I’ve been working at the BBC recently, on a social recruiting project. It’s given me a great opportunity to see behind the scenes at how a corporation and broadcaster are increasingly using social media to connect with viewers during programs. When you see the reach and the volume of activity it is quite astounding. The reality now is that we need all of our media to be interactive. Traditional media was one-dimensional. They broadcast, we watched.

I read somewhere once that Children under 5 had stopped watching TV because they were unable to interact with it. They have grown up with i-pads, computer games, interactive toys almost from birth, they can’t maintain interest in anything that is 1 dimensional. It is an interesting thought. Most mainstream TV has a hashtag these days, and the backstream goes on long after the program is broadcast. This starts with the topic or theme of the show, comments on the show then a whole series of side conversations, observations and new questions. For a great example of this take a look at the BBC Question Time hashtag, #BBCQT , the news or any political program, sports  event or soap. We don’t want to watch now, we want to be a part of the story, and connect with others who share our opinion or interest.

One of the really interesting areas this is developing is around two screen viewing. This is when the viewer can interact with the program, bookmark things, go and get additional information or resources and interact with others. Apps like GetGlue and Simo have been developed for viewers to check in and take part. The Disney app responds to audio from the broadcast or recording and pushes additional content to hand-held devices. More and more people are moving to dual screen viewing, watching and interacting, making television an experience. Think clapometers on the x-factor app, voting, tweeting and other functions, it has become a part of our day-to-day viewing. TV on, hand-held device within easy reach.

I’ve been thinking about how this can be applied to recruiting. If you follow this blog, you will know that I’m a big advocate of running live recruiting events particularly combining Facebook pages, livestream broadcast and employees. Webinars are another area that are much underused by recruiters. Broadcast a specialist topic to attract people with skills, and promote opportunities or a talent network at sign up as an option. It is proving very effective, and remember that it’s good content that attracts.

If you then consider how you could integrate 2 screen thinking in to the recruiting event, there’s a world of possibility. I don’t think it is that futuristic if we look at how this works with TV. The same technology and applications could be used to provide additional resources, more information and live connections with recruiters, hiring managers or employees in a private, instant messaging environment via a handheld device or tablet, whilst running a livestream, chat or similar on-line event.

I could see this being really effective, and a great way to reach a target audience of employees. I’d be interested in knowing if anyone is aware of any examples of this yet, or if recruiting is once again lagging behind in this area.

At #trulondon Paul Harrison of Carve Consulting is going to be running a track on “looking outside the social recruiting bubble.” The point of this track is to look at what other sectors are doing to develop tech and methodology, and how this can be applied to recruiting or HR. I’m going to be discussing two screen thinking as a part of this. I hope you can join the conversation.



BBC Click: The phenomenon of two screen viewing

BBC R&D Blog: Dual screen experiences

Get Glue