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New Game for Job Candidates Calls Facebook Home

by Jul 22, 2010, 12:59 pm ET

Games, case-study quizzes, and simulations online aren’t new: the Army poured millions into a game, and the not-for-profit MITRE built one, too. But what is new is the venue for at least one game aimed at potential employees: not a corporate career site, but Facebook.

The UK company Reckitt Benckiser has launched, in beta, a Facebook game called poweRBrands, for students who might be interested in its marketing jobs.

Reckitt who?

I thought the same thing, but you know at least some of this company’s products, which include Woolite, Lysol, Clearisil, French’s, and Calgon.

Anyhow, with the poweRBrands game, so far available in English, German, Italian, and Portuguese, players make decisions on such things as what to do if a sickness breaks out, increasing demand for Clearisil while you’re short-staffed. Or, you’re presented with a scenario where the VP of sales is impressed with your work and is looking for ideas for the next annual sales plan; should you approach him on your own, or with the brand manager? (I chose to include the brand manager, but the game told me “this was your chance to go for it on your own, and you blew it.”)

A bit harsh, but this is an impressive game.

Reckitt Benckiser doesn’t do a hard sell for its jobs while you’re playing the game. The game does include, though not terribly prominently, links to the company’s pages: its blog, its careers pageTwitter accountYouTube, and more. Players are often asked to invite a friend to play, an invite which easily allows you to shoot a note to people you’re connected with on Facebook. On a Facebook fan page, developed with the recruitment ad agency Euro RSCG Riley, players can discuss the game, provide feedback, and learn more about the company.

This effort started last Fall, when the Reckitt Benckiser PR and HR departments, as well as the CEO, realized just how little-known the company was, despite the familiarity of the company’s products. Work began on the game in March, and cost in the hundreds of thousands of pounds. It got help from a fellow named Drew Spencer, then at Euro RSCG Riley (and who’s now at Blackbridge), as well as the social media agency Nudge to build the game, with UbaGLU helping as a sort of interactive integrator. Among the metrics Reckitt Benckiser will use to measure success of the game will be whether job candidates become more aware of the company.

Reckitt Benckiser is advertising the game through banner ads, videos, and MPUs using Facebook, Adknowledge, LinkedIn, and Techlightenment. Interestingly, the Reckitt Benckiser home page (not its careers page) plays up its jobs far more than most company home pages, which often include a mere link to a careers site.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • http://www.ckrinteractive.com/ Kimberly Otsuka

    Games are becoming more popular on the internet and I think this is a great way to create awareness. It is a fun way to learn more about your audience/ potential employees. Rather than doing a formal questionnaire why not learn about your employee through a reenactment of a situation. See how they would react under pressure. I think this is a creative way to turn something dreadful like job hunting into a less painful activity. However, I think this would only work for more laid back environments. I would be afraid that some people wouldn’t take the game seriously, which could harm their reputation in the future. It will be interesting to see how the game turns out. Can’t wait to try this!

    -CKR Interactive Intern
    http://www.ckrinteractive.com

  • http://www.carquest.com Ginger Graham

    thumbs up!

  • http://www.RB.com/ Tara Cain

    Hi Todd. Thanks for your feedback and comments on the game. Much appreciated.

    I have been working with RB on this initiative; to reach out to talented students and people early on in their careers and show them how RB operates, demonstrate the global nature of the business, and underline the RB culture and how it differs from most other FMCG companies.
    RB is keen to push the boundaries and find innovative ways to communicate, so any feedback is gratefully received!
    Hope you enjoy poweRBrands and let us know when you become the ‘big cheese’!

  • http://www.brandeblog.com Jody Ordioni

    Getting the approval to spend “in the hundreds of thousands of pounds” is equally as impressive as the project. Great work.

  • http://www.blackbridge.co.uk Drew Spencer

    Hi Todd. Thanks for sharing this game with the ERE community and for your views on the game itself. There are a couple of things that I find very significant, having been around online recruitment for a long time myself.

    First of all, your point that the Corporate site plays up careers more than others and second the fact that this project had involvement from the CEO, HR and PR. (Corporate Comms should be mentioned as they drove this project at RB). These two points alone are a large part of why RB has been able to produce such a cutting edge approach (not just within Facebook, but across all digital media channels) to creating awareness of their business amongst some key audiences.

    They recognized the importance of the Executive Committee, Comms and HR working together to raise awareness of the company’s brand in a way that will make an impression on potential hires, but should also impress shareholders and even the consumers of their products if it’s done right. So, HR was not left alone to develop an “employer brand” or to “attract and recruit the best talent”, the objective was to work together to create something that shows everyone why RB is a company at the top of its game… and the fact that this presents a trememdous amount of opportunity to the right person.

    And to Jody, I agree… those kinds of budgets are rare. But far easier to achieve when 3 or 4 departments (and agencies) are working together to reach a common goal, and you’ve been tracking things for a while. We had a clear brief, clear targets to aim for and some decent data on past performance.

  • Todd Raphael

    Drew, yes, I used “PR” to mean corporate corporate communications, though I probably should have said corporate communications.

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  • Amy McDonald

    I think this is sourcing brilliance. I love it!

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