TMP Revisits Virtual Job Fairs on Second Life

Don’t look for Time magazine to be one of the employers vying to get onto TMP Worldwide’s virtual recruiting hot spot on Second Life, TMP Island.

The weekly newsmagazine recently came out with its list of the five worst websites, and Second Life was included as one of the consummate time-wasting online activities.

It called the vast virtual world “impressive” though “tedious” and with a steep learning curve for novices. It also mocks the “crazy people around every corner — disruptive types that spread graffiti and get in your way and throw you off your groove.” Its ultimate problem seems to be that having “virtual humans doing ‘human things’ online in Second Life is somehow less pathetic than, say, cooking Kaldorei spider kabobs or making magic pantaloons in World of Warcraft.”

Despite the mocking by Time, TMP Worldwide says it was encouraged by the success and interest generated in its first-ever online job fair held in May. To keep up with the pace of the digital world (virtual Kaldorei spider kabobs and all), it has accelerated its plans and will host the second Network in World Job Fair August 21 to 23.

This time around, TMP says it has added recruiters from Accenture, EMC Corporation, GE Money, and U.S. Cellular. Much like its last fair, job seekers looking to land positions at those companies will engage in real-life interviews and related recruiting activities on TMP Island.

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TMP says it will provide registered participants with training on how to interact inside, while job seekers will be sent via “telehubs” to a participating company’s specific location on TMP Island. Once on the island, recruiters can interview potential candidates from financial services, IT, telecom, and sales backgrounds in virtual client offices.

“TMP believes the recruiting process should reflect what’s going on in business — which is going digital,” said Louis Vong, TMP’s vice president of interactive strategy, in a statement.

Even Time admits “the corporate world’s embrace of the place as a venue for staff meetings and training sessions does seem to lend Second Life a layer of legitimacy. But maybe it’s a case of some CEOs trying too hard to be hip.”

In its list of five websites to avoid, Time also says it is unimpressed with the online dating site eHarmony.com, due to its “power to cause utter despair,” calls Meez.com “annoying,” thinks MySpace.com “has become infested with marketers and other opportunists,” and notes that Evite.com has been “slow to adopt some of the media sharing tools that have become standard ways of the Web.”

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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