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The Gamification of Hiring 203

First time accepted submitter funge writes "The Economist has an article on Work and play: The gamification of hiring about a start-up that lets you play games to show off your talents to prospective employers. From the article: 'The rules of Happy Hour are deceptively simple. You are a bartender. Your challenge is to tell what sort of drink each of a swelling mob of customers wants by the expressions on their faces. Then you must make and serve each drink and wash each used glass, all within a short period of time. Play this video game well and you might win a tantalizing prize: a job in the real world.'"
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The Gamification of Hiring

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  • The Last Starfigher (Score:5, Informative)

    by severett ( 38602 ) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @12:34PM (#40128891) Homepage

    In other words someone watched The Last Starfighter. Not exactly a new concept.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @12:56PM (#40128997)

    "Happy Hour, which will be unveiled to the public on May 28th, is one of several video games developed by Knack, a start-up founded by Guy Halfteck, an Israeli entrepreneur. The games include a version of Happy Hour in which sushi replaces booze, Words of Wisdom (a word game) and Balloon Brigade (which involves putting out fires with balloons and water). They are designed to test cognitive skills that employers might want, drawing on some of the latest scientific research. These range from pattern recognition to emotional intelligence, risk appetite and adaptability to changing situations."

    "According to Chris Chabris of the Centre for Collective Intelligence at MIT, a member of the Knack team, games have huge advantages over traditional recruitment tools, such as personality tests, which can easily be outwitted by an astute candidate."

    "Some firms seem to see the potential. The GameChanger unit of Shell, which seeks out new disruptive technologies for the oil giant, is about to test if Knack can help it identify innovators. Bain & Company, a consultancy, is to run a pilot: it will start by getting current staff to play the games, to see which skills make for a successful consultant. (The ability to charge a lot for stating the obvious is presumably not one of them.) “If someone can materially improve our ability to select the best talent, that is worth a lot to us,” says Mark Howorth, a recruiter at Bain. And if not, at least the process will be fun."

    This might clear up some questions about what this is all about.

  • by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @02:14PM (#40129437)

    Demand on their time. When twenty people apply for a job, you can interview them all. When a hundred apply, you have to start examining CVs. But now, thanks to the internet, it's routine to get thousands of people apply for one job. What is an employer to do? They need some way to streamline the evaluation process. Games are another attempt to solve this problem. Many still rely on the simplist possible method though: Grab half the pile of applications and throw them straight in the bin, because there just isn't time to read so many.

    I never interview 20 people for a vacancy. I never interview more than 5, and I try to keep it to 3. It's simple to narrow down the field of applications. Our typical announcement will say something like,"Submit cover letter, completed application, resume, and three letters of reference before 3 pm Friday, June 25." Somewhere between 40-60% will fail to have all of those, and they go immediately to the reject pile. If I still have a huge pile, the next sort is made on some relevant criterion. We might have said, "College degree in Industrial Hygiene or related field preferred." If it's an entry level position, I cull out those without a degree. Then I read cover letters. Can you communicate clearly in standard, written English. Spelling errors are fatal. If you don't care enough to press F7, you don't care enough to be trusted with our work product. Now I'm down to a manageable group, which I score on a matrix. Usually there will be a clearly defined top group of 2-5, which I interview. The interview is almost all about how the person will fit into our group, because the finalists can pretty much all do the job. If not, we go back through the pole or go out again. I learned long ago that the wrong hire is hugely worse than an empty chair.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @02:32PM (#40129541) Journal

    Seriously, WTF is wrong with employers these days??

    Isn't it enough that I went to college and built a solid base of good work I can point to that shows I can do the job?

    No, that's not enough. Employers want you to be a lot more humble than that. Your solid base of good work and education only means that you'll probably expect to be treated like a human being of value instead of someone desperate, sniveling, insecure.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas