New Hire Stunts From Agencies – Is This The Future of Recruiting?

Okay, folks. I know it’s the night before Thanksgiving and I really should unplug. But, I came across this tonight and just had to share. (Besides, do you really think a little turkey and stuffing could keep me offline this week? Puh-leaze – there’s nothing like a little tryptophan to make a gal settle down in front of the latptop for a while!)

 The Cincinnati PR firm, EMG launched a YouTube contest ala Survivor to find the “next PR Rock Star.” They’re calling it The Next Phase Competition. 12 finalists. 3 Weeks. One winner. Make it through “PR Hell” and the winner gets a paid gig. (article continues below)

 

 

Sounds pretty much like the competitive internship I went though at Ogilvy at the start of my career … only instead of hearing about it via YouTube, we used the bulletin board in my university’s career center – and come to think of it – we had 23 interns competing for three entry level positions with the internship lasting for three long months. So, I’d say these cats have got it easy.

Anyway, hyped competitions for employees seem to be a growing trend for recruiting in this economy right now. Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Ogilvy in New York, Proximity Atmosphere and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness teamed up to hold an American Idol-like competition during Advertising Week in September challenging candidates to create YouTube videos about why they deserve the job. Eight finalists came to NYC to work on an Ad Council brief where each presented their campaigns in a live event.

Some have said this is a cheesy way to attract talent. And, yeah, there is a fair amount of Velveeta here. But, I found out about EMG’s contest through Gawker and let’s face it, it’s not likely a regional PR firm out of Cincinnati would see coverage on one of the most highly ranked media industry Blogs out there without a stunt like this one. So, executives at EMG might be inclined to sit back, pass around some crackers with those CVs and enjoy the attention.

What do you think…do stunts like this belittle our field? Or, are they a good way for agencies to garner some visibility while attracting media savvy talent?

 

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