Then came the “Social Media Challenge.”
“Our industry is changing,” said the prospective employers explaining the twist. “Social media has become an essential front in stakeholder interaction. We need to see how skillful and creative you are with these tools.”
At first blush, the challenge sounded to Fiona, who quietly nursed a raging Facebook addiction like everyone else she knew, like fun: Log in to a special Facebook page and get as many people to “Like” you as possible. But it wasn’t merely a game.
Fiona was told that she was one of two remaining applicants being considered by the company. The “Social Media Challenge” would not be conducted in some isolated spare office space at her potential place of business, but as a public, week-long contest between her and her competitor for anyone, including and especially her friends and family, to see. If and when she won the challenge, it would increase her chances of getting hired.
It hasn’t always been this way. Somewhere in the history of recruiter/recruitee relations, between the advent of “The Apprentice” and the decline of the global financial industry, the rules of the game took a turn for the dramatic. Beyond simple supply-and-demand, securing a job today—even those of the less-than-glamorous variety—has become something akin to a tooth-and-nail fight to the death in the Roman Colosseum: a spectacle of personal desperation for audiences either real or imagined.
I’ve seen job posting where part of the job requirement was to have X number of friends on Facebook.