Buoyed by our first recruiting experience in the Second Life® virtual world, we decided to do the next one by ourselves. It was a one-day event, targeting a narrow group of job roles, so we felt that we could handle media placement, résumé management and event coordination ourselves. We continued to use the recruiting building that TMP had built for us as we had negotiated an extended lease on the building following the initial event. Once again, we leveraged social networking sites including LinkedIn to spread the word. We also leveraged a few of our external bloggers to publicize the event and drive some more free press coverage.
Surprisingly, we had twice as many applicants (300+ versus 150) of whom 34 were invited to interview, and better qualified candidates (80% progressing to a second interview, versus 50%).
As with the first event, we had a few small glitches with a few candidates and recruiters not being able to run the Second Life client reliably. Generally, these problems were related to Intel integrated graphics chips which were not supported. We were able to recover from these problems easily by switching to phone interviews.
Recruiters and their interviewees generally like the experience. It’s different, it’s fun, and it is intensely personal. While one could argue that the voice-based interviews were functionally equivalent to a phone interview, the experience of seeing the building, meeting and talking to EMC employees in the lobby, watching the corporate video while waiting for the interview, and feeling the buzz around the event cannot be replicated in a phone interview. You can be sure that the candidates also told at least 10 of their friends about interviewing with EMC in the Second Life virtual world! And let’s not forget, no phone interviews ever generated as much media coverage as we got from these events (over 16,000 hits in Google as I write this).
One thing I wish we had done during both events was assign someone to capture video on a dedicated PC. To make an internal video for an HR meeting we had to organize another event with EMC employees playing the roles of candidates.
Have you interviewed in a virtual world? Tell me about it.