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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How to Attract the Very Best Sales Performers? Game On!


Our research shows that the very best salespeople out there are highly competitive, focused, passionate, and good at solving problems. So it would make sense that these same people would be excited about the opportunity to experience a virtual version of what it’s like to work for a company while scoring badges, earning points, and competing to win. It also stands to reason that highly competitive organizations would want to set themselves apart from the competition by turning to unique forms of recruitment to attract the most high-potential hires.

Welcome to the world of “gamification!”

While not a new concept, it is likely to be pretty new to most readers today. Gaming has been used a bit for sales training over recent years, but I have not seen it applied to the areas of recruitment and hiring in sales like it has been in other industries. A recent report by Markets and Markets predicted that the gamification industry will grow by 67% by 2018 when it will be worth an estimated $5.5 billion. It may be time for you to join the game!

Gamification allows savvy companies to create memorable experiences and develop a strong talent bank of highly engaged candidates. Through a marketplace of social games, companies can bring a specific job to life and attract candidates who have a strong desire for competition and achievement. It is obvious how gamification can increase traffic to the company’s career site and quickly grow their talent bank. It can also greatly decrease the cost per hire.

I have found incredible examples of companies using games to attract the right kinds of prospective employees while allowing candidates to play and compete in real-world situations, and I found it especially exciting that these games gave recruiters more information about the sales skills, style, and strengths of each candidate.

A few of my favorites:

Pricewaterhouse Coopers gamified its recruitment of college students, with a 12-day game using Facebook. It works so well that, after the game, 78 percent of the participating students said they wanted to work there and job applications rose sharply.

Marriott International built a game called “My Marriott Hotel” that allowed candidates to manage various aspects of the operation including the restaurant where they bought equipment and ingredients, hired and trained employees, and served guests. They earned and lost points based on the service they provided and the profit they generated.

French cosmetics company L’Oréal put potential hires in some of the top positions in their company, virtually. The game “Reveal,” challenges players to create, market, and sell new L’Oreal products. During the simulation, players are exposed to different departments in the company while traveling through the world, completing challenging tasks, and earning an evaluation at the end of the game.

Gamifying recruitment can be made easy with tools that create a “careers” tab on an organization’s Facebook page, making the job application process a fun and competitive activity that top sales performers will enjoy.

C’mon! Let’s play!

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Topics: hiring salespeople Sales