Gamification of Employer Branding

Gamification and Employer Branding

If you take a look around, possibly even in your own organization, human resources is not always the most popular department. The bigger the company, the less relevant and less visible their activities seem. As a result, HR departments are not only looking for ways to actively engage their existing employees, but are also seeking strategies and tactics that will differentiate themselves as an employer. What does your brand say about you as a potential employer?

With constant tech innovation, gamification has quickly become a buzzword in the recruitment field. But to take it beyond the buzzword stage and truly benefit your employer brand, you need to weave gamified recruitment into the fabric of your recruitment strategy.

Applying gamification to HR is not an entirely new concept. In his book, Employer Brand Management: Practical Lessons from the World’s Leading Employers, Richard Mosley explained that many employers, as early as the late 1990s, introduced elements of gaming to their career websites and portals. The trend “is moving toward a more immersive online environment that gives potential candidates a much richer taste for the kind of employment experience on offer to them.”

Despite early efforts and growing popularity, gamification is still just a concept for many. The Aberdeen Group published research that indicated that HR departments have been slow to adopt gamification strategies. In 2013, only 17% of organizations had applied gaming techniques to their HR activities. This is gradually changing as success stories begin to emerge.

Whether you use gamification for recruitment, testing candidates, building awareness, onboarding, continuous employee engagement, organizational change, or all of the above, gamification differentiates and boosts increasingly diverse, memorable and unique employer branding strategies.

Demonstrating your values

Gamification makes the HR process fun for potential and current employees, and keeps them engaged. Keeping that kind of positive attention it creates focused on you in an increasingly competitive and fragmented employment landscape is key to your identity as an employer. A big part of that is being able to show (and realistically simulate) your company and organizational values in an interactive way. A company can too easily be seen as a monolithic entity with a set of stagnant rules (the dreaded “employee handbook”) but gamification can breathe life into your company identity and show the world who you are and why candidates should clamor to join.  Through gamification, you can really showcase your employer brand and engage people to aspire to be a part of.

Fun and interactive HR processes = a memorable brand

Entertainment value goes a long way toward generating engagement and memorability. Particularly in highly competitive sectors, employers need to vie for qualified candidates in much the same way that candidates compete against each other to get hired. How can an employer in this environment offer a uniquely compelling candidate experience, maximize HR resources and ultimately make the experience entertaining?

Put it to the test!

Incorporate gamification into your employer branding strategy! There are lots of ways to do this, But whatever you do, do it now. Gamification in HR processes may be a gradually growing trend, but things are speeding up and you do not want to be left in the dust!

Social Recruiting on Facebook?

Facebook Recruitment

With technology and social media being a big part of everyday life for a majority of Americans, it is no surprise that businesses are turning to social media now in order to get their brand out there. Social media sites like Facebook offer a relatively low-cost form of advertising, and the ability for your followers to share your advertisements with friends and family with an easy click of a button.

With all of the advantages of social media, it should come as no surprise that employers are also starting to use this form of communication with the public in order to recruit new members to their staff. So how exactly is social recruiting on Facebook better than other methods? We turned to HireRabbit for some answers.

Facebook helps your company gain more traffic

Not everyone on the internet follows blogs or will know how to find your website, however a large amount of internet users are on Facebook multiple times a day and will be more likely to come across your advertisement there. According to an article on Slideshare, two-thirds of the world’s internet population visits social network sites, and the sector now account for almost ten percent of all internet time. Facebook now leads in this market, as recent data suggests that there are 222 million unique hits on Facebook. Some also believe it is easier to apply for jobs through Facebook than some other channels.

There is a diverse talent pool

Through social media sites like Facebook, your efforts can be taken globally, as people all over the world use Facebook. In fact, only 29.3% of traffic on Facebook is from the US, according to the Slideshare article. You will also find a diverse set of people this way – from students, to people looking for seasonal work, or people that are part of a niche that fits what you are looking for.

Facebook boosts your company’s image to potential recruits

In addition to show that your company can be innovative by following the current trends, i.e. social media, frequently keeping your page up to date and communicating with posters on your page will show that you are a company that is responsive and will interact with your employees as well as your customers.

Facebook increases employee referral activity

Since sharing your advertisement is as easy as pushing a button, employees will more easily be able to get the word out to anyone who happens to be on their friends list. You also have the advantage that people who don’t even work for you will start sharing your posts as well, effectively advertising for you for free. Facebook also assists with this if you have an app for your business; whenever someone installs your app or likes your page, Facebook will tell their friends via their timeline that they liked this app or page, thus suggesting it to other people without you or the friend having to do anything further.

