Make Your Next Job Ad a Game

You can create a job ad in many different media. Traditional job advertisements were text. An alternative approach is to lead with an image (there is a whole world of job advertising via Instagram). Then there’s video (companies like Sparc are creating innovative tools for this) and finally, the time-tested medium of sound (radio ads remain effective).

See today’s DisruptHR post “Kill Your Lame Job Postings With Stories.”

Have we exhausted the options? No, there is one more medium for writing a job ad: a game.

A game-based job ad is usually some kind of fairly simple puzzle. For example you could have a Jeopardy! like game for someone to show off job knowledge, or an “Arrange the tiles to create a picture” game resulting in an image that’s relevant to your brand.

Here’s an example of a puzzle on a billboard: “A Win-Win Way to Recruit in Silicon Valley.”

According to Tamer Kafla, CEO of gaming provider Klujo, Facebook is the best place for these ads.  Facebook is chock full of little games because people like doing them; you’ll find them with headlines like “Only 10% of Americans can name all these countries.” People like sharing their results and if there is a series of games, they like watching their cumulative score go up. It may sound hokey, but it gets you in front of your audience.

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The game grabs attention; what you do with it depends on your needs. The simplest approach is just to push the brand and lead people to your career page. A more direct approach is to create an ad for a specific job. Finally, you could potentially use the game not just to attract attention, but use the results as a test of skill or knowledge.

To implement this medium of job advertising you need to use a platform to run the game and a creative agency to come up with appropriate content.

What is interesting?

The best jobs ads attract the strong candidates and deter the weak ones. With games we have a new medium for ads that potentially also provides some insight on candidate skills.

What is really important?

Recruiting is a competitive sport. You need to keep looking for anything that will give you an edge. Games are an unexpected tool that have the potential to provide an edge for some kinds of recruiting. The question is whether your recruiting function—which is normally hugely rushed to just fill vacancies—has the capability to try out new tools.

David Creelman, CEO of Creelman Research, is a globally recognized thinker on people analytics and talent management. Some of his more interesting projects included:

  • Conducted workshops around the world on the practical aspects of people analytics
  • Took business leaders from Japan’s Recruit Co. on a tour of US tech companies (Recruit eventually bought Indeed.com for $1 billion)
  • Studied the relationship between Boards and HR (won Walker Award)
  • Spoke at the World Bank in Paris on HR reporting
  • Co-authored Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment with John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan. The book was endorsed by the CHROs of IBM, LinkedIn and Starbucks.
  • Worked with Dr. Wanda Wallace on “Leading when you are not the expert” which topped the “Most Popular List” on the Harvard Business Review’s blog.
  • Worked with Dr. Henry Mintzberg on peer coaching, David’s learning modules are among the most popular topics.

Currently David is helping organizations to get on-track with people analytics.

This work led to him being made a Fellow for the Centre of Evidence-based Management (Netherlands) for his contributions to the field.

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