Upstream’s Game Generating Candidates It Would Have Ignored

Dec 29, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Remember that mobile-marketing company Upstream that’s using games in its online recruiting? In short, that game has blown away expectations.

Guy Krief, VP of innovation, said the company had been failing in its efforts to fill its job through more traditional methods. The game was, Krief said, an “act of desperation.”

That act, he says, was bringing up to 100 candidates a day until Christmas slowed things down for a few days.

The Missions

The seven “missions” are weighted differently in Upstream’s scoring. So, for example, one’s worth twice as much as one of the others when it does its scoring, because that mission is testing an aspect of the job that’s more important. The submissions — for the approximately 90% of candidates who do them all — are being scored. Top scorers are being interviewed. Fifteen people have been interviewed so far — personally by Krief. Twenty-five may be interviewed in total. “The impressive thing,” he says, “is that 10 are actually very, very good matches. On paper we would have never spoke with them. They really seem to be the right candidates for this particular job.”

I asked Krief what role the resume plays in the selection of people to interview; after all, as I mentioned in that first article, it seems to be required. “It plays no role,” he says.

Krief says it does help weed out people who really would not be interested in the job — he mentions a 52-year-old CEO who sent in a resume but was “way too senior.”

Upstream will make hiring decisions in about a month. It has five openings, but likes what it sees and will “keep sourcing the very good candidates,” Krief says. Plus, more Upstream jobs may open up, and, he says, some people who took the challenge say they became much more interested at working for Upstream than they were prior.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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