The Financial Times has come up with an ingenious way to recruit its next batch of developer interns: The publisher is hiding the application form in the HTML code its new site.
Toggle to the original source code from the FT’s homepage and the application can be found underneath the recognizable FT letters written out in dummy code. It reads: “Graduate? Hello! You’ve been inquisitive enough to find a link to our graduate scheme application,” with a link to the application form for the FT’s Technology Graduate Application 2017.
“Putting a job ad in the HTML comments tags means it’ll only be found by people curious enough to look at the site’s source code,” said Andrew Girdwood, head of media technology at agency Cello Signal. “Anyone can do that but people rarely do.”
This isn’t the first time newspapers have used the tactic. Girdwood cites the Daily Mail in 2010, which put a job advert for a search engine optimization manager in their robots.txt file. “That’s an obscure location where only other SEOs and search engines tend to look.”
The FT’s application is an example of a publisher easter egg, something hidden but meant to be found, albeit designed for recruitment. Condé Nast’s snuck dinosaur pop-ups onto its sites for Vogue, Wired and GQ that would materialize when readers typed the Konami Code on their sites.
The only reason more publishers don’t play with them, theorized Girdwood, is due to “the usual silos between developers and everyone else in the organization, and making the business case for it.”
Update: Since writing this article the FT has responded to say that it accepts two applicants each year for the technology graduate program, which started in 2015, and for the 2016 intake, a third of those who applied did so via the post hidden in the source code of the new ft.com homepage.
Image courtesy of Steven Johnson/Flickr.
The Athletic’s Sebastian Tomich is looking beyond ads and subscriptions to reach profitability
The Athletic's path to profitability is set for 2025, and to achieve this goal, chief commercial officer Sebastian Tomich is focused on more than just selling ads directly to prospective advertisers.
How newsroom unions intervene when members get laid off
Amid the recent wave of media layoffs, here are some of the ways newsroom unions are intervening.
Despite Q1’s slow start, publishers are bullish about events revenue for 2023
Publishers like BDG and Apartment Therapy are banking on events revenue to give them a leg up in 2023.
SponsoredAdvertising predictions that will shake up the media industry in 2023
Chris Kelly, CEO, Upwave Like many people, marketers and advertisers were ready to see 2022 come to a close. A year that started off promising was assailed by inflation, layoffs and the disastrous effects of RSV, the flu and additional COVID strains. Still, despite an uncertain outlook for 2023, there are plenty of reasons for […]
Media Briefing: The case for and against monthly and annual subscriptions in the battle for retention
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for improving retention in a subscriptions business. While annual subscribers might stick around longer for some, other publishers will have better luck with monthly plans.
Digiday+ Research: The economy will hit the media and marketing industries this year, but differently
The economy will plague both the media and marketing industries in 2023, but the hit will be uneven between publishers and agencies.