Wednesday 14 May 2014

#GamifyHR HR / Recruitment Gamification Case Studies

Here are the case studies from Day 1 of Fleming Europe's Gamification in HR Summit. These all focus on Recruitment (we looked at a broad range of HR processes on day 2, and focused more deeply on learning in day 3). 
They are also all really serious gaming case studies vs gamification ones (possibly with it being harder to inject true gamification into recruitment than it is into internal HR processes as you can't change the way people are doing what they're doing as they're not actually doing anything yet!?)

Maersk Drilling - Quest for Oil

Another recruitment game supporting Maersk's employer brand and attracting talent.

Maersk Drilling want to double the size of the company - requiring 3000 people, doubling the size of the company, in five years, and in a well paid, competitive sector.

Anja Andersen and Frederik Tukk described the development of their recruiting site from a traditional page of vacancies where people spent less than a minute on average.  They didn't want to go into social media as their management team thought this was unprofessional and for kids but eventually launched a Facebook page - for telling stories, not posting jobs.  This game them a broader mix of channels to promote the game.

The game = Quest for Oil.

They also pushed the game to key eduction influencers as something they would need to introduce the energy industry to their students.  And communications were led by their CEO giving live interviews etc around the world.

The game has been downloaded by 350,000 people.


Transport Sector Eduction Fund in Denmark - Cargo Dynasty

Magnus Kobke's fund spends 1m per year improving situation for 60,000 truck drivers, attracting young people to the industry (where the average age is 49) and helping them develop their skills.

It's an interesting case study compared to PwC and BNP Paribas given the generally low level of skills in the sector and its poor image - including its delays and accidents but also 'people don't want to use their hands in their career - they want to use their heads'.  Therefore 32% of young people drop out before they graduate.

In 2010, one of their Directors (aged 62) came up with the idea of creating a game.  They invited people from the branches and together designed a board game which was then developed into an online, multiplayer game over the next three and a half years.  It's available at or via apps (downloadable in Denmark) or see the video.

Groups of students play against each other, competing to build the best, largest and most profitable haulage company.  There are four main scenarios - the cargo hub (a bit like Sims City), map, a freight exchange and some mini games for amusement.

So in the cargo hub you can 'pimp your truck' and take on more employees, but this requires a bigger office and costs so it needs to be matched with revenues.  In the example Magnus showed us, HR's offices had also grown, and you can hire and fire people, train them etc (though the HRD hasn't yet got a helipad like the MD has.)

Players can earn certificates which are the same ones you need as part of a proper apprenticeship.

In the freight area you get to plan routes to transport goods and you find out if you can make money - ie if the revenues outweigh the costs of the transportation.  You can buy more trucks but your drivers need the required certificates.

Each round of the same last 20 minutes, by students in different places.   At the end of the round you can see who has earned more money and a teacher helps extracts learnings out of the game.

There's also a national championship for transportation  apprenticeships, workshops and webinars etc to raise interest.


BNP Paribas - ACE Manager

Deborah Lasry manages the ACE Manager business game which started in 2009 and is in its 6th edition, improving the quality of its graphics every year.  Its aim is to increase brand awareness and recruit top talent.  Deborah leads the project and has cut its costs to a third of what it had been.

It is for students from all of the world and is played by teams of three people - locally or internationally.  Its based on a story set in a banking environment in universe city where students have to find resources and solve cases (mergers, IPOs etc, gathering information and answering financial questions).

This helps them develop their skills and make links with others globally.

There is a prize of up to E6000 but also the offer of internships worldwide.

They've been promoting the game through campus visits in China and Africa.

The game reaches over 20,000 students per year (so next year will have over 200k alumni / ambassadors) and the average time on spite during the competition is 51 minutes.  They hire 20 students per year from the programme.

PwC Hungary - Multipoly

Noemi Biro from PwC in Hungary explained that this started in 2010 and is now in its third year, being tweated every year.  The programme focuses on attracting young talent, demonstrating the firm's employer brand and differentiating it from the other big 4.  It was initially rejected for cost (formally) and inexperience (informally).

Initial costs were high but ongoing expenditure is fairly low.  And once they got the go ahead it took 4 months to develop the system.

Multipoly a 3D online game simulating a 1 year long internship programme within 12 days.  They start with an entry exam based on a video about PwC.  If they pass, they create their profile which enables them to track measures based upon the competencies which inform the game - knowledge, reliability, loyalty and networking.

Players get 20 activity points per day on mandatory exercises and optional situations depending on the points they would like to increase.  They get set different exercises in different parts of the virtual offices.  Some of these cover spots, social responsibility etc, not just about accountancy, so candidates get a true picture of the complexity which makes up employment with the firm.

People log in using their Facebook account so you can see more information about them, and achievements get pasted on their Facebook wall.  The achievements also get converted to real prizes including a trip for two to New York.

Over 1000 people participated last year.  Applications have increased from 1600 to over 3000 per year over the three years.  It works because it provide competition, learning and social connection.

  • Is this gamification or is it just using a serious game? (although this doesn't really matter - both can be useful)
  • Is it fun?  I can see it helps to provide understanding more effectively than a printed or even online brochure etc.  But will it inspire and motivate people to join?
  • Does the prize distort focus?  Wouldn't a prize of a job work better than a trip to New York? (though this year the game winner did get recruited too.)


We also had a look at Boehringer Ingelheim's Professor Syrum Facebook game.  See this presentation.

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