Our ‘Get Home’ Recruitment Game

We talked about how 2016 needed to be a big year for SAP’s employment brand. The key for us was, as a b2b, standing out from the crowd.

We revealed how our weekly cartoon series, “Life at SAP” Illustrated, has done just that. Our engagement theory research told us that the content with the most engagement on social media today is videos, photos, cartoons, and games. We already embraced video, photos, and now a cartoon. But a game? That was a gap for SAP.

Recruitment is no stranger to gaming. Marriott Hotels famously released a game back in 2011 to “educate” players into running a hotel. ERE covered the details here. Other notable recruitment games have included “Reveal” by L’Oreal, “Trust” by Danone, and “Moonshield” by Thales.

But gaming and gamification should not be confused. Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service. Gaming is much more complex and harder to do.

SAP’s Goals for a Game

  • Changing perceptions of the SAP brand amongst potential recruits
  • Further establishing SAP as an innovative recruiting company
  • Prototyping approaches to collecting data from game play
  • Delivering the right type of engagement
  • Engaging with a significant volume of people
  • Providing a fun and engaging experience

We asked ourselves: what sort of game should we create? How can tie it into what we do at SAP? This was our challenge.

SAP’s vision is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. This is the message to our customers and our employees. Our customers look to us to help them Run Simple — to seamlessly connect people and technology, real-time. We help them re-imagine business and life to drive meaningful impact globally. With SAP HANA as the great simplifier, our customers are creating breakthroughs that solve complex, intractable problems.

We wanted to embrace that vision in a game that was fun, engaging, and addictive.

The Birth of “Get Home: The Game”

SAP partnered with The Chemistry Group and its recently formed dedicated research and development Lab. Working with the Chemistry Lab and their partners, Gamesparks, we created a game for any platform or device that engages candidates in fun gameplay scenarios that demonstrate some of the sectors that SAP play in — sport, entertainment, recruitment (yes recruitment!), and viral defense. Like SAP’s goal to make the world run better, “Get Home” challenges players to use their intelligence and processing skills to help a scenario “run better” and detail logical routes to the game’s resources home.

Game Menu ScreenThe game begins with our “Life at SAP Illustrated” cartoon characters welcoming the play to the game. Gamers are then presented with the four scenarios mentioned above. For example, in the recruitment level, players have to successfully navigate candidates to the correct interview room without crashing into obstacles such as plants and chairs. Candidates need to finish their interview before the next candidate enters the room — because candidates need a full interview experience, it’s of course rude to cut it short!  The pace and tempo is upped with more candidates bounding onto the screen for interview and pandemonium ensues when candidates crash into one another.

In the entertainment scenario, players have to make sure that the artists playing at a funky music festival make it on stage to their set on time, while navigating a number of challenges and hazards, including managing multiple concert stages, avoiding many delivery vehicles, and trying not to crash into festival goers. Players draw paths along the festival field, directing each vehicle to the stage to drop off the band to its specified color-coded stage. Each successfully guided vehicle scores the player points, and as the player’s score increases, so do the number of delivery vans that appear on the screen simultaneously. The game ends when two or more vehicles collide. As players seek to beat their previous score, the gameplay encourages “one more play,” creating an addictive environment.

A key aspect driving the game engine is gamers competing to get the top score and beat their friends.  We created leaderboards and other competitive game mechanics to encourage sharing and friendly banter across social media networks. The game can be shared and played generically by anyone or used in discrete format for SAP specific events — e.g. at a Careers fair, Hackathon, etc.  

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A Twist in the Tale

Apart from being fun, “Get Home” helps identify “latent talent”: people with the potential to perform a role at SAP, even if they have no prior experience of performing a similar role or knowledge of SAP.

Behind the fun and addictive gameplay, this is a serious and important tool that will, over time, help to build a more accurate profile of a candidate’s values, motivations, and behaviors than we have ever been able to do before, resulting in a significant increase in hiring accuracy.

We believe we have achieved a first in building a truly joined up and consistent end to end recruiting process.  The game sits at the top of the funnel and will be accessible via social sharing, while the culture fit and role fit assessments sit further down the funnel at the time of candidate application to a job. Together they will form the first entry point into the overall resourcing process powered by Chemistry Group’s WGLL™ powered platform.

How We’ll Measure Success?

Get Home Game_Game play screenOur game has just launched, but we can answer how we will assess success.

Apart from the usual measures:

  • How many overall plays there are
  • Average length of time playing the game
  • Promotion over Facebook (shares/likes/comments)
  • Number of social shares
  • Leaderboard activity
  • Volume of profiles we capture and the quantity of data we can get from the gameplay
  • Alignment of gameplay behavior with each unique WGLL™ profile
  • Increase in accuracy of hire
  • Increase in performance in role over time of the new hires
  • Increase in candidate NPS scores

Judge for yourselves whether we have achieved our goals of a fun gameplay experience. Play here!

Matthew Jeffery, pictured at center, cited as one of the world's leading recruitment strategists and leaders, is VP, head of global sourcing and employment branding for SAP. Previously, he was head of EMEA talent acquisition and global employment brand for software giant Autodesk. Previous to Autodesk, he was the global director of recruitment brand for Electronic Arts.

Andrea Woolley is a marketing director at SAP, the market leader in enterprise application software. She has been part of the sourcing & employment brand team for the last six years, focused on large-scale global projects to increase SAP’s employment brand global reach and impact the quality of talent hired at SAP.

