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Shopping for Candidates? They May Be Right in Front of You!

January 19, 2011

I was on Facebook yesterday and saw this ad pop up on my profile page…

My first thought was – this guy is a rock star.  How smart is he?   He pays pennies for this ad and it is putting him in front of really relevant recruiters/hiring managers and people that work in Marketing/Technology – his sweet spot.

I think as much as my previous Facebook Ads post (if optimized) is an example of a game changer – this speaks even more to the changing landscape of Pay Per Click Recruiting and that candidates are becoming more and more familiar with seeing Digital Media as addressable, and worth clicking on.

I have a phone chat schedule with Albert today – and based on our initial message it doesn’t sound like he’d move to New York for one of my jobs.  That doesn’t mean I don’t know people I can hook him up with in Seattle, and he knows candidates for my positions.

This is a good example, as I am really pushing my recruitment team to look at the “profile” not the resume of a candidate, create a long term relationship and think of it as an asset.   This guy is obviously really savvy – it’s a good opportunity to ask him how his job search experience has been and if he would click on something like a company sponsored Facebook Recruitment Ad.

Would love to see some comments regarding your favorite and most innovative ways candidates are putting themselves out there for us to see!

Oh – and if you have a Marketing Tech Ops spot in Seattle – interview Albert!  Click the picture above it will take you to his website/resume.


Recruiting via Facebook Ads

December 7, 2010

Whether you are a hard-core recruiter with a nasty req load or even a hiring manager at a start up – everyone seems to be interested in leveraging Social Media at a minimal cost to find great passive talent.  Facebook Ads are a great way to do this – they are inexpensive, easy to set up and control, and allow you to target a specific and geographically relevant audience.

First, you’ll need a Facebook account, so unless you live under a rock or are one of those “anti-social media” angry types – you should be good to go.  Once you take care of that, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Advertising” link.

First I recommended  reviewing the billing section and gathering an understanding for your payment options.  Once you figure out what’s best for you, set up your account and get ready to create an Ad!

You’ll need to click the Create an Ad button and off we go!




There are 3 Steps to creating your ad – “Design,” “Targeting” and “Campaigns, Pricing and Scheduling”


To set up your Ad – you should enter the destination URL.  This is a key decision because when thinking about attracting more passive job seekers – your candidate experience should be flawless.  Otherwise your click-throughs won’t be conversions, or in our case applicants or resumes – They will just be clicks.    If you have the time, I highly recommended whipping up a job specific micro-site just for this particular job opportunity, or a small sub-set that are similar and adding the code for Google Analytics so you can track your traffic.  This will allow you to see who is clicking where and applying.  Most corporate careers sites only give you the option of having the candidate select where they came from – which leaves room for error.  Remember, data is the key to ROI, and ROI is the key to getting more budget for Ad Campaigns! –  But most importantly it drives smarter and more efficient hiring.

Here is a screen shot of the set up section for Design… Easy right?!  You can see the real time creative that will change as you make edits on the upper right hand corner of people’s FB pages  (Don’t mess with Hong Kong Phooey!).

If you have the internal horsepower to easily create a microsite and make it look fantastic – more power to you.  If you have to do it on your own, check out Google Sites, WebNode, etc…  or you could even use WordPress – Little to no HTML experience required!   What you can put in this tiny little ad is limited, so you creating a strong, job specific branded experience – and not just another job description will help you gain more conversions.  Remember, people are clicking on this ad during downtime – “Facebook Time” – make it intersting, not just a list of responsibilities.

There is also a nice little feature where you can actually click the “Suggest an Ad” button and it will pull a picture from your Destination URL and suggest a title.   I usually choose to upload my own picture and try to be a little more aggressive with my branding (again – think passive talent), but thanks for the suggestion Facebook!


After you set up the design, the next step is targeting.  One of the main reasons I use Facebook Ads – is it allows me to target people interested in certain things, working for specific companies, coming from top schools, etc…   For example – I am currently running a campaign for top notch sales people, and the Ad is only hitting the Facebook pages for people that work for our top 7 or 8 competitors.  And since I’m paying less than $2.00 per click – I know I am going to get an interesting candidate with each $2.00 I spend – well worth the cost!  I’ll reference a specific campaign I ran for looking for Perl Programmers when we get the analytics piece.

To keep things simple – here is some targeting I did for Software Engineers working for some great companies in a few big cities…

With targeting you don’t just get Education & Work info and Likes and Interests like previously mentioned, but you can select Location and also several demographical info like gender, relationship info, languages, etc…  If you are analytical like myself you can drive yourself crazy trying to set up the perfect targeting and design, but that isn’t necessary.  You can easily go back and tweak your ad on the fly no problem.  The key is the constantly evaluating the results and adjusting as you go – optimize.

