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Last week on our Twitter travels we stumbled across this innovative, and quite frankly brilliant, job advertisement. 

Now admittedly, using social media to advertise a role is hardly radical.

However, the way in which it was used by both the employer (Poke), and potential employees, was a marvel to behold.

First up, the tone. It was perfectly pitched, with the incumbent copywriter-slash-social-media-manager, Rebecca, announcing the search to find a new me (her actually, excuse the semantics).

This simple, clear and engaging narrative, a mini-digi-copywriting-masterclass in itself, tramples over the generic, tick-boxy, buzzwordy, David Brent-esque (shoot me now) job descriptions of old.

The application mechanic was just as impressive as the copy. A live application on Twitter. Yes, LIVE. I was frightened just watching it. By following @findanewrebecca, applicants received seven tasks throughout the day, and responded using the according hashtag.

Each task was an accurate approximation of the daily tasks a social media copywriter might have to tackle. For example, the launch of a competition, the advertisement of said competition and the handling of an imminent PR disaster.

A couple of applicants stood out from the off. By responding to this slightly unorthodox job advertisement in a slightly (completely) unorthodox way, @Brainmage may have guaranteed his place in the next round. Dark, irreverent and very, very funny, only a few of his less offensive responses are clean enough to repeat.

Find_a_new_rebecca_1

And then there was the initial front-runner, who made an immediate impact by setting himself up as @thenewrebecca. Let the trans-gender capery commence.

Find_a_new_rebecca_2

A lovely conceit. That is yet to play out, as @thenewrebecca did not participate in the live application due to a prior commitment. The truth, or a yarn? Either way, this strategy could be a winner.

So in summary, a new innovative way to use social media: recruitment.

This specific approach may not suit your particular business or the role you’re advertising, but this just reinforces how malleable social media is in terms of its purpose; you can bend it to suit your needs. The sky is the limit with social.

Richard Lees

Published 21 April, 2011 by Richard Lees

Richard Lees is Chairman at dbg and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

11 more posts from this author

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The New Rebecca

The truth.

over 5 years ago

Andrew Lloyd Gordon

Andrew Lloyd Gordon, Digital Marketing Expert, Speaker and Trainer at New Terrain Limited

What an innovative form of recruitment advertising! And a brilliant piece of online PR to boot...

The question I'd have - and I really don't know from a legal perspective - is whether this process discriminates against potential candidates who are not on Twitter i.e. is this classed as a legitimate form of recruitment advertising (to meet regulations about accessing the local market etc)?

over 5 years ago

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Clem

For a job title that has social media in it, isn't it kind of ridiculous to think the applicant wouldn't and or shouldn't have a twitter account, amongst others.

over 5 years ago

Andrew Lloyd Gordon

Andrew Lloyd Gordon, Digital Marketing Expert, Speaker and Trainer at New Terrain Limited

Hi Clem

That's not the point I was making.

I was asking whether, based upon my (albeit limited) understanding of the laws covering recruitment advertising, whether this would be classed as discriminatory.

Do you know if it is or not?

over 5 years ago

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Peter Austin, MarketingXD

@Andrew. It may be discriminatory if you require different skills for the application to those required by the job.

That's not the case here; clearly the job requires someone with very good Twitter and social network skills.

(I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.)

over 5 years ago

Andrew Lloyd Gordon

Andrew Lloyd Gordon, Digital Marketing Expert, Speaker and Trainer at New Terrain Limited

Hi Peter

Thanks for your contribution. Again, that's not the point I was making.

Again, according to my very limited understanding of recruitment advertising law, a recruitment procedure could be challenged by a potential candidate if they felt they'd not had reasonable access to the procedure.

For example, how 'accessible' would this process be to someone with visual impairment or people over a certain age i.e. perhaps under-represented on Twitter?

In this case I just don't know.

Also, certainly in my experience, if you recruit someone from outside the UK/EU - and have to apply for a work permit - the method of recruitment may need to stand up to legal scrutiny e.g. would Twitter stand up as a reasonable test of the local UK workforce (including other EU countries)?

At the risk of repeating myself, with this example, I just don't know.

So, thanks again Peter for your input.

But my simple question is based upon painful business experience (disclosure - I've spent several years in the erecruitment world) where something 'clever' online may turn out, in the end, not to be strictly legal :)

over 5 years ago

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Richard Hallam

How ridiculous to even contempalte that this could be discriminatory from a legal stance unless of course I missed the passing of the SM descrimination act 2011? Next up the phoney PC police will be vetting my right to require a Maths GCSE!

over 5 years ago

Andrew Lloyd Gordon

Andrew Lloyd Gordon, Digital Marketing Expert, Speaker and Trainer at New Terrain Limited

Hello Richard

Thanks for your helpful input.

Are you a lawyer specialising in recruitment advertising law? It's impossible to tell from your comment.

Are you saying, therefore, that this process couldn't be challenged in any way?

If so, then great. My simple question has been answered.

Although you think it's ridiculous to ask questions, it would be great to hear your professional legal opinion.

over 5 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hi Andrew,

I would be amazed if that could be considered discriminatory. The job advertised is a copywriter and social media manager. How can you be a social media manager if you don't know how to use the core tools for the job? Discrimination law is there to protect people from being unfairly ignored, not block companies from finding the most qualified person for the job. If someone doesn't use Twitter, they would have to be trained to satisfy the requirements of the job - that doesn't say social media manager to me.

Of course, that is not a professional legal perspective but it's based on my experience of recruiting.

I'm sure someone somewhere could find something to complain about but let's leave the pedants to their own misery.

thanks
james

over 5 years ago

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