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Games… Not just for fun anymore

The Betts Team
July 12, 2011

The development of video and online games has left many people asking, ‘Why don’t kids play outside anymore?’ Games have gained the reputation of being a huge distraction and deterrent from ‘enriching’ activities like reading, exercising, developing social skills, etc. However, as the gaming industry continues to explode, people are realizing that games don’t have to be frivolous activities that abound to an enormous amount of wasted time; perhaps games can actually be productive.
Marriott, the multi-billion-dollar hotel chain, is using online gaming to reach out to and attract potential employees. While the World Bank has used online games like ‘Evoke’ to gain creative insight from the world’s gamers on how to solve the world’s most pressing problems and Second Life has held virtual career fairs, Marriott is among the first to combine the growing field of recruitment with the realm of online gaming. They recently launched ‘My Marriott Hotel,” a game that gives users an opportunity to run their own virtual hotel operation. At present, it’s mostly used as marketing effort to catch the attention of those who might be interested in working for Marriott hotels. It’s also being used by recruiters to see how potential job candidates handle real-world business situations in the confines of virtual hotel world. It’s still in its very early stages (consisting only of a virtual kitchen), but should it be successful, this is something that we might start seeing as a part of the traditional resume screen and interview hiring process.

Could game-based interviewing work at your company?

This idea may seem a little off the wall- I mean, games and work have always been like water and oil. But perhaps if we start digging in to this gold mine of problem solving and social strategy that gaming has to offer, it could be a very effective tool in finding great candidates for your company. Even though it’s unfeasible (and expensive) to create a game world that emulates the real world exactly, using games to see how people react to certain situations can give valuable insight as to how they will make decisions on the job. Thanks to the advent of social gaming, you could also see firsthand how people work with others, either as a team or as a leader, which are usually qualities that are recounted through references or interviews. With games, the possibilities seem endless. So hey, why not let the games begin!
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