Send us your resume and we will send you a cow!

There’s been lots of talk recently that either rubbishes social games or proposes building a new one for recruiting purposes. Most recently Marriot have released a much applauded game to fit their employer brand. It's been applauded by many, while others have commented "play games, get kids!” untill recently, i would have sat in the neigh sayers, but the number of people signing up and playing social games, paticularly those based in Facebook,5me to take a closer look.

Research by a student I’ve been working with, Ruxxandra Fratescu, amongst her alumni on social media use, we identified that students were spending up to 7 hours a week playing social games like Farmville in Facebook. Gaming on Facebook was by far the biggest activity by on-line users, with watching video coming second. This told me that there was no need to go to the expense and effort of building something new, better to work out how to use the social games already popular.

I have been working with a high profile client recently who have a requirement to hire the top students from 12 of the leading universities across Europe. The target candidates were in the predicted top 5% making them targets for a wide range of companies, constantly receiving messages and enticements to apply. We needed something different to grab their attention and drive applications.

We used Facebook ad research to identify those students in the target group who were active in Facebook, and who listed social games in their list of interests. We also used traditional sourcing techniques to build a list of names, cross referencing these with their Facebook profile, and recording the games they were active in, The top 3 were 1) Farmville. 2) Mafia wars. 3)Cityville. This covered a massive 85% of our target candidates.

Next step, we took out pay per click Facebook ad's aimed at the target candidates. The ads were targeted against matching profiles or target names, according to the game of choice. The text read:


1) Send us your resume and we will send you a cow.


2) Send us your resume and we will help you kill the ambassador.


3) Send us your resume and we will build you a hospital.


The click through took the candidates to a tailored Facebook page, featuring images from the games and a networking place where "members" can post scores, exchange trades and band together. This was supported by the work4labs Facebook application, that enabled those that chose too (and most did) to upload their resume with one click and look at suitable jobs to apply for. there was also a much higher than average sharing of jobs and inviting others to the page.

The pages quickly became communities around a common theme. Members teamed up on games and swapped around livestock built barns hospitals all of the features of these games. An intern was appointed to play games with the potential candidates, a much sought after post. This meant continuous engagement around a common theme, the nirvana of social recruiters.


The hard results:


Targeted applications up 400%

The brand (previously seen as a bit stuffy) became the number one choice of career destination.

Reduced cost and time to hire.

A pre-built talent pool of first and second year hires.


Still think there is nothing in these games? It's not just about being mayor!



Views: 1762

Comment by Tim Spagnola on August 23, 2011 at 2:04pm
Bill - I love this story and thank you for sharing it with the RBC. Nirvana for social recruiters indeed! The numbers and usage of Facebook is just too hard to deny. I was in the camp of those that just got annoyed by game updates in my stream, but to examine w/. my sourcer hat and really see the potential here- it is amazing. I mean just look at those results you shared and you can see why social gaming has to be kept in the mix when discussing social recruiting.
Comment by Louis Bina on August 23, 2011 at 3:12pm
That is wild! Instead of giving away an iPod, next time I'll try the game angle! Really cool article Bill.
Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 23, 2011 at 3:22pm
I'm going to share this with our Campus Recruiter... this might just be crazy enough to work for us ha!
Comment by Joey Torres on August 23, 2011 at 3:28pm
Crazy but definitely clever.  Who wouldn't want part of their job to play games?
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 23, 2011 at 5:03pm
Gee that sounds like fun.  I call the universities, talk to the head of the department and get a list of their top grads with contact info and call them.  It is not near as much fun as playing games on facebook but it sure takes a lot less time.
Comment by Bill Boorman on August 23, 2011 at 6:25pm
Thanks for the comments. We sent them a cow not credits. Sandra, appreciate your comments but it is about scale. We are looking at 2,300 applications and 7000 people in the talent pool. one size, phone included, never fits all
Comment by pam claughton on August 23, 2011 at 6:46pm


This is awesome! Really clever and fun way to engage with candidates. Even if they don't apply or join the company, has to be great branding.




Comment by Dan Nuroo on August 23, 2011 at 10:41pm
Amazed, when I heard the story first hand, and now... just "wow" Bill, your mind scares me
Comment by Noel Cocca on August 23, 2011 at 11:35pm
Great strategy Bill....really would like to see this in action!
Comment by mark rice on August 24, 2011 at 4:53am
Another interesting strategy Bill, which sector was this client in?


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