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SOLVING	
  THE	
  TEN	
  BIGGEST	
  HIRING	
  PROBLEMS	
   3	
  
Problem:	
  Low	
  or	
  dropping	
  website	
  traffic	
   5	
  
Problem:	
  Low	
  conversion	
  rates	
  on	
  our	
  site	
   8	
  
Problem:	
  Search	
  engines	
  aren’t	
  sending	
  us	
  free	
  traffic
	
   12	
  
Problem:	
  Lots	
  of	
  traffic,	
  but	
  most	
  of	
  it	
  is	
  a	
  poor	
  fit	
   15	
  
Problem:	
  Our	
  ad	
  budget	
  keeps	
  going	
  up,	
  but	
  without	
  
an	
  increase	
  in	
  value	
   18	
  
Problem:	
  We	
  have	
  problems	
  attracting	
  and	
  hiring	
  
entry-­‐level	
  talent	
   22	
  
Problem:	
  Attracting	
  and	
  hiring	
  upper-­‐level	
  and	
  
selective	
  talent	
   26	
  
Problem:	
  Losing	
  talented	
  prospects	
  during	
  the	
  hiring	
  
process	
   31	
  
Problem:	
  We	
  need	
  to	
  attract	
  passive	
  candidates	
   36	
  
Problem:	
  Attract	
  university	
  candidates	
   40	
  
Thanks,	
  Credits	
   44	
  
About	
  James	
  Ellis	
   45	
  
	
   	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
3	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  
Hiring	
  Problems	
  
	
  
You	
  have	
  a	
  recruitment	
  problem.	
  No,	
  I’m	
  sure	
  you	
  
do.	
  I	
  have	
  no	
  idea	
  what	
  it	
  is,	
  but	
  at	
  issue	
  is	
  that	
  you	
  
have	
  a	
  fairly	
  limited	
  perspective.	
  You	
  understand	
  
how	
  your	
  company	
  does	
  things	
  and	
  unless	
  you’ve	
  
job-­‐hopped	
  a	
  lot,	
  the	
  frame	
  of	
  reference	
  around	
  
your	
  issue	
  is	
  somewhat	
  limited.	
  
	
  
Of	
  course,	
  if	
  you	
  go	
  to	
  a	
  vendor	
  or	
  agency,	
  it’s	
  hard	
  
to	
  know	
  what	
  information	
  is	
  useful	
  and	
  what	
  is	
  a	
  
sales	
  pitch.	
  	
  	
  
	
  
So,	
  I	
  am	
  building	
  this	
  one-­‐stop	
  talent	
  acquisition	
  
and	
  recruitment	
  marketing	
  cheat	
  sheet.	
  Here	
  are	
  a	
  
bunch	
  of	
  very	
  common	
  issues	
  and	
  a	
  number	
  of	
  
4	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
likely	
  ways	
  to	
  combat	
  them,	
  all	
  in	
  one	
  spot.	
  No	
  
solution	
  solves	
  all	
  problems,	
  so	
  this	
  will	
  help	
  you	
  
have	
  a	
  better	
  conversation	
  with	
  your	
  network	
  and	
  
partners.	
  
	
  
Tell	
  your	
  friends.	
  
	
  
-­‐James	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
5	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Problem:	
  Low	
  
or	
  dropping	
  
website	
  traffic	
  
	
  
SOLUTION:	
  SHORT-­‐TERM:	
  BUY	
  ADS	
  AND	
  SOCIAL	
  PROMOTION.	
  
LONG-­‐TERM:	
  SEO	
  AND	
  CONTENT.	
  
	
  
Explanation:	
  Traffic	
  to	
  your	
  website	
  is	
  probably	
  the	
  
biggest	
  and	
  broadest	
  key	
  performance	
  indicator	
  
there	
  is.	
  Without	
  people	
  coming	
  to	
  your	
  career	
  
site,	
  you	
  can’t	
  make	
  your	
  pitch,	
  sign	
  people	
  up	
  for	
  
your	
  talent	
  community	
  or	
  get	
  people	
  to	
  apply.	
  
Traffic	
  is	
  recruitment	
  oxygen.	
  While	
  there	
  are	
  
plenty	
  of	
  other	
  KPIs	
  worthy	
  of	
  consideration,	
  
without	
  traffic	
  to	
  the	
  site,	
  they	
  are	
  mostly	
  moot.	
  
1	
  
6	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
So	
  if	
  you	
  are	
  facing	
  dropping	
  traffic,	
  you’ll	
  want	
  to	
  
engage	
  in	
  a	
  two-­‐pronged	
  solution:	
  prop	
  up	
  traffic	
  
now	
  to	
  buy	
  you	
  the	
  time	
  it	
  takes	
  to	
  organically	
  fix	
  
the	
  issue.	
  Thus,	
  the	
  short-­‐term	
  solution	
  is	
  to	
  buy	
  
more	
  ads	
  and	
  social	
  promotion.	
  	
  
	
  
Ads	
  are	
  obviously	
  the	
  quick-­‐fix	
  solution,	
  paying	
  
people	
  to	
  look	
  at	
  your	
  website.	
  The	
  problem	
  is	
  that	
  
it	
  can	
  be	
  a	
  costly	
  solution,	
  so	
  engage	
  in	
  it	
  as	
  a	
  
bandage,	
  not	
  a	
  treatment.	
  At	
  the	
  same	
  time,	
  using	
  
social	
  media	
  promotion	
  gets	
  you	
  all	
  the	
  same	
  kind	
  
of	
  targeting	
  tools	
  an	
  ad	
  will	
  get	
  you	
  (if	
  not	
  more),	
  
and	
  it	
  can	
  do	
  it	
  for	
  a	
  lower	
  price	
  point.	
  
	
  
In	
  the	
  long-­‐term,	
  invest	
  in	
  something	
  that	
  will	
  draw	
  
people	
  to	
  you	
  more	
  organically.	
  Interesting	
  and	
  
unique	
  stories	
  about	
  your	
  company,	
  your	
  culture	
  
and	
  your	
  people	
  naturally	
  get	
  shared	
  and	
  read	
  
because	
  they	
  are	
  interesting.	
  At	
  the	
  same	
  time,	
  all	
  
this	
  content	
  defining	
  who	
  you	
  are	
  helps	
  search	
  
engines	
  tie	
  your	
  site	
  to	
  interested	
  searchers.	
  Good	
  
stories	
  properly	
  prepared	
  for	
  search	
  engine	
  
consumption	
  can	
  drive	
  traffic	
  for	
  months	
  and	
  years	
  
after	
  launch.	
  
	
  
The	
  issue	
  is	
  that	
  you	
  can’t	
  apply	
  a	
  long-­‐term	
  
solution	
  to	
  a	
  short-­‐term	
  issue.	
  It	
  takes	
  time	
  to	
  
develop	
  and	
  promote	
  content	
  to	
  the	
  right	
  
audiences	
  to	
  provide	
  that	
  lift.	
  Content	
  is	
  a	
  long-­‐tail	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
7	
  
game,	
  while	
  ads	
  and	
  promotion	
  can	
  lift	
  traffic	
  
overnight.	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
8	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Problem:	
  Low	
  
conversion	
  
rates	
  on	
  our	
  
site	
  
	
  
SOLUTION:	
  BUILD	
  CONTENT	
  INTO	
  YOUR	
  SITE	
  AT	
  THE	
  POINT	
  OF	
  
CONSIDERATION,	
  USER	
  EXPERIENCE,	
  MEDIA	
  MIX.	
  
	
  
Explanation:	
  You	
  probably	
  spend	
  a	
  good	
  deal	
  of	
  
money	
  just	
  to	
  get	
  people	
  to	
  your	
  site.	
  Whether	
  
that	
  money	
  is	
  spent	
  on	
  ads,	
  job	
  boards,	
  brand	
  
messaging,	
  email	
  marketing	
  or	
  search	
  optimization,	
  
it’s	
  money	
  spent	
  solely	
  to	
  generate	
  traffic.	
  But	
  you	
  
may	
  see	
  a	
  low	
  or	
  declining	
  percentage	
  of	
  site	
  
visitors	
  actually	
  doing	
  anything	
  of	
  value	
  –	
  like	
  
joining	
  the	
  talent	
  community	
  or	
  applying.	
  
	
  
The	
  problem	
  in	
  this	
  situation	
  is	
  that	
  your	
  
promotion	
  is	
  either	
  doing	
  its	
  job	
  and	
  you	
  aren’t	
  
giving	
  people	
  a	
  reason	
  to	
  continue,	
  or	
  that	
  your	
  ads	
  
2	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
9	
  
are	
  doing	
  too	
  good	
  a	
  job	
  and	
  driving	
  useless	
  traffic	
  
to	
  your	
  site.	
  Let’s	
  tackle	
  these	
  issues	
  separately.	
  
	
  
In	
  the	
  first	
  instance,	
  where	
  the	
  right	
  people	
  are	
  on	
  
your	
  site,	
  but	
  aren’t	
  applying	
  is	
  a	
  tough	
  problem	
  to	
  
diagnose	
  and	
  solve.	
  Start	
  by	
  looking	
  at	
  your	
  
analytics.	
  Segment	
  out	
  all	
  traffic	
  from	
  ads	
  or	
  job	
  
boards	
  and	
  focus	
  on	
  organic	
  traffic	
  from	
  search	
  
engines	
  (e.g.	
  you	
  didn’t	
  pay	
  for	
  that	
  click)	
  and	
  
those	
  from	
  your	
  corporate	
  site.	
  These	
  are	
  people	
  
who	
  are	
  looking	
  for	
  what	
  you	
  have	
  to	
  say,	
  who	
  
know	
  who	
  you	
  are	
  and	
  are	
  motivated	
  to	
  engage	
  
with	
  you.	
  
	
  
Take	
  a	
  look	
  at	
  the	
  conversion	
  rate	
  each	
  month	
  for	
  
the	
  last	
  two	
  years	
  for	
  just	
  this	
  traffic.	
  Is	
  it	
  dropping?	
  
Then	
  it’s	
  likely	
  that	
  the	
  problem	
  is	
  because	
  people	
  
arrive	
  at	
  your	
  site	
  and	
  then…	
  drift	
  away	
  without	
  
taking	
  action.	
  
	
  
Another	
  telltale	
  sign	
  is	
  that	
  your	
  job	
  descriptions	
  
are	
  your	
  biggest	
  exit	
  pages.	
  People	
  are	
  finding	
  your	
  
jobs,	
  but	
  then,	
  they	
  just	
  quit	
  on	
  you.	
  
	
  
In	
  this	
  situation,	
  prospects	
  are	
  interested	
  in	
  
applying,	
  but	
  still	
  on	
  the	
  fence.	
  They	
  are	
  looking	
  for	
  
a	
  good	
  reason	
  to	
  take	
  the	
  next	
  step.	
  Your	
  job	
  
descriptions	
  aren’t	
  meant	
  to	
  actually	
  drive	
  action	
  
(they	
  are	
  more	
  legal	
  placeholders	
  than	
  they	
  are	
  
marketing	
  and	
  sales	
  tools),	
  so	
  you	
  need	
  content	
  to	
  
10	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
really	
  explain	
  why	
  someone	
  who	
  found	
  your	
  jobs	
  
should	
  apply	
  –	
  beyond	
  the	
  existence	
  of	
  the	
  job.	
  	
  
	
  
Content	
  will	
  do	
  the	
  most	
  good	
  if	
  it	
  is	
  placed	
  in	
  line	
  
with	
  the	
  decision-­‐making	
  process:	
  next	
  to	
  the	
  job	
  
description.	
  If	
  you	
  ask	
  a	
  prospect	
  to	
  go	
  searching	
  
for	
  the	
  content,	
  they	
  will	
  leave	
  in	
  search	
  of	
  a	
  
company	
  that	
  is	
  actively	
  trying	
  to	
  woo	
  them	
  a	
  little.	
  
	
  
But	
  there	
  is	
  another	
  common	
  reason	
  why	
  your	
  
conversion	
  rate	
  is	
  dropping:	
  your	
  outbound	
  
marketing	
  (ads,	
  job	
  board	
  promotion,	
  etc.)	
  is	
  
working	
  too	
  well,	
  attracting	
  people	
  who	
  aren’t	
  
likely	
  fits	
  to	
  the	
  job.	
  
	
  
To	
  diagnose	
  this	
  situation,	
  again	
  go	
  to	
  your	
  
analytics	
  and	
  segment	
  out	
  your	
  ads	
  and	
  other	
  
marketing	
  traffic.	
  Look	
  for	
  month-­‐by-­‐month	
  
conversion	
  rates	
  for	
  the	
  last	
  two	
  years,	
  If	
  you	
  are	
  
seeing	
  fairly	
  steady	
  conversion	
  rates	
  (barring	
  
seasonality,	
  which	
  is	
  why	
  we	
  look	
  at	
  two	
  years	
  
worth	
  of	
  data),	
  your	
  ads	
  aren’t	
  the	
  problem,	
  and	
  
instead	
  look	
  at	
  using	
  content	
  to	
  compel	
  action	
  in	
  
your	
  prospects.	
  
	
  
If	
  your	
  conversion	
  rates	
  are	
  dropping	
  for	
  ad	
  traffic,	
  
what’s	
  happening	
  is	
  that	
  your	
  media	
  mix	
  is	
  either	
  
out-­‐of-­‐date	
  or	
  seeking	
  prospects	
  in	
  the	
  wrong	
  
audiences.	
  	
  
	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
11	
  
Remember,	
  publishers	
  can’t	
  charge	
  you	
  for	
  your	
  
ads	
  if	
  no	
  one	
  clicks	
  on	
  them,	
  so	
  it	
  is	
  in	
  their	
  best	
  
interests	
  to	
  send	
  you	
  clicks,	
  regardless	
  of	
  value	
  to	
  
you.	
  The	
  best	
  solution	
  is	
  to	
  work	
  with	
  your	
  media	
  
buyers	
  to	
  re-­‐think	
  your	
  media	
  mix.	
  Re-­‐establish	
  
your	
  targets,	
  find	
  new	
  channels	
  and	
  publishers,	
  or	
  
re-­‐segment	
  your	
  audiences.	
  Sometimes	
  a	
  little	
  time	
  
spent	
  thinking	
  about	
  these	
  issues	
  with	
  a	
  fresh	
  
perspective	
  can	
  work	
  wonders	
  on	
  attracting	
  quality	
  
candidates.	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
12	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Problem:	
  
Search	
  
engines	
  aren’t	
  
sending	
  us	
  
free	
  traffic	
  
	
  
SOLUTION:	
  SEO,	
  CONTENT	
  AND	
  SOCIAL.	
  
