The Hiring Game

I have several acquaintances who relish the idea of spending an evening playing a board game.  They have closets full of all sorts of games.  The current “hot” game is Catan, but they also like the classics such as Monopoly, Scrabble, Battleship, and Bananagrams.

These are games that you can start and stop whenever you want.  Aside from challenging the use of two-letter words and the lack of good luck in the roll of the dice, there are generally no hard feelings once the game is over.

Hiring

Hiring employees was always considered a game of sorts.  In my industry, we all competed for the same pool of candidates and tended to steal employees from each other, so they moved from company to company like pieces on a game board.

But now, hiring new employees is literally becoming a game.

And, in retrospect, this is no surprise.

Hiring, as most small businesses and entrepreneurs know, is especially difficult and fraught with risks.  The goal is to match employees with employers so that the skills of employees better match the skill needs of employers.

Everyone is trying to develop better methods to determine skills and needs, and with the astronomical popularity of the online gaming platforms, maybe there is a way to approach how new employees get hired.

To see how the online video gaming platform might help in hireing employees, we need to first look at the current hiring practices.

How Employers Hire

There are two sides to the act of hiring.  On one side is the employer who searches, interviews, and checks references to find the right person to fill the proverbial seat on the company bus.  In my experience, it seems no matter how hard you try, it all comes down to some good luck in finding a person who fits.

How Employees Find Jobs

Then there is the employee side.  Within this side are three types of employment candidates.  First is the active candidate. This is the person who is desperately searching for a job, any job.

Second is the passive candidate who has feelers out and has let it be known that given the right circumstance, they might consider changing employers.

And third is the high-value candidate. This is the “rock star” at one company who everyone in that industry would like to employ. They have no feelers out and have expressed no interest in changing jobs.  But for the right offer, nearly everyone can be enticed to become a candidate.

Gamify

Two aspects of technology have caused hiring to potentially become a game.  The first is the active interest, possibly an obsession, with many in the labor market about video games.  Consider these statistics.

  • 155,000,000 Americans regularly play video games.
  • 42% of Americans play at least three hours per week

It makes some sense to use a video game-like platform to evaluate potential employees, especially in the technology and technical fields. Developers of this technology indicates that a considerable amount of personal data can be gleaned by how you play specifically designed games.

The second aspect of technology is through artificial intelligence (AI). Although this is an emerging field, it is easy to see how it can be used to interview candidates, search for high-value candidates, and evaluate new hires early in their careers to determine performance and training needs.

Future of Hiring       

As you can easily envision, the three different potential employees play a video game which then determines their skill set and matches them with an employer who is looking for a specific type of candidate. Candidates are also searched for and interviewed by AI, and an employer is informed who to hire.

Hiring becomes simply the product of a game.

The Bible

If our future new employees are to be the product of a game they played, then we as employers need to be interested in the criteria used to select these employees. And while the hiring part might become a game, the criteria used to select these employees will never change.

The Bible is the source of the criteria normally used in selecting a new employee. Through the Bible, we are encouraged to look for these qualities in evaluating job applicants.

  1. Faithfulness (2 Timothy 2:2) – we need workers who will faithfully help the company accomplish their objectives.
  2. Availability (2 Timothy 1:15) – workers must show up ready to learn and work.
  3. Teachability (Titus 1:10) – Workers must be open to new ideas.
  4. Good Character (1 Timothy 3:7) – Workers must have integrity and good character.
  5. Proven Skills (Titus 1:9) – These skills must be demonstrated in the worker’s experience, credentials, educations, and interests.
  6. People Skills (Galatians 5:22-23) – Employees must be a good fit with the rest of the employees.
  7. Good Attitude (Ephesians 5:20) – the Bible demonstrates the value of an attitude of gratitude.

Our future probably includes using game-type tools to identify characteristics to better match employees with employers.  And, while games are being used to find and interview candidates, the criteria by which they are evaluated should remain the same as historically used. The Bible happens to be the best source for finding those criteria.