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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