Monash Uni gamifies graduate recruitment

Gamification

Monash University is harnessing video games as part of a digital service to help employers hire talented graduates.

According to the university, the game-based job and career matching platform, Monash Talent, provides recruiters and hiring managers with a snapshot of a graduate’s unique characteristics, including their key strengths. Each snapshot is based on how a graduate performed in a series video games assessing 80 cognitive, social and emotional traits. Graduates have the opportunity to register with Monash Talent for up to three years after graduation.

The platform incorporates Mercer Match – a series of 12 short video games that evolved out of Mercer Australia research into aligning workers with workforce needs through the use of Big Data and neuroscience. More than 1000 employers, including companies hosting Monash interns, were consulted during the development of Monash Talent. Employers said their main challenges were the time-consuming nature of recruitment, recruitment costs, understanding work rights for international graduates and finding the right match for entry-level roles.

Director of Monash Talent, Brooke Young, said Monash University was being proactive in a global labour market where an increasing number of graduates, even top students struggled to find jobs.

“Across Australia, employment prospects for graduates have fallen since 1990, when 87.8 per cent of graduates had full-time jobs,” she said. “By 2014, that number had dropped to 68.1 per cent. We want the jobs to find our graduates and that is what Monash Talent is all about. It’s about the right grad for the right job and using the latest technology to make it happen quickly and painlessly for employers.”

“Monash Talent will strengthen the University’s dialogue with the private sector. At present the enormous talent pool that can be found at Australian tertiary institutions are under-represented in commercial enterprises.”

Young said the service also reflects changing workplace practices where the classic recruitment model is disappearing: This is a major improvement on traditional university-based career services where only job boards are available but there is no searchable criteria to match graduates with employers.

Young told Dynamic Business that Monash Talent could be a huge a boon for startups and SMEs that “struggle to attract candidates while the big brands receive thousands of applications from top graduates”. She added, “We have a reasonable fee for service model and we’ll work with any employer who wants to employ graduates on either a temporary basis (i.e. a short-term contract) or who want permanent employees”.

Asked why Monash built the Mercer Match software into their new platform, Young said the traditional recruitment methods “aren’t working” for employers or graduates.

“With Seek, for example, you have to spend hours sifting through applications and there’s no guarantee you’ll find someone who’s a good match for the advertised job,” she explained. “Plus, a person’s CV and their LinkedIn profile don’t really capture their strengths and values.

“It takes about twenty minutes for a graduate to complete the Mercer Match games, which draw on neuroscience, and based on their input, an individual report is generated. This report looks at their cognitive (e.g. attention, planning memory), social and emotional traits. A candidate’s Mercer Match results and the online interview they undertake help us generate a short list of candidates for companies, based on their unique requirements. Ensuring candidates are aligned with their needs means there’s a higher chance of acceptance and retention, which reduces the time and cost associated with recruitment.

“We’re not only helping employers find the right person for the right job, we’re helping them engage more diverse talent because we’re removing unconscious bias from the equation. When an employer looks at a candidate’s CV or LinkedIn profile, they might be biased towards that person’s name, gender or the educational institution they attended. Our approach, on the other hand, considers the whole person. In this way, it’s disruptive. In terms of the candidate experience, unlike taking a psychometric test, which is used a lot in recruitment, playing Mercer Match is a lot of fun. You don’t even know you’re taking a test, you just play games and then you receive a report on your strengths.”

Young indicated that Monash Talent could, “down the line”, be rolled out to other universities to assist their graduates to “have a successful start in their professional life”.