Singaporean bank closes in on world’s coolest social media intern
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Singaporean bank closes in on world’s coolest social media intern

Standard Chartered Singapore has adopted an interesting approach to recruiting for a position within the marketing team for Breeze, the bank’s new online and iPhone banking application, by running a competition to find ‘the world’s coolest intern’ to take a six-month position with the bank.

The competition opened in the middle of September with the final deadline for entries closing on October 31.

Yesterday the bank announced the shortlist of finalists for the competition, which it enlarged from 20 to 23 such was the strength of the responses it received.

I like the way SC made it very easy for candidates to enter, the low bar and open field encourages entrants to be creative and market themselves to the fullest in order to stand out, testing their use of social media and marketing.

Details from the SC Breeze blog:

The recruitment process for the World’s Coolest Intern will be conducted entirely online.

To apply, interested applicants will need to follow @StanChartBreeze on Twitter, create a blog post, video or podcast explaining what makes them best qualified to become the “World’s Coolest Intern” and then send the team the URL of their post via Direct Message on Twitter.

The selected candidates will then be judged on more detailed, analytical criteria:

The top 20 contestants will be shortlisted to proceed to the second stage based on their digital footprint by JamiQ.

Following which, the top 10 contestants will be shortlisted by Standard Chartered Bank after a qualitative analysis of the online content published by the top 20 candidates, which includes their blogs, and Twitter page to determine the ability to communicate and engage with the digital communities.

These 10 finalists will be interviewed via Standard Chartered HireVue’s Video Job Interviewing Platform and the “World’s Coolest Intern” will then be selected.

The competition is a great idea to rustle up a highly motivated and exciting new candidates, while also firmly putting the bank’s new application and social media policy/presences firmly in the spotlight across Singapore and the wider area.

I haven’t been looking out for entries though there was plenty of activity on Twitter yesterday with SC seemingly very pleased:

To say we have been impressed by the response is an understatement. We have been overwhelmed by applications of incredible variety and creativity from around the world, right up to the closing deadline at midnight, 31 October 2010.

Social media mavens from America to Australia and from the Mexico to the Middle East participated. To everyone who took part and made this online interview process such an awesome experience – including participants and their supporters – a big THANK YOU!

The competition looks pretty fierce and includes a number of overseas-based finalists and two notable candidates from respected digital media blog Penn Olsen

I have just two questions: why is the position for just six months rather than full-time, and why is the vacancy for an intern and not trainee?

I suspect the answer to both is that SC did not want to discourage new graduates from feeling their lack of experience or employment history will count against them. This way – as an intern on a six month contract – it is clear that the incumbent will be inexperienced, but should show the potential to learn and develop.

Though I’m a big fan of the competition, it might be worth SC clarifying a couple of issues that companies sometimes fall foul of and are perhaps linked to details of the position. First, that social media marketing is a long-term solution – six months is nothing like enough time to generate results – and that interns, valued though they are, are not responsible for doing it alone.

That aside, full marks for originality, I’ll be keeping an eye on how things develop.