Lockheed Martin : Chatting about work
Rare use of a time-tested feature of the internet.
Lockheed Martin, the US-based defence systems company, hosts recruitment events on its careers website.
Lockheed Martin has a photo-link on the right of the home page of its Careers section/website for ‘Live chat virtual recruiter’ and a prompt to ‘Enter chat now’. The link opens a page promoting the opportunity to “chat live with a recruiter about our jobs, your career search, working at Lockheed Martin…”. A brief introduction explains the chat room arrangement – “speak directly to us in a private, virtual, real-time environment” – and its parameters and etiquette.
Below this is a schedule for the current month (March) divided by day of the week, and with columns for Time (US eastern), Topic, Date and link to Enter Chat. The busiest day of the week is Wednesday, with 26 chats listed; in all, 58 are shown. To enter, jobseekers have to supply details of their name, e-mail address, telephone number and physical location. At times when no chat is online, they are referred back to the schedule.
Lockheed Martin’s commitment to its virtual recruitment events is evident in the crowded calendar it has on show. In direct involvement terms alone it amounts to 116 hours of recruiter time in the month (sessions are slated to last two hours). The fact remains, though, that for all the chat room is a long-established and popular part of the internet landscape, sporadic would be a generous description of the incidence of its use by companies to engage with jobseekers. (The US Army deploys one, so maybe that’s where Lockheed got the idea from.)
Pragmatics perhaps outweigh the advantages – which include an enhanced and informal environment for candidates, and the chance to spread the company’s net wider than physical events allow. Are the sustained commitment and investment in time worth it when you have few (if any) vacancies or no shortage of candidates? It’s a question at the heart of online recruitment. But with 4,363 vacancies on its job search, many requiring specialist skills, Lockheed clearly reckons it stands to gain from a quick chat.http://www.lockheedmartinjobs.com/chat.asp
First published on 09 March, 2010