Recruiting in age of social networking

Sites like Facebook, Second Life can be high-impact, low-cost way to find talent
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/18/2008

In a bright, spacious room, the benches are neatly lined up in rows. A giant screen at the front is ready to play a PowerPoint presentation. Young people — some with spiky hairdos or unconventional outfits — take a seat. In walks a police officer who begins his pitch to join the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).

The only thing real here is the message. The police officer and potential recruits are avatars, computer-generated digital characters interacting in a virtual community known as Second Life.

More than seven million avatars — real-life players logging on from around the globe — inhabit this world, opening up a new, and very large, audience to recruiters.