Campaign, Pricing, Scheduling

This section allows you to set up pricing and allows you to organize your Ads into Campaigns.  In terms of pricing there are two methods – CPM or CPC – or Cost per Impression vs. Cost per Click.  With the impression, you are bidding to get your add up and paying per the actual impression of the ad by the 1000.  With pay per click – you only pay for the ad if someone clicks on it.  I have used both successfully, it really depends on the targeting info and who you are going after.

With CPM – If you are casting a wide net, and are anticipating a lot of “window shoppers” it may be good to go with CPM so you don’t pay for any unnecessary clicks.

With CPC – if you are running a very targeted campaign and know that only very relevant candidates will be clicking.  This is where you can really see a HUGE return on investment, which is a great segway into the anlytics piece.


When you visit your campaigns page, you’ll be able to see your ad’s performance.  The instant gratification I get from this as a recruiter is so refreshing.  We are so used to having to record, and track and depend on candidates to enter the right info, etc…  It really is powerful, and a big reason I feel strongly towards why the recruiting budgets out there are going to be shifting heavily towards digital advertising and away from traditional job postings over the next several years.  But that’s a different post for a different day.  As promised –  Here is the data from that Perl Ad that I ran…

766,361 Impressions (The amount of times my ad appeared on someone’s facebook page)

.7 Social % (Percentage of impressions where the view of the ad also saw that one or more friends liked your page, event or application)

339 Clicks (Self explanatory)

.044% CTR  (Click through rate)

.54 Avg. CPC (cost per click)

$182.74  Spent (Total $ Spent)

Now this ad ran for for 18 days – and I was able to amass 339 clicks for $182.74.  I also received two spot on candidates for one of the hardest reqs you will ever have (if you haven’t recruited for OO Perl on the LAMP stack – consider yourself lucky!).    We made an offer to one very strong candidate – great ROI on this considering we use agencies often for this requirement.

One final note – going back to the micro-site concept, Google Analytics can dig in deeper and tell you who is clicking your page, and who is clicking through it.  This will enable you to help you further optimize by adjusting your branding (Big buzz word today – good way to find out if it’s worth it!)… or that ridiculous job description that crazy hiring manager gave you!

Comments, Suggestions Welcome! Please Post!

Follow Up questions –  tweet me – @Dkrecruit


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A Sneaky Way to Find Passives on Twitter

June 4, 2010

With all of the job posting aggregation going these days on Twitter – I have found a way to use them to my advantage. The niche small to medium sized ones are where it’s at – Just go to the Twitter home page, click on “Followers” and boom – a list of people curious about jobs in the specific niche of the aggregation source.

It’s a bit time consuming, but worth it to then go through the list to see who is in local to your job, and then try and find them on LinkedIn or just send them a tweet.

I found a really good one for a UX lead I am working on. About 2k followers, with a few from NY.

Inside The Sourcing Lab – Digital Media

February 22, 2010

“Inside The Sourcing Lab” Is a new series of posts on Hire Calling. It’s simply about the mad-recruiter-scientist in me and the brilliant and sometimes not-so-brilliant strategies I’ll try to find top-notch passive tech candidates. It’s AAAAlive!

While Social Media recruitment seems to continue to be the hot topic these days, I am finding it to be a lot of work for little results.   I am lucky enough to get the opportunity to test out some really cool and progressive online ad technology to attract some open source talent in the door for a major tech hiring project I am working on.   I am using 2 resources, Yahoo! and a start up called HireReach based in Wellesley, MA.

The Yahoo! ads come via my guy over at Yahoo! HotJobs and they will spread the “Smart Ads” around different Yahoo sites with our job postings inside of them and we are also doing some pretty cool keyword based search marketing ads.

HireReach is another bunch of MIT and Harvard Techies who have a great concept,  sweet algorithm and will make more of us hate our cubicles and TPS reports when they are all millionaires.   They focus on specific tech-centric content and publishing websites that attract a lot of passive tech talent eyes.

It took a few weeks to price out, plan and put the contracts in order, but we are now in the creative/concept mode and should be posting media next week.   The creative aspect has been really fun/challenging, and we have some really talented in house folks at my company who are helping me out. It’s been interesting trying to figure out the right eye-catching “Tech-Speak” to put in the ads, as my main concern is sounding too much like a recruiter.   I was able to get some brutally honest insight from my SW Engineers (there is no other kind coming from them!) and some great input from our Ad savvy client facing people, tech leadership and Very Strategic Sr. HR folks. Thanks guys!