	
  
Explanation:	
  When	
  Google	
  (or	
  the	
  other	
  search	
  
engines)	
  sends	
  you	
  organic	
  traffic,	
  not	
  only	
  is	
  that	
  
free	
  traffic,	
  that	
  is	
  generally	
  very	
  valuable	
  traffic:	
  
you	
  didn’t	
  have	
  to	
  send	
  them	
  a	
  commercial	
  to	
  drive	
  
them	
  to	
  your	
  site,	
  they	
  were	
  actively	
  searching	
  for	
  
words	
  that	
  were	
  on	
  your	
  website.	
  
	
  
3	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
13	
  
So,	
  if	
  your	
  organic	
  (unpaid)	
  search	
  traffic	
  is	
  
dropping,	
  it’s	
  a	
  lot	
  fewer	
  people	
  on	
  your	
  site,	
  and	
  it	
  
usually	
  means	
  fewer	
  quality	
  prospects.	
  
	
  
To	
  diagnose	
  this	
  issue,	
  go	
  into	
  your	
  analytics,	
  and	
  
just	
  show	
  organic	
  traffic.	
  Is	
  it	
  dropping	
  steadily?	
  
Talk	
  to	
  your	
  SEO	
  analyst	
  about	
  variations	
  and	
  
changes	
  in	
  the	
  different	
  algorithms	
  the	
  search	
  
engines	
  are	
  using	
  and	
  see	
  if	
  your	
  can	
  connect	
  those	
  
changes	
  to	
  drops	
  or	
  spikes	
  in	
  traffic.	
  Unless	
  you’ve	
  
been	
  dinged	
  for	
  some	
  reason,	
  you	
  should	
  see	
  fairly	
  
steady	
  free	
  traffic	
  from	
  search	
  engines.	
  If	
  not,	
  it’s	
  
time	
  to	
  fix	
  the	
  issue.	
  
	
  
Solving	
  this	
  is	
  at	
  once	
  simple	
  and	
  difficult.	
  The	
  
solution	
  is	
  to	
  rank	
  higher	
  on	
  the	
  search	
  engines	
  for	
  
job	
  seeker	
  terms.	
  But	
  to	
  do	
  that,	
  you	
  need	
  a	
  two-­‐
part	
  strategy.	
  
	
  
Obviously,	
  SEO	
  is	
  part	
  of	
  the	
  solution.	
  You	
  want	
  to	
  
work	
  with	
  your	
  developer	
  and	
  SEO	
  analyst	
  to	
  
ensure	
  that	
  your	
  site	
  is	
  optimized	
  from	
  a	
  technical	
  
level	
  [link	
  to	
  nursing	
  blog].	
  This	
  means	
  looking	
  at	
  
your	
  code	
  and	
  making	
  sure	
  you	
  are	
  giving	
  Google	
  
what	
  it’s	
  looking	
  for.	
  
	
  
Of	
  course,	
  if	
  you	
  are	
  using	
  your	
  ATS	
  to	
  post	
  jobs	
  
directly	
  to	
  the	
  web,	
  you	
  likely	
  won’t	
  have	
  any	
  
access	
  to	
  that	
  code	
  at	
  all.	
  You’ll	
  need	
  a	
  way	
  to	
  re-­‐
publish	
  those	
  jobs	
  in	
  a	
  more	
  Google-­‐friendly	
  
platform.	
  	
  
14	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
Beyond	
  the	
  code	
  itself,	
  the	
  other	
  primary	
  factor	
  
that	
  search	
  engines	
  use	
  to	
  weigh	
  your	
  site,	
  is	
  who	
  
is	
  linking	
  to	
  you.	
  In	
  fact,	
  it	
  seems	
  likely	
  that	
  
authentic	
  links	
  to	
  your	
  site	
  (not	
  ones	
  you	
  paid	
  for)	
  
are	
  the	
  most	
  important	
  factor	
  in	
  lifting	
  your	
  
rankings	
  on	
  Google.	
  
	
  
How	
  do	
  you	
  get	
  people	
  to	
  link	
  to	
  you?	
  The	
  first	
  
step	
  is	
  to	
  build	
  content	
  that	
  people	
  will	
  think	
  is	
  
valuable	
  enough	
  to	
  link	
  to.	
  Job	
  descriptions	
  aren’t	
  
enough,	
  mostly	
  because	
  they	
  change	
  URLs	
  so	
  
quickly	
  that	
  Google	
  can’t	
  reliably	
  incorporate	
  them	
  
into	
  its	
  ranking.	
  Also,	
  because	
  job	
  descriptions	
  are	
  
boring:	
  people	
  don’t	
  like	
  to	
  link	
  to	
  boring	
  stuff.	
  
	
  
So	
  build	
  interesting	
  and	
  engaging	
  content.	
  Then	
  ask	
  
people	
  to	
  share	
  it	
  and	
  link	
  to	
  it.	
  That’s	
  the	
  most	
  
effective	
  solution	
  to	
  raising	
  your	
  search	
  engine	
  
traffic.	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
15	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Problem:	
  Lots	
  
of	
  traffic,	
  but	
  
most	
  of	
  it	
  is	
  a	
  
poor	
  fit	
  
	
  
SOLUTION:	
  BRAND,	
  CONTENT,	
  PROGRAMMATIC	
  MEDIA	
  AND	
  
SOCIAL	
  MEDIA	
  PROMOTION.	
  
	
  
Explanation:	
  Buying	
  traffic	
  is	
  easy.	
  In	
  this	
  way,	
  
getting	
  applications	
  isn’t	
  that	
  difficult,	
  either.	
  With	
  
enough	
  money,	
  you	
  can	
  get	
  pretty	
  much	
  get	
  any	
  
number	
  of	
  applications.	
  But	
  there’s	
  a	
  world	
  of	
  
difference	
  between	
  an	
  applicant	
  and	
  a	
  real	
  fit.	
  
	
  
4	
  
16	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
There	
  are	
  a	
  couple	
  of	
  ways	
  to	
  solve	
  this,	
  and	
  they	
  
should	
  be	
  seen	
  as	
  complementary	
  solutions	
  rather	
  
than	
  as	
  a	
  series	
  of	
  alternatives.	
  	
  
	
  
Your	
  primary	
  focus	
  in	
  enhancing	
  fit	
  is	
  to	
  know	
  what	
  
kind	
  of	
  application	
  is	
  a	
  good	
  fit.	
  If	
  you	
  don’t	
  care	
  
where	
  you	
  are	
  going,	
  it	
  doesn’t	
  matter	
  which	
  way	
  
you	
  go,	
  said	
  the	
  smiling	
  cat	
  to	
  the	
  lost	
  Alice.	
  The	
  
same	
  is	
  true	
  here:	
  You	
  have	
  to	
  know	
  what	
  a	
  good	
  
fit	
  looks	
  like	
  before	
  you	
  can	
  attract	
  them.	
  
	
  
Once	
  you’ve	
  established	
  the	
  persona	
  or	
  attributes	
  
of	
  a	
  likely	
  fit,	
  you	
  can’t	
  assume	
  to	
  simply	
  push	
  ads	
  
to	
  them.	
  These	
  are	
  people	
  you	
  had	
  trouble	
  finding	
  
before,	
  so	
  it’s	
  safe	
  to	
  assume	
  that	
  they	
  can	
  be	
  
more	
  selective	
  than	
  your	
  average	
  applicants.	
  In	
  
that	
  case,	
  your	
  next	
  concern	
  must	
  be	
  in	
  giving	
  
these	
  likely	
  fits	
  a	
  reason	
  to	
  consider	
  you.	
  This	
  
means	
  have	
  a	
  well-­‐defined	
  employer	
  brand	
  or	
  
employer	
  value	
  proposition.	
  
	
  
It	
  takes	
  two	
  to	
  tango	
  and	
  two	
  to	
  establish	
  a	
  fit.	
  
They	
  have	
  to	
  be	
  right	
  for	
  you	
  and	
  you	
  have	
  to	
  be	
  
right	
  for	
  them.	
  A	
  one-­‐direction	
  fit	
  isn’t	
  really	
  a	
  fit	
  at	
  
all.	
  It’s	
  a	
  wish,	
  an	
  aspiration,	
  a	
  valentine	
  to	
  an	
  
unrequited	
  love.	
  	
  
	
  
But	
  an	
  EVP	
  by	
  itself	
  isn’t	
  very	
  useful.	
  You	
  have	
  to	
  
prove	
  it,	
  and	
  the	
  most	
  effective	
  way	
  to	
  do	
  that	
  is	
  to	
  
tell	
  stories	
  that	
  activate	
  that	
  EVP.	
  If	
  you	
  are	
  looking	
  
for	
  sharks,	
  your	
  EVP	
  has	
  to	
  reward	
  sharks	
  with	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
17	
  
what	
  sharks	
  like	
  best,	
  then	
  you	
  have	
  to	
  tell	
  stories	
  
about	
  sharks	
  doing	
  amazing	
  work	
  and	
  then	
  being	
  
rewarded	
  in-­‐kind.	
  	
  
	
  
If	
  you	
  aren’t	
  looking	
  for	
  sharks,	
  but	
  instead	
  for	
  
geeks	
  who	
  lust	
  after	
  the	
  newest	
  tech	
  or	
  the	
  biggest	
  
problems	
  to	
  solve,	
  you	
  need	
  an	
  EVP	
  that	
  focuses	
  
on	
  your	
  commitment	
  to	
  tech	
  and	
  solving	
  problems.	
  
Then,	
  you	
  need	
  to	
  tell	
  stories	
  that	
  show	
  off	
  that	
  
tech	
  or	
  illustrate	
  the	
  scope	
  and	
  scale	
  of	
  the	
  
problems	
  you	
  are	
  solving.	
  All	
  your	
  stories	
  must	
  
align	
  with	
  that	
  EVP	
  or	
  else	
  they	
  will	
  feel	
  
incongruent	
  with	
  the	
  larger	
  story	
  you	
  are	
  
presenting	
  about	
  your	
  company.	
  
	
  
Then	
  you	
  need	
  to	
  get	
  those	
  stories	
  in	
  front	
  of	
  likely	
  
fits	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  give	
  them	
  a	
  chance	
  to	
  consider	
  you.	
  
The	
  fastest	
  way	
  to	
  present	
  your	
  story	
  is	
  
programmatic	
  media	
  and	
  social	
  media	
  targeting.	
  
Using	
  the	
  persona	
  work	
  you	
  did	
  in	
  the	
  first	
  step,	
  
you	
  should	
  have	
  a	
  good	
  idea	
  of	
  what	
  interests	
  
these	
  candidates	
  have	
  and	
  what	
  websites	
  they	
  
read.	
  	
  
	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
18	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Problem:	
  Our	
  
ad	
  budget	
  
keeps	
  going	
  up,	
  
but	
  without	
  an	
  
increase	
  in	
  
value	
  
	
  
SOLUTION:	
  CONTENT.	
  
	
  
Explanation:	
  Sadly,	
  ad	
  publishers	
  keep	
  generating	
  
more	
  and	
  more	
  ad	
  space,	
  so	
  the	
  page	
  that	
  used	
  to	
  
have	
  two	
  ads	
  on	
  it,	
  now	
  has	
  seven.	
  Thus,	
  the	
  value	
  
of	
  your	
  ad	
  gets	
  diluted,	
  as	
  other	
  ads	
  demand	
  the	
  
attention	
  from	
  readers	
  you	
  were	
  counting	
  on.	
  
5	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
19	
  
	
  
In	
  order	
  to	
  keep	
  the	
  number	
  of	
  clicks	
  you	
  are	
  
getting,	
  publishers	
  might	
  be	
  reaching	
  out	
  to	
  new	
  
audiences	
  to	
  increase	
  their	
  page	
  views.	
  Sadly,	
  this	
  
audience	
  may	
  not	
  be	
  the	
  one	
  you	
  were	
  trying	
  to	
  
reach,	
  making	
  the	
  value	
  of	
  the	
  click	
  less	
  and	
  less.	
  
Or	
  your	
  ad	
  buyers	
  might	
  be	
  expanding	
  their	
  list	
  of	
  
places	
  to	
  publish	
  your	
  ads	
  to	
  generate	
  those	
  clicks.	
  
The	
  result	
  is	
  usually	
  the	
  same.	
  
	
  
But	
  think	
  about	
  your	
  ad	
  for	
  a	
  second.	
  Regardless	
  of	
  
whether	
  you	
  are	
  buying	
  banner	
  ads	
  or	
  text/search	
  
ads,	
  you	
  have	
  a	
  very,	
  very,	
  very,	
  small	
  space	
  in	
  
which	
  to	
  say	
  anything	
  meaningful.	
  The	
  value	
  of	
  the	
  
ad	
  isn’t	
  based	
  on	
  its	
  applications,	
  but	
  its	
  ability	
  to	
  
generate	
  clicks.	
  Good	
  ads	
  entice	
  people	
  in	
  using	
  a	
  
mixture	
  of	
  curiosity,	
  scarcity,	
  offers	
  or	
  perceived	
  
value	
  to	
  get	
  someone	
  to	
  click,	
  at	
  which	
  point	
  the	
  
page	
  the	
  ad	
  points	
  to	
  gives	
  all	
  the	
  information.	
  
	
  
Sadly,	
  there	
  are	
  issues	
  with	
  this	
  process.	
  First,	
  your	
  
ad	
  is	
  small,	
  so	
  you	
  have	
  to	
  focus	
  on	
  the	
  sizzle	
  rather	
  
than	
  the	
  steak.	
  There’s	
  not	
  enough	
  room	
  to	
  give	
  a	
  
reason	
  that	
  someone	
  should	
  apply,	
  just	
  room	
  
enough	
  to	
  promise	
  that	
  compelling	
  reason	
  on	
  the	
  
landing	
  page.	
  Of	
  course,	
  you	
  are	
  probably	
  sending	
  
someone	
  to	
  a	
  job	
  description,	
  the	
  least	
  compelling	
  
information	
  I	
  can	
  think	
  of.	
  
