No virtual hang overs here. Thanks to all that made NiW a great success. The experience was one of the most unique I have ever had in this business. It was part Wood Stock, part Disney. It was like being in the center of an air traffic control booth and Monday night football.
It started out like a typical day, however there was electricity in the air. As I flew around for one more check into all the buildings to make sure all is set, there was this calm-before-the-storm feeling. Tic-tock-tic-tock….ok, I checked with my colleagues and all is set…we open the doors.
Minutes later I get IM’s from my colleagues about all these interesting avatars popping into the island. “Hey we got a hairy lookin one, a troll, a mermaid and a bunch of business dressed job seekers comin your way”. I started receiving IM’s from people I did not know popping into my window, “Hi there. Where can I get in touch with T-Mobile, HP, and Microsoft?” Or, “Hi, I am from Pakistan and I wanted to meet with Ebay…”
I dial into our open phone conference line where all of us “hosts” communicated to each other while we worked the event. Each one of us was stationed throughout the island in the company buildings. Carefully orchestrated so that candidate experience was easy and simple. Oh if we only had audio taped our calls. It would sound like a major theatrical production.
One avatar after the other popped into the central auditorium where we greeted them. Some with appointments, some without. The first day was exhilarating. A mixture of avatars from all over the world a well as the press was flying around the island meeting with companies.
At the end of the day when the companies had to leave for the day, there was still residual traffic of people that didn’t get a chance to log in earlier. We took care of those folks by allowing them to drop off their resume and or contact info into drop boxes located in each building.
Overview? The event has paved the way for future endeavors for not only NiW, but for the industry as a whole to look at as a case study. Lesson’s were learned throughout this event that we will take to NiW2 and also theories confirmed about the candidate engagement within a virtual world. The candidate pool exceeded expectations for each company. Results are still being compiled from the event due to call backs, and 2nd and 3rd interviews. Here is a glimpse of some of the stats.
From the NiW microsite, there was 749 requested interviews with companies. After screening, 209 of them were accepted for interviews. Several companies had immediate call backs and 2nd appointments after the first day. “This was a great opportunity to explore a creative medium to meet candidates and have an engaging experience! We were impressed by the quality, and pleasantly surprised at the number of experienced candidates, and their seriousness of purpose. We are exploring other ways to use Second Life, including Sodexho’s college internship mentoring program” – Sodexho
I’ll never forget one point that one of the job seekers made. Who really likes interviewing much less the interviewing process? Job interviewing comes with anxiety, fear, and nervousness. Sometimes it stifles you and you’re not allowed to be yourself. This environment enabled people to break through all of that and actually made the interview process fun and less intimidating. I’ll cover more updates on stats as they become available from the companies.