Manpower Goes After Avatars - TheStreet

Manpower Goes After Avatars

The company's Web 2.0 meeting place, Manpower Island, will open Thursday.
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Using the Internet to find an employer or to fill a vacant position certainly isn't a new concept, but one real-world company,


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, is trying to change the way things have been done.

Monster Worldwide

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have been doing online job matching for years, but for Manpower, what's different is that it's using the nontraditional space of Second Life.

The company's Web 2.0 meeting place, Manpower Island, opens Thursday and features a variety of virtual work resources, including orientation and workshops that help in-world avatars prepare their resumes for both digital and real-life jobs.

Manpower is the latest physical enterprise to extend its brand into Second Life, the 3-D online world created by San Francisco-based Linden Lab. The company joins the ranks of


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Sun Microsystems

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, all of which have set up homesteads in the virtual world.

"Manpower's mission is to help people, companies and governments understand what's coming next in the changing world of work," said Tammy Johns, senior vice president of workforce strategy with Manpower, in a statement.

"The virtualization of the labor market is a key issue for all of these groups and our presence in Second Life will enable us to further define the next stages of virtual work, which are emerging in 3-D worlds," she continued.

While Monster and Kforce bring together job-seekers and employers on the Internet for real-world jobs, Manpower is the first to feature postings for virtual work, meaning employment that isn't performed in a physical office or work space.

Instead, Second Life can be used as a means of telecommuting and outsourcing, according to Manpower.

"The virtual labor market is similar to emerging labor markets in many countries of the world, facing many of the same infrastructure challenges as it develops and matures," said Jeffrey Joerres, Manpower's chairman and CEO. "Manpower's decades of experience in helping employers and employees navigate the ever-changing world of work means we are ideally placed to help them make the transition beyond current definitions of virtual work to take full advantage of Web 2.0 opportunities."

The launch of Manpower Island will be hosted by Joerres and Johns, as well as IBM's vice president of digital convergence, Dr. Colin Parris. Manpower has created a short informational video about virtual work that is available


Robert Holden is staff reporter Robert Holmes. He reports often from Second Life.