	
  
You	
  can	
  increase	
  the	
  value	
  of	
  your	
  ads	
  by	
  not	
  
pointing	
  them	
  to	
  jobs	
  and	
  instead	
  send	
  them	
  to	
  
20	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
interesting	
  content	
  that	
  delivers	
  on	
  the	
  promise	
  of	
  
a	
  compelling	
  reason	
  to	
  join	
  your	
  team.	
  If	
  you	
  think	
  
of	
  the	
  job	
  application	
  process	
  as	
  a	
  hurdle	
  (and	
  with	
  
most	
  ATSs,	
  it	
  is	
  that),	
  you	
  want	
  your	
  content	
  to	
  
motivate	
  candidates	
  to	
  do	
  the	
  work	
  to	
  clear	
  that	
  
hurdle.	
  You	
  want	
  prospects	
  to	
  understand	
  why	
  
they	
  should	
  apply,	
  see	
  themselves	
  in	
  the	
  company,	
  
and	
  it’s	
  content	
  that	
  gets	
  the	
  job	
  done.	
  
	
  
It	
  is	
  usually	
  easier	
  to	
  market	
  content	
  instead	
  of	
  
jobs.	
  Think	
  of	
  your	
  average	
  project	
  manager	
  role.	
  
What	
  can	
  you	
  say	
  about	
  it	
  that	
  makes	
  it	
  sound	
  
different	
  from	
  project	
  manager	
  roles	
  in	
  any	
  other	
  
company?	
  What	
  can	
  you	
  say	
  in	
  the	
  46	
  characters	
  of	
  
a	
  Google	
  AdWords	
  text	
  ad	
  that	
  will	
  entice	
  someone	
  
to	
  learn	
  more	
  about	
  project	
  management	
  jobs?	
  	
  
	
  
If	
  your	
  answer	
  is,	
  “The	
  fact	
  that	
  we	
  have	
  jobs	
  is	
  
message	
  enough,”	
  I	
  would	
  counter	
  that	
  argument.	
  
If	
  someone	
  is	
  looking	
  for	
  a	
  job,	
  they	
  generally	
  go	
  to	
  
a	
  job	
  board.	
  That’s	
  where	
  direct	
  messages	
  like	
  “we	
  
have	
  a	
  project	
  management	
  opening”	
  actually	
  
work.	
  Why	
  would	
  they	
  go	
  other	
  places	
  to	
  look	
  for	
  a	
  
job	
  when	
  so	
  many	
  jobs	
  are	
  posted	
  there	
  already?	
  
It’s	
  like	
  fishing	
  in	
  the	
  parking	
  lot	
  because	
  there	
  
might	
  be	
  a	
  possible	
  candidate	
  there	
  instead	
  of	
  
walking	
  the	
  40	
  steps	
  to	
  the	
  lake	
  and	
  fishing	
  where	
  
the	
  fish	
  are.	
  
	
  
Content	
  is	
  also	
  perennial,	
  supporting	
  your	
  brand	
  
and	
  jobs	
  for	
  months	
  and	
  years	
  at	
  a	
  time.	
  Your	
  job	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
21	
  
description	
  will	
  only	
  live	
  at	
  that	
  URL	
  for	
  the	
  45	
  days	
  
until	
  you	
  close	
  the	
  rec.	
  Just	
  make	
  sure	
  that	
  your	
  
content	
  connects	
  to	
  related	
  jobs	
  or	
  else	
  you	
  will	
  be	
  
using	
  resources	
  to	
  engage	
  someone	
  –	
  only	
  to	
  send	
  
them	
  off	
  to	
  search	
  for	
  a	
  job	
  on	
  your	
  site.	
  That’s	
  like	
  
asking	
  someone	
  to	
  leave.	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
22	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Problem:	
  We	
  
have	
  
problems	
  
attracting	
  and	
  
hiring	
  entry-­‐
level	
  talent	
  
	
  
SOLUTION:	
  JOB	
  BOARDS	
  AND	
  SOCIAL	
  MEDIA,	
  MOBILE	
  APPLY.	
  	
  
	
  
Explanation:	
  Entry-­‐level	
  staff	
  is	
  defined	
  by	
  one	
  
idea:	
  they	
  are	
  barely	
  differentiated	
  from	
  each	
  
other.	
  They	
  don’t	
  have	
  any	
  experience	
  to	
  highlight	
  
or	
  skills	
  to	
  illustrate.	
  And	
  because	
  they	
  can’t	
  
differentiate	
  themselves,	
  they	
  are	
  looking	
  for	
  
(almost)	
  anyone	
  to	
  call	
  them	
  in	
  for	
  an	
  interview.	
  
6	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
23	
  
They	
  are	
  working	
  with	
  the	
  law	
  of	
  big	
  numbers:	
  the	
  
sheer	
  volume	
  of	
  applications	
  will	
  result	
  in	
  the	
  
phone	
  call	
  from	
  a	
  recruiter.	
  
	
  
To	
  that	
  end,	
  their	
  job	
  seeking	
  process	
  is	
  finding	
  the	
  
apply	
  button	
  as	
  fast	
  as	
  they	
  can	
  and	
  making	
  the	
  
process	
  as	
  simple	
  and	
  fast	
  as	
  possible.	
  They	
  are	
  
button-­‐pressers.	
  They	
  don’t	
  care	
  about	
  who	
  they	
  
work	
  for,	
  as	
  much	
  as	
  they	
  care	
  about	
  working	
  for	
  
someone.	
  
	
  
This	
  audience	
  is	
  already	
  going	
  to	
  the	
  places	
  with	
  
the	
  most	
  amount	
  of	
  jobs:	
  big-­‐name	
  job	
  boards.	
  An	
  
entry-­‐level	
  attraction	
  strategy	
  should	
  start	
  with	
  
optimizing	
  your	
  presence	
  on	
  these	
  sites,	
  either	
  
through	
  simplified	
  job	
  descriptions,	
  keyword	
  
optimization	
  or	
  promotion.	
  
	
  
In	
  the	
  modern	
  job	
  board,	
  the	
  candidate	
  will	
  search	
  
a	
  term	
  they	
  think	
  might	
  drive	
  the	
  broadest	
  return	
  
of	
  likely	
  jobs.	
  They	
  will	
  search	
  on	
  terms	
  like	
  “entry-­‐
level”	
  or	
  “no	
  experience	
  necessary.”	
  A	
  good	
  
exercise	
  is	
  to	
  go	
  into	
  your	
  analytics	
  and	
  look	
  for	
  
search	
  terms	
  used	
  by	
  actual	
  prospects	
  that	
  line	
  up	
  
with	
  an	
  entry-­‐level	
  search	
  and	
  make	
  sure	
  those	
  
terms	
  show	
  up	
  in	
  your	
  job	
  descriptions	
  fed	
  to	
  job	
  
boards.	
  
	
  
Beyond	
  finding	
  a	
  job,	
  you	
  need	
  to	
  create	
  a	
  clear	
  
path	
  to	
  a	
  simplified	
  application	
  process.	
  If	
  the	
  
audience	
  is	
  focusing	
  on	
  sheer	
  volume,	
  any	
  obstacle	
  
24	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
that	
  slows	
  down	
  the	
  application	
  process	
  will	
  deter	
  
action.	
  This	
  is	
  especially	
  true	
  as	
  job	
  boards	
  start	
  
changing	
  their	
  interfaces	
  to	
  allow	
  a	
  candidate	
  to	
  
see	
  lots	
  of	
  jobs	
  in	
  one	
  place,	
  flipping	
  between	
  
opportunities	
  in	
  search	
  of	
  easy	
  applications.	
  
Glassdoor’s	
  new	
  multi-­‐pane	
  layout	
  makes	
  it	
  easy	
  to	
  
see	
  lots	
  of	
  roles	
  faster	
  that	
  the	
  standard	
  “search	
  
result	
  linking	
  to	
  single-­‐pane”	
  interface.	
  	
  
	
  
And	
  because	
  speed	
  is	
  so	
  important	
  to	
  the	
  process,	
  
look	
  to	
  invest	
  in	
  mobile	
  application	
  technology.	
  
Entry-­‐level	
  applicants	
  are	
  more	
  likely	
  to	
  be	
  
searching	
  on	
  a	
  mobile	
  device,	
  but	
  the	
  framework	
  
for	
  mobile	
  leads	
  to	
  faster	
  overall	
  applications,	
  
leading	
  to	
  fewer	
  chances	
  to	
  abandon	
  the	
  
application	
  process.	
  
	
  
If	
  you	
  need	
  to	
  augment	
  your	
  job	
  board	
  strategy,	
  
focus	
  on	
  social	
  media	
  promotion.	
  While	
  Facebook	
  
is	
  seeing	
  a	
  softening	
  of	
  their	
  market	
  penetration	
  of	
  
people	
  18–25,	
  it	
  is	
  still	
  an	
  effective	
  way	
  to	
  target	
  
these	
  prospects.	
  	
  
	
  
A	
  great	
  way	
  to	
  increase	
  response	
  is	
  to	
  develop	
  a	
  
campus	
  strategy	
  where	
  multiple	
  Facebook	
  ads	
  are	
  
designed	
  to	
  reflect	
  specific	
  universities	
  (“We	
  love	
  
to	
  hire	
  Longhorns,”	
  or	
  “Badgers	
  know:	
  we	
  are	
  a	
  
great	
  place	
  to	
  start	
  a	
  career”	
  for	
  example),	
  
targeted	
  to	
  people	
  in	
  and	
  graduating	
  from	
  those	
  
schools,	
  all	
  pointing	
  to	
  a	
  common	
  landing	
  page	
  job	
  
description.	
  The	
  cost	
  per	
  click	
  is	
  low	
  enough	
  to	
  test	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
25	
  
campaigns	
  even	
  for	
  very	
  small	
  schools	
  or	
  particular	
  
majors	
  in	
  a	
  given	
  school	
  (“Yes,	
  Wildcat	
  poli	
  sci	
  
majors	
  can	
  get	
  a	
  real	
  job”).	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
26	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Problem:	
  
Attracting	
  
and	
  hiring	
  
upper-­‐level	
  
and	
  selective	
  
talent	
  
	
  
SOLUTION:	
  CONTENT	
  AND	
  PROGRAMMATIC	
  MEDIA.	
  
	
  
Explanation:	
  Experience	
  or	
  selective	
  candidates	
  
have	
  a	
  far	
  longer	
  consideration	
  funnel	
  than	
  those	
  
at	
  the	
  beginning	
  of	
  their	
  career.	
  And	
  the	
  higher	
  up	
  
the	
  career	
  ladder,	
  the	
  longer	
  the	
  process	
  takes.	
  	
  
	
  
Why?	
  Because	
  these	
  candidates	
  can	
  be	
  picky	
  about	
  
the	
  role	
  that	
  they	
  apply	
  to.	
  However,	
  since	
  the	
  
standard	
  job	
  description	
  holds	
  little	
  to	
  attract	
  or	
  
7	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
27	
  
compel	
  action,	
  relying	
  on	
  those	
  job	
  descriptions	
  is	
  
a	
  weak	
  strategy.	
  To	
  get	
  these	
  candidates	
  to	
  apply,	
  
you	
  need	
  to	
  tell	
  many	
  stories	
  about	
  the	
  company,	
  
the	
  office	
  and	
  the	
  work	
  itself.	
  	
  
	
  
When	
  you	
  made	
  a	
  big	
  purchase,	
  you	
  probably	
  had	
  
questions,	
  whether	
  it	
  was	
  a	
  house,	
  a	
  car	
  or	
  even	
  a	
  
mattress,	
  you	
  didn’t	
  walk	
  in,	
  point	
  at	
  one	
  and	
  start	
  
pulling	
  out	
  your	
  credit	
  card.	
  You	
  wanted	
  to	
  know	
  
about	
  your	
  options,	
  about	
  the	
  experience.	
  If	
  you	
  
are	
  buying	
  a	
  car,	
  you	
  might	
  want	
  to	
  know	
  how	
  well	
  
it	
  handles	
  snowy	
  winters.	
  How	
  the	
  car	
  looks	
  won’t	
  
tell	
  you	
  that,	
  and	
  the	
  sales	
  material	
  might	
  not	
  
cover	
  it.	
  But	
  that	
  question	
  is	
  still	
  the	
  primary	
  
deciding	
  factor	
  in	
  your	
  purchase.	
  If	
  no	
  one	
  
provided	
  that	
  information,	
  you’d	
  pull	
  that	
  car	
  out	
  
of	
  your	
  consideration	
  list	
  regardless	
  of	
  the	
  other	
  
features	
  (the	
  ones	
  the	
  marketing	
  team	
  wants	
  you	
  
to	
  know).	
  	
  
	
  
Taken	
  a	
  step	
  further,	
  the	
  car	
  company	
  that	
  answers	
  
your	
  questions	
  soonest	
  will	
  get	
  to	
  spend	
  more	
  time	
  
showing	
  you	
  all	
  the	
  features	
  that	
  will	
  close	
  the	
  sale.	
  
The	
  company	
  that	
  forces	
  you	
  to	
  dig	
  on	
  reviewer	
  
sites	
  and	
  search	
  engines	
  will	
  be	
  working	
  at	
  a	
  
disadvantage.	
  Answering	
  questions	
  the	
  buyer	
  has,	
  
leads	
  to	
  more	
  sales.	
  The	
  company	
  that	
  answers	
  
candidate	
  questions	
  soonest,	
  wins.	
  
	
  
Those	
  answers	
  shouldn’t	
  just	
  take	
  the	
  form	
  of	
  a	
  
bulleted	
  list	
  of	
  benefits	
  and	
  responsibilities,	
  but	
  
28	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
provide	
  a	
  more	
  complete	
  experience	
  working	
  for	
  
your	
  company.	
  
	
  
People	
  lay	
  down	
  on	
  mattresses	
  before	
  they	
  buy	
  
them.	
  But	
  leaning	
  solely	
  on	
  job	
  descriptions	
  is	
  like	
  
selling	
  a	
  mattress	
  based	
  on	
  a	
  bulleted	
  list	
  of	
  the	
  
mattress	
  materials.	
  Candidates	
  want	
  a	
  taste	
  of	
  the	
  
experience	
  and	
  this	
  is	
  your	
  opportunity	
  to	
  provide	
  
that	
  experience.	
  
