Recruitment: Virtual Vacancies

Marketing, January 23, 2008 | Go to article overview

Recruitment: Virtual Vacancies


As recruitment marketing matures online, companies are experimenting with their employer brands. Can a Second Life careers fair yield first-class candidates?

For some, Second Life offers a virtual world of opportunity and exchange; for others, it is merely a glorified chatroom where middle-aged male truck drivers, pretending they are female teenagers, search for questionable online company. Now, it seems, Second Life and similar social networking sites could be the gateway to a glittering career.

Recruitment ads have always featured heavily online, but over the past couple of years the discipline has matured, taking it beyond simple online job postings. Some employers are using the internet to evolve their staff searches and save time and money in the process. In the first half of 2007, online recruitment advertising spend in the UK reached an all-time high of pounds 142m, according to a study by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Some brands are using web 2.0 technology to attract tomorrow's talent. Recruitment consultancy TMP Worldwide staged what it hailed as the first virtual careers fair in Second Life across three days last October (see case study). Global accountancy firm KPMG, Royal Bank of Scotland and directories provider Yell all took part in the experiment, using the virtual world for the 'event' as well as a first-round interview location to connect with job-seekers via their avatars.

Paul Coffey, client services director of new media agency twentysix London, believes that the internet can be an invaluable way for employers to create a brand experience for potential employees. However, he is critical of the Second Life endeavour. 'To set something like that up is expensive and the experience is poor and clunky,' he says. 'All it shows is that these brands are desperately trying to look hip.'

TMP deputy managing director Phil Owers, who was behind the initiative, insists that it was neither a gimmick nor publicity stunt. 'We wanted to see if it's something that could become part of the recruitment process in future. We're not saying it's the new way forward to do interviews,' he says.

Whether the Second Life experiment is a step too far or not, Coffey stresses that the benefit of web 2.0 technology to brands lies in the opportunity it provides to 'lift the lid' off corporations, as illustrated by Microsoft's use of video blogs made by staff working in its offices. 'It was really effective in saying to people 'We aren't the evil empire, we actually do lots of cool stuff here.' It is a much more effective way to sell a career or lifestyle and is also much cheaper and easier to do online than face-to-face,' he adds.

Twentysix London handles recruitment marketing for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. The armed services' websites now feature real-life video diaries made by recruits, live web chats, picture galleries and an online training tool with video presentations by the chief physical training instructor to help applicants prepare mentally and physically for the selection process. All the content can also be downloaded onto personal video and audio players.

'We try to expose potential recruits to real people so they can interact with them in a rich way,' says Coffey. 'They are great at selling the service and lifestyle - much better than an HR person. They can pass on things that aren't necessarily in a prospectus, such as whether they were nervous about going into Afghanistan.'

One way in which the Royal Navy initiated conversation between its target pool of applicants and existing officers was through the creation of a profile of officer Brendan Spoors on teen-focused social networking site Bebo. 'This was our most effective traffic generator. He had hundreds of comments every day about his career. You can really focus on who you want to talk to,' adds Coffey.

Iwan Williams, marketing director for both the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, says that detailed research was conducted before going ahead with this campaign. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Recruitment: Virtual Vacancies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.