Saturday, July 21, 2007

Legos: They're not just for Google anymore

So apparently Legos (or "Lego bricks") are enjoying quite the popularity among corporate recruiters these days.

Not only did Google use them at Google Games (and apparently employees enjoy them as well), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) asks candidates to create a tower with Legos, according to this Economist article.

So what exactly are candidates doing? PwC asks candidates to create the tallest, sturdiest structure they can using the fewest number of "bricks." Google asked candidates to build the strongest bridges they could.

Is this a valid form of assessment? A "professional Lego consultant" in Buenos Aires stated that, "Lego workshops are effective because child-like play is a form of instinctive behaviour not regulated by conscious thought. " There's even a website devoted to Lego's efforts in this area--Serious Play.

So my question is: Do most of us do work that is "not regulated by conscious thought"? Perhaps sometimes, say in emergencies. But the vast majority of time we're pretty darn deliberate in our actions. The only situation I can see where this might be predictive of actual job performance would be for jobs like bridge engineer or architect. programmer? If I wanted to know how creative a programmer is, I'd ask him/her to solve a difficult coding problem.

Does this even matter? Perhaps not (unless they're sued). As one of the candidates states, correctly I think, "It was as much advertising as a way of trying to get recruits." So in this day and age of "talent wars", this may be just another branding technique.

Will it be successful? Probably depends on how much the candidate likes to play with blocks.

This post is dedicated to my Grandpa Ben, who had a great sense of humor. And probably would have thought using Legos in this way is a bit silly :)


Jamie said...

Hear that sound? It's the sound of me hitting the palms of my hands against my forehead repeatedly. The whole thing just sounds silly.

BryanB said...

THAT'S what that sound was. I thought it was 2 lego bricks snapping together...