	
  
Answering	
  questions	
  that	
  define	
  and	
  communicate	
  
that	
  experience	
  is	
  how	
  you	
  attract	
  and	
  drive	
  
experienced	
  prospects	
  to	
  apply.	
  
	
  
The	
  added	
  benefit	
  of	
  these	
  stories	
  is	
  that	
  they	
  will	
  
be	
  shared	
  by	
  prospects	
  to	
  their	
  network	
  of	
  other	
  
experienced	
  prospects,	
  creating	
  reach	
  that	
  job	
  
boards	
  can’t.	
  Enhance	
  that	
  effect	
  by	
  making	
  it	
  
easier	
  to	
  share	
  these	
  stories	
  and	
  relying	
  on	
  
programmatic	
  media	
  to	
  present	
  them	
  to	
  
candidates	
  outside	
  of	
  the	
  direct	
  application	
  
process.	
  It	
  will	
  validate	
  interest	
  in	
  the	
  company	
  and	
  
increase	
  your	
  conversion	
  rate	
  (provided	
  you	
  are	
  
using	
  cookies	
  to	
  track	
  across	
  sites	
  and	
  beyond	
  the	
  
career	
  site	
  visit).	
  
	
  
In	
  many	
  cases,	
  elite	
  candidates	
  have	
  consciously	
  or	
  
unconsciously	
  been	
  building	
  a	
  list	
  of	
  target	
  
companies	
  they’d	
  work	
  for,	
  waiting	
  for	
  the	
  right	
  
role	
  in	
  those	
  companies	
  to	
  appear	
  before	
  even	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
29	
  
considering	
  to	
  make	
  a	
  move.	
  Getting	
  inside	
  that	
  
decision	
  cycle	
  is	
  very	
  tricky,	
  but	
  not	
  impossible.	
  
	
  
When	
  someone	
  at	
  this	
  level	
  adds	
  a	
  new	
  company	
  
to	
  their	
  consideration	
  set,	
  they	
  do	
  it	
  organically.	
  
Perhaps	
  a	
  friend	
  works	
  there	
  and	
  raves,	
  a	
  story	
  in	
  a	
  
publication	
  creates	
  interest	
  in	
  their	
  product	
  or	
  
business	
  model.	
  In	
  either	
  case,	
  what	
  creates	
  that	
  
spark	
  is	
  a	
  story.	
  A	
  story	
  of	
  going	
  above	
  and	
  beyond	
  
for	
  the	
  customer,	
  a	
  story	
  of	
  the	
  kinds	
  of	
  tools	
  that	
  
employees	
  are	
  using,	
  opportunities	
  to	
  make	
  an	
  
impact,	
  or	
  any	
  of	
  the	
  eight	
  major	
  motivators.	
  	
  
	
  
That	
  spark	
  leads	
  to	
  immediate	
  research,	
  or	
  it	
  opens	
  
the	
  prospect	
  up	
  to	
  more	
  information	
  about	
  the	
  
company.	
  Either	
  way,	
  you	
  need	
  to	
  have	
  more	
  
stories	
  that	
  can	
  turn	
  that	
  spark	
  into	
  true	
  
consideration.	
  Those	
  stories	
  should	
  be	
  on	
  your	
  
career	
  site,	
  but	
  they	
  should	
  also	
  be	
  in	
  the	
  places	
  
the	
  candidate	
  will	
  be	
  looking	
  next.	
  Those	
  sites	
  
include	
  Google,	
  LinkedIn,	
  Glassdoor	
  and	
  Facebook.	
  
Take	
  the	
  stories	
  you	
  are	
  publishing	
  on	
  your	
  career	
  
site	
  and	
  recycle	
  them	
  on	
  all	
  those	
  platforms,	
  or	
  use	
  
those	
  platforms	
  to	
  point	
  to	
  those	
  stories.	
  (There	
  is	
  
no	
  Google	
  “duplicate	
  content”	
  penalty	
  unless	
  you	
  
are	
  reusing	
  the	
  content	
  exactly	
  in	
  hundreds	
  of	
  
places.)	
  
	
  
Then,	
  leverage	
  programmatic	
  media	
  and	
  
retargeting	
  to	
  push	
  the	
  next	
  messages	
  within	
  your	
  
communication	
  flow	
  onto	
  sites	
  they	
  frequent.	
  
30	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
Don’t	
  push	
  jobs;	
  push	
  stories	
  and	
  news	
  mentions	
  
and	
  videos	
  and	
  more	
  grain	
  for	
  the	
  consideration	
  
mill.	
  Pushing	
  jobs	
  at	
  this	
  stage	
  is	
  like	
  when	
  a	
  
salesperson	
  asked	
  if	
  they	
  can	
  “wrap	
  that	
  up	
  for	
  
you,”	
  before	
  you’ve	
  decided	
  to	
  buy.	
  Don’t	
  be	
  a	
  
pushy	
  sales	
  person.	
  Anyone	
  you	
  are	
  trying	
  to	
  talk	
  
to	
  within	
  this	
  segment	
  knows	
  you	
  have	
  a	
  career	
  
site	
  and	
  they	
  can	
  apply	
  there.	
  Let	
  them	
  decide	
  to	
  
make	
  that	
  leap	
  on	
  their	
  own.	
  Lead	
  the	
  horse	
  to	
  
water,	
  but	
  let	
  them	
  decide	
  to	
  take	
  a	
  sip.	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
31	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Problem:	
  
Losing	
  talented	
  
prospects	
  
during	
  the	
  
hiring	
  process	
  
	
  
SOLUTION:	
  EMPLOYEE-­‐GENERATED	
  CONTENT.	
  
	
  
Explanation:	
  On	
  the	
  hiring	
  side,	
  we	
  know	
  it	
  takes	
  
time	
  to	
  get	
  everyone	
  in	
  the	
  right	
  place,	
  to	
  read	
  the	
  
resumes,	
  to	
  spend	
  time	
  interviewing	
  2–5	
  
candidates,	
  to	
  come	
  to	
  a	
  decision	
  and	
  determine	
  
who	
  they	
  should	
  talk	
  to	
  next.	
  	
  
	
  
On	
  the	
  candidate	
  side,	
  that	
  feels	
  like	
  eons	
  of	
  
waiting,	
  giving	
  prospects	
  plenty	
  of	
  time	
  to	
  fall	
  in	
  
love	
  with	
  someone	
  else.	
  
8	
  
32	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
It’s	
  probably	
  not	
  feasible	
  to	
  restructure	
  your	
  hiring	
  
process	
  to	
  actually	
  shorten	
  the	
  time	
  between	
  
application	
  and	
  hire,	
  but	
  there	
  is	
  something	
  you	
  
can	
  do	
  to	
  let	
  fewer	
  prospects	
  jump	
  ship.	
  You	
  can	
  
give	
  them	
  a	
  reason	
  to	
  stay.	
  
	
  
We	
  are	
  happy	
  to	
  tell	
  our	
  bosses	
  and	
  candidates	
  –	
  
and	
  anyone	
  who	
  will	
  listen	
  –	
  that	
  we	
  are	
  rigorous	
  
in	
  our	
  search	
  for	
  fit.	
  Whether	
  it’s	
  a	
  series	
  of	
  
interviews,	
  questionnaires,	
  tests	
  or	
  behavioral	
  
interview	
  questions,	
  we	
  search	
  for	
  the	
  person	
  who	
  
will	
  fit.	
  But	
  our	
  tests	
  are	
  there	
  to	
  assess	
  whether	
  
the	
  candidate	
  fits	
  within	
  our	
  world,	
  in	
  our	
  space,	
  in	
  
our	
  company.	
  We	
  rarely	
  ask	
  if	
  we	
  fit	
  for	
  them.	
  The	
  
onus	
  is	
  on	
  the	
  candidate	
  to	
  determine	
  it,	
  and	
  most	
  
interviewers	
  forget	
  to	
  ask	
  if	
  the	
  candidate	
  sees	
  this	
  
match	
  as	
  a	
  fit.	
  
	
  
Because,	
  as	
  we	
  all	
  know,	
  a	
  fit	
  isn’t	
  easy	
  to	
  make.	
  
We	
  might	
  get	
  a	
  hundred	
  applications	
  to	
  five	
  
possible	
  fits	
  in	
  an	
  attempt	
  to	
  find	
  just	
  one.	
  Can’t	
  we	
  
assume	
  that	
  finding	
  a	
  good	
  fit	
  is	
  also	
  on	
  the	
  
candidate’s	
  mind?	
  They	
  are	
  searching	
  through	
  
hundreds	
  of	
  companies	
  and	
  job	
  postings	
  to	
  find	
  
five	
  worth	
  applying	
  for,	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  find	
  one	
  good	
  
fit.	
  
	
  
But	
  our	
  processes	
  are	
  built	
  around	
  the	
  (very	
  
outdated)	
  idea	
  that	
  the	
  hiring	
  manager	
  is	
  in	
  charge.	
  
The	
  pendulum	
  has	
  swung	
  and	
  now	
  we	
  see	
  a	
  very	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
33	
  
balanced	
  sense	
  of	
  control,	
  where	
  both	
  parties	
  have	
  
something	
  important	
  at	
  stake.	
  In	
  effect,	
  we	
  are	
  
partnering	
  with	
  our	
  candidates,	
  asking	
  them	
  to	
  
show	
  us	
  more	
  of	
  themselves	
  as	
  we	
  show	
  more	
  of	
  
ourselves.	
  
	
  
So	
  what	
  happens	
  when	
  they	
  jump?	
  Wheeling	
  out	
  
that	
  old	
  saw	
  of	
  “recruiting	
  is	
  like	
  dating,”	
  if	
  we	
  had	
  
two	
  amazing	
  dates	
  with	
  someone	
  and	
  then	
  
stopped	
  calling	
  for	
  two	
  weeks,	
  no	
  matter	
  how	
  
great	
  those	
  dates	
  were,	
  wouldn’t	
  you	
  assume	
  the	
  
other	
  person	
  started	
  looking	
  again?	
  Maybe	
  you’re	
  
not	
  quite	
  ready	
  to	
  pop	
  the	
  question,	
  but	
  you	
  don’t	
  
stop	
  calling.	
  
	
  
The	
  best	
  recruiters	
  know	
  this,	
  laboring	
  under	
  the	
  
belief	
  that	
  the	
  role	
  isn’t	
  filled	
  until	
  the	
  candidate	
  
has	
  completed	
  their	
  90-­‐day	
  review	
  and	
  agreed	
  that	
  
this	
  is	
  a	
  good	
  fit	
  for	
  all	
  involved.	
  They	
  don’t	
  stop	
  
recruiting,	
  communicating	
  and	
  selling	
  the	
  
relationship	
  to	
  the	
  company.	
  They	
  make	
  sure	
  the	
  
spark	
  that	
  happened	
  in	
  those	
  first	
  two	
  dates	
  
doesn’t	
  fizzle	
  out.	
  
	
  
In	
  order	
  to	
  scale-­‐up	
  this	
  idea	
  and	
  support	
  your	
  
recruiters,	
  build	
  content	
  that	
  your	
  recruiters	
  can	
  
send	
  to	
  your	
  top	
  prospects,	
  keeping	
  them	
  
interested	
  and	
  engaged	
  in	
  the	
  process.	
  This	
  
content	
  can’t	
  replace	
  a	
  recruiter,	
  but	
  it	
  should	
  
augment	
  their	
  toolset,	
  allowing	
  a	
  recruiter	
  to	
  
34	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
increase	
  the	
  number	
  of	
  candidates	
  they	
  can	
  keep	
  
engaged.	
  	
  
	
  
How	
  would	
  this	
  work?	
  Let’s	
  take	
  that	
  hotshot,	
  new,	
  
cloud	
  developer	
  you’re	
  interviewing.	
  Because	
  this	
  
is	
  a	
  very	
  technical	
  position,	
  you	
  know	
  you	
  need	
  a	
  
lot	
  of	
  people	
  to	
  talk	
  to	
  the	
  candidate	
  to	
  make	
  sure	
  
he	
  or	
  she	
  can	
  really	
  do	
  the	
  job	
  and	
  fit	
  in.	
  This	
  could	
  
be	
  a	
  6-­‐week	
  interview	
  process.	
  As	
  a	
  cloud	
  
developer,	
  there	
  will	
  be	
  no	
  shortage	
  of	
  people	
  
interesting	
  in	
  wooing	
  them	
  out	
  from	
  under	
  you.	
  So	
  
after	
  the	
  first	
  or	
  second	
  interview,	
  the	
  recruiter	
  
should	
  touch	
  base,	
  letting	
  them	
  know	
  how	
  
interested	
  in	
  them	
  you	
  are.	
  But	
  in	
  the	
  meantime,	
  
can	
  the	
  recruiter	
  put	
  the	
  developer	
  in	
  touch	
  with	
  
other	
  developers	
  at	
  the	
  company,	
  or	
  answer	
  
questions	
  about	
  the	
  tech	
  stack	
  they’d	
  be	
  working	
  
with?	
  Maybe	
  after	
  the	
  third	
  interview,	
  you	
  invite	
  
the	
  candidate	
  to	
  the	
  next	
  Friday	
  afternoon	
  beer	
  
open	
  house	
  you	
  are	
  holding.	
  After	
  the	
  last	
  big	
  tech	
  
interview,	
  ask	
  them	
  if	
  they’d	
  like	
  to	
  sit	
  in	
  on	
  the	
  
next	
  scrum	
  planning	
  session	
  to	
  see	
  how	
  decisions	
  
get	
  made.	
  	
  
	
  
Where’s	
  the	
  content,	
  you	
  might	
  ask?	
  Content	
  
doesn’t	
  have	
  to	
  be	
  blog	
  posts	
  and	
  ebooks,	
  but	
  in	
  
who	
  you	
  are	
  and	
  what	
  you	
  do.	
  The	
  conversations	
  
at	
  the	
  open	
  house,	
  and	
  seeing	
  what’s	
  happening	
  at	
  
the	
  scrum	
  planning	
  session,	
  say	
  far	
  more	
  who	
  you	
  
are	
  and	
  give	
  the	
  candidate	
  a	
  more	
  authentic	
  sense	
  
of	
  the	
  future	
  fit.	
  	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
35	
  
	
  
Or	
  maybe	
  all	
  the	
  developers	
  at	
  your	
  company	
  have	
  
professional	
  business	
  profiles	
  online	
  somewhere	
  
and	
  the	
  recruiter	
  points	
  the	
  candidate	
  to	
  them.	
  Or	
  
maybe	
  there	
  are	
  pictures	
  from	
  the	
  last	
  few	
  open	
  
houses	
  online	
  that	
  the	
  candidate	
  can	
  peruse.	
  
