Advertising agency recruits intern through Snapchat

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Print this page by Veronica Garabelli
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Arlington-based LMO had a pretty good idea of the characteristics it was looking for in its fall intern. The advertising agency just needed to find someone who fit the picture.

So it used Snapchat, a popular social networking application, as a recruitment tool.

“One of the things that’s very important to LMO when we go about recruiting someone is their personality, how they react with other people, how they engage with other people and so, we thought, this is the right way to look for an intern because we can see how they react on social media to professional interview questions,” says Sherri Green, LMO’s director of marketing.

According to Reston-based analytics company comScore, Snapchat is one of the leading social media sites being utilized by millennial smartphone users, behind Facebook and Instagram. The mobile application allows users to snap (or send) photos and videos to a friend. The content can be viewed by the recipient for up to 10 seconds, unless a message is sent as a “story,” which can be viewed for 24 hours before disappearing.

To find its intern, LMO asked its followers to answer one of three questions through Snapchat, including why they wanted to work at LMO. The agency received 27 responses, asked eight respondents to send in their résumés and narrowed that number down to four in-person interviews.

Which applicant landed the paid internship? Max Walker, a recent George Washington University graduate who double majored in marketing and economics. Walker sent a selfie showing a lightbulb in the background with the caption “because I want to create great ideas with LMO.”

He was told he landed the position through Snapchat, of course, and replied to the news with another selfie. This one showed an enthusiastic picture of Walker with the caption “Could not be more excited!!!”

The process not only proved to be fun for LMO, who in the past has used more traditional recruitment methods, but also appealed to Walker.
“It showed me a more creative agency that was willing to go outside the box and try something new, and I appreciated that as someone who uses Snapchat in my personal life a lot. I thought: Why not apply to this? It seems like a good idea,” says Walker, who found out LMO was looking for an intern from a banner ad on the agency’s website.

Green says LMO would use the recruitment effort again and is looking for a way to use Snapchat with its clients.  “To me Snapchat is all about engaging with people in a very personal and fun level,” she says. “I think it really shares emotion and excitement in a different way and it’s also very spontaneous … If there’s a brand where those effects can line up together then [Snapchat] makes great sense.”

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