Archive for February, 2008

Launch: OralJobs - it’s not about hiring dentists

Friday, February 22nd, 2008


 …. and no it’s not a porn site (but it is slightly risque in places). 

OralJobs, an offering from Australian recruitment consultancy Personnel Concept Group, went live last week and provides an interesting take on recruitment videos.  Who needs to “see” real people when you can “hear” real people, in cartoon-like form, present real jobs - eh?


Out there in the online job vacancy universe there’s a lot of clutter and sameness.  Though avatars are used instead of real people there is still something strangely compelling and engaging about OralJobs’s approach.  Hey, real people can be so unreliable and unpredictable and aren’t always available to shoot a video at 3 in the morning.  The technology itself is not new, may I add - talking avatar providers like SitePal have been around for quite a few years.

What would be cool is “singing” or “rapping” avatars!  Just imagine how creative you could get in presenting jobs.

Personnel Concepts have branded up a number of niche sites (,,,,, all using the OralJobs platform.  Within some of these sites are links to even more niche job sites.

What do you think of OralJobs?

Paul Jacobs

Career destination: New Zealand State Sector

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008


Flicking through The Dominion Post on a recent Saturday I came across the general vacancies section.  After being bombarded with lots of bright orange and fluorescent green and ads of all shapes and sizes (some only a mother could love), I turned over to the last page of the section.  What I noticed was something out of the ordinary.  It was a full-page feature showcasing a diverse range of state sector employers, and encouraging readers to visit New Zealand Government Jobs Online,


After nearly 10 years in existence (yes 10 years), the State Services Commission gave the Government Jobs Online website an extreme makeover mid last year.  The site was honestly starting to look a little tired after publishing 37,500 vacancies and feature-wise was lagging behind the private-sector owned and operated job boards. 

The refresh includes all the bells and whistles you would expect of a modern-day job board, with features such as online application forms, downloadable job descriptions, search features, and email job alerts.  I understand the Commission put quite a bit of thought into developing a product that was usable across the board, to cater for the size range of the 200 or so State Sector agencies.

In my eyes, Government Jobs Online is different from a standard job board, whether we are talking generalist, niche, or industry-based.  The point of difference is all the work that has gone into it around branding.  No, I’m not talking about the use of colour, pretty pictures etc.  Government Jobs Online and the newspaper features are the culmination of some pretty structured research the Commission undertook with the sector.  The research, which considered things like what attracts different people to the sector as a place to work, forms part of a larger target for the sector to be perceived as an ‘Employer of Choice’.  I suggest taking a glance at the Why Work for Us section of the website, together with its associated links. 

The site, which I like to think of as akin to a niche industry-job board, remains free and exclusive for State Sector employers.    It is attracting on average 500 listings and 100,000 unique visits per month.  From a sourcing perspective, I’m aware that many State Sector employers are getting a high response via the site, with some preferring the overall quality of candidates received over other job boards.

Government Jobs Online has received some favourable press.  For example, a 2008 United Nations e-Government Survey makes reference to the site:

“…promotes a highly integrated government jobs portal … a clear model for employment sites” (page 42) 

Gerry McGovern, an international commentator on managing web content as a business asset, said this about the site:

“Whoever did this site really knows what they are doing. I know exactly what it is for and what to do…a simple task based site.” (Transforming the State Services - The State of the Development Goals Report 2007, page 13)

As you can tell, I’m really pleased to see some of the Commission’s strategy and research come to fruition.  Their research did reveal some negative perceptions about the sector, as a potential employer, from outside the sector.  Quite possibly the Government Jobs Online newspaper features resonated with some talented professionals who may not intuitively consider the State Sector as a career destination.  Let’s not forget, with over 280,000 employees, the State Sector is a major New Zealand employer.

Paul Jacobs

Recruitment videos - using your in-house ad agency

Friday, February 15th, 2008

I was talking with an employer this week who plans to produce a recruitment video to place on their corporate careers site. The goal is to showcase their work culture and employer brand in a realistic light to jobseekers. They went to an advertising agency and received a quote back - creative NZ$30,000, production NZ$20,000.

I thought I would share with you another option. Why not hand your staff some video cams and let them be the creative team, writers, actors, directors and producers?

Deloitte in the United States last year ran a film festival and invited all employees to make short videos that answered the question “What’s your Deloitte?”. Individuals and teams of up to seven people submitted films about their lives and experiences at Deloitte. Nearly 400 submissions were received and more than 2000 participated in the filmmaking process. The videos were posted on an internal YouTube-like site and then rated by the filmmakers’ peers and colleagues. From there, a panel of judges chose the finalists and Deloitte’s employees picked the winners. The top videos, which are now featured on YouTube, will be integrated into the organisation’s future recruitment efforts.

Though I’ve embedded the winning video below, I recommend you check out the other finalists. The creative diversity is just mind blowing. Most are very engaging. I also believe they provide a “real” and authentic glance into what working at Deloitte, warts and all, is actually like. If you’re a fan of The Bachelor and Bachelorette reality TV programmes, then check out Recruitette. If you’re a rap fan, then there’s a surprise for you.

Carrie Sackett, a senior manager of communications at Deloitte, made this interesting comment:

“Deloitte’s employees together not only created fantastic recruiting videos, which puts Deloitte’s people on the line and in the game, they also created a cultural shift within the organization. Barriers were broken, difficult conversations recast and a collective spirit connected people.”

Another option is to do something like the video below from New York-based Connected Ventures. This video became absolutely viral last year with lots of rave comments from people pleading to work there. Never once do you hear the company name; instead you just pick up the vibe. What a great team building exercise. Come on NZ employers!

Lip Dub - Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri on Vimeo.

Paul Jacobs