	
  
The	
  goal	
  is	
  to	
  get	
  the	
  candidate	
  to	
  see	
  themselves	
  
in	
  your	
  company,	
  at	
  your	
  desks,	
  solving	
  your	
  
problems.	
  The	
  more	
  they	
  can	
  create	
  that	
  picture	
  in	
  
their	
  head,	
  the	
  less	
  likely	
  that	
  other	
  recruiters	
  can	
  
steal	
  them	
  away.	
  	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
36	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Problem:	
  We	
  
need	
  to	
  attract	
  
passive	
  
candidates	
  
	
  
SOLUTION:	
  CONTENT	
  WITH	
  NATIVE	
  ADS.	
  
	
  
Explanation:	
  Passive	
  candidates	
  are	
  the	
  great	
  white	
  
whales	
  of	
  the	
  job.	
  In	
  them,	
  we	
  project	
  our	
  hopes	
  
and	
  dreams	
  for	
  great	
  talent	
  and	
  magical	
  fits.	
  
Because	
  we	
  can’t	
  see	
  their	
  imperfect	
  resumes	
  and	
  
gaps	
  and	
  issues,	
  we	
  see	
  only	
  the	
  positives.	
  Sure,	
  
people	
  who	
  apply	
  for	
  our	
  jobs	
  are	
  great,	
  but	
  to	
  
paraphrase	
  Groucho	
  Marx,	
  we	
  don’t	
  really	
  want	
  
prospects	
  who	
  would	
  actually	
  apply.	
  
9	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
37	
  
	
  
But	
  the	
  prospect	
  of	
  passive	
  candidates	
  lingers.	
  How	
  
can	
  you	
  reach	
  people	
  who	
  aren’t	
  looking	
  at	
  job	
  
boards	
  or	
  at	
  recruiting	
  content?	
  
	
  
Step	
  one	
  is	
  to	
  tell	
  a	
  story	
  that	
  is	
  worth	
  sharing.	
  
News	
  of	
  your	
  new	
  building	
  or	
  your	
  support	
  of	
  
#NationalWhateverWeek	
  doesn’t	
  work	
  because	
  
they	
  will	
  only	
  appeal	
  to	
  people	
  looking	
  for	
  new	
  
jobs.	
  The	
  content	
  you	
  need	
  to	
  build	
  needs	
  to	
  
appeal	
  to	
  a	
  more	
  general-­‐purpose	
  audience.	
  	
  
	
  
From	
  a	
  marketing	
  standpoint,	
  take	
  a	
  lesson	
  from	
  
other	
  industries.	
  When	
  you	
  see	
  an	
  aspirin	
  
commercial,	
  they	
  never	
  start	
  with	
  the	
  solution.	
  
They	
  always	
  start	
  with	
  the	
  problem,	
  be	
  it	
  a	
  
headache	
  or	
  a	
  shoulder	
  sprain.	
  You	
  have	
  to	
  remind	
  
these	
  candidates	
  that	
  they	
  have	
  a	
  problem,	
  like	
  the	
  
fact	
  that	
  they	
  work	
  for	
  a	
  stodgy	
  company,	
  or	
  that	
  
they	
  are	
  working	
  with	
  outdated	
  technology.	
  Once	
  
you	
  remind	
  them	
  that	
  they	
  have	
  a	
  specific	
  
problem,	
  they’ll	
  be	
  receptive	
  to	
  a	
  solution.	
  
	
  
At	
  the	
  same	
  time,	
  all	
  the	
  channels	
  you	
  usually	
  
leverage	
  are	
  worthless	
  to	
  this	
  audience.	
  Job	
  boards	
  
and	
  ads	
  pointing	
  to	
  job	
  descriptions	
  will	
  be	
  ignored	
  
if	
  they	
  are	
  even	
  seen.	
  You	
  need	
  to	
  be	
  in	
  places	
  
where	
  they	
  are.	
  
	
  
This	
  makes	
  reaching	
  out	
  to	
  passive	
  candidates	
  
seem	
  like	
  an	
  insurmountable	
  challenge.	
  But	
  it’s	
  
38	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
not.	
  In	
  fact,	
  there’s	
  a	
  solution	
  seemingly	
  tailor-­‐
made	
  for	
  your	
  campaign	
  to	
  attract	
  these	
  potential	
  
prospects:	
  Native	
  advertising.	
  
	
  
Native	
  advertising,	
  if	
  you	
  haven’t	
  already	
  read	
  up	
  
on	
  it,	
  is	
  a	
  form	
  of	
  media	
  (like	
  an	
  ad)	
  which	
  looks	
  
and	
  feels	
  like	
  the	
  platform	
  where	
  it	
  lives.	
  So	
  rather	
  
than	
  a	
  banner	
  ad,	
  which	
  virtually	
  screams,	
  “I’m	
  an	
  
ad!	
  Please	
  ignore	
  me!”	
  you’ll	
  be	
  placing	
  your	
  story	
  
within	
  the	
  website	
  so	
  it	
  looks	
  just	
  like	
  another	
  
article.	
  	
  
	
  
For	
  example,	
  if	
  you	
  were	
  looking	
  to	
  hire	
  a	
  digital	
  
strategist,	
  you	
  might	
  want	
  to	
  put	
  your	
  story	
  on	
  
Mashable,	
  a	
  place	
  where	
  digitally	
  savvy	
  people	
  
tend	
  to	
  congregate.	
  Your	
  story	
  would	
  exist	
  on	
  the	
  
Mashable	
  site	
  and	
  look	
  like	
  every	
  other	
  story,	
  with	
  
the	
  exception	
  of	
  a	
  “Sponsored	
  by”	
  image	
  next	
  to	
  it.	
  
Because	
  it	
  doesn’t	
  feel	
  like	
  an	
  ad,	
  people	
  are	
  more	
  
likely	
  to	
  click	
  on	
  it	
  and	
  learn	
  more	
  about	
  your	
  
company	
  and	
  why	
  you	
  are	
  different.	
  This	
  creates	
  
the	
  positive	
  impression	
  about	
  your	
  employer	
  brand	
  
and	
  gets	
  them	
  thinking	
  about	
  looking	
  for	
  a	
  new	
  
opportunity	
  with	
  your	
  name	
  at	
  the	
  top	
  of	
  the	
  list.	
  
	
  
Because	
  this	
  is	
  a	
  media	
  placement,	
  you	
  can	
  target	
  
it	
  only	
  to	
  people	
  who	
  fit	
  a	
  specific	
  demographic	
  or	
  
have	
  seen	
  other	
  ads	
  you’ve	
  published.	
  	
  
	
  
There	
  is	
  a	
  version	
  of	
  native	
  advertising	
  where	
  the	
  
site	
  has	
  a	
  block	
  of	
  space	
  dedicated	
  to	
  related	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
39	
  
stories	
  or	
  other	
  stories	
  that	
  link	
  off	
  the	
  main	
  site.	
  	
  
These	
  usually	
  come	
  in	
  blocks	
  of	
  six,	
  and	
  these	
  
stories	
  link	
  to	
  your	
  site,	
  giving	
  you	
  the	
  benefit	
  of	
  
offering	
  content	
  beyond	
  the	
  initial	
  story.	
  
	
  
Native	
  ads	
  are	
  placed	
  like	
  any	
  other	
  ad,	
  so	
  work	
  
with	
  your	
  media	
  planner	
  for	
  budgets	
  and	
  
placements,	
  and	
  with	
  your	
  content	
  marketer	
  to	
  
build	
  something	
  that	
  creates	
  a	
  return	
  on	
  the	
  
investment.	
  
	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
40	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Problem:	
  
Attract	
  
university	
  
candidates	
  
	
  
SOLUTION:	
  GET	
  CREATIVE	
  WITH	
  SOCIAL	
  MEDIA.	
  
	
  
Explanation:	
  Look,	
  let’s	
  get	
  something	
  out	
  of	
  the	
  
way.	
  Just	
  because	
  you	
  are	
  “on”	
  social	
  media	
  
doesn’t	
  mean	
  you	
  are	
  being	
  social.	
  Being	
  social	
  is	
  
the	
  act	
  of	
  engaging	
  with	
  other	
  people.	
  Having	
  a	
  
social	
  life	
  doesn’t	
  mean	
  clicking	
  “like”	
  on	
  things,	
  it	
  
means	
  chatting,	
  laughing,	
  fighting,	
  and	
  conversing	
  
with	
  other	
  people.	
  
	
  
10	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
41	
  
So	
  when	
  we	
  talk	
  about	
  engaging	
  university	
  
students,	
  we	
  aren’t	
  talking	
  about	
  posting	
  things	
  to	
  
Facebook	
  and	
  Twitter.	
  That	
  is	
  one-­‐way	
  
communication,	
  broadcasting	
  to	
  the	
  masses.	
  It’s	
  a	
  
scaled-­‐down	
  version	
  of	
  buying	
  commercials.	
  
	
  
What	
  university	
  students	
  are	
  looking	
  for	
  is	
  a	
  
relationship,	
  because	
  what	
  you’re	
  offering	
  in	
  your	
  
job	
  descriptions	
  doesn’t	
  actually	
  help	
  them.	
  Your	
  
legal	
  documents	
  don’t	
  tell	
  them	
  anything	
  they	
  
want	
  to	
  know.	
  
	
  
What	
  do	
  they	
  want	
  to	
  know?	
  Studies	
  show	
  that	
  
entry-­‐level	
  candidates	
  (call	
  them	
  Millennials	
  if	
  you	
  
want)	
  want	
  to	
  know	
  what	
  the	
  work	
  environment	
  is	
  
like,	
  if	
  they	
  will	
  get	
  a	
  chance	
  to	
  learn,	
  and	
  if	
  their	
  
work	
  will	
  make	
  any	
  kind	
  of	
  impact.	
  Trust	
  me,	
  your	
  
job	
  descriptions	
  aren’t	
  saying	
  anything	
  like	
  that	
  
(though	
  they	
  really	
  should!).	
  
	
  
This	
  is	
  where	
  “non-­‐standard”	
  social	
  media	
  really	
  
works.	
  Channels	
  like	
  Periscope,	
  Snapchat,	
  and	
  
Whatsapp,	
  resist	
  classic	
  marketing.	
  These	
  aren’t	
  
designed	
  to	
  make	
  it	
  easy	
  for	
  you	
  to	
  push	
  your	
  
message	
  into	
  other	
  people’s	
  lives.	
  You	
  can’t	
  just	
  
pay	
  ten	
  bucks	
  and	
  have	
  your	
  message	
  seen	
  in	
  other	
  
people’s	
  timelines.	
  For	
  that	
  reason	
  alone,	
  they	
  are	
  
unbelievably	
  popular	
  among	
  that	
  audience.	
  	
  
	
  
So	
  how	
  do	
  you	
  use	
  those	
  channels?	
  First,	
  you	
  have	
  
to	
  earn	
  an	
  audience.	
  Start	
  by	
  leveraging	
  your	
  
42	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
Facebook	
  and	
  Twitter	
  channels	
  and	
  tell	
  people	
  that	
  
you	
  are	
  starting	
  a	
  channel	
  on	
  Snapchat	
  (or	
  
whatever	
  channel	
  you	
  choose).	
  Beyond	
  simply	
  
announcing	
  it,	
  you	
  need	
  to	
  give	
  people	
  a	
  reason	
  to	
  
join	
  in.	
  This	
  is	
  one	
  of	
  those	
  moments	
  where	
  
announcing	
  you	
  have	
  a	
  new	
  website	
  or	
  new	
  
packaging	
  isn’t	
  going	
  to	
  cut	
  it.	
  You	
  need	
  to	
  explain	
  
the	
  value	
  you	
  will	
  be	
  bringing	
  to	
  people	
  who	
  join	
  
in.	
  Either	
  they	
  will	
  see	
  behind	
  the	
  curtain	
  of	
  your	
  
company,	
  get	
  to	
  ask	
  recruiters	
  direct	
  questions,	
  or	
  
see	
  what	
  kinds	
  of	
  problems	
  your	
  company	
  is	
  
working	
  on.	
  
	
  
Everything	
  you	
  post	
  to	
  these	
  new	
  channels	
  needs	
  
to	
  satisfy	
  an	
  entry-­‐level	
  candidate’s	
  interest	
  in	
  the	
  
work	
  experience,	
  their	
  opportunity	
  for	
  growth	
  and	
  
the	
  ability	
  to	
  make	
  an	
  impact.	
  Everything	
  else	
  is	
  
fluff	
  and	
  people	
  won’t	
  hang	
  around	
  long	
  for	
  that.	
  
	
  
On	
  top	
  of	
  that,	
  you	
  need	
  to	
  engage	
  with	
  people	
  on	
  
your	
  channel.	
  Posting	
  interesting	
  videos	
  and	
  pics	
  
on	
  Snapchat	
  is	
  great,	
  but	
  responding	
  to	
  questions	
  is	
  
where	
  you	
  are	
  going	
  to	
  find	
  the	
  most	
  impact.	
  
People	
  in	
  this	
  generation	
  can	
  smell	
  “marketing”	
  
content	
  and	
  steer	
  clear	
  of	
  it.	
  But	
  when	
  you	
  engage	
  
and	
  show	
  more	
  of	
  the	
  authentic	
  nature	
  of	
  the	
  
company	
  (even	
  if	
  it	
  includes	
  the	
  imperfections),	
  
they	
  respond.	
  	
  
	
  
The	
  best	
  part	
  of	
  leveraging	
  these	
  channels	
  is	
  that	
  
when	
  you	
  do	
  it	
  well,	
  your	
  audience	
  will	
  grow	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
43	
  
quickly.	
  These	
  are	
  channels	
  designed	
  for	
  people	
  to	
  
talk	
  to	
  each	
  other	
  and	
  when	
  you	
  are	
  doing	
  
something	
  worth	
  talking	
  about,	
  that’s	
  exactly	
  what	
  
they’ll	
  do.	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
44	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Thanks,	
  Credits	
  
	
  
First,	
  I’d	
  like	
  to	
  thank	
  everyone	
  who’s	
  fingerprints	
  
are	
  all	
  over	
  this	
  book	
  in	
  one	
  form	
  or	
  another:	
  
Allison	
  Kelley,	
  Todd	
  Maycunich,	
  Dustin	
  Carper,	
  
Claire	
  Hess,	
  Sehare	
  Hemani,	
  Melinda	
  Benoit,	
  Andy	
  
Crestodina,	
  and	
  Nancy	
  Goldstein.	
  
