NSA Recruits Code Breakers with Encrypted Tweets

Industry News, Op-Ed

Think you got the code breaking chops to work for the NSA? Prove it.

That’s exactly what the National Security Agency wants you to do with the encrypted tweets broadcast by @NSACareers.

This past Monday the NSA sent out a mystery tweet that had some followers scratching their heads. Had the @NSACareers Twitter Manager sat on a keyboard? Did the @NSACareers handle get hacked by a very bad speller? Speculations, rumors, and intrigue ran about.

Can you make sense of this message? Scroll down below for the decoded answer.

NSA Encrypted Tweet

Turns out the tweet was deliberate, and in our view, quite genius.

In their clever #MissionMonday campaign, the NSA announced its plan to share weekly encrypted tweets on “what it takes” to join the agency.

Now every Monday in May we can all live out our spy fantasy, waiting patiently on the @NSACareers Twitter feed for the mystery message to appear, but likely will not self-destruct.

So, why is this genius?

The NSA has tapped into our collective imagination, our thirst for challenge, our desire to play a game; and the resulting media buzz was well worth the effort. The Today Show ran a quick segment this morning on the encrypted NSA tweet, and even inspired the producers to come up with an encrypted tweet of their own.

Through one campaign–well actually, at this point, through just one tweet–the NSA showed how employers, even those in the public sector, can harness social recruiting to inspire creative thought, ignite excitement around an employer brand, and sweep some great press in the process–BuzzFeed, CNN, and CBS all covering the story.

Here’s the NSA tweet, decoded:

“Want to know what it takes to work at NSA? Check back each Monday in May as we explore career essentials to protect our nation.”

Bottom Line: The NSA expertly executed a Twitter strategy to recruit, target, and qualify the nation’s next code hackers, proving in one elegant motion that social recruiting can powerfully blend branding and hiring efforts, all within 140 characters.

What’s your next employer branding move? How can you capture the imagination of many, and the engaged attention of your ideal hires?

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