Saatchi & Saatchi: assessing candidates through Facebook

In January 2010 Saatchi & Saatchi posted this message to their 6,000-strong Facebook group:

Welcome to the Saatchi & Saatchi Summer Scholarship 2010. Over the coming weeks we will be setting a series of briefs that have been specially designed to test the various skills and attributes you will need to work here. Each brief will be fun, but challenging – that’s the point. It’ll be a bit like The Apprentice meets Big Brother meets The Blair Witch Project. Actually scrub the Blair Witch bit.

As the scheme progresses some of the best work and ideas submitted will be posted for everyone in the group to see and comment on. We will also post important notices here on the group page and message you as well. So make sure you check your emails regularly. The first brief will go live at 10am, Monday 18th January. So brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on clean undercrackers and get ready to rumble.

On the deadline for the first brief, we will ‘close’ the group, and no further applications will be accepted. The successful applicants who are through to the next round will remain in the group. All the unsuccessful applicants will be removed from the group and will no longer be able to see anything on the wall, etc. However, we will also be posting stuff on Saatchi Recruiting’s wall. This will remain open throughout for everyone to see, comment on, slag off and bitch about being kicked out, etc.

After each round has finished the group numbers will be reduced further until eventually just the very best of you remain. Once you are out, you are out. That’s your lot. Get over it. Come back next year and try again. Don’t blame us, we don’t make the rules (actually, we do). And don’t send begging messages to any of the group administrators. They won’t help you either. Not even if you offer money.

Also, be aware that you don’t need any special advertising and marketing qualifications to apply. The scheme is open to everyone, whatever you studied, although you must be eligible for the scheme.

So have fun, be creative and interesting, but above all, have fun, be creative and interesting.

Good luck.

The first brief?  To set up a Facebook group and attract as many members as possible.  Some 800 groups were created by students – including one which garnered over 180,000 members earning its creator, not an internship, but a business of her very own when she turned the competition on its head and started selling to her 180,000 strong following.

So will other employers follow Saatchi’s lead?  Strip the idea back to its roots and you find a variation on the theme of ‘demonstrate your ability to use this communication medium’ – something you will learn about in the course.

Importantly, Secrets of Personal Branding Online will show you what employers like Saatchi & Saatchi look for on your social media pages, what they think is valuable and what they ignore.  If you want to succeed in the modern world of work, buy “Secrets of Personal Branding Online” now for £39.95 and start making a name for yourself, literally.