	
  
If	
  this	
  book	
  has	
  been	
  helpful,	
  pass	
  it	
  around.	
  If	
  
you’d	
  like	
  more	
  of	
  this	
  kind	
  of	
  information,	
  you	
  
should	
  read	
  Meshworking.com.	
  	
  
	
  
If	
  you’d	
  like	
  to	
  get	
  in	
  touch	
  with	
  me,	
  either	
  to	
  
praise	
  or	
  blame,	
  reach	
  out	
  to	
  me	
  on	
  Twitter.	
  I’m	
  
@TheWarForTalent.	
  
	
  
Thanks	
  for	
  reading!	
  
	
  
-­‐James	
  
	
   	
  
Solving	
  the	
  Ten	
  Biggest	
  Hiring	
  Problems	
  
45	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
About	
  James	
  Ellis	
  
	
  
James	
  Ellis	
  is	
  the	
  Vice	
  President	
  of	
  Inbound	
  
Marketing	
  at	
  TMP	
  Worldwide	
  in	
  Chicago,	
  Il.	
  He	
  is	
  a	
  
recruiting	
  digital	
  strategy	
  thinker	
  of	
  the	
  
MacGyver/Mad	
  Scientist	
  school:	
  hacking	
  disparate	
  
digital	
  ideas	
  together	
  to	
  serve	
  a	
  strategic	
  business	
  
objective.	
  He	
  is	
  a	
  writer,	
  drummer,	
  sketcher,	
  
speaker,	
  coach,	
  coffee-­‐drinker	
  and	
  prolific	
  maker	
  of	
  
lists.	
  
	
   	
  
46	
  |	
  Meshworking.com	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
©	
  Copyright	
  2016	
  
Meshworking.com	
  

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Solving the ten biggest hiring problems

