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Opinion Editorials

Agencies are getting creative in attracting talent

(BUSINESS NEWS) What if you had to do a scavenger hunt to be considered a candidate in the job pool? A challenge worth accepting, or insulting?


The new normal

Let’s talk about unemployment.

It sucks.

We are now done talking about unemployment.

I’m something of an expert, alas. I hit the job market in 2008: with an English degree. My timing could have been better, What I’m saying is like a lot of millennials, I have long stretches of “un” and underemployment under my belt, and like a lot of millennials, I don’t want to talk about the subject. No, not because it’s uncomfortable, but because it’s the new normal.

Career hopping, changes in direction, and the permanent job seeker will be the hallmarks of HR for the foreseeable.

Professionals in every field should expect to have several jobs and indeed several outright changes of career over the course of their lives. We are all in a permanent job hunt now, because the alternative is outright joblessness.

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There is no security. Welcome to the precariat.

Gamifying the hiring process

That being the case, when you treat all jobseekers like teenagers fresh from the dish pit and up for anything better, it just makes you look like a moron.

Enter Edelman, which has, I swear to *Insert Deity Here*, made an online flipping scavenger hunt part of its hiring process.

First, clearly the most important consideration here: if I’m unemployed, I have time for way better games than that. Team Fortress is free, you guys, and frankly, it’s a better job prospect.

Second, seriously, this is contemptible. I get that HR is scrambling to deal with the new precarity of the hiring pool (not as much as the actual pool, but I try for empathy) and anything that transcends the resume stack and the round file might sound like a good idea.

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But this is how you turn a would-be employee into a klaxon to every person in their network to never, ever, work for you.

Everyone in the next 50 years will spend some amount of time between jobs. It’s going to be one of the most important socioeconomic questions we address in the 21st century.

This should go in textbooks for how not to do it.

Last notes

Treat your prospective employees with respect. The same article includes an instance of that very thing: Byte London has put together a chatbot that answers questions would-be applicants might have about their opportunity of choice. Increased transparency, professionalism, and a system that, despite being based on a robot, treats applicants like people. That’s how you handle a marketplace where a 20 year old graduate and a 55 year old semi-retiree might be looking for the same job.

Go forth and do likewise.

And for the love of *Insert Deity Here*, trash the &@$# scavenger hunt.

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Written By

Matt Salter is a writer and former fundraising and communications officer for nonprofit organizations, including Volunteers of America and PICO National Network. He’s excited to put his knowledge of fundraising, marketing, and all things digital to work for your reading enjoyment. When not writing about himself in the third person, Matt enjoys horror movies and tabletop gaming, and can usually be found somewhere in the DFW Metroplex with WiFi and a good all-day breakfast.

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