Facebook allows you to attract passive candidates.

Some people are less likely to aggressively go looking for a job, and prefer to let opportunities arise to them. This could be because they are out of ideas where to look, or maybe they aren’t even currently thinking about a different job. However, through Facebook’s ad manager, you can set up targeting to show your ad to a specific audience. Targets can be location, gender, age, or general interests. This may catch the eye of those passive recruits and make them decide to apply. Ad targeting can also ensure that you are getting the employees you want in your company and filtering out employees that wouldn’t be as good of a fit.

Facebook will connect you to college students

College students are one of the highest demographics on Facebook. Advertising here will attract young, fresh minds that are looking for one of their first professional jobs. You can mold these minds and teach them the way your company does things.

Don’t just take our word for it; Forbes released an article outlining a few success stories that large companies have shared about recruiting via social media. For example, UPS, which operates in over 200 countries with around 400 thousand employees, started shifting their recruitment strategies to include social media. This has allowed them to hire more globally. They also created a video that was shared on social media, called “Women in Transportation,” which highlighted women in roles form executive leadership to van drivers. This helped to showcase their diverse employment opportunities.

Sodexo, the world’s 20th largest employer, has been on social media since 2007. Their strategy has been to show what it’s like to work for them. Since advertising on social media, there have been over 15 thousand downloads of their job finding app, and over 107 hires.

Home Depot also uses social media to their advantage. Their strategy is to use social media to follow up on applications, to ensure that they don’t enter the black hole that many seem to find their applications in, where they never hear a response. They are also a very active community, with surveys on their page as well as employees sharing their first day at work or sharing updates on how their local store is performing.

So, if we’ve convinced you that recruiting via Facebook is a good idea, now you are probably wondering how to get started. It’s pretty easy, actually. Here’s how to start:

Create your business page on Facebook and get to work sharing content and gaining a fan base. Invite people that are already interested in your company and post content that they would like to share with other people. Be sure you are posting more than just advertisements; keep your followers interested in your page. Also be sure to set up opportunities for your fans to communicate with you through the page, and respond often to show that you are interested in them. Sharing your experiences in the business and whatever you learned while getting to where you are is also a good way to be not only interesting, but transparent, and will show potential recruits that you are willing to teach what you have learned.

5 Tips for an Unparalleled Candidate Experience

Optimize Candidate Experience

Did you know that 88% of job seekers are more likely to become loyal customers of your company, and even refer their friends, if you give them a positive candidate experience irrespective of whether they got hired?

The benefits of providing a great experience to people applying for jobs have been demystified with many companies now reporting a strong impact on their bottom line. Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as we had hoped. Even though it can be hard to make the business case for investing in the enhancement of the candidate experience, there are several immediate benefits to be gained, with some of them that can be achieved fairly easily.

It used to be enough to present job candidates with a plain text description highlighting the job requirements and the desired qualifications. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Nowadays, employers are challenging candidates with games and role-playing simulators to attract the best and brightest to their companies.

Gamification is gaining popularity in its ability to drive candidate participation in referral programs and responding to career content to help build brand awareness. It is effective in converting the people who see your job opportunity into active applicants in your pipeline. By disguising your application and assessment process as a game, you’re much more likely to not only convert the top talent who noticed your ad, but also engage candidates and make them want to come work with you.

As discussed in a previous post, while not every company has the budget to create their own version of the Marriot Hotel, other practical ways to leverage gamification are available. These will help bring in the right candidates for open positions and create strong talent pipelines for future hiring needs. Here are five tips for gamifying the candidate experience.

Tip #1: Give points to candidates for interacting with you.

Companies are in constant pursuit of the passive talent, who is currently employed somewhere else but would still be open to changing camps if the right opportunity presented itself. These types of candidates need more than a job description to get theme excited to work with you. Invite these passive candidates to connect and interact with your organization via virtual contests, hackathons, or quizzes and give them points for their participation. This will not only demonstrate how innovative and fun your organization is but will also give them a sneak peek on your company culture.

Tip #2: Show candidates how they stack up against the competition.

It is worthwhile to show how many candidates have already applied for the same job and how well the candidates rank in terms of points earned against those of others. This competitive intelligence drives candidates to act on the right opportunities and motivates them to interact with you more.

Tip #3: Encourage candidates to apply with their social media profiles.