  • 1.
  • 2.   SOLVING  THE  TEN  BIGGEST  HIRING  PROBLEMS   3   Problem:  Low  or  dropping  website  traffic   5   Problem:  Low  conversion  rates  on  our  site   8   Problem:  Search  engines  aren’t  sending  us  free  traffic   12   Problem:  Lots  of  traffic,  but  most  of  it  is  a  poor  fit   15   Problem:  Our  ad  budget  keeps  going  up,  but  without   an  increase  in  value   18   Problem:  We  have  problems  attracting  and  hiring   entry-­‐level  talent   22   Problem:  Attracting  and  hiring  upper-­‐level  and   selective  talent   26   Problem:  Losing  talented  prospects  during  the  hiring   process   31   Problem:  We  need  to  attract  passive  candidates   36   Problem:  Attract  university  candidates   40   Thanks,  Credits   44   About  James  Ellis   45      
  • 3. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   3                   Solving  the  Ten  Biggest   Hiring  Problems     You  have  a  recruitment  problem.  No,  I’m  sure  you   do.  I  have  no  idea  what  it  is,  but  at  issue  is  that  you   have  a  fairly  limited  perspective.  You  understand   how  your  company  does  things  and  unless  you’ve   job-­‐hopped  a  lot,  the  frame  of  reference  around   your  issue  is  somewhat  limited.     Of  course,  if  you  go  to  a  vendor  or  agency,  it’s  hard   to  know  what  information  is  useful  and  what  is  a   sales  pitch.         So,  I  am  building  this  one-­‐stop  talent  acquisition   and  recruitment  marketing  cheat  sheet.  Here  are  a   bunch  of  very  common  issues  and  a  number  of  
  • 4. 4  |  Meshworking.com   likely  ways  to  combat  them,  all  in  one  spot.  No   solution  solves  all  problems,  so  this  will  help  you   have  a  better  conversation  with  your  network  and   partners.     Tell  your  friends.     -­‐James        
  • 5. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   5                   Problem:  Low   or  dropping   website  traffic     SOLUTION:  SHORT-­‐TERM:  BUY  ADS  AND  SOCIAL  PROMOTION.   LONG-­‐TERM:  SEO  AND  CONTENT.     Explanation:  Traffic  to  your  website  is  probably  the   biggest  and  broadest  key  performance  indicator   there  is.  Without  people  coming  to  your  career   site,  you  can’t  make  your  pitch,  sign  people  up  for   your  talent  community  or  get  people  to  apply.   Traffic  is  recruitment  oxygen.  While  there  are   plenty  of  other  KPIs  worthy  of  consideration,   without  traffic  to  the  site,  they  are  mostly  moot.   1  
  • 6. 6  |  Meshworking.com     So  if  you  are  facing  dropping  traffic,  you’ll  want  to   engage  in  a  two-­‐pronged  solution:  prop  up  traffic   now  to  buy  you  the  time  it  takes  to  organically  fix   the  issue.  Thus,  the  short-­‐term  solution  is  to  buy   more  ads  and  social  promotion.       Ads  are  obviously  the  quick-­‐fix  solution,  paying   people  to  look  at  your  website.  The  problem  is  that   it  can  be  a  costly  solution,  so  engage  in  it  as  a   bandage,  not  a  treatment.  At  the  same  time,  using   social  media  promotion  gets  you  all  the  same  kind   of  targeting  tools  an  ad  will  get  you  (if  not  more),   and  it  can  do  it  for  a  lower  price  point.     In  the  long-­‐term,  invest  in  something  that  will  draw   people  to  you  more  organically.  Interesting  and   unique  stories  about  your  company,  your  culture   and  your  people  naturally  get  shared  and  read   because  they  are  interesting.  At  the  same  time,  all   this  content  defining  who  you  are  helps  search   engines  tie  your  site  to  interested  searchers.  Good   stories  properly  prepared  for  search  engine   consumption  can  drive  traffic  for  months  and  years   after  launch.     The  issue  is  that  you  can’t  apply  a  long-­‐term   solution  to  a  short-­‐term  issue.  It  takes  time  to   develop  and  promote  content  to  the  right   audiences  to  provide  that  lift.  Content  is  a  long-­‐tail  
  • 7. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   7   game,  while  ads  and  promotion  can  lift  traffic   overnight.        
  • 8. 8  |  Meshworking.com           Problem:  Low   conversion   rates  on  our   site     SOLUTION:  BUILD  CONTENT  INTO  YOUR  SITE  AT  THE  POINT  OF   CONSIDERATION,  USER  EXPERIENCE,  MEDIA  MIX.     Explanation:  You  probably  spend  a  good  deal  of   money  just  to  get  people  to  your  site.  Whether   that  money  is  spent  on  ads,  job  boards,  brand   messaging,  email  marketing  or  search  optimization,   it’s  money  spent  solely  to  generate  traffic.  But  you   may  see  a  low  or  declining  percentage  of  site   visitors  actually  doing  anything  of  value  –  like   joining  the  talent  community  or  applying.     The  problem  in  this  situation  is  that  your   promotion  is  either  doing  its  job  and  you  aren’t   giving  people  a  reason  to  continue,  or  that  your  ads   2  
  • 9. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   9   are  doing  too  good  a  job  and  driving  useless  traffic   to  your  site.  Let’s  tackle  these  issues  separately.     In  the  first  instance,  where  the  right  people  are  on   your  site,  but  aren’t  applying  is  a  tough  problem  to   diagnose  and  solve.  Start  by  looking  at  your   analytics.  Segment  out  all  traffic  from  ads  or  job   boards  and  focus  on  organic  traffic  from  search   engines  (e.g.  you  didn’t  pay  for  that  click)  and   those  from  your  corporate  site.  These  are  people   who  are  looking  for  what  you  have  to  say,  who   know  who  you  are  and  are  motivated  to  engage   with  you.     Take  a  look  at  the  conversion  rate  each  month  for   the  last  two  years  for  just  this  traffic.  Is  it  dropping?   Then  it’s  likely  that  the  problem  is  because  people   arrive  at  your  site  and  then…  drift  away  without   taking  action.     Another  telltale  sign  is  that  your  job  descriptions   are  your  biggest  exit  pages.  People  are  finding  your   jobs,  but  then,  they  just  quit  on  you.     In  this  situation,  prospects  are  interested  in   applying,  but  still  on  the  fence.  They  are  looking  for   a  good  reason  to  take  the  next  step.  Your  job   descriptions  aren’t  meant  to  actually  drive  action   (they  are  more  legal  placeholders  than  they  are   marketing  and  sales  tools),  so  you  need  content  to  
  • 10. 10  |  Meshworking.com   really  explain  why  someone  who  found  your  jobs   should  apply  –  beyond  the  existence  of  the  job.       Content  will  do  the  most  good  if  it  is  placed  in  line   with  the  decision-­‐making  process:  next  to  the  job   description.  If  you  ask  a  prospect  to  go  searching   for  the  content,  they  will  leave  in  search  of  a   company  that  is  actively  trying  to  woo  them  a  little.     But  there  is  another  common  reason  why  your   conversion  rate  is  dropping:  your  outbound   marketing  (ads,  job  board  promotion,  etc.)  is   working  too  well,  attracting  people  who  aren’t   likely  fits  to  the  job.     To  diagnose  this  situation,  again  go  to  your   analytics  and  segment  out  your  ads  and  other   marketing  traffic.  Look  for  month-­‐by-­‐month   conversion  rates  for  the  last  two  years,  If  you  are   seeing  fairly  steady  conversion  rates  (barring   seasonality,  which  is  why  we  look  at  two  years   worth  of  data),  your  ads  aren’t  the  problem,  and   instead  look  at  using  content  to  compel  action  in   your  prospects.     If  your  conversion  rates  are  dropping  for  ad  traffic,   what’s  happening  is  that  your  media  mix  is  either   out-­‐of-­‐date  or  seeking  prospects  in  the  wrong   audiences.      
  • 11. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   11   Remember,  publishers  can’t  charge  you  for  your   ads  if  no  one  clicks  on  them,  so  it  is  in  their  best   interests  to  send  you  clicks,  regardless  of  value  to   you.  The  best  solution  is  to  work  with  your  media   buyers  to  re-­‐think  your  media  mix.  Re-­‐establish   your  targets,  find  new  channels  and  publishers,  or   re-­‐segment  your  audiences.  Sometimes  a  little  time   spent  thinking  about  these  issues  with  a  fresh   perspective  can  work  wonders  on  attracting  quality   candidates.        
  • 12. 12  |  Meshworking.com               Problem:   Search   engines  aren’t   sending  us   free  traffic     SOLUTION:  SEO,  CONTENT  AND  SOCIAL.     Explanation:  When  Google  (or  the  other  search   engines)  sends  you  organic  traffic,  not  only  is  that   free  traffic,  that  is  generally  very  valuable  traffic:   you  didn’t  have  to  send  them  a  commercial  to  drive   them  to  your  site,  they  were  actively  searching  for   words  that  were  on  your  website.     3  
  • 13. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   13   So,  if  your  organic  (unpaid)  search  traffic  is   dropping,  it’s  a  lot  fewer  people  on  your  site,  and  it   usually  means  fewer  quality  prospects.     To  diagnose  this  issue,  go  into  your  analytics,  and   just  show  organic  traffic.  Is  it  dropping  steadily?   Talk  to  your  SEO  analyst  about  variations  and   changes  in  the  different  algorithms  the  search   engines  are  using  and  see  if  your  can  connect  those   changes  to  drops  or  spikes  in  traffic.  Unless  you’ve   been  dinged  for  some  reason,  you  should  see  fairly   steady  free  traffic  from  search  engines.  If  not,  it’s   time  to  fix  the  issue.     Solving  this  is  at  once  simple  and  difficult.  The   solution  is  to  rank  higher  on  the  search  engines  for   job  seeker  terms.  But  to  do  that,  you  need  a  two-­‐ part  strategy.     Obviously,  SEO  is  part  of  the  solution.  You  want  to   work  with  your  developer  and  SEO  analyst  to   ensure  that  your  site  is  optimized  from  a  technical   level  [link  to  nursing  blog].  This  means  looking  at   your  code  and  making  sure  you  are  giving  Google   what  it’s  looking  for.     Of  course,  if  you  are  using  your  ATS  to  post  jobs   directly  to  the  web,  you  likely  won’t  have  any   access  to  that  code  at  all.  You’ll  need  a  way  to  re-­‐ publish  those  jobs  in  a  more  Google-­‐friendly   platform.    
  • 14. 14  |  Meshworking.com     Beyond  the  code  itself,  the  other  primary  factor   that  search  engines  use  to  weigh  your  site,  is  who   is  linking  to  you.  In  fact,  it  seems  likely  that   authentic  links  to  your  site  (not  ones  you  paid  for)   are  the  most  important  factor  in  lifting  your   rankings  on  Google.     How  do  you  get  people  to  link  to  you?  The  first   step  is  to  build  content  that  people  will  think  is   valuable  enough  to  link  to.  Job  descriptions  aren’t   enough,  mostly  because  they  change  URLs  so   quickly  that  Google  can’t  reliably  incorporate  them   into  its  ranking.  Also,  because  job  descriptions  are   boring:  people  don’t  like  to  link  to  boring  stuff.     So  build  interesting  and  engaging  content.  Then  ask   people  to  share  it  and  link  to  it.  That’s  the  most   effective  solution  to  raising  your  search  engine   traffic.        
  • 15. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   15                   Problem:  Lots   of  traffic,  but   most  of  it  is  a   poor  fit     SOLUTION:  BRAND,  CONTENT,  PROGRAMMATIC  MEDIA  AND   SOCIAL  MEDIA  PROMOTION.     Explanation:  Buying  traffic  is  easy.  In  this  way,   getting  applications  isn’t  that  difficult,  either.  With   enough  money,  you  can  get  pretty  much  get  any   number  of  applications.  But  there’s  a  world  of   difference  between  an  applicant  and  a  real  fit.     4  
  • 16. 16  |  Meshworking.com   There  are  a  couple  of  ways  to  solve  this,  and  they   should  be  seen  as  complementary  solutions  rather   than  as  a  series  of  alternatives.       Your  primary  focus  in  enhancing  fit  is  to  know  what   kind  of  application  is  a  good  fit.  If  you  don’t  care   where  you  are  going,  it  doesn’t  matter  which  way   you  go,  said  the  smiling  cat  to  the  lost  Alice.  The   same  is  true  here:  You  have  to  know  what  a  good   fit  looks  like  before  you  can  attract  them.     Once  you’ve  established  the  persona  or  attributes   of  a  likely  fit,  you  can’t  assume  to  simply  push  ads   to  them.  These  are  people  you  had  trouble  finding   before,  so  it’s  safe  to  assume  that  they  can  be   more  selective  than  your  average  applicants.  In   that  case,  your  next  concern  must  be  in  giving   these  likely  fits  a  reason  to  consider  you.  This   means  have  a  well-­‐defined  employer  brand  or   employer  value  proposition.     It  takes  two  to  tango  and  two  to  establish  a  fit.   They  have  to  be  right  for  you  and  you  have  to  be   right  for  them.  A  one-­‐direction  fit  isn’t  really  a  fit  at   all.  It’s  a  wish,  an  aspiration,  a  valentine  to  an   unrequited  love.       But  an  EVP  by  itself  isn’t  very  useful.  You  have  to   prove  it,  and  the  most  effective  way  to  do  that  is  to   tell  stories  that  activate  that  EVP.  If  you  are  looking   for  sharks,  your  EVP  has  to  reward  sharks  with  
  • 17. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   17   what  sharks  like  best,  then  you  have  to  tell  stories   about  sharks  doing  amazing  work  and  then  being   rewarded  in-­‐kind.       If  you  aren’t  looking  for  sharks,  but  instead  for   geeks  who  lust  after  the  newest  tech  or  the  biggest   problems  to  solve,  you  need  an  EVP  that  focuses   on  your  commitment  to  tech  and  solving  problems.   Then,  you  need  to  tell  stories  that  show  off  that   tech  or  illustrate  the  scope  and  scale  of  the   problems  you  are  solving.  All  your  stories  must   align  with  that  EVP  or  else  they  will  feel   incongruent  with  the  larger  story  you  are   presenting  about  your  company.     Then  you  need  to  get  those  stories  in  front  of  likely   fits  in  order  to  give  them  a  chance  to  consider  you.   The  fastest  way  to  present  your  story  is   programmatic  media  and  social  media  targeting.   Using  the  persona  work  you  did  in  the  first  step,   you  should  have  a  good  idea  of  what  interests   these  candidates  have  and  what  websites  they   read.            
  • 18. 18  |  Meshworking.com                   Problem:  Our   ad  budget   keeps  going  up,   but  without  an   increase  in   value     SOLUTION:  CONTENT.     Explanation:  Sadly,  ad  publishers  keep  generating   more  and  more  ad  space,  so  the  page  that  used  to   have  two  ads  on  it,  now  has  seven.  Thus,  the  value   of  your  ad  gets  diluted,  as  other  ads  demand  the   attention  from  readers  you  were  counting  on.   5  
  • 19. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   19     In  order  to  keep  the  number  of  clicks  you  are   getting,  publishers  might  be  reaching  out  to  new   audiences  to  increase  their  page  views.  Sadly,  this   audience  may  not  be  the  one  you  were  trying  to   reach,  making  the  value  of  the  click  less  and  less.   Or  your  ad  buyers  might  be  expanding  their  list  of   places  to  publish  your  ads  to  generate  those  clicks.   The  result  is  usually  the  same.     But  think  about  your  ad  for  a  second.  Regardless  of   whether  you  are  buying  banner  ads  or  text/search   ads,  you  have  a  very,  very,  very,  small  space  in   which  to  say  anything  meaningful.  The  value  of  the   ad  isn’t  based  on  its  applications,  but  its  ability  to   generate  clicks.  Good  ads  entice  people  in  using  a   mixture  of  curiosity,  scarcity,  offers  or  perceived   value  to  get  someone  to  click,  at  which  point  the   page  the  ad  points  to  gives  all  the  information.     Sadly,  there  are  issues  with  this  process.  First,  your   ad  is  small,  so  you  have  to  focus  on  the  sizzle  rather   than  the  steak.  There’s  not  enough  room  to  give  a   reason  that  someone  should  apply,  just  room   enough  to  promise  that  compelling  reason  on  the   landing  page.  Of  course,  you  are  probably  sending   someone  to  a  job  description,  the  least  compelling   information  I  can  think  of.     You  can  increase  the  value  of  your  ads  by  not   pointing  them  to  jobs  and  instead  send  them  to  
  • 20. 20  |  Meshworking.com   interesting  content  that  delivers  on  the  promise  of   a  compelling  reason  to  join  your  team.  If  you  think   of  the  job  application  process  as  a  hurdle  (and  with   most  ATSs,  it  is  that),  you  want  your  content  to   motivate  candidates  to  do  the  work  to  clear  that   hurdle.  You  want  prospects  to  understand  why   they  should  apply,  see  themselves  in  the  company,   and  it’s  content  that  gets  the  job  done.     It  is  usually  easier  to  market  content  instead  of   jobs.  Think  of  your  average  project  manager  role.   What  can  you  say  about  it  that  makes  it  sound   different  from  project  manager  roles  in  any  other   company?  What  can  you  say  in  the  46  characters  of   a  Google  AdWords  text  ad  that  will  entice  someone   to  learn  more  about  project  management  jobs?       If  your  answer  is,  “The  fact  that  we  have  jobs  is   message  enough,”  I  would  counter  that  argument.   If  someone  is  looking  for  a  job,  they  generally  go  to   a  job  board.  That’s  where  direct  messages  like  “we   have  a  project  management  opening”  actually   work.  Why  would  they  go  other  places  to  look  for  a   job  when  so  many  jobs  are  posted  there  already?   It’s  like  fishing  in  the  parking  lot  because  there   might  be  a  possible  candidate  there  instead  of   walking  the  40  steps  to  the  lake  and  fishing  where   the  fish  are.     Content  is  also  perennial,  supporting  your  brand   and  jobs  for  months  and  years  at  a  time.  Your  job  
  • 21. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   21   description  will  only  live  at  that  URL  for  the  45  days   until  you  close  the  rec.  Just  make  sure  that  your   content  connects  to  related  jobs  or  else  you  will  be   using  resources  to  engage  someone  –  only  to  send   them  off  to  search  for  a  job  on  your  site.  That’s  like   asking  someone  to  leave.        
  • 22. 22  |  Meshworking.com                 Problem:  We   have   problems   attracting  and   hiring  entry-­‐ level  talent     SOLUTION:  JOB  BOARDS  AND  SOCIAL  MEDIA,  MOBILE  APPLY.       Explanation:  Entry-­‐level  staff  is  defined  by  one   idea:  they  are  barely  differentiated  from  each   other.  They  don’t  have  any  experience  to  highlight   or  skills  to  illustrate.  And  because  they  can’t   differentiate  themselves,  they  are  looking  for   (almost)  anyone  to  call  them  in  for  an  interview.   6  
  • 23. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   23   They  are  working  with  the  law  of  big  numbers:  the   sheer  volume  of  applications  will  result  in  the   phone  call  from  a  recruiter.     To  that  end,  their  job  seeking  process  is  finding  the   apply  button  as  fast  as  they  can  and  making  the   process  as  simple  and  fast  as  possible.  They  are   button-­‐pressers.  They  don’t  care  about  who  they   work  for,  as  much  as  they  care  about  working  for   someone.     This  audience  is  already  going  to  the  places  with   the  most  amount  of  jobs:  big-­‐name  job  boards.  An   entry-­‐level  attraction  strategy  should  start  with   optimizing  your  presence  on  these  sites,  either   through  simplified  job  descriptions,  keyword   optimization  or  promotion.     In  the  modern  job  board,  the  candidate  will  search   a  term  they  think  might  drive  the  broadest  return   of  likely  jobs.  They  will  search  on  terms  like  “entry-­‐ level”  or  “no  experience  necessary.”  A  good   exercise  is  to  go  into  your  analytics  and  look  for   search  terms  used  by  actual  prospects  that  line  up   with  an  entry-­‐level  search  and  make  sure  those   terms  show  up  in  your  job  descriptions  fed  to  job   boards.     Beyond  finding  a  job,  you  need  to  create  a  clear   path  to  a  simplified  application  process.  If  the   audience  is  focusing  on  sheer  volume,  any  obstacle  
