Type of Realistic Job Preview: Web-based Multimedia
Adapted with permission from materials developed by Susan O’Nell, Sherri Larson, Amy Hewitt, and John Sauer from the University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration.
A Web-based multimedia RJP involves putting comprehensive information about the positive and negative features of jobs on a Web site for prospective employees to review. The Web sites can also be developed as part of a recruitment portal that includes online applications, current position openings, email contact information, and links to and from other targeted sites (e.g., public schools, community centers). Web-based multimedia RJPs can include photos, verbal descriptions, video clips, and/or written information about the agency and the job.
Web-based RJP’s will be most effective if they are well designed. Agencies are advised to work with consultants who understand design issues, effective methods for displaying content, and ways to limit access to sensitive materials. Agencies would need to buy or have the hardware and software to produce and maintain a site and train someone on staff to perform updates. As an alternative, an agency can hire a service provider to develop and maintain the site. Agencies might need to rent server space and register with online search engines. Development and quality testing can take a significant amount of time.
Agencies have been successful in posting Web-based RJPs on social marketing sites, such as YouTube and MySpace.
Agencies would have to train current staff (especially those doing the hiring) on how to access and use the online RJPs. Sites must be checked regularly for “dead” or inaccurate links. A system should be created to make sure that all information is updated and accurate (i.e., contact person, available positions) and that any email contact is answered promptly. The agency must provide access to a computer and assistance to potential new hires who do not have computer access or who are not computer literate.
Web-based RJP’s can be expensive to produce, but are inexpensive to maintain and update. Development costs will vary, but would cost no more than a video—and potentially much less. The heaviest costs will be felt by agencies that do not have any existing hardware, software, or internal expertise. If developed properly, Web sites require minimal personnel time to update and maintain. Updates can often be made by a person with only basic computer skills.
- Are flexible in terms of the type and form of information presented;
- Are highly portable;
- Are easily accessible to job seekers (e.g., in private homes, libraries, at the agency, at workforce and community centers);
- Can be part of a comprehensive online recruitment portal for agencies;
- Are easy and inexpensive to update frequently;
- Make updated information immediately available, with little chance of outdated materials being accidentally distributed;
- Can be customized to a site, as well as flexible to the needs of the person seeking information; and
- Can provide potential recruits with direct contact information for the agency through email options.
- Do not provide in-person contact;
- Might require consent of consumers or family members for exposure of sensitive information;
- Need special equipment to access;
- Require some training of existing personnel;
- Require expertise in the Web environment;
- Are not as effective when slow or outdated equipment or severs are use; and
- Might not reach applicants who have limited Web access or knowledge of Internet applications.
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