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11 Comments on “Our ‘Get Home’ Recruitment Game

    1. @frangarvey:disqus thanks, as ever, for taking time to read and comment. We are proud of it and its getting great feedback…

  1. Another one bites the dust! Can’t wait to see what it will deliver for you guys – amazing to see so much dedication to innovate and improve in this space

    1. @amy_charlotte_king:disqus you are a sheer delight to work with. A real star. I hope the good people of ERE get the chance to work with you one day. Thank you for all your do and your exceptional hard work.

    1. @thucanhha:disqus Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Appreciated. Thanks for shring your article as well. Interesting read. Love the Virtual Careers Fair part.

  2. Hmmmm… trying to keep a balanced perspective here. So for roles where we are talking 5+ years of experiences, enticing someone from an established role in another SAP parallel universe company, would they really take time out and sit down and play these games?
    To me the elements shown and what I have seen presented here at ERE about SAP’s recruitment efforts distinctly talk to entry level/graduates and less so to the ‘been there done that’ looking for a next/new career step candidates.

    1. I thought as a person who embraces innovation & risk and rails against the status quo & old school methods, you would applaud these efforts @jacobstenmadsen:disqus. Firstly, recruitment is about multiple channels, some appeal to some some wont. But is there a one size fits all method that you recommend? Posting on Monster? LinkedIn? A roolerdeck?

      Key here is that there are multiple factors at play. Firstly social media engagement. Games, cartoons, (which you have registered your displeasure at), videos are key at extending social engagement and social brand activities. B2B companies have to work harder to be seen, espcially amongst millenials. Hence this game is a great octopus brand builder as it implants the SAP brand into the subconcious in new ways and it trickles down to new audiences.

      So far engagement levels have been through the roof. Its a fun game. It engages.

      Yes, millenials love it. But when you do your research games are multi age. The average age of someone who plays games is 31 years old. In fact, more gamers are over the age of 36 than between the ages of 18 to 35 or under the age of 18. Therefore it is not something that is focused at graduates. It is fascinating to read up further information on this Jacob. I think it will surprise you.

      It is interesting this week that colleagues at SAP have noted that of the 4 articles we have recently published, you have been critical of all 4. Thats a shame for SAP colleagues who have worked hard. Cricitism and free speech is great but blanket criticism less so.

      Again Jacob, passing your judgements on activities returns back to the point. What are you doing? What are you innovating at? Your activities at Laird should be told. If you are saying other companies are getting it wrong then the implication is that you, Laird are correcting things and building a path to a brighter future. So far you have said Laird is a complex organisation. So is SAP as you will remember from the past before you moved on. There are many complex organisations out there. It does not mean you cant decribe the path you are on and your goals and share challenges with others. At Laird, have you redeveloped the careers site? Implemented social media? Entered Great Place awards? Designed collateral? Designed an interview pack? Implemented a SLA? These are great things that can be introduced into complex organisations and you can share those stories.

      We have spoken Jacob of the need for Recruiters to share information. What they are doing. To really kick start the industry moving forward. We had two of the articles published at the time of LinkedIn and it was remarked to me that for someone who encourages innovation, people to speak out, the tactic you employ of criticising across a range of media what people are doing, without showing your hand, is perhaps a contradictory message to what you state your end goal to be. I would love you to help the market, and to help me in my future plans, show what we should be doing. You are clear at what we should not do. Thanks

    2. I thought as a person who embraces innovation & risk and rails against the status quo & old school methods, you would applaud these efforts @jacobstenmadsen:disqus. Firstly, recruitment is about multiple channels, some appeal to some some wont. But is there a one size fits all method that you recommend? Posting on Monster? LinkedIn? A roller-deck?

      Key here is that there are multiple factors at play. Firstly social media engagement. Games, cartoons, (which you have registered your displeasure at), videos are key at extending social engagement and social brand activities. B2B companies have to work harder to be seen, especially amongst millenials. Hence this game is a great octopus brand builder as it implants the SAP brand into the subconscious in new ways and it trickles down to new audiences.

      So far engagement levels have been through the roof. Its a fun game. It engages.

      Yes, millenials love it. But when you do your research games are multi age. The average age of someone who plays games is 31 years old. In fact, more gamers are over the age of 36 than between the ages of 18 to 35 or under the age of 18. Therefore it is not something that is focused at graduates. It is fascinating to read up further information on this Jacob. I think it will surprise you.

      It is interesting this week that colleagues at SAP have noted that of the 4 articles we have recently published, you have been critical of all 4. Thats a shame for SAP colleagues who have worked hard. Criticism and free speech is great but blanket criticism less so.

      Again Jacob, passing your judgements on activities returns back to the point. What are you doing? What are you innovating at? Your activities at Laird should be told. If you are saying other companies are getting it wrong then the implication is that you, Laird are correcting things and building a path to a brighter future. So far you have said Laird is a complex organisation. So is SAP as you will remember from the past before you moved on. There are many complex organisations out there. It does not mean you cant describe the path you are on and your goals and share challenges with others. At Laird, have you redeveloped the careers site? Implemented social media? Entered Great Place awards? Designed collateral? Designed an interview pack? Implemented a SLA? These are great things that can be introduced into complex organisations and you can share those stories.

      We have spoken Jacob of the need for Recruiters to share information. What they are doing. To really kick start the industry moving forward. We had two of the articles published at the time of LinkedIn and it was remarked to me that for someone who encourages innovation, people to speak out, the tactic you employ of criticizing across a range of media what people are doing, without showing your hand, is perhaps a contradictory message to what you state your end goal to be. I would love you to help the market, and to help me in my future plans, show what we should be doing. You are clear at what we should not do. Thanks

      1. Who in all honesty really give a hoot (or should for that matter) about what I think. I think it is truly rather irrelevant, why I shall say no more. As for Laird, far far too regional issues to have any wider interest, of that I can assure you.

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