Serial Hugger For Hire

Who among you is brave enough to hire Jayson Littman?

The guy wants to work in marketing, advertising or PR. And he’s got good chops: Twice in three months he’s orchestrated one-man media stunts that have made him a darling of The New York Times and The New York Observer. But HR managers, take note: He really, really likes to hug people.

In April, Littman, 27, a financial analyst at a firm he declines to name, earned 1,000 words in the Times by giving out free hugs in Washington Square Park. (“On first impression, Mr. Littman seems more salesman than pacifist,” the Times noted.) Then, last month, he began a job search—by handing out hundreds of résumés on the subway. That got him 1,000 words in the Observer —and, he says, five job offers and interest from two PR firms.

“If I can create a bit of a press-box for myself, I know I can do it for other companies, too,” Littman reasons. Of his unusual job hunt, he says, “I realized that on every subway car, I’d be marketing to 50-75 different companies. Important people ride the subway. Hey, Mayor Bloomberg brags about his subway riding. I know it’s a creative and nontraditional approach, and I am banking on someone noticing that.”

Fair enough. But what about the hugging? At least one recruiter he met on the train had concerns about it. “She said, ‘I look at this and think this guy is a major HR risk,’ ” Littman says. But he promises to be good. At his current job, “I had to politely tell [co-workers], ‘Just like we go outside to smoke, if you want to hug, we need to leave the premises.’ I can’t hug at the office. Our environment does not allow that, and I respect and understand that.”