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Good at Video Games? You’re Hired


Get ready to laugh in the face of everyone who ever told you that you were wasting your life playing video games. Major corporations like Coca-Cola and Royal Dutch Shell are using games as part of their hiring processes, to determine whether candidates are good behavioral fits or to choose which projects to fund.

video games 

(Photo Credit: Marco Arment/Flickr)

Of course, the games these companies use aren’t exactly Grand Theft Auto or even old iterations of Street Fighter. CBS News reports that Royal Dutch Shell uses programs like Wasabi Waiter, a game in which players deliver sushi to potentially impatient customers, to determine whether small projects are a good investment.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Companies also use games like Wasabi Waiter to vet candidates. That particular game is designed by Knack, a company that develops a variety of games that aim to match candidates and jobs.

“The team that designs the games at Knack is comprised of behavioral and data scientists, software and game developers, and game designers and artists,” writes Jacob Morgan at Forbes. “They look at hundreds of variables during game play such as how long you hesitate, what part of the screen you touch, the moves you make, and many other things. In fact they collect multiple pieces of data every millisecond. The result? A list of ‘Knacks’ which are essentially the qualities that make you who you are.”

So can big data help steer you into a career you’ll love? Potentially, but HR experts like Rory C. Trotter (namechecked in the CBS article, above), caution hiring managers against relying solely on behavioral simulations to predict the success of an applicant.

In other words, as current or future job seekers, we might hope for a hiring process that mixes in assessments like these, to keep things interesting and to leverage data’s ability to match us up with jobs we’ll enjoy and be good at — but we probably don’t want a future where video games are a deciding factor in whether or not we get hired.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think video game skills translate to job performance? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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