Is this an underhanded way to find a social media expert?

@Kevin | Social

Wait I shouldn’t say “expert” I should say people who are really hungry for a job and willing to be exploited in order to get it. (That is a tad long for a blog title.)

Before I go into my little rant I want to say that finding qualified people with experience in social media is hard. You have people who can really create numbers through various programs but have no ability to target or strategically use social media. You know the types, they can get your site to the front page of but when you look at your traffic you notice that the average time people were spending on your site was four seconds.

Then you have another group of people who can talk about social media conceptually but have no ability to actually execute a plan and have no real understanding of the nuts and bolts of strategy.

Because of this I totally get it when people want you to “show them” things you have done for yourself, past clients, or past employers. Examples help potential employers and clients understand what you do, what you can do for them, and some sort of expected results. This is all well and good.

What I am seeing from Vidli though is absolutely disgusting. Basically for their “social media expert” position they are running their application process it like a competition. Whoever can drive the most traffic to their site using a link that they create for them gets a crack at the job. So basically, if this goes according to their plan, they will get a ton of people promoting their site in order to get a job. They would be building a user base off the back of people who desperately either want to break into social media, need a job, or are pretty needy.

I don’t find it clever at all. I find it to be pretty exploitative and to be frank about it, a total asshole move. (Even the guy in the video comes off as used car salesman.)

I understand that they are doing this for publicity and I know I fell into the trap and gave it to them along with a link. (Hey I at least I made it no follow.) Right now the economy is bad, we all know it and a lot of people have it pretty bad. Preying on people’s desperation in order for your company to garner some attention isn’t a “cool” or “hip” marketing technique.

What do you think?