Control Stick

Job Simulations and Games: Engaging Candidates & Better than a Resume Screen

According to Bill Kutik, resumes have been around since 1482, when Leonardo da Vinci is said to have written the first one (

Of course there are lots of problems with resumes, including the six second average that recruiters will spend on them and those systems developed to deal with them – specifically applicant tracking solutions.

We are reading a lot about gaming at the moment, we still have a long way to go before these types of games and job simulations becoming widely used and adopted.  A good place to start is with Tech companies who are leading the way.  They challenge software engineers to compete for jobs by showcasing their technical and creative skills

Check out “The Google Code Jam,” a global online software-writing contest that attracts over 7,500 people each year. The winners are invited to a campus to compete for $50,000 in prizes, and a chance to work at Google.

With “challenge-based recruiting” to assess a candidate’s ability to do a specific job and test their skills beyond video games and puzzles.

Relying solely on games to help companies select candidates is still premature yet evolving. We believe the best way to go is a game or interactive assessment that provides an opportunity simulate the job and these are the five key themes

1)     Better Sourcing: – A process that can shorten the hiring cycle and provide access to candidates that you would not have previously accessed. For example a lot of companies have become more cautious about whom they hire. Research from Glassdoor, a site where users rate employers showed the average length of the job-interview process has nearly doubled from 12 days in 2009 to 23 days in 2013.

2)     Access Predictive information: – An experience where lots of useful information gets revealed.    For example, a player has to engage in multiple micro-decisions, think about prioritizing, about [the] sequence of taking actions, about persisting when the game becomes more challenging.

3)     Integrate into Social Media Channels:  Leverage tieinginto social media sourcing components including Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter that allows people to share and showcase their abilities by applying with a game or simulation of an attractive company or role.

4)     Information that can be integrated into the hiring decision

More smoothly integrated into the hiring decision. Social media sourcing components including Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter that allow people to share and showcase their knacks.  So you can better identify those attractive candidates earlier on.

5)     Make more of those six seconds.    A recent study showed in the Business Insider ( that recruiters spend an average of six second on a resume before they make that initial fit or no ‘fit decision.’  So perhaps engaging candidate in a simulation or game where they can share a few relevant predictive skills is worthwhile.

Whilst, that idea that a video game or a simulation can swoop, better and more cheaply match people to their jobs is a seductive one.  However, administering a job simulation test or a game remotely has the potential to pull in a lot more job candidates who might not otherwise have been considered and work through more quickly and spend more time interviewing candidates that are pre-qualified for the role  We believe games and simulations are a faster and more engaging way to expand your applicant pool, attract a broader range of best fit candidates and select the them in jobs they’re good at — even if they need to play a video game to get there.


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