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Sunday, February 6, 2011

How corporates are using contests/games as recruitment tools.

Imagine you are a recruiter who needs to gauge the quality of a Bschool and the interest level of students in your industry. Bschool rankings can be skewed(also every Bschool may not do well in all sectors), student interest may vary etc. Also, conventional indicators like past academics, CAT scores, extra curriculars are at best an approximate indicator of the candidate's ability to perform on the job.

So some Indian recruiters have devised innovative strategies to persuade the students to submit to 'job testing' via their participation. Some examples are
  • Mahindra & Mahindra(M&M) :- They conduct a contest 'War Room' in which M&M business heads submit some business problems for students to analyze and present solutions. Open sourcing you may think. Yes-with a twist. Participation is restricted only to a few Bschools considered 'good' by the M&M team, and is at the national and all India level. Winners of this contest do not get a 'PPO' per se but certainly would have an upper edge in any recruitment done by M&M for their strategic planning division.
  • Aditya Birla Group(ABG):- ABG holds a competition 'Stratos' via a Simulation. A business problem is simulated(for example setting up a car factory) and then information is fed into the simulation. Decisions are made under uncertainty. This contest is again restricted to few Bschools and held at the campus level. 
  • Johnson & Johnson(J&J):They have a marketing launch case contest with PPI(pre placement interviews) and summer internship offers given to the winners.
  • Religare:- It holds a trading simulation titled 'Trader's Trophy' where at the end of the trading simulation, participants get a composite score for their profitability, risk control and client service(all parameters essential for on the job success).
All these contests have nominal prize monies but give the recruiter valuable data on
  • Interest levels of students in the activities the company seeks people for
  • Comparable performance of Bschool students(eg whether IIMA does better than IIMC)- and also gauge the level of a campus
  • How Bschool students(future leaders) actually perform. This can be used to design aptitude tests, interview questions. 
  • Also, students may not know their inherent potential(or limitations) but may find it out via games. Trading games are particularly valid indicators for this
On the flip side, these game results may well be one-offs and incomplete. But they certainly are a good start.  Such unconventional HR strategies may help companies like how baseball players selection using statistics(as described in Michael Lewis's book 'Moneyball') helped that team.

1 comment:

  1. Update:- I just read this article in Hindu(Dec-10) which focuses on how corporates are openly using simulation games as a recruitment tool