What are some things a company like this could do to decrease dance-monkey-dance factor?
We're not interested in making monkeys dance, unless they want to, and enjoy it.
Not the OP, but anything where a recruiter can go look my rating up, they will. And then that becomes a positive signal, increasing the speed of the rat race, because to be "hip", you have to do the N+1 things. Blech.
If you want to reduce the "dance" factor, have a sheltered tunnel from Starfighter to the first day on the job. Don't have it be a pipe to the tech interview, don't let it be a pipe to a recruiter's desk, don't let HR do anything but verify employment eligibility. Seriously.
How would you imagine the bizarro-world third party recruiter that would emerge from something like Starfighter could interoperate with employers to shield you from the kind of BS you're concerned about? We're interested in ideas!
"We provide you the names of people interested in your fine company, along with our certificate of credibility. You in turn agree that the interview process will be entirely on the intangibles of interpersonal relationships, career goals, etc".
Along with that would be a rider that would involve Starfighter Recruiter LLC taking liability for providing a measurably crappy candidate, as well as disclaimers all around relating to intangibles.
Personally, I don't really want to futz around with long-winded negotiations and alpha male chest thumping. I want to demonstrate my capability, discuss my career goals and interests, and verify that fine hiring company is actually a reasonable place to work that meshes with me and my career aspirations.
 I.e., candidate is a loud-mouthed jackass that can't work with anyone, but can pass any technical challenge with flying colors.
The great employers don't require to much chest thumping and I've had some down right fun interviews. I question the culture of a company that uses a CTF game as a metric to hire people. People who play and succeed at CTFs tend to be hyper-competitive and thats not always a wonderful characteristic in a team member or company.
Thats fair, after reading some of your comments above. I believe you don't intend this to be more work for people. And, I believe hiring on both sides of the equation is a non trivial problem.
The underlying idea here isn't speculative. We used it at Matasano, and it was extraordinarily effective.
But it did seem from the outside that those doing ACM competitions were the upper echelon of the school.
Perhaps a CTF situation would be similar. We can only see what unfolds.
But, if someone loves to play CTFs and is seeking employment than its a great match. Me personally I'm a build things I want to see in the world and the job will come ... kind of person.
On hacker news you are getting a very small slice of the tech industry. And by reading HN you are subjected to repeated attempts to make you think there is a clear way to be marketable and to earn a living. Rest assured that there are people in tech that the HN crowd makes fun of that are earning fine livings and enjoying their jobs.
Manager: That's because we don't have any "good" developers. We need to find some of those 10x productive developers and get rid of some of the guys we have.
Director: So you're telling me we can replace 10 developers for the price of one good one?
Manager: That should be true, but the 10x guy is going to want a bit more money.
Directory: Let's do this!
(some time later at the interview)
Manager: Were looking for highly productive programmers and we're willing to pay top dollar. We see you've accomplished X, Y, Z so we want you to come and join our team.
Developer: Sorry, I can't...
Manager: How about $50k more salary...
Developer: Wow, ok, I can't really say no to that.
(some time later the first day)
Manager: Welcome to your first day, here is your team. Get as much information from them as possible because we'll be laying off 10 of them in 30 days. Good luck!
- Let players be paid by your clients to play for ~1 day.
- Introduce a non-game version that's a straight forward coding assessment.
- Make the game un-cheatable.
- Write into your contracts that you won't be the exclusive hiring funnel.
- Keep your clients confidential and don't let them mention your game in job ads (i.e., target people who just want to play a game).
Edit: I have to add, this does seem like a dance-monkey exercise and not something that an actual profession would have people do. My preferred hiring approach would just be contractor-for-a-day arrangements.
I’m not sure that method would be suitable for people who already are employed. At least in Sweden, where I live, you can (AFAICT) get fired for working for your employer’s competitors. So if you don’t get the new job, you might lose your current job as well.
Your question is good though. If I understand you to be saying "what can we do to get you to drop one of those other things or you nightly watching of reality tv?"