Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Saturday, 4 July 2009 16:56 UK

Firm tells job hopefuls: txt us

Woman texting (BBC)
Job hopefuls have to send a text to say why they would fit the role

Job hunters have been offered a mobile phone shortcut to advertise themselves to a potential employer.

A firm specialising in mobile phone services wants applicants for its marketing job to apply by text.

Teimlo, in Usk, Monmouthshire, said the 160 character limit would help sift the "more savvy" about providing content from those who "just want any job".

The advert has gone on three Twitter sites to start a "viral" campaign but will also be published in magazines.

People have until September to apply, and the company's Phil Terrett said: "They will really have to work at the response."

But the character limit is not the only hurdle.

The final three or four who pass the text test face being interviewed by the other three staff in the firm to ensure they fit in with the "style and type of people".

Teimlo is Welsh verb for "feeling" or "to feel". The firm, founded by Mr Terrett in 2005, provides mobile phone content for firms, charities and individuals.

They include a Christian satellite television service, the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF), and a tennis coach offering videos of lessons.

Teimlo's advert on it website
Job hopefuls have to send a text to say why they would fit the role

Mr Terrett said asking for responses by text was a way to sift out people who simply wanted to "mimic" the candidate's qualities in the job specification.

In this case, the successful applicant needs to be "sassy, good with words", "have working knowledge of mobile and social media" and a "determined multi-tasker and networker".

He said: "When we came to needing a new marketing person, I had this brainwave of how do you sort out the people who are genuinely interested in what we do with those who just want a job?

"If the text says, 'Dear sir, I would like to apply for the position of...' they are going to run out of space.

"They have to be a bit more creative and a lot more savvy to fit something in that's going to make a genuine impression."

"What we want is happy fanatics at what we do, people who will fit in and understand the subject. It's the attitude that matters."

'Funky CV'

In fact, applicants will have four fewer characters to use than they might like, because the text reply needs to begin with the word "job", followed by a space.

Mr Terrett said the second phase of the application process would ask applicants to send in a "funky CV".

The shortlisted candidates then face being interviewed by the other staff members.

An advert for the post will be published in a couple of magazines next month, but the firm has already launched the advert on three in-house Twitter accounts - and received its first application.

Mr Terrett said he expected the successful applicant to be appointed in early September.

We asked for your comments on this story. Below are a selection of those sent in.

Actually there is a job and it is mid level position - there is no sham. The candidates that text in do not pay us a penny - i.e. this is not at Premium rate - it will cost them only a standard rate text. We do not lay people off by text nor would we, we pride ourselves on acting totally properly as employers.

I understand that some will be doubtful of our actions but for us this is a way of judging compatibility with the markets we work in.

I hope this answers the questions.

Phil Terrett, CEO, Teimlo
Phil Terrett, Usk

Sounds interesting. It's just the first stage of the process and is an innovative way of identifying candidates that understand what the job is about. The next stages in the process look more conventional. It's not uncommon for small companies to value people who fit in with the existing staff in order to maintain the team spirit. But I too would be interested in seeing if they can be beaten at their own game and provide a 156 character job description, tagged with "job:"!
Gavin, Hampshire, UK

only 3 others in the group.You can hardly call this a company.The local scouts group is bigger.Dont waste your time or money and certainly do not think there's a worthwhile career on offer.
clive, croydon

I don't think Sir Alan Sugar would think much of this gimmick. As we all know from watching The Apprentice 'having the gift of the gab' and being able to talk the talk doesn't mean a thing when it comes to actually doing a job. How do they know they are being told the truth, without checking qualifications and references. An empty kettle makes the most colourful and noisiest noise but you won't get a cup of tea out of it cause the kettles' empty. Those that talk the talk, rarely walk the walk. As for 'fitting in' well we can all pretend to be something we're not in the hope of being accepted and fitting in. An interview is a bit like a first date; deceptive. People are multi-layored, and it takes a while to discover even just the first few layers. This company sounds glib, shallow and rather heartless and ruthless. Give me an old-fashioned interview and a well-presented typed cv any day. I hope this company has the courtesy to reply to all its applicants.

Emma Watson, Leeds, UK

'Providing mobile phone content'. What a rewarding, worthwhile and satisfying job that must be. Especially for such worthy causes.
Justin Ward, London, UK

And no doubt this company when they are done with the workforce will lay them off by "txt"
Carl, Clydach

noproblm. Let's see 160ch ad.

m. Mohsin Alam, dhaka, bangladesh

Gr8 idea - will get ppl 2 prove comms skills - essential 4 that job
jh, UK

This is a complete marketing ploy to advertise the Company at the expense of others. They are charged for the text and the Company makes money from this. They create awareness (free advertising by the BBC and us Licence payers) and the BBC fell for it.

Remove this ridiculous story......
David Williams, Northampton, UK

As a Marketer the company has done a great job of getting itself noticed practising what it preaches in the use of mobile communications.

156 characters of txt-lish to determine a shortlist though would mean the role, about which real detail and remuneration isn't given on their website, is junior/entry level so maybe not that big of a risk for what looks like a small company in provincial Usk - and hardly the future of recruitment. Plus it saves a small company time in reading covering letters, CVs etc.

The exercise and media exposure all looks like a good way of expanding their catchment area of candidates around the South Wales area.

All in all good for the Company, much less good for job hunters who have 156 characters to make an impact against what will surely be an inflated number of respondents.
Ben, London

Seems more like a good idea for rogue companies to make money at the expense of hopeful unemployed people.

Is there REALLY a job on offer or is it a sham?
Kelly, Newcastle UK

Print Sponsor

New service is all in a day's SMS
11 Feb 09 |  Technology
Text messages empower poor farmers
06 May 08 |  South Asia
R we in luv with our txt msgs??
29 Jul 08 |  Business
Expert says txt is gr8 4 language
20 May 08 |  North West Wales
Don't be 404, know the tech slang
10 Dec 08 |  Technology
Firm 'sacked staff by text' claim
08 Aug 07 |  Hereford/Worcs


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific