By now you might have heard of Airtime, the new venture from Sean Parker. In case you missed it though, Airtime is a video service allowing you to connect with users based on shared interests.
The service lets you connect through your Facebook account and then uses this information to match you with people who share some of your likes and even your circle of friends. It’s another in a long line of social networking tools, this time focused on online video to facilitate connections.
Recently Mashable ran a story about a young man who nabbed an internship using the Airtime service. This lead them to question whether the service could be a useful tool in the recruiting space. Airtime might be an exciting new entry into the social media landscape, but it’s too soon to polish up your resume and dive in expecting great opportunities.
Here are some reasons why Airtime is not going to land you a dream job anytime soon:
ChatRoulette had the same basic premise as Airtime, right down to the split screen video chats and next button. It’s hard to argue Airtime doesn’t owe a debt to ChatRoulette, which held a brief fascination and then sputtered out just as quickly.
The problem with ChatRoulette was the problem you’ll always encounter when you give a bunch of strangers video cameras: nudity. On ChatRoulette you could go from having a deep, philosophical discussion with one user to seeing another user’s crotch within minutes. As the service continued, it became known more for its uncovered private parts than its deep discussions.
Airtime however, has put safeguards to protect against this practice in several ways. First of all, it’s not as anonymous as ChatRoulette, seeing as you must login in through your Facebook account. Secondly, Airtime has assured users and the media they have installed safeguards to check if people are misusing the service and those people will be kicked off. Still, it’s likely people will find a way around this ban. Is a site with potentially unclothed people really the best place to look for your next job?
Users Aren’t Job Focused
Online video interviewing and job board sites have a step up over Airtime for one simple reason: people are there to get hired. The whole point of sites like Spark Hire is to give employers and candidates an easier, faster way to hire people. The purpose of sites like Airtime is to give people the chance to connect, make new friends, and have fun. Which is great for our social society, however, hiring is not high up on the list.
Sure, we’re going to hear stories about people connecting and getting hired from Airtime chats. But these stories will be no more prevalent than stories of networking over other social media or in person. They’ll perhaps be more noteworthy because they’re novel, but they won’t represent a change in hiring.
Check Your Interests
Look at your Facebook interests. Do they say “responsible employee”? Possibly some of them do. For example if you’re in the tech sector you might have certain keywords listed to help you connect with others in your industry. But more than likely, since it’s your personal Facebook account, most of your interests are hobbies and outside work interests. Since Airtime uses these interests to connect you to others, unless you have job-specific interests listed you might not connect with those hiring in your industry. This means you’ll be more likely to connect with a new friend to discuss The Hunger Games than your future career prospects.
Airtime is an exciting and fun tool for social networking in a more personal way. The service does, however, have plenty of drawbacks as it takes it’s first fledgling steps onto the market. It might be tempting to see it as the next thing in hiring, but this isn’t Airtime’s goal. The service is meant to connect you with new friends, not new jobs.
What do you think of using Airtime for hiring? What problems do you foresee? Share in the comments!