Neuroscience and the Gamification of Hiring

Mercer Match goes beyond the resume to connect job seekers to employers with a game-centric app. 

In a mobile-friendly, innovation-obsessed world, we’ve seen little by way of disruption when it comes to hiring. Candidates still have to suffer through tedious online job applications for roles that weren’t very clear to begin with, while talent acquisition teams must wade through a flood of identical-looking resumes on the other side.

 


But traditional qualifications and experience are no longer enough for a great hire. Just ask Google CEO Eric Schmidt.   

"Over and over again, people, when they do hiring, say, 'I want a person that did X or Y or Z in their last job.' We want people who can deal with the future changes," Schmidt told CBS in an interview. "Businesses change so rapidly. … You're in much better off (position selecting) for people who are quick enough, who say, 'OK, there's a new problem.’ I always believed at Google—and still believe—I don't know what the future holds, but I have the right people to help me figure it out, and that should be the primary criteria.”

What Schmidt calls “intellectual flexibility”—the quality Google seeks most in new hires—can’t be easily ascertained by a candidate’s GPA, test scores, or even previous experience.

Leading companies like Google and Facebook are moving beyond the resume to identify great talent. But every organization, no matter the size, needs the right people to help them figure out the future. Over the past year our Innovation team conducted hundreds of discussions with clients across industries about the talent acquisition challenges they face. Here are the top concerns they shared:

  • How do we engage untapped and diverse talent? Diversity hiring is among the primary concerns of CHROs, with companies like Marsh and McLennan Companies and Intel making public pledges to move the needle on hiring more women, underrepresented minorities and veterans.
  • How can we quickly prequalify candidates, especially for positions with high volume of applications? (See aforementioned resume flood.)
  • How do we facilitate internal mobility, leverage transferable skills across the organization and develop talent?  The internal labor market continues to be highly untapped due to lack of visibility of internal roles and the inability to identify employees with transferrable skills and potential.
  • How do we engage younger job seekers? According to Jobvite’s 2015 Job Seeker Nation Study, younger job seekers are more likely to see their current position as “temporary” or a “stepping stone,” while the majority expect a seamless application process, including the option of applying on mobile.  Employers have to get with the times if they want to effectively recruit from this fast-moving younger pool.

The Mercer Match team worked with neuroscientists at MIT and other institutions to develop a game-based method of matching organizations with great hires. Users play a series of quick, fun and engaging games that identify more than 80 cognitive, social and emotional traits that are predictive of job fit and success. 

The end result is a faster, less expensive hiring process that identifies top candidates among hundreds of thousands of job seekers. That means hiring decisions are supported by data, not just instinct—and a chance to meaningfully diversify your team by putting every candidate, traditional credentials or not, on the same (literal) playing field. Employers can also use Mercer Match to profile existing high-performing teams and use the results as a benchmark for new hires.

Of course, you’ll have to test out this new innovation in hiring for yourself. Try Mercer Match now: play online or download the iOS mobile app.

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