Boardgames & hiring have more in common than you think

Anete Vesere

Content Marketer

Have you ever played a game of Monopoly or Risk that ends up with everyone arguing with each other and someone storming off? Or even in extreme cases someone throwing the game board off the table? 👀

Most of us have probably been in this situation!  For example, I definitely remember at least a few times when I was playing Risk with my friends and things got a bit too competitive and my friends showed a side of themselves that I had not yet seen before. 

Money accumulates. So do, frustrations. 

It’s no wonder they say monopoly is a great way to test your friendship…

Now, why am I talking about boardgames? 

When it comes to hiring people for your company, it’s clear that you don’t only want the very best talent. 

You want the best of the right talent

But often you don’t know what this hire will be like in terms of ‌how‌ ‌smart‌ ‌they‌ ‌are, how they behave at work, or what their personality is like…  

 

The Problem: We want to own it all

Have you ever noticed that boardgames like these that are competitive and immersive tend to lead to different and more intrinsic, unconscious behaviour than people perhaps show on a daily basis? 

Similarly as you wouldn’t have expected your calm and collected friend to flip over the boardgame off the table, when it comes to hiring you often mistakenly assume 3 things.

That everyone will stay calm & play equally

Often referred to as the game that brings out the worst in people, Monopoly is still seen as the family game night game. But you probably wouldn’t have expected your calm and collected grandmother to flip over the boardgame off the table, right?

Well, similarly as it comes to hiring, Unicorn employees are not easy to find. 

By looking for unicorns, you’ll only make it harder for yourself to find these unicorn employees that possess all the skills in “the bucket list” (that is – if you manage to find any at all).

 

We assume that quantity is better than quality when it comes to winning

When playing Monopoly, we all want to have more. More properties, more buildings, more money. Because quantity in our heads is more important than quality. When in fact, less is more. 

The debate of quantity vs quality is ongoing in many different parts of our lives, also in the realm of hiring. Some might argue that focusing on quantity increases chances of finding someone who fits the job role faster or simply just having more candidates to pick from. There is a common misconception that the more candidates we attract, the sooner we find a quality candidate. What I’d like to emphasize here is that in recruitment – quantity is not your friend. 

In fact, having fewer applicants actually means that you will end up spending less time going through applications of unqualified or uninterested candidates. 

In Monopoly terms – have a few properties that have a higher value (so they are better in terms of quality) is probably better than have many properties that have low value! 😉

With every new requirement and skill you name as a must-have, you eliminate one more candidate from your talent pool. The more qualifications or requirements are listed as must-haves, the more likely a candidate viewing the description will not see themselves as fit for the job. So you’re cutting off a huge potential talent pool.

You think know exactly what you need in order to win

There are many ways to win Monopoly. But at the essence of it is the fact that it’s a pure game of luck. It was — and still is — intended to emphasize how random luck can make one person succeed over everyone else. Players who get ahead in the beginning only get further and further away as the game goes on. This has nothing to do with cleverness and everything to do with capital. 

Money accumulates. So, too, do frustrations. And that’s when the true colours of each of us start to show.

Now, let’s connect this to hiring. You probably think that you know precisely what would make someone successful in your company, what skills they need and what kind of a person they must be. However, the reality is that there is no one definition of what will make someone successful at their job. The fact that you have an idea of what makes someone a top-performer in your team at the moment, does not mean that they are the best out there. Or that hiring someone who possesses the same traits will automatically take your business to the next level.

The Solution: Game-based assessments to see the candidate behind their resume

People love games.  Everyone engages in play activity.  Everyone loves to achieve success in some way.  Games provide this opportunity.

 

Just like you show your true self when playing a boardgame, game-based assessments allow you to see the candidate behind their resume. This way allowing you to truly tap into how smart they actually are, how they behave at work, and what their personality is which are the determining factors of someone’s job success.

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