ve probably already experienced it. For example, like Marriott does. Hence my reference above about running a hotel restaurant online, which is part of a larger trend of using online games to recruit and train.
A few months ago in the Wall Street Journal there was an article titled Enough With ‘Call of Duty,’ Answer the Call in Room 417 focusing on just that. From the military’s foray a decade ago with America’s Army, to Marriott’s hotel restaurant recruiting game, to Siemen’s Plantville (which simulates the experience of being a manager for a bottling facility, a vitamin factory or a plant that builds trains), to many more companies launching social “screening” games to attract likely applicants like you as well as to keep their internal employees “engaged,” entertained, even initially trained and hopefully retained. It’s also a way for them to check for your “soft skills” like adaptability, punctuality, teamwork, the ability to operate independently and take charge of a task, as well as many others.
Here’s my formula (thanks to my lovely daughter):
Career Management Gamification + Engaged Talent Communities = Highly Qualified External and Internal Applicants and Hires
Sure, it’s a mouthful and not the coolest way to say it, but share it with your prospective employers and current employers nonetheless.
Because unless they’re playing, you may not be staying. Keep gaming kids. Power on.