You probably already know that some visionary employers are conducting business and even recruiting in Second Life, but you might be surprised to learn that some government agencies are doing it too, including the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The agency saves millions of dollars by recruiting in Second Life, Steven Rothberg writes in his CollegeRecruiter.com blog.
The agency’s IRS Careers Island in Second Life offers a variety of features, starting of course with job information, including both career and seasonal jobs, and IRS forms. However, there’s more, intended to keep visitors entertained.
The attractions include: photo pose stands, where avatars can stand in front of a variety of backgrounds and assume various poses for photographing. Another attraction is a racetrack, where visitors are given free motorcycles and sports cars to drive on an underground parking-garage style race track. I had some problems with the race track however. I had to try three vehicles before I could get one that worked properly. The first two launched me into the sky! You’re also permitted to rez your own vehicle. There is also a sandbox where for public use, a theater, and educational and career centers. One perplexing feature is a teleport sign with an option for teleporting to "Linux ?????? Ubuntu," If you click it, you end up at a teleport sign with nothing apparently related to Linux in sight. The sim has only been open since February, so there are probably still a few bugs to be worked out.
Rothberg quotes Frank Stipe, the IRS’ Virtual Worlds & Social Networking Project Manager, as saying, "In the physical world, we could spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on sponsoring a race car that displays our brand in a field of thirty or more other cars. In the SL virtual world, we have spent a few thousand dollars to build complete entertainment and communications venue that includes a race course. IRS branding throughout the venue not only displays our messaging, but it also instantly dispenses marketing collateral and links to our Careers web site.
"We are now entering the relationship building phase where we are reaching out to universities that operate virtual campuses in Second Life to market directly to their students by sponsoring student projects in Second Life."
Second Life residents can teleport to IRS Careers Island at slurl.com/secondlife/IRS%20Careers%20Island/121/126/701.