Saturday, March 15, 2008

Second Life--A Virtual World to Find Passive Candidates

Second Life® is a 3-D virtual world entirely created by its Residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by millions of Residents from around the globe.
From the moment you enter the World you'll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Once you've explored a bit, perhaps you'll find a perfect parcel of land to build your house or business.

Companies such as Sony, Wired, Cisco, IBM, Accenture, Microsoft, Verizon, TMP Worldwide, HP, T-Mobile, L'Oreal and others have participated in 24/7 job fairs and have done hiring in this virtual world.

Kevin Singel, a partner at Accenture, affirms, "At Accenture we have been very successful using Second Life to reach more junior level candidates."

Dave Levinson, CEO of Cranial Tap, declares, " Second Life represents a stepping stone to what is coming. It is clear that the mass consumer audience is ready to be entertained, socialize, learn and transact in virtual worlds.

The promise of this space is great and should not be written off due to recent negative press or failure to find something to do one afternoon. Virtual worlds platforms will (and do) support entirely new forms of interactivity and engaging events in ways never before possible ."

Glenn Brown, an organizational development manager, states about Second Life, " It is an opportunity to meet (virtually) a self-selected population (much like LinkedIn in this regard) of highly intelligent and creative people from all over the world.

That isn't to say that SL doesn't also have it's token share of cyber geeks, but I suspect that a lot of them soon tire of it and go elsewhere anyway. I've been amazed at the intelligent, sensitive, thought-provoking real-time conversations that occur in SL between people in vastly different time zones who otherwise would probably never have the chance to meet and exchange ideas."

Randy Rittle, a senior IT analyst, discusses a June 2007 Wall Street Journal article about Second Life. see article Randy states, "The Wall Street Journal had an article about companies doing interviews in Second Life the other day. The article mentioned Verizon, HP and Microsoft being involved in a job fair in SL. One person mentioned they couldn't figure out how to dress their avatar in a suit, so they showed up in jeans and a sweater. One couldn't figure out how to sit in the chair, so they sat on the table during the interview.

Other mishaps have included an interviewer slumping over in a chair as if they were asleep, participants accidentally flying away during the interview and one person in an HP interview handed the recruiter a beer instead of a resume. The recruiters seemed to see it as an adjunct to their more traditional hiring practices; some noted that the candidates were more relaxed, interacting through chat the way they might with friends in instant messaging and the mishaps sometimes act as "icebreakers" for the conversation. HP mentioned that buying the land and setting up in SL for the job fair was less expensive that getting an outside recruiter to hire one experienced candidate.

Zhdan Staruch, Client Partner at Verizon Business, concludes, "Yes. Companies in France are starting to use Second Life. For example: Areva, Atos Origine, Accenture, .... look out, if you're not ready now, you're quickly going to be considered a has-been !"

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