For many years, the method that most people used when searching for a job was to visit an employment agency or to scour the local paper looking for opportunities. It was laborious and also made it quite difficult to find the perfect position.
Back in 2009, in the very earliest days of social media when Twitter and Facebook were the only platforms that people had heard about, an advertising agency in Brisbane came up with an idea that both shook the world and, arguably changed the face of recruitment advertising in the process. In fact, it was so unexpected and so successful that it even won two prizes from D&AD, the most respected advertising organisation in the world.
Those with a long memory may recall seeing the recruitment campaign for the so called “best job in the world”. The spec was for someone to become the caretaker of the islands along the Great Barrier Reef for six months. In return, they would receive a substantial salary, be based in a grand mansion on Hamilton Island and enjoy free transportation around the islands while they carried out their caretaking duties.
It was so effective that a total of 34,000 people applied online with the successful applicant being a 34-year-old Englishman called Tim Southall.
Although the whole exercise was primarily a PR campaign for Queensland tourism, it showed the power of the internet for recruitment advertising. So now there are countless sites like Indeed where it is both simple for employers to advertise new opportunities and for candidates to actively search for their next career move. Admittedly, no other job to date has attracted 34,000 applications, but it’s a very effective method of recruitment.
Just as the “Best Job in the World” campaign whittled down all of those applications to just one perfect candidate, this relatively new and automated method helps employer and would-be employee alike to narrow down their respective searches.
It’s also given rise to a number of review sites for businesses which allow job-seekers the chance to get picture of what working for a business is really like, not something that always comes across in an interview. One of the most popular of these is Glassdoor on which previous and current employees can post honest, unbiased reviews.
Of course, review sites have been commonplace for some time now in many other sectors ranging from finances to online casinos. For the former two of the bigger names are finder.com and comparethemarket.com, while for the latter Bonus.net.nz is especially popular. This carries in-depth reviews as well as information about the joining bonuses that specific casinos offer, allowing players to come to the same kinds of informed decisions that jobseekers need to make.
When that ad agency back in 2009 came up with their ground-breaking idea little did they know the many ramifications that it would go on to have. As for the successful applicant Tim Southall, it also provided a vital stepping stone onto his own very successful subsequent career.