In a recent post I asked:
“One of the things I haven’t been able to do is recruit people that stick and stay as well as produce new business. That is supposed to be the way to succeed. I haven’t found an answer to that one.”
I have a partial answer, and a challenge question.
I believe most NM/MLM recruits don’t stick for one reason above all: they have no idea what they’re in for. They’re clueless about what they have to do to make money. And clueless about what obstacles they have to overcome to sell product and recruit others.
Those entrenched in the business naturally blame the recruits for not sticking. You know, they’re too weak-kneed, don’t believe enough, and don’t spend enough time and money to learn the business, blah blah blah.
However, every business needs good people. Google, the Army, programmers, you name it.
A cool business finds ways to engage the prospective recruit before they take them in, to test whether there will likely be a match, Salt Lake recruitment firms are famous because of the incredible candidate that they are able to find.
Take Google. In 2004 they wanted the “best engineers in the world.” Every techie type wanted to work for Google even then; they were already pretty cool.
But Google only wanted only the best, and they didn’t want to waste time with the wrong ones. (Sound familiar?)
So they set up a game. With two public and anonymous billboards. One in Cambridge MA (home of Harvard and MIT) at a subway station, and one in Silicon Valley, CA. Here’s what it said:
“Quick question: What is the first ten-digit prime number contained in the mathematical constant e? We’ll give you a minute to calculate it…”
Did you get 7,427,466,391 as your answer? “Don’t worry,” write the authors, “neither did we. ..If you figured out the answer and went to www.7427466391.com, you were presented with another puzzle. Solve that one, and you came to a page that said:
“Nice work. Well done. Mazel tov. You’ve made it to Google Labs and we’re glad you’re here. One thing we learned while building Google is that it’s easier to find what you’re looking for it it comes looking for you. What we’re looking for are the best engineers in the world. And here you are.”
This way of recruiting did three things:
1. It attracted a large number of the right kind of candidates.
Within days of the unveiling of the billboard, and before anyone knew Google was sponsoring it, mathematics and engineering blogs and forums were buzzing about the mysterious puzzle. No less a personality than Stephan Wolfram, the mathematical genius and entrepreneur who earned a PhD from CalTech at the age of 20, posted a solution to the puzzle in an online forum. Google had obviously gotten the right pool of people interested in their game.
2. After engaging the correct audience, this recruiting ‘game’ conveyed a sense of what a job will actually be like.
Solving Google’s puzzles involved esoteric mathematics and programming skills. The message to potential recruits was clearly that people who don’t enjoy solving complex problems will probably not enjoy working at Google Labs. So merely by playing a recruiting game like this, players get a sense of whether they will like a job. The result is happier new recruits who require less convincing than traditional job candidates.
3. A good recruiting game can filter your candidates for you.
Only those people who solved the Google puzzle were invited to apply for a job through a special email address. Studies show that the ability to solve difficult puzzle is a good indicators of on-the-job cognitive ability – something Google was clearly looking for. Plus this method often seems more fair and objective than other recruiting methods, and therefore leads to more satisfied candidates.”
From the wonderful book, Changing the Game.
So here’s my challenge to you:
What puzzle or problem would you want a potential recruit to “solve” so that you only get people who know what they’re in for, and who LIKE doing that?
We can turn it into a recruiting game and post it here for all to see and improve – and use. Anyone who makes a contribution we end up using in setting up our game gets recognition, and any product in my store. Let the games begin!
P.S. It will not say, “Big money fast. Easy, anyone can do it. All you have to do is talk to your friends.” Hahaha.