SmartRecruiters Hiring Success Journal


How to Game at Work and Not Get in Trouble

Because gaming at work’s not wasting your time if the game makes you a better recruiter, right?

Meet Jan Tegze, a recruiting veteran from the Czech Republic, author, blogger, and, what he’s most known as around the SmartRecruiters’ office, creator of all the productive distraction a recruiter could hope for, via his website,

Great to meet you, Jan. Thanks for speaking to us. For those who don’t know, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up at studied in Brno, Czech Republic, and I still live there. I’ve worked in recruitment for 14 years, am an HR Tech blogger, and the author of the book, Full Stack Recruiter: The Modern Recruiter’s Guide.

Was your first interest recruiting or tech?

Definitely tech! I’ve never considered recruitment to be my dream job, I was hoping to be an astronaut, because part of me is a geek and I was more interested in computers than recruiting. But IT recruitment turned out to be the right choice.

What about recruiting tech has been the biggest challenge for you?

Response rate when sending out emails. People are overloaded with information and because of that, our attention span (the amount of concentrated time a person can spend on a task without becoming distracted) is decreasing. We stop reading carefully and any longer text bores us– we want an immediate response to our questions. Getting a higher response rate is my everyday challenge. It is not only about the right subject line, it is about the combination of various things. Having the right timing, a catchy subject line, the right words in the message and other things. But you need to influence your potential candidates before you are going to reach them to get a better response and get a result, and this is best done through your personal brand, company brand etc.

What made you want to create these industry-based games?

I like solving problems and I was trying to solve two small problems I was facing– how to test people after they attend sourcing training and how to test whether the sourcer is good or bad in their job. There wasn’t a solution available for me to use, so I created this game and that led to other tools for sourcers.

How did it start?

I created the first game as an MVP (minimum viable product) and shared it with the world. During the first month, more than 1000 people played it. However, starting something is easy, the hard part is always to continue.

How did you gather all the examples?

I created most of these games when I was looking for some fun way (or excuse) to procrastinate when I was working on my first book (Full Stack Recruiter), and when I was learning and testing some new method. And few of these games were created by other amazing sourcers that decided to share their levels with the community through my site.

How long did it take to get them to this stage?

Sourcing.Games has been running for a year and three months. The current design is the fifth version of the design and the fourth version of the system, but I’m still working on them and have some interesting plans for them.

What has been the feedback so far?

I’ve only had negative feedback from one anonymous person. Other than that – people love them. Companies are using some of these games, along with their recruiting agencies, for their selection process during their interviews or internal training.

What do you hope people get out of them?

Well, that is a great question. I will be great if people will open their minds and break their current habits as far as how they solve these games. Some of them are stuck on levels, just because they are not able to think differently. So, don’t give up, there is always a way!

What are your plans to monetize them?

I get this question quite often, so you can always go to my site and click on the button “Support Us”. But life is not only about money, it’s about impact. That was my main goal when I was creating these games and that’s why I share them with the sourcing community. Of course, custom tailored games for the agency or company are not free.

Peter Braun