How we optimized intern hiring through gamification techniques

How we optimized intern hiring through gamification techniquesAbout the Author: Ashwani Agarwal is the co-founder of Fusion49, a premier coaching institute for IIT-JEE preparation. He shares his experience of using gamification techniques for hiring interns and provides some helpful tips for all the employers.

We adopt the gamification techniques while hiring interns. The quantity and quality of applicants which we get through Internshala is higher than our expectations. So it involves a lot of time for finding the perfect match for our company. For example, out of the 168 applications that we received for the content writer profile, we shortlisted 50 applicants based on their resumes.

3 things to keep in mind while shortlisting resumes –
1. Don’t give too much emphasis on the college name: The students from tier-A colleges already have good offers, so the good candidates are difficult to find. Also, the interns from the tier-B institutes are very hard working as they realize the value of the limited opportunities.
2. Students in the 2nd year of their graduation perform best: The first-year students are novices while the final year students struggle with the pressure of placements. It is the second or third-year students, who are in a position to place internship at the highest priority.
3. Lengthy answers show high commitment: We have noticed that length of an answer in the applications corresponds to the seriousness of the applicant. Of course, the quality of content has to be taken into consideration, but a 1-2 line answer to ‘why should you be hired’ clearly undermines a candidate’s commitment.

To select 3 applicants from those 50, we used three rounds of hiring using gamification.
1. Round 1: Fifteen minutes were given to each candidate for writing 5 topics, relevant to IIT-JEE and students, on which they could easily write articles on. These sheets were then collected and randomly distributed among the applicants. So each applicant had 5 different topics to choose from for writing the 400 words long article.
2. Round 2: In this round, candidates judged themselves. All articles had a unique code written on the top. All applicants were given a score sheet wherein they needed to fill the score of the article they judged. To make the entire process effective, an alarm was set for 5 minutes. As the alarm went off, the applicants had to pass on the article they just scored to the next applicant. Eventually, every candidate gave scores to all the articles including his own.
3. Round 3: The top 6 scorers are retained based on the cumulative scores given by all the applicants. Rest of the applicants were told to leave. Finally, an HR interview was done by the co-founders to select the three Fusion49 interns.

Now that we had hired interns, they had to be nurtured to bring the best out of them. Here are some of the ways we followed to provide intrinsic motivation to the interns:
1. One day co-founder: Every intern in our organization gets an opportunity to become the co-founder of the company for one day. Even Akash and I (the co-founders) have to report to this new co-founder for that particular day. The general activities piped up for one-day co-founder include:
• Strategic meetings with one of the existing investors
• Assigning deadlines and tasks to the employees
• Deciding the working hours for that particular day

2. Visiting cards of the interns: Most of the startups don’t believe in giving visiting cards to interns who join for a short duration. However, we don’t mind investing 100 bucks, even for the one-month interns. Believe me, you will see a drastic change in the attitude of the interns, once you get their visiting cards printed. They get a sense of ownership for all their tasks and activities.

3. Customizing the workstation of interns: This is also instrumental in increasing the productivity of interns. They get a strong feeling of being a part of the organization rather than being a temporary resource.

Are you also looking to hire interns for your company? Please post your requirements here.

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