Advertise on MNPR

Friday, March 25, 2011

Campbell Mithun (@cmithun) uses #Twitter to hire six for its @the_Lucky_13 #SummerInternship

Minneapolis ad agency Campbell Mithun has selected -- via job applications of 13 Career-Launching Tweets -- six young professionals to be its 2011 Lucky 13 summer interns. More than 400 applicants registered to showcase their strengths and their social-media moxie via the Twitter application process, which was announced January 13 and conducted between the dates of February 13-25, 2011. (Yes, that’s 13 days.) Meet the new 2011 Lucky 13 Interns; see their 13-tweet applications via the hotlinks below:
“Using Twitter gave our applicants the opportunity to showcase their digital understanding and creativity, while highlighting their personality and passion for advertising,” said Debbie Fischer, Campbell Mithun’s vice president, human resources manager. “We were blown away by tweets that basically created personal applicant campaigns by presenting content, industry insights, and, quite frankly, a lot of great humor.”

To see a montage of tweets from across the applicant pool, view this YouTube highlights reel.

Applicants took full advantage of Twitter’s “linking functionality” to present much more than thirteen 140-character messages. “If it was just about 13 tweets, I don’t know if the application process would have been so enriching,” wrote new intern-to-be Natalie Neal in a blog post. “We as the applicants had the opportunity to see the competition, to interact with one another and the Lucky 13 coordinators, and to link to things like video, pictures, documents, websites – really anything we wanted.”

The Process via the Numbers

The following numbers / facts provide some quantifiable insights about Campbell Mithun’s Lucky 13 Twitter application process:

* 425 applicants initially registered as an applicant for the Lucky 13 Internship
* More than 300 applicants submitted tweets
* Thousands of #L13 tweets were logged February 13-25, 2011
* 32 finalists were interviewed in person or via Skype
* Applicants sent tweets from at least 12 states and three countries (USA, Canada, Africa)
* 37 Campbell Mithun employees served on the “Lucky 13 Twitter Response Team” to interact with and evaluate the applicants (see “engagement” section below)
* About half (51 percent) of applicants said the experience was “harder than expected”; 42 percent found it “as expected” and only six percent found it “easier than expected” (data gathered in a post-application survey completed by 114 of the 425 registered applicants).

The (Barely There) Rules

Guidelines for the tweeted applications were intentionally left very broad to encourage job-seekers to take charge of their tweet strategy: After registering via a simple online form, applicants simply needed to send the 13 tweets during the specified dates and include in each tweet two hashtags:

1) The primary #L13 hashtag

2) A secondary hashtag identifying the applicant’s chosen internship discipline: #CMam for account management, #CMcpm for media, #Cmcr8 for creative and #CMt3ch for technologist

Inside-Out Hiring Process with New Rules of Engagement

Using Twitter for hiring employees also gave Campbell Mithun an increased opportunity not only for interacting with applicants but for seeing the candidates’ public engagement with each other and the industry.

“We had to staff this selection process completely differently,” said Fischer. “We created an internal system for monitoring and capturing the thousands of tweets, and, because Twitter is about engagement and interaction, also aimed for real interaction with the applicants. A team of 37 employees assisted human resources with tracking and responding to specific applicants.”

The goal of “applicant engagement” proved to be the most rewarding and most challenging part of the process. Members of the agency’s Twitter Response Teams tweeted personal @replies to specific candidates via the agency’s @The_Lucky_13 handle. They welcomed and enjoyed the personal-communication tweets (not counted among the 13 “official tweets”), which in one case between an agency copywriter and a copywriter applicant resulted in a social-media prank with the following line added to Campbell Mithun’s corporate Wikipedia profile: “Employees use their distinctive third elbow to attract mates as well as ward off predators.”

Applicants also tweeted responses to and followed each other. “I paid close attention to the people I thought were doing well, and learned from them,” said Neal. “Being exposed to other applicants made me up my game. . . I met some incredible people and exchanged messages with them.”

After the application window closed, human resources met with the Twitter Response Team, had a lively discussion about the many strong applicants and made the very difficult selection of the 32 finalists who were interviewed in person or via Skype.

About The Lucky 13 Internship

The six new 2011 Lucky 13 Interns will report for their 10-week paid internship on June 6, 2011. They’ll do real work for real clients, alongside real professionals, earning a real chance to start their careers as full-time members of the advertising community. This will be the sixth year Campbell Mithun has run its Lucky 13 Internship program.

The internship’s name celebrates the agency’s history and culture. Though conventional wisdom finds 13 an unlucky number for some, Ray Mithun, co-founder of Campbell Mithun, once said, “If 13 is unlucky for some people, it must be lucky for someone else.” The Lucky 13 Internship program seeks to find those individuals who can be someone else -- those who have the courage to go against the grain and to believe in original ideas and creative solutions.

Read this article onthe #L13 students from the New York Times.