In terms of where my candidates will be landing, I decided to direct the job seekers to a micro-site I am creating with the help of one of my tech guys. The site will house my job descriptions, some simple “tech friendly” employment branding and a simple email application feature to make it easy for people to get their resume in without too much trouble. Another reason I am using the site is so I can track it the success of the ads.   (I will post something on the micro-site soon, feel this is a great, easy tool that can help drive max resume flow – works great with referrals too). I also don’t want these folks to have to go through an ATS yet, because in order to track if it is going to kill my application numbers, I want to make sure I know what the numbers look like before we go that route.   I am all about compliance, reporting, tracking, etc… but we will get there.   I am going to post 2 identical sites, one to track the Yahoo! ads, one for the HireReach ones.

I am super excited and hopeful we will do well and hire a few people to justify the cost.   The folks at both Ad companies have been really helpful and have provided some good tips and tricks.   Check back in a few days, I’ll update the post with some screen shots and share some early results!

Awesome LinkedIn Parody

February 19, 2010

If you don’t watch Current – it’s the best new channel on TV – Really funny “Daily Show” type stuff and also a Show called Vanguard that has real, young ambitous journalists doing get this… real journalism!

I just about lost my shit when the Corporate Head Hunter comes in – Legendary!

E-Referral Seekers Be Bold! Put Yourself Out There!

September 24, 2009

To all Recruiters out there asking for referrals online and in email, try putting a little bit of humanity in your next online people-query. The guidelines are usually keep it short, simple and get to the point.   While this can be effective, it is strictly centered around not taking up too much of people’s time, as they probably have 167 emails in their inbox, 34 tweets crossing their deck every 6 minutes and their phone ringing off the hook. 

Now I sometimes employ this strategy, as I find it a necessary evil.  However I was recently presented with an opportunity to put myself out there a little more in an e-referral request – and am seeing awesome results.

Thinking a little deeper about asking for a referral, it is all based around a relationship you may or may not have with the person you are asking.  Sure you will get lucky with people who have friends who are unemployed, etc… but if you really want an “A” player to be referred to you, do you think a relative stranger is going to just pony up?   Probably not.  This is why you need to use a personal, relationship building approach to the opportunity when asking in any online type application – email or InMail (LinkedIn – Whoot! Whoot!) Facebook, message boards etc…

The position I am seeking candidates for in this scenario happens to be an HR Manager – one who I may actually end up reporting to. I am obviously not the decision maker, but it’s my job to source candidates, so I decided to find 100 of the most impressive VP and Director level resumes in my area on LinkedIn and send them all an InMail blast via LinkedIn Recruiter…

SUBJECT: Amazingly Brave HR Referral Request

I came across your LinkedIn Profile and am very impressed with your background and experience. In fact – you are probably too senior for my HR Manager opening!

You see, I have the unique opportunity to recruit for someone who will be my direct manager. Because I want the very best manager possible – I am sending a note out to the VERY BEST Sr. Level HR folks in the NY Metro area to see if they would be willing to refer an HR Manager who is simply AWESOME!

If you know or have managed someone proven to be an intelligent, experienced, creative and open minded HR Manager – please – send them my way!

**Resumes to:
**Or even twitter:
**Job Requirement:

Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day dealing with annoying unnecessarily escalated Employee Relations issues to think of referring someone talented and driven, as it may have a direct impact on my career!

All the best,

Recruiter, Human Resources
My Company

By putting a human element a catchy subject line and maybe even some humor in the referral (depends on who you ask), I was able to create more than just a desperate attempt at grabbing a good candidate from someone. When thinking about my audience, I mean what HR Executive wouldn’t want to help someone like me out? I’m sure many of them have been in my situation before, or have had to place their direct reports in a similar spot – they know what it’s like!

And here lies to key to why I think the results have been so positive – a lot of us forget to put “the human element” into their e-referrals. We all receive so much faceless information these days, it’s probably nice to given an opportunity to help someone out who you may not know, but can understand where they are coming from.

Check out Jobshouts – a gateway to job posting on Twitter

April 9, 2009

With Twitter being all the rage these days – I was lucky enough to stumble upon – a website that helps employers and recruiters post jobs on Twitter.

The concept is free and simple – just the way we like it!  You go to their website, post a job, and they run it through their Twitter feed which hits their followers.   Your job posting will also show up in the Twitter search – which could be a great way to get your job out there passive candidates looking to move.

The Tweets link back to the site where your job description and contact info sits.  Pretty cool stuff right?

Make sure you sign on to Twitter and follow Jobshouts so you can see your posts!

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