The Gui Challenge: why gamification works

Finding the right people has always been top priority for consultancy companies. At <a href=””>Valtech Sweden</a> one competency seemed especially difficult to recruit: the Gui developers. The recruiting ads, which ran constantly, where formulated according to common standards: “This is what you will be working with” followed by “This is what we expect from you”. Although Valtech stated they were ahead in web development with stimulating Gui projects, the interest was low. It was as if there were no Gui developers out there at all.

Clearly something had to be done to the situation. Something different in order to reach those who didn’t want to be reached. The answer came from people working with Gui issues within Valtech Sweden.

”Offer them something unexpected, challenge their creativity, knowledge and experiences. Make it easy and attractive at first. Something you know the answer to without spending too much of that precious time. Then raise the complexity. Make them feel this is for real, not just some advertising trick to get them on the hook. Make it exclusive enough so they feel a need to share their results with friends and the friends of their friends. Make them realize they are better than the rest. A selected and rare society of people.”

<a href=””>The Gui challenge </a>was born.

It consists of 9 problem based tasks with increasing complexity all the way till the final task. The rules of the game are stated in the beginning: the total number of tasks, what happens after the final task (that Valtech would like to contact those of you who succeed in the game) and so on.

The Gui challenge was spread only through social media channels as Facebook and Twitter. After the first month, 4000 people had visited the Gui Challenge. On one single day the number was 2000. All of a sudden you spotted people sitting at customer´s offices trying to solve the Gui challenge. There was even a clip on YouTube revealing the answers to the challenge.

Even though cheating wasn’t the way to go, the Gui challenge really got an impact on the target group. 130 developer succeeded in the game which made the number of leads rose from 0 to 130 in a few weeks time.

<em>Why did the Gui challenge turn out to be more successful than traditional recruiting ads? With traditional recruiting ads, the candidate engages in applying for a job whereas for the Gui challenge he or she engages in a game, not necessarily being willing to change occupation, not at least at first :-)</em><em>. Gamification is about attracting those not desperate to engage in your offer but having a hard time turning down a real challenge when they see one.</em>

<em>Recognize children’s clothing issues in the morning? When you desperately tell them to get dressed and there is no reaction at all. ”</em><em>Let´s compete about it and see who gets dressed the first!” 30 seconds later the children </em><em>are all dressed, ready for breakfast. :-)</em>