Dentsu Aegis Network to gamify recruitment process to attract more diverse talent

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Dentsu Aegis Network UK today announces the introduction of mobile gaming to recruit entry-level talent. By making initial assessments more fun, while remaining objective, the agency group is aiming to bring in more diverse people from different backgrounds and better identify talent who wouldn’t necessarily stand out using traditional hiring methods.  

Created by game-based assessment provider Arctic Shores, the mobile games will test candidates’ aptitude, creative thinking and problem solving capabilities through a series of challenges. This approach forms part of Dentsu Aegis Network’s early careers recruitment programme, The Code, which will also incorporate its work experience and apprenticeship schemes, as well as a three-year schools partnership launched in February.

The gamification approach will be brought to life in the real world at events such as Advertising Week Europe (AWE), where people will be invited to experience the challenge through a live-escape game, in partnership with clueQuest.  At AWE from Tuesday 21 – Thursday 23, teams of up to five people can take part in the ‘Crack The Code’ game, with the fastest team winning prizes at the end of the week.  Dentsu Aegis Network’s recruitment team will also be on hand to spot potential candidates for current entry-level vacancies and explain how they’re innovating recruitment at all levels and using clueQuest live-escape games in place of traditional assessments.

Dentsu Aegis Network’s adoption of gamification follows a revamp last year of its entry-level assessment, in a move to combat unconscious bias and focus on diverse talent, by removing CVs, minimum qualifications and corporate-style interviews in favour of video interviews, group-based briefs and speed interviews. This approach has helped the group attract a much broader range of candidates, seen a higher proportion of women being hired (11% year-on-year increase), and has had an immediate impact on resignation rates (down 9% year-on-year overall and 16% for women).

Gareth Watt, Head of Recruitment, Dentsu Aegis Network UK & Ireland said, “We don’t believe in using CVs as the sole basis for determining a person’s worth. We know that some people have a talent for the educational system, but many don’t.The recruitment approach we designed and used last year when we launched our new agency, fortysix, is now the standard way we bring in diverse entry-level talent across the network. And it works. We’re now taking this to the next level with our push into gamification and ensuring our hiring experience really is an experience.”

Paula Cunnington, HR Director, Dentsu Aegis Network UK & Ireland said, “With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy this year, there’s a greater challenge to attract people into entry-level roles, so businesses need to stand out and demonstrate that they’re different.  By using mobile-based games we can attract a broader range of candidates and ask them to complete tests in an environment that they’re comfortable and familiar with, while allowing us understand who they are, what they’re passionate about, and identify the right career roles and career paths for them.”

Tracy De Groose, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network UK & Ireland added, “We are all born different for good reason. So, let's all stop recruiting people who are the same. We need curious, passionate people in our industry who represent the customers our clients are looking to communicate with. By removing barriers, innovating the way we recruit and creating the right environment for diverse talent to succeed, we open up our doors to new thinking and new ideas. And that’s how we’ll succeed in the digital economy”

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Notes to Editors

Arctic Shores validate their assessments using thousands of participants following the strict psychometric standards of the British Psychological Society (BPS). These immersive mobile games require no previous gaming experience . Candidates intuitively react to in-game scenarios leaving behind a digital footprint of over 3000 behavioural data points. Big data analytics and machine learning are used to combine thousands of in-game actions that represent meaningful psychological variables.

Gamified ability tests measure reasoning and problem-solving ability with verbal, numerical and abstract information. These facets of General Mental Ability (GMA) underlie an individual’s ability to communicate clearly and learn new skills and are the strongest predictors of job and training performance.

Dentsu Aegis Network use game based assessments as part of a multi-faceted assessment approach. Gamification results are never used in isolation to reject candidates.

For further information contact:

Mandy Rayment

Head of Corporate Communications

T: 020 7550 3253


About Dentsu Aegis Network

Part of Dentsu Inc., Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of ten global network brands - Carat, Dentsu, Dentsu media, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, Merkle, MKTG, Posterscope and Vizeum and supported by its specialist/multi-market brands. Dentsu Aegis Network is Innovating the Way Brands Are Built for its clients through its best-in-class expertise and capabilities in media, digital and creative communications services. Offering a distinctive and innovative range of products and services, Dentsu Aegis Network is headquartered in London and operates in 145 countries worldwide with around 35,000 dedicated specialists.

About Arctic Shores
Arctic Shores is a leading global provider of psychometric assessments, pioneering the use of game technology to generate insights on candidates and employees. Our mission is to empower organisations to make better people decisions, and people to make better career choices. We do this through an objective and engaging approach to psychometric profiling, collecting over 3,000 data points for each measurement. Founded in 2013 with a grant from Innovate UK, our assessments have been taken by more than 40,000 people from over 20 countries around the world, both in recruitment and career development settings. Arctic Shores is challenging the status quo and changing the way career development can be conducted. Through insightful and rigorous psychometric foundations, supported by leading professors of psychology, we provide meaningful data to enable objective and fair career development decisions.

About clueQuest

With over 125,000 customers having experienced their rooms, clueQuest is currently the UK’s favourite escape game company according to TripAdvisor. Their three missions – PLAN52, Operation BlackSheep and Revenge of the Sheep – revolve around the spy-world of Mr Q and his arch nemesis, Professor BlackSheep. Participating teams have 60 minutes to escape the room using teamwork, communication, and logic to gather clues and solve the puzzles.