One of the most interesting strands of using games in a corporate context is the creation of ‘social games” for recruitment purposes. These platforms are principally designed to engage and attract potential younger new hires, as well as to get potential applicants to experience (virtually) some attributes of a role.
On paper this sounds like a potential ‘car-crash’ of an idea – like an embarrassing uncle dancing at a disco – a clumsy attempt by big business to appeal to an audience it doesn’t really understand. Although it’s hard to ascertain its success, and I certainly can’t give an opinion form a gaming experience, some of these experiments look like they just may have worked. Global brands are still using gaming for recruitment, although some have been more successful than others.
With the potential to grow viral, game design is critical for success. It has to be addictive to have a chance of succeed. Here are six examples of gaming from the corporate world, with links so you can judge for yourself.
My Marriott Hotel
One of the earlier experiments was Marriott International. Back in 2011 the hotel chain launched its own Facebook game called My Marriott Hotel. Inspired by the success of Farmville and others, the game simulated running a virtual hotel and kitchen.
It was specifically designed as a recruitment tool for Marriott, giving younger people a taste of what a career at a Marriott Hotel might be like, but also trying to attract younger talent in developing countries like India and China where Marriott was expanding, and struggling to find the right people.
I’m assuming that the game, which must have cost a considerable amount, has been successful, firstly because it is still up and running, and secondly Marriott has launched a second game called Xplor, this time available as an app, and designed to attract a younger crowd as guests, rather than specifically for recruitment purposes.
Another early example in the field is L’Oreal’s Reveal game. In fact this was probably the first large global corporate to do a convincing online social game. Reveal promises the chance
“to experience the story of a brand new product launch process, from the birth of an idea until the launch on the market. Challenge yourself and learn!”
L’Oreal have actually been using games for recruitment for many years. Their international Brandstorm marketing game has been running for two decades. Reveal is fairly different from Brandstrom in that it is wholly played online, but like its older cousin it allows L’Oreal to identify very talented individuals, a process which brings in about 250 new graduates per year, 100 of these through Reveal.
Global FMCG company Reckitt Benckiser (RB) launched a Facebook game back in 2010 called poweRBrands. This appears to be about climbing the corporate ladder from a marketing executive to global President. In the press release announcing the game RB’s Global Communications Director Andraea Dawson-Shepherd said:
“It is not a direct recruitment tool, but is a great way to introduce students and early careers sales people and marketers to our culture – and we hope that some of them may look further to our website and other career information.”
At the time of writing the Facebook page states this has 300 players, which compared to Syrum’s 9,000 (see below), may not represent good ROI.
P&G’s Product Pursuit
Both Reveal from L’Oreal and My Marriott Hotel must have required a lot of investment. P&G have gone for something a little more modest on its recruitment site, with a game called Product Pursuit. Players catch an avalanche of products in a sort of quasi-supermarket. At the end of the game you’re ‘rewarded’ with a fact about P&G. Launched in February 2012, a member of the team who helped to developed It says the game
“was created to help P&G grow its employment brand, appeal to Generation Y student’s affinity for playing easy but addictive online games, and attract applicants to P&G by learning about the company’s brand and career opportunities.”
Personally I’m not convinced Product Pursuit is going to influence a generation to join P&G, but you can decide for yourself.
Royal Navy Engineer Officer Challenge
In 2011 the Royal Navy issued an iOS app called the “Engineer Officer Challenge” . Customer reviews include comments like “this is great and has helped me a lot, as I want to join the navy as a royal engineer xx defo recommended!”
Boehringer Ingelheim’s Syrum
In late 2012 global pharmaceutical firm Boehringer Ingelheim has also dipped its toe into social gaming with Syrum, a medical-themed game where “the health of the world is at stake, and you’re the only one that can save us…” Gamers try and develop pharmaceutical products over a hundred years to save the world’s health. The game has already attracted 9,000 players, most commonly aged between 25 and 32.
So given that these games are all still running, and there are new entrants like Syrum, social gaming still appears to be a viable, albeit niche, section of a social recruitment strategy. Is this viable? Are there any other good examples out there? Please add a comment if anything comes to mind!