Most people don’t have their resumes on their smartphone, but just about everyone is on social media. Allowing candidates to use their social profiles to apply is painless and effective. As some candidates tend to “over sell” themselves on the resume, information maintained on social profiles tends to be more accurate. And if you really require a resume, allow candidates to upload their resumes from a cloud service such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

Tip #4: Show candidates their social connections within your company.

Candidates often want to get an inside scoop (and maybe even a referral) about the job before applying to it. Allowing these candidates to visualize their social connections that are currently working with you and enabling them to message for guidance can help convert a passive candidate into an engaged one who is interested in joining your ranks.

Tip #5: Be Mobile

Mobile recruiting is taking over every aspect of the recruitment process. Candidates are 2-5 times more likely to access your career portal on their phone than they are on their PC. Beyond that, nearly one-quarter (23%) of all Google searches that contain the word “job” come from mobile devices. Enable candidates to engage with your employment brand anywhere, any time, and on any device. Ensure that every step of your application process is optimized for mobile devices.

If you are able to foster a positive candidate experience, talent will come to you. Candidates will talk about your organization and tell others about the positive experience they had during your recruitment process.

Gamification of Social Recruiting

Gamification of recruiting

Let’s face it. Social recruiting is a game, where a collection of “players” (companies and staffing agencies) compete for the same “prize” – top talent. The winners get the best “prize”, but it can take tremendous time and effort to come out on top.

It is widely known that good talent is employed while the best remain hidden from traditional recruitment strategies such as social media and online communities. So how do you lure them away from your competitors?

If today’s social recruiting campaigns are about developing communities, the future is about creating value in such communities. So instead of establishing a one-way communication with your fans through job postings and the occasional recruiting post, engage with these followers and establish a dialogue with them.

This novel and promising approach consists in “gamifying” the talent acquisition process. Not to be confused with video games, this method consists in incorporating game thinking to business activities. The true value of this route stems from the fact that it can make a mundane task like completing a job application fun, creative, competitive and interesting. Basically, it would disguise the application and assessment process as a fun activity rather than an annoying task, making it much more likely to convert the top talent from just noticing your job opening into engaged candidates who are interested in working with you, and committed to making a difference.

A gamified hiring process will not only make your more attractive in the eyes of job seekers, but it would also contribute to amplifying your brand. Both HR and marketing are in the people finding and relationship building business. Followers who like and share your content, and also interact with you within your online communities are the same valuable asset both of these departments are desperately seeking to find and engage. In a recent study, the marketing department of a global fashion retailer was reluctant to letting HR engage with its fans on social media as it was concerned that recruitment specific spots would dilute its brand. To their surprise, this experiment yielded unprecedented results. Within four hours, 14,000 people had “liked” and contributed to that HR post; and in fact, it was the highest level of engagement ever reached.

A gamified recruitment process can come in two different flavors – ranging from complex and stand-alone gaming technology to simple “gaming elements” directly embedded into the job application process. Subsequent sections will discuss the first approach while the latter will be discussed in a later post.

A full-blown gaming engine is effective as not only does it provide a fun and hands-on experience as to what the job really entails, it also gives a feel for the culture of the workplace. However, this route requires deep IT skills and a sizeable budget to implement the needed technology.  One of the earlier adopters of this new way of recruiting was Marriott International. High turnover of underqualified employees created a serious business problem for the hotel chain. It needed to attract young candidates in areas of the world where the hospitality industry was not well known or seen as a viable career path. And in 2011, the hotel chain launched its own Facebook game called My Marriott Hotel which was specifically designed as a recruitment tool giving younger people a taste of what a career at a Marriott Hotel might be like. The game instructed players to start a restaurant, go through activities such as decorating a hotel restaurant dining room, ordering food inventory for the kitchen, maintaining a restaurant budget, and trying out various positions in hotel operations. According to Francesca Martinez, Marriott VP of Human Resources, the game successfully increased traffic to the company’s career site by 30%.

If you feel that this is the path you would like to embark on, follow these guiding points to get you started:

  1. For each job, identify the skills necessary that candidates need to possess in order to deliver superior performance.
  2. Group the jobs that have similar and complementary skills and devise a fun and creative scenario to assess those skills.
  3. Determine the platform you will use to get the game in front of your ideal hires.
  4. Assess your company culture and consider adding elements that indicate what it will be like to work for your company.

Ideally, you should create a game that is universally enjoyable — while not every player will be a qualified candidate, one of your objectives should be about increasing your brand awareness.