Possibly because my former next-door neighbor in Seattle is a training manager for Marriott, I was intrigued by the company's Facebook game called My Marriott Hotel.
The game grew out of the company's need to hire 50,000 people in 2011 and its quest to lure a new generation to hospitality careers, reports Workforce Management (free registration required). Similar to FarmVille or CityVille, the game begins by allowing the player to operate a restaurant kitchen, where they buy equipment and ingredients on a budget, hire and train employees, and serve guests. They earn points for happy guests, but lose points for poor service. Ultimately they move into operating more aspects of the hotel and are rewarded for turning a profit.
Though the game gives potential recruits a taste, if you will, of the work at Marriott, it's not considered part of the hiring process, though players can click from the game to the company's careers page. (Does this mean you can bomb in the virtual kitchen and still get hired?) The game launched June 6, so the company says it's too soon to determine its effect on brand awareness or whether any hires have been made through it.
Marriott spent 10 months, working with Evviva Brands, to create its Facebook page and the game. It did not disclose how much it spent on the project.
The article quotes Jen Benz, president of San Francisco-based Benz Communications, saying:
Within the next couple of years more companies will realize social media is not an option. They have to be engaging. They will realize that there are tremendous rewards and benefits.
A recent Jobvite survey suggests that companies already are realizing that. In its online poll of 800 recruiters and human resources professionals, it found:
I previously wrote about Siemens' online game Plantville, designed to boost sales of its equipment, enhance employee knowledge of its products and get students interested in manufacturing careers. And my colleague Ann All has been closely following the proliferation of games in the enterprise. She quotes a Gartner report predicting that more than 70 percent of the world's 2,000 largest companies will use games for at least one aspect of their organization by 2014. It makes sense that recruiting will be one of them.