Virtual World but real jobs

A trip to a virtual world may hold the key to an actual job for some job seekers. Interactive advertising agency TMP Worldwide, which specializes in recruitment, said it will allow corporate recruiters to hold job fairs and interview potential employees via TMP space on the Second Life virtual world.

Second Life, with three million users, has its own economy and currency. Dozens of real-world companies have established a presence there, including Reuters, IBM and General Motors, in hopes of engaging with its users.

TMP is the first company to set up a real-world recruiting service on Second Life. Until now, recruitment in the virtual space was limited to virtual jobs. A lot of companies spend money on job fairs at convention centers or hosting at hotels. All this can now be done inside Second Life.

TMP “island” within the virtual world will allow clients to host recruiting events and build virtual replicas of their offices. An online character of a corporate recruiter will interview online job seekers, using instant-messaging technology.

TMP, until last year a division of Monster Worldwide, said it would pre-screen candidates before scheduling an interview to make sure people are who they say they are.

A company gets real-world resumes, names, e-mail addresses and a chance to promote its brand to a digitally sophisticated audience in the coveted 18-44 age group, TMP said. It may also get a skilled staffer to do real work in a real office.

The potential new hire can even get a parachute. A visitor to T-Mobile USA’s section on the island might come away with a virtual cell phone to use in Second Life – or an invitation to sky dive off TMP 20-story building.

Americans, French top population list:

Second-Life News Center: Europeans make up the largest block of residents of Second Life, with 54% of active users ahead of North America’s 34.5% according January data. US residents made up only 31.2% of active users.

France has the second-highest of users after the virtual world became a battleground for the country’s presidential election. Although French residents had long been a part of Second Life, thousands more joined in January as demonstrators picketed the virtual offices of Jean Marie Le Pen’s National Front party.

The skydiving experience fits the adventurous image T-Mobile wants to project, while the (virtual) parachute is yet another opportunity to display the (quite real) corporate logo.

TMP’s Russell Miyaki said “We’ll shoot you way up above the island and out pops the T-mobile branded parachute.”