We’ve said it before, time and time again this year: game mechanics are hot right now. As consumers, we love competing for a mayorship via Foursquare for a free latte at our favorite coffee shop, and many social media addicts are obsessed with perfecting their Klout score to prove their social media effect. Even some new social networks, like Empire Avenue, base their entire user experience around a game that measures social influence across the new media spectrum.
As an employer, you may not want to take into account these scores when determining the value of a job candidate, but you can leverage the popularity of game mechanics as part of the job application process. Consider incorporation puzzle solving or answering job-related trivia part of the screening process. One company currently incorporating a game into its applicant process is Dell/Kace. As part of its new recruiting efforts, it is asking “code ninjas” to take a challenge and solve a code. Though the “answer” is slightly obvious (even to non-developers), the targeted game invites a specific set of talent to apply for jobs.
Using this same methodology, your company or brand can utilize game mechanics to attract — or screen out — applicants. While the challenge presented by Dell/Kace was easy, you could design a challenge that would allow only the most talented to reach the application or instructions for how to send a resume. You could also consider setting up a contest for job applicants, such as requiring users to send in written and/or video essays that can be judged by your community.
However you design a game to surface talent, be sure it does not, by design, exclude certain demographics such as women or disabled from “winning” and thereby applying. This can violate the law, and additionally be detrimental to your reputation.