Dentsu Aegis U.K. Brings Gamification to Recruitment

Written by
Emma Hall
Ad Age

Mar 16, 2017

Mar 16, 2017 • Author: Emma Hall

Resumés might tell you what you want to hear, but they don't necessarily tell you what you need to know. That's why Dentsu Aegis Network U.K. is introducing mobile gaming into its recruitment process.

When you are locked in a virtual world with only your wits to rely on, a potential employer can really see what you are made of.

But the idea is not so much to put candidates under stress as it is about giving them a chance to prove themselves away from the formal interview process. The gaming format is designed to attract a more diverse group of candidates, and – crucially – to provide an objective analysis of a range of skills.

Dentsu Aegis Network U.K. has worked with Arctic Shores, whose clients include Vodafone, Deloitte and the BBC, to create mobile games that test applicants' creative-thinking and problem-solving capabilities.

The gamification approach will also be brought into real life during Advertising Week Europe next week in London, where candidates will be invited to experience the challenge through a live escape "Crack the Code" game.

Tracy De Groose, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network U.K. & Ireland, said in a statement, "We are all born different for good reason. So, let's all stop recruiting people who are the same. We need curious, passionate people in our industry who represent the customers our clients are looking to communicate with. By innovating the way we recruit and creating the right environment for diverse talent to succeed, we open up our doors to new thinking and new ideas."

Last year, Dentsu Aegis removed resumés, minimum qualifications and corporate-style interviews from its recruitment process, with the result that in 2016, 11% more women were hired – and 16% fewer women resigned -- than in 2015.

MEC is also using Advertising Week Europe as a platform to drive diversity in the industry. The agency is creating the "Face of Advertising" by inputting delegates' pictures into a facial merging tool, which will create a real-time data visualization of what people working in the industry look like. The merged "face" will be on display at Advertising Week Europe's main venue, Picturehouse Central.

The WPP media agency will also hold a "Brave Your Bias" session, asking attendees to take Harvard University's Implicit Association Tests in order to highlight unconscious bias in the industry.

In another initiative, McCann London recently introduced "Open Hour" as a way to encourage diverse talent into the agency. An ongoing series of weekly Skype sessions with the chief creative officers invites all sorts of people – from schoolchildren to career-changers to the unemployed – to ask questions, show work or just engage in conversation with senior agency execs.

Rob Doubal, chief creative officer and co-president of McCann London, said in a statement, "We're basically bored of ourselves, and want to be surrounded by interesting people from all walks of life. The more budding submariners, junior venture capitalists, brick-layers and monks we can get into the industry the better. If you know anyone completely wrong for the industry, tell them to Skype us."

Other agencies are also working with new methods to recruit more diverse talent. CHI & Partners recently introduced an entry-level scheme that bins resumés and photos in favor of asking candidates to answer four creative and strategic questions.

The article Dentsu Aegis U.K. Brings Gamification to Recruitment first appeared on Advertising Age. 

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