New Game for Job Candidates Calls Facebook Home

Jul 22, 2010
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

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 part of a series called News & Trends.
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