Saatchi & Saatchi launch their summer internship application process on Facebook
Sheli Rodney is the former editorial and publishing manager of CorpComms Magazine
Saatchi & Saatchi is screening applicants for its Summer Scholarship 2010 programme via a Facebook group. In a unique recruitment drive, the advertising giant is posting challenges for hopeful graduates to battle it out against each other, until only the top ten remain.
Voted by students as the most popular advertising and marketing graduate recruiter in the National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2009, the firm has done away with traditional online application forms and psychometric testing. Its graduate recruitment website page simply tempts entrants to 'join our Facebook group now and wait for further instructions'.
Launched in January, Saatchi & Saatchi's Facebook page invites all graduates, regardless of marketing or advertising experience, to be as 'creative and interesting' as they can. The first challenge - to create a new Facebook group and entice as many members as possible to join - has attracted over 800 entrants.
In under three weeks, group creators have garnered thousands of supporters. Groups range from the completely random ('I pause my iPod if I think someone's saying something interesting on the bus') to cause-related ('One million pounds for Haiti'). In the lead by far, however, is Adam Oppenheimer, who has attracted over 220,000 members to his group, entitled 'YOUR OWN LEGO MAN. FREE'. The Bristol graduate plans to create a Lego installation populated by one million Lego men and has offered each group member the chance to have their name painted on the back of one of the men.
After each challenge, the moderators will remove unsuccessful candidates from the running; they cannot rejoin, but can continue to post comments about others' attempts. The competition runs until April, when there will be one final challenge day. The ten contestants who win a place on the six-week scholarship programme in June may later be awarded jobs at the firm. Last year's successful attendees found positions in new business, planning and account management.