7 HR Lessons Companies are Learning from Pokémon GO

August 2, 2016
7 HR Lessons Companies are Learning from Pokémon GO

We talked recently about the impact the Pokémon GO craze is having on the workforce – for some organisations, it’s causing problems; for others, it’s become an interesting way to get the workforce active.

With the craze still causing full-blown pandemonium up and down the country, we were happy to see that some organisations are managing to take some very interesting HR lessons from Pokémon GO. Here are 7 great Pokémon GO comparisons published by OrangeHRM that we think you might like. Below is a quick summary of each main point, but you can check out the full article on OrangeHRM’s website.

1. Don’t Settle for Any Candidate

At the beginning of Pokémon GO, you get to choose from one of three basic starter Pokémon – Bulbasaur, Squirtle or Charmander. Or so most people think.

As you might already know, Pikachu is probably the most sought-after Pokémon in the game. But what you probably didn’t know, is that if you keep on rejecting all three of the initial starter Pokémon at the beginning, then eventually, you get the option to start the game with this adorable yellow mouse.

In the real world, too many recruiters are operating under pressure and deadlines, and it often results in them settling for second best. For example, if you’re a software company looking for a top designer, but you accept the first simple Squirtle that comes along with only an average portfolio, you might miss out on capturing that elusive Pikachu with the unstoppable portfolio.

Take time making hiring decisions – do not settle for sub-par talent.

2. Look in Different Places for Top Talent

Certain Pokémon can only be found in certain places. Water-type Pokémon are more likely to hang out near ponds, for example, whereas grass-type Pokémon spend most of their free time in fields.

Just like trying to find the different Pokémon that are almost entirely exclusive to different areas, you should expand your recruitment net to cover different areas. You might not find a Jigglypuff in Toronto, but there are plenty in Atlanta! Similarly, Silicon Valley is full of IT professionals, whereas Los Angeles might net you a fantastic graphic designer.

3. Set the Right Pay

When trying to catch and keep the perfect Pokémon, you have a small circle that continues getting smaller. If you get the ball in the circle, you have a higher chance of catching the Pokémon – but the smaller the circle gets, the harder it becomes to hit it.

If you’re trying to hire a Head of Marketing with 10 years’ experience, but are only willing to offer a salary of £30,000, you’re setting your circle too small and will find it very difficult to catch one. Offer £200,000, however, and you’re setting a very big circle that will easily catch you the talent you need – but at what cost?

There’s a fine line between paying too much and wasting money, and paying too little and not snaring your monster. Don’t throw your Pokémon too far or too short, and set the perfectly-sized circle.

4. Sometimes the Answer is Under Your Nose

You have 20 Drowzees, but can’t seem to find a Hypno. Instead of wasting hours wandering the streets in the hope that you’ll find one, why not simply “evolve” one of the Drowzees you already have?

When recruiting for a top position in your company, you shouldn’t set your sights only on external talent. You might have internal talent that, with a little investment in training and development, could do the job just as well.

5. Diversity Makes an Organisation Stronger

If you only catch fire-type Pokémon, you’ll do great against grass-type opponents, but you’ll fail miserably when facing water-type opponents. Likewise, if your organisation has a killer salesforce but a terrible customer service team, you’ll only excel in new business – and you’ll lose a lot of the long-term clients who help you remain profitable.

Hire a diverse workforce full of people with the complete mix of skills and talents, and make sure you are prepared to deliver in every area and department.

6. Attract Talent with “Incense”

In Pokémon, you can use “incense” to lure Pokémon to your location for 30 minutes. If you don’t use incense, then the only way of finding Pokémon is by getting out of your armchair and wandering around outside in the hopes that you’ll find them.

Is your company “incensed” to attract top talent? This doesn’t mean you have to be Google, and provide a mini-golf course, scooters, free breakfast and beer taps, but pushing out content that supports your employer brand will certainly help talent find its way to you.

7. Don’t Out-Grow Your HR Processes

You’re happily training your Pokémon and building your collection, when suddenly, you don’t have the capacity to carry any more – you need a Pokémon storage upgrade!

As an HR professional, you might be fine handling HR using paper forms and spreadsheets when your team is only small, but as you expand, manual processes get much more difficult to handle. Make sure you implement the right HR software early on so that you can focus on growth without having to worry about how you’re going to manage it.

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