Sunday, November 06, 2005

When will careersites innovate?

Tivo - yawn. Microsoft Media Center - BIG YAY!!! (See the screenshot above?) If you do not know the difference between the two then you have not experienced the MMC (Microsoft Media Center). I have a Tivo at home, but after hanging out with a pal of mine and seeing his MMC set-up at home, I turned 7 shades of green with envy. Ooohhh.. I want one - bad. Later that same evening I returned home to my Tivo and thought "MMC does this, but Tivo doesn't, Tivo does this, but MMC does it cooler and has all of these great features and..." Sigh... I am such a gadget geek. (Hmmm.. maybe I can get an employee discount?)

Feeling somewhat depressed with my TV set-up, I flip through my assortment of must-see TV and guilty pleasures. Just in case you are wondering, I'll run through a few: Alias, Lost, 24, Smallville, The Apprentice and Desperate Housewives (again - guilty pleasure) and Samurai Champloo. Somewhere between watching Mugin and Jin carve bad guys with their swords (Samurai Champloo) and Bree creating the perfect family meal (Desperate Housewives) I get this idea. What would it take to become my favorite TV character? The more I thought about it the more I realized how career sites and the recruiting industry as a whole were missing out on a golden opportunity.

Riddle me this Batman. When was the last time you saw something truly innovative erupt from one of the major career sites? And when I say innovative, I am not referring to a "me too." (Oh look, Monster has a blog now! Yawn...) If you are like me then you can not think of anything earth-shattering either. If I may, allow me to make a suggestion to every career site in the world. After clearing my throat I say, "Do something different!!!"

Why not divide your jobs up in other ways than industry and company? Consider these suggestions...

1. Have a section of your site dedicated to specific television shows and/or popular movie characters. Create resumes for these characters that link to current opportunities and specific schools. For example, (Smallville fans will appreciate this) have a biography page on Clark Kent. It would include Clark's yearbook picture, a mention of his interests in astronomy and his intention to either pursue a career as a mild-mannered reporter or, major in Agriculture and assist with the family business. Clicking on astronomy, reporter or agriculture would link to relevant job openings and perhaps college websites that offer programs in those areas.

Or better yet for the CSI fans... After watching a 6-hour marathon of Gil breaking down crime scenes, you think that you can do that (or you would at least would like too). So the next time you are job searching for a dream job, you see Gil's picture and say I want to do that gig. How do I even get started? Who would hire me? So you click on the CSI Jobs section and you see something like this (from the official CSI website)

(Doesn't looking at the picture put the TV theme in your mind? Hum with me... Ooooohhhh aaaaahhh...)

Inside of this fictional profile would be links to schools he attended and the jobs this character is qualified for. I think it would be worth a few bucks to advertise a position to qualified forensic scientists that are CSI fanatics. Why? People passionate about their work make better hires!!! (Jim Stroud's Tip of the day.)

2. Although this is not recruiting related, well.. maybe it is. Howzabout a cross-promotional bringing awareness to the latest box-office bonanza? For example, Nicholas Cage has a movie out now called "The Weatherman." Why not approach movie producers with the idea that a career site can market a movie directly to people looking for jobs in meteorology? Who better to generate buzz about "The Weatherman" than people passionate about the science of weather?

Furthermore, careersites could have a message board where people could discuss what was wrong with the science of "The Weatherman." For example, I can EASILY imagine someone saying that "...the Doppler radar used in the first scene was not the best radar to use because that model was based on a technology two years out of date. They should have used the new Doppler 3000. Blah, blah, blah..." Okay, you may roll your eyes at someone who nitpicks over details like that but guess what? This is THE person that you would want to hire. Why? Please refer to earlier point ( People passionate about their work make better hires!!!)

Am I am being a bit naive in thinking that this is possible? Maybe career sites are perfectly satisfied with business as usual? Maybe they have already considered approaching this strategy and turned it down? Maybe recruiting and entertainment are two entities that are best kept separate?

Maybe. But I doubt it...

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