A Video, A Video Game, And Vault

Dec 14, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Today brings news of the U.S. Army’s $38 million recruiting video games, a recruiting marketing video that is surprisingly fresh and entertaining and should be required watching for anyone considering an HR career as a recruiter, and a change at Vault.

America’s Army

America's ArmyWhen you’re recruiting for an organization where the expression “taking potshots” is no mere idiom, you have to be innovative in your approach, not to mention cutting edge to reach the 17-25 year olds who are your (pardon the expression) target.

No wonder, therefore, that the U.S. Army has been using video games as a recruiting tool for years.

Now comes a report from GameSpot, a site for news about the digital games industry, that puts the 10-year-cost cost of developing and managing the Army’s free PC games called America’s Army at $32.8 million. The original cost to develop the first version of the games was budgeted at $7 million.

An entirely new version — America’s Army 3 — was released in June, and almost immediately the Army cut ties with the game’s developer. GameSpot reported earlier the Army will take over future development and game management.That will be handled by an Army unit formed in 2005 specifically to oversee development of the game.


This Canadian RPO and headhunter has a new video out that will make no friends with newspapers or job boards. Who cares, though. It’s a lot of fun and, ironically perhaps, it may be the most honest career video ever made.

“Stop putting in print ads. Stop posting on job boards. You may as well set fire to your money,” says an aggressive, sharply dressed gent who at first look might be an arms dealer or a central casting FBI agent.

That’s the opening scene of “What Can 60 Hours Do For You?” For the next 4 1/2 minutes you’re treated to snapshots of a 60-hour recruiting marathon to fill a req for a client where “failure is not an option.”

The credits claim that Head2Head staff wrote and produced the video. The parts were also played by staff members who should all get Oscars for their acting. (Or was it acting?)

Take the 4 minutes and 53 seconds to watch and enjoy. And then you tell me if it doesn’t nail headhunting. Still want to be a recruiter?

Vault betaVault, the venerable career information site that was an early leader in providing job seekers help in researching a company and building a personal network, has been struggling this year.

Erik Sorenson called it “stiff headwinds” driven by the faltering U.S. economy. In a memo earlier this month to the remaining staff at Vault, he described 2009 as a “period of right-sizing the company.”

Sorenson, the former president of MSNBC who became CEO in 2007 when Vault was acquired by Veronis Suhler Stevenson, has now stepped aside. His replacement is Claude Sheer.

In looking toward 2010, Sorenson said in the memo, “We need to beef up our senior management and strengthen our strategic efforts by bringing on someone with different knowledge, skills, and interests whose experience and passion is in growth platforms, strategic partnerships, and Internet deal-making.”

The change was effective on Dec. 7th. Sorenson is now Vault chairman and a consultant.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.