Friday, August 01, 2008

Government using virtual worlds for recruitment purposes

The government of Ontario has launched a job recruitment program in Second Life, one of the best known virtual worlds.

The program allows potential employees to virtually practice being a firefighter, civil engineer, medical technician or another public service profession to gain some insight into the demands of the role before deciding whether to seek a job in the area.

Quoting from the launch release,
The attraction is open 24/7 in the virtual world, and allows users to self-select the tasks they'd like to do. Once users have experienced the range of experiences available to them in Second Life, they can choose to be contacted in the real world to obtain more information about a job or to arrange for an interview. Second Life, an online, 3D social network, is home to the experience, and all users need do is sign up for a free account, and teleport themselves to the OPS Careers Island, a part of the Activ8 Island Complex owned and operated by TheSLAgency.

The interactive shop organized the virtual experience in Second Life as a part of their strategy to bring other government and public service clients into the virtual world. Managing Partner Joe Mastrocovi notes: "No longer do job seekers have to be bored by static websites explaining what jobs they could have; the virtual world offers us the opportunity to create virtual experiences for people so they know instantly whether this type of job is suitable for them."

This isn't the only government initiative in Second Life. A selection of other agencies around the world have begin using the virtual world as a testbed for various initiatives, ranging from Victoria's Melbourne Laneways to NASA's Explorer Island.

A selection of other government initiatives are listed in the Second Life wiki.

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