Blog: Dean BestRecruiting on Second Life - the sign of things to come?

Dean Best | 14 September 2007

What do IBM, the Vancouver police department and France's number two retailer Auchan have in common? In the real world, not a lot, but online it is a different matter.

These are just three of the growing number of organisations to turn to the virtual online world Second Life to fast-track their recruitment procedures. In Auchan’s case, the aim is to recruit 300 departmental managers in a recruitment roadshow that starts on 22 September and tours major French cities until 6 October.

Auchan has booked 150 billboards in areas of Second Life that are frequented by French-speaking inhabitants to advertise its recruitment fairs.

Touching a billboard with an avatar takes the Second Life inhabitant to a page on Auchan's recruitment website talent.auchan.for.

"Second Life is a universe full of promises, which attracts people with a very modern outlook and keen on innovation," explained Auchan's HR director Joel Fabiani.

It is also a way of reaching candidates who would be impossible to reach cost effectively by any other means. In its search for qualified young candidates, Auchan gives Second Life citizens a freephone number (+44 825 00 21 61). Inbound calls are filtered for suitably qualified candidates, who will be given an interview slot at the nearest jobs fair.

The significance of using Second Life to do pre-selection for interviews is enormous in France. The standard procedure is for potential candidates to submit hand-written 'lettres de motivation' that are intended to combine literary flourish and sychophancy seamlessly.

The simple fact is that years of word processing and the widespread use of photocopiers (for which jobseekers are marked down) means that the age group in which Auchan is trying to recruit are simply inaccessible through conventional channels.

Peter Crosskey


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