  • 24. 24  |  Meshworking.com   that  slows  down  the  application  process  will  deter   action.  This  is  especially  true  as  job  boards  start   changing  their  interfaces  to  allow  a  candidate  to   see  lots  of  jobs  in  one  place,  flipping  between   opportunities  in  search  of  easy  applications.   Glassdoor’s  new  multi-­‐pane  layout  makes  it  easy  to   see  lots  of  roles  faster  that  the  standard  “search   result  linking  to  single-­‐pane”  interface.       And  because  speed  is  so  important  to  the  process,   look  to  invest  in  mobile  application  technology.   Entry-­‐level  applicants  are  more  likely  to  be   searching  on  a  mobile  device,  but  the  framework   for  mobile  leads  to  faster  overall  applications,   leading  to  fewer  chances  to  abandon  the   application  process.     If  you  need  to  augment  your  job  board  strategy,   focus  on  social  media  promotion.  While  Facebook   is  seeing  a  softening  of  their  market  penetration  of   people  18–25,  it  is  still  an  effective  way  to  target   these  prospects.       A  great  way  to  increase  response  is  to  develop  a   campus  strategy  where  multiple  Facebook  ads  are   designed  to  reflect  specific  universities  (“We  love   to  hire  Longhorns,”  or  “Badgers  know:  we  are  a   great  place  to  start  a  career”  for  example),   targeted  to  people  in  and  graduating  from  those   schools,  all  pointing  to  a  common  landing  page  job   description.  The  cost  per  click  is  low  enough  to  test  
  • 25. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   25   campaigns  even  for  very  small  schools  or  particular   majors  in  a  given  school  (“Yes,  Wildcat  poli  sci   majors  can  get  a  real  job”).        
  • 26. 26  |  Meshworking.com               Problem:   Attracting   and  hiring   upper-­‐level   and  selective   talent     SOLUTION:  CONTENT  AND  PROGRAMMATIC  MEDIA.     Explanation:  Experience  or  selective  candidates   have  a  far  longer  consideration  funnel  than  those   at  the  beginning  of  their  career.  And  the  higher  up   the  career  ladder,  the  longer  the  process  takes.       Why?  Because  these  candidates  can  be  picky  about   the  role  that  they  apply  to.  However,  since  the   standard  job  description  holds  little  to  attract  or   7  
  • 27. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   27   compel  action,  relying  on  those  job  descriptions  is   a  weak  strategy.  To  get  these  candidates  to  apply,   you  need  to  tell  many  stories  about  the  company,   the  office  and  the  work  itself.       When  you  made  a  big  purchase,  you  probably  had   questions,  whether  it  was  a  house,  a  car  or  even  a   mattress,  you  didn’t  walk  in,  point  at  one  and  start   pulling  out  your  credit  card.  You  wanted  to  know   about  your  options,  about  the  experience.  If  you   are  buying  a  car,  you  might  want  to  know  how  well   it  handles  snowy  winters.  How  the  car  looks  won’t   tell  you  that,  and  the  sales  material  might  not   cover  it.  But  that  question  is  still  the  primary   deciding  factor  in  your  purchase.  If  no  one   provided  that  information,  you’d  pull  that  car  out   of  your  consideration  list  regardless  of  the  other   features  (the  ones  the  marketing  team  wants  you   to  know).       Taken  a  step  further,  the  car  company  that  answers   your  questions  soonest  will  get  to  spend  more  time   showing  you  all  the  features  that  will  close  the  sale.   The  company  that  forces  you  to  dig  on  reviewer   sites  and  search  engines  will  be  working  at  a   disadvantage.  Answering  questions  the  buyer  has,   leads  to  more  sales.  The  company  that  answers   candidate  questions  soonest,  wins.     Those  answers  shouldn’t  just  take  the  form  of  a   bulleted  list  of  benefits  and  responsibilities,  but  
  • 28. 28  |  Meshworking.com   provide  a  more  complete  experience  working  for   your  company.     People  lay  down  on  mattresses  before  they  buy   them.  But  leaning  solely  on  job  descriptions  is  like   selling  a  mattress  based  on  a  bulleted  list  of  the   mattress  materials.  Candidates  want  a  taste  of  the   experience  and  this  is  your  opportunity  to  provide   that  experience.     Answering  questions  that  define  and  communicate   that  experience  is  how  you  attract  and  drive   experienced  prospects  to  apply.     The  added  benefit  of  these  stories  is  that  they  will   be  shared  by  prospects  to  their  network  of  other   experienced  prospects,  creating  reach  that  job   boards  can’t.  Enhance  that  effect  by  making  it   easier  to  share  these  stories  and  relying  on   programmatic  media  to  present  them  to   candidates  outside  of  the  direct  application   process.  It  will  validate  interest  in  the  company  and   increase  your  conversion  rate  (provided  you  are   using  cookies  to  track  across  sites  and  beyond  the   career  site  visit).     In  many  cases,  elite  candidates  have  consciously  or   unconsciously  been  building  a  list  of  target   companies  they’d  work  for,  waiting  for  the  right   role  in  those  companies  to  appear  before  even  
  • 29. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   29   considering  to  make  a  move.  Getting  inside  that   decision  cycle  is  very  tricky,  but  not  impossible.     When  someone  at  this  level  adds  a  new  company   to  their  consideration  set,  they  do  it  organically.   Perhaps  a  friend  works  there  and  raves,  a  story  in  a   publication  creates  interest  in  their  product  or   business  model.  In  either  case,  what  creates  that   spark  is  a  story.  A  story  of  going  above  and  beyond   for  the  customer,  a  story  of  the  kinds  of  tools  that   employees  are  using,  opportunities  to  make  an   impact,  or  any  of  the  eight  major  motivators.       That  spark  leads  to  immediate  research,  or  it  opens   the  prospect  up  to  more  information  about  the   company.  Either  way,  you  need  to  have  more   stories  that  can  turn  that  spark  into  true   consideration.  Those  stories  should  be  on  your   career  site,  but  they  should  also  be  in  the  places   the  candidate  will  be  looking  next.  Those  sites   include  Google,  LinkedIn,  Glassdoor  and  Facebook.   Take  the  stories  you  are  publishing  on  your  career   site  and  recycle  them  on  all  those  platforms,  or  use   those  platforms  to  point  to  those  stories.  (There  is   no  Google  “duplicate  content”  penalty  unless  you   are  reusing  the  content  exactly  in  hundreds  of   places.)     Then,  leverage  programmatic  media  and   retargeting  to  push  the  next  messages  within  your   communication  flow  onto  sites  they  frequent.  
  • 30. 30  |  Meshworking.com   Don’t  push  jobs;  push  stories  and  news  mentions   and  videos  and  more  grain  for  the  consideration   mill.  Pushing  jobs  at  this  stage  is  like  when  a   salesperson  asked  if  they  can  “wrap  that  up  for   you,”  before  you’ve  decided  to  buy.  Don’t  be  a   pushy  sales  person.  Anyone  you  are  trying  to  talk   to  within  this  segment  knows  you  have  a  career   site  and  they  can  apply  there.  Let  them  decide  to   make  that  leap  on  their  own.  Lead  the  horse  to   water,  but  let  them  decide  to  take  a  sip.        
  • 31. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   31               Problem:   Losing  talented   prospects   during  the   hiring  process     SOLUTION:  EMPLOYEE-­‐GENERATED  CONTENT.     Explanation:  On  the  hiring  side,  we  know  it  takes   time  to  get  everyone  in  the  right  place,  to  read  the   resumes,  to  spend  time  interviewing  2–5   candidates,  to  come  to  a  decision  and  determine   who  they  should  talk  to  next.       On  the  candidate  side,  that  feels  like  eons  of   waiting,  giving  prospects  plenty  of  time  to  fall  in   love  with  someone  else.   8  
  • 32. 32  |  Meshworking.com     It’s  probably  not  feasible  to  restructure  your  hiring   process  to  actually  shorten  the  time  between   application  and  hire,  but  there  is  something  you   can  do  to  let  fewer  prospects  jump  ship.  You  can   give  them  a  reason  to  stay.     We  are  happy  to  tell  our  bosses  and  candidates  –   and  anyone  who  will  listen  –  that  we  are  rigorous   in  our  search  for  fit.  Whether  it’s  a  series  of   interviews,  questionnaires,  tests  or  behavioral   interview  questions,  we  search  for  the  person  who   will  fit.  But  our  tests  are  there  to  assess  whether   the  candidate  fits  within  our  world,  in  our  space,  in   our  company.  We  rarely  ask  if  we  fit  for  them.  The   onus  is  on  the  candidate  to  determine  it,  and  most   interviewers  forget  to  ask  if  the  candidate  sees  this   match  as  a  fit.     Because,  as  we  all  know,  a  fit  isn’t  easy  to  make.   We  might  get  a  hundred  applications  to  five   possible  fits  in  an  attempt  to  find  just  one.  Can’t  we   assume  that  finding  a  good  fit  is  also  on  the   candidate’s  mind?  They  are  searching  through   hundreds  of  companies  and  job  postings  to  find   five  worth  applying  for,  in  order  to  find  one  good   fit.     But  our  processes  are  built  around  the  (very   outdated)  idea  that  the  hiring  manager  is  in  charge.   The  pendulum  has  swung  and  now  we  see  a  very  
  • 33. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   33   balanced  sense  of  control,  where  both  parties  have   something  important  at  stake.  In  effect,  we  are   partnering  with  our  candidates,  asking  them  to   show  us  more  of  themselves  as  we  show  more  of   ourselves.     So  what  happens  when  they  jump?  Wheeling  out   that  old  saw  of  “recruiting  is  like  dating,”  if  we  had   two  amazing  dates  with  someone  and  then   stopped  calling  for  two  weeks,  no  matter  how   great  those  dates  were,  wouldn’t  you  assume  the   other  person  started  looking  again?  Maybe  you’re   not  quite  ready  to  pop  the  question,  but  you  don’t   stop  calling.     The  best  recruiters  know  this,  laboring  under  the   belief  that  the  role  isn’t  filled  until  the  candidate   has  completed  their  90-­‐day  review  and  agreed  that   this  is  a  good  fit  for  all  involved.  They  don’t  stop   recruiting,  communicating  and  selling  the   relationship  to  the  company.  They  make  sure  the   spark  that  happened  in  those  first  two  dates   doesn’t  fizzle  out.     In  order  to  scale-­‐up  this  idea  and  support  your   recruiters,  build  content  that  your  recruiters  can   send  to  your  top  prospects,  keeping  them   interested  and  engaged  in  the  process.  This   content  can’t  replace  a  recruiter,  but  it  should   augment  their  toolset,  allowing  a  recruiter  to  
  • 34. 34  |  Meshworking.com   increase  the  number  of  candidates  they  can  keep   engaged.       How  would  this  work?  Let’s  take  that  hotshot,  new,   cloud  developer  you’re  interviewing.  Because  this   is  a  very  technical  position,  you  know  you  need  a   lot  of  people  to  talk  to  the  candidate  to  make  sure   he  or  she  can  really  do  the  job  and  fit  in.  This  could   be  a  6-­‐week  interview  process.  As  a  cloud   developer,  there  will  be  no  shortage  of  people   interesting  in  wooing  them  out  from  under  you.  So   after  the  first  or  second  interview,  the  recruiter   should  touch  base,  letting  them  know  how   interested  in  them  you  are.  But  in  the  meantime,   can  the  recruiter  put  the  developer  in  touch  with   other  developers  at  the  company,  or  answer   questions  about  the  tech  stack  they’d  be  working   with?  Maybe  after  the  third  interview,  you  invite   the  candidate  to  the  next  Friday  afternoon  beer   open  house  you  are  holding.  After  the  last  big  tech   interview,  ask  them  if  they’d  like  to  sit  in  on  the   next  scrum  planning  session  to  see  how  decisions   get  made.       Where’s  the  content,  you  might  ask?  Content   doesn’t  have  to  be  blog  posts  and  ebooks,  but  in   who  you  are  and  what  you  do.  The  conversations   at  the  open  house,  and  seeing  what’s  happening  at   the  scrum  planning  session,  say  far  more  who  you   are  and  give  the  candidate  a  more  authentic  sense   of  the  future  fit.    
  • 35. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   35     Or  maybe  all  the  developers  at  your  company  have   professional  business  profiles  online  somewhere   and  the  recruiter  points  the  candidate  to  them.  Or   maybe  there  are  pictures  from  the  last  few  open   houses  online  that  the  candidate  can  peruse.     The  goal  is  to  get  the  candidate  to  see  themselves   in  your  company,  at  your  desks,  solving  your   problems.  The  more  they  can  create  that  picture  in   their  head,  the  less  likely  that  other  recruiters  can   steal  them  away.          
  • 36. 36  |  Meshworking.com                   Problem:  We   need  to  attract   passive   candidates     SOLUTION:  CONTENT  WITH  NATIVE  ADS.     Explanation:  Passive  candidates  are  the  great  white   whales  of  the  job.  In  them,  we  project  our  hopes   and  dreams  for  great  talent  and  magical  fits.   Because  we  can’t  see  their  imperfect  resumes  and   gaps  and  issues,  we  see  only  the  positives.  Sure,   people  who  apply  for  our  jobs  are  great,  but  to   paraphrase  Groucho  Marx,  we  don’t  really  want   prospects  who  would  actually  apply.   9  
  • 37. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   37     But  the  prospect  of  passive  candidates  lingers.  How   can  you  reach  people  who  aren’t  looking  at  job   boards  or  at  recruiting  content?     Step  one  is  to  tell  a  story  that  is  worth  sharing.   News  of  your  new  building  or  your  support  of   #NationalWhateverWeek  doesn’t  work  because   they  will  only  appeal  to  people  looking  for  new   jobs.  The  content  you  need  to  build  needs  to   appeal  to  a  more  general-­‐purpose  audience.       From  a  marketing  standpoint,  take  a  lesson  from   other  industries.  When  you  see  an  aspirin   commercial,  they  never  start  with  the  solution.   They  always  start  with  the  problem,  be  it  a   headache  or  a  shoulder  sprain.  You  have  to  remind   these  candidates  that  they  have  a  problem,  like  the   fact  that  they  work  for  a  stodgy  company,  or  that   they  are  working  with  outdated  technology.  Once   you  remind  them  that  they  have  a  specific   problem,  they’ll  be  receptive  to  a  solution.     At  the  same  time,  all  the  channels  you  usually   leverage  are  worthless  to  this  audience.  Job  boards   and  ads  pointing  to  job  descriptions  will  be  ignored   if  they  are  even  seen.  You  need  to  be  in  places   where  they  are.     This  makes  reaching  out  to  passive  candidates   seem  like  an  insurmountable  challenge.  But  it’s  
  • 38. 38  |  Meshworking.com   not.  In  fact,  there’s  a  solution  seemingly  tailor-­‐ made  for  your  campaign  to  attract  these  potential   prospects:  Native  advertising.     Native  advertising,  if  you  haven’t  already  read  up   on  it,  is  a  form  of  media  (like  an  ad)  which  looks   and  feels  like  the  platform  where  it  lives.  So  rather   than  a  banner  ad,  which  virtually  screams,  “I’m  an   ad!  Please  ignore  me!”  you’ll  be  placing  your  story   within  the  website  so  it  looks  just  like  another   article.       For  example,  if  you  were  looking  to  hire  a  digital   strategist,  you  might  want  to  put  your  story  on   Mashable,  a  place  where  digitally  savvy  people   tend  to  congregate.  Your  story  would  exist  on  the   Mashable  site  and  look  like  every  other  story,  with   the  exception  of  a  “Sponsored  by”  image  next  to  it.   Because  it  doesn’t  feel  like  an  ad,  people  are  more   likely  to  click  on  it  and  learn  more  about  your   company  and  why  you  are  different.  This  creates   the  positive  impression  about  your  employer  brand   and  gets  them  thinking  about  looking  for  a  new   opportunity  with  your  name  at  the  top  of  the  list.     Because  this  is  a  media  placement,  you  can  target   it  only  to  people  who  fit  a  specific  demographic  or   have  seen  other  ads  you’ve  published.       There  is  a  version  of  native  advertising  where  the   site  has  a  block  of  space  dedicated  to  related  
  • 39. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   39   stories  or  other  stories  that  link  off  the  main  site.     These  usually  come  in  blocks  of  six,  and  these   stories  link  to  your  site,  giving  you  the  benefit  of   offering  content  beyond  the  initial  story.     Native  ads  are  placed  like  any  other  ad,  so  work   with  your  media  planner  for  budgets  and   placements,  and  with  your  content  marketer  to   build  something  that  creates  a  return  on  the   investment.          
  • 40. 40  |  Meshworking.com                 Problem:   Attract   university   candidates     SOLUTION:  GET  CREATIVE  WITH  SOCIAL  MEDIA.     Explanation:  Look,  let’s  get  something  out  of  the   way.  Just  because  you  are  “on”  social  media   doesn’t  mean  you  are  being  social.  Being  social  is   the  act  of  engaging  with  other  people.  Having  a   social  life  doesn’t  mean  clicking  “like”  on  things,  it   means  chatting,  laughing,  fighting,  and  conversing   with  other  people.     10  
  • 41. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   41   So  when  we  talk  about  engaging  university   students,  we  aren’t  talking  about  posting  things  to   Facebook  and  Twitter.  That  is  one-­‐way   communication,  broadcasting  to  the  masses.  It’s  a   scaled-­‐down  version  of  buying  commercials.     What  university  students  are  looking  for  is  a   relationship,  because  what  you’re  offering  in  your   job  descriptions  doesn’t  actually  help  them.  Your   legal  documents  don’t  tell  them  anything  they   want  to  know.     What  do  they  want  to  know?  Studies  show  that   entry-­‐level  candidates  (call  them  Millennials  if  you   want)  want  to  know  what  the  work  environment  is   like,  if  they  will  get  a  chance  to  learn,  and  if  their   work  will  make  any  kind  of  impact.  Trust  me,  your   job  descriptions  aren’t  saying  anything  like  that   (though  they  really  should!).     This  is  where  “non-­‐standard”  social  media  really   works.  Channels  like  Periscope,  Snapchat,  and   Whatsapp,  resist  classic  marketing.  These  aren’t   designed  to  make  it  easy  for  you  to  push  your   message  into  other  people’s  lives.  You  can’t  just   pay  ten  bucks  and  have  your  message  seen  in  other   people’s  timelines.  For  that  reason  alone,  they  are   unbelievably  popular  among  that  audience.       So  how  do  you  use  those  channels?  First,  you  have   to  earn  an  audience.  Start  by  leveraging  your  
  • 42. 42  |  Meshworking.com   Facebook  and  Twitter  channels  and  tell  people  that   you  are  starting  a  channel  on  Snapchat  (or   whatever  channel  you  choose).  Beyond  simply   announcing  it,  you  need  to  give  people  a  reason  to   join  in.  This  is  one  of  those  moments  where   announcing  you  have  a  new  website  or  new   packaging  isn’t  going  to  cut  it.  You  need  to  explain   the  value  you  will  be  bringing  to  people  who  join   in.  Either  they  will  see  behind  the  curtain  of  your   company,  get  to  ask  recruiters  direct  questions,  or   see  what  kinds  of  problems  your  company  is   working  on.     Everything  you  post  to  these  new  channels  needs   to  satisfy  an  entry-­‐level  candidate’s  interest  in  the   work  experience,  their  opportunity  for  growth  and   the  ability  to  make  an  impact.  Everything  else  is   fluff  and  people  won’t  hang  around  long  for  that.     On  top  of  that,  you  need  to  engage  with  people  on   your  channel.  Posting  interesting  videos  and  pics   on  Snapchat  is  great,  but  responding  to  questions  is   where  you  are  going  to  find  the  most  impact.   People  in  this  generation  can  smell  “marketing”   content  and  steer  clear  of  it.  But  when  you  engage   and  show  more  of  the  authentic  nature  of  the   company  (even  if  it  includes  the  imperfections),   they  respond.       The  best  part  of  leveraging  these  channels  is  that   when  you  do  it  well,  your  audience  will  grow  
  • 43. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   43   quickly.  These  are  channels  designed  for  people  to   talk  to  each  other  and  when  you  are  doing   something  worth  talking  about,  that’s  exactly  what   they’ll  do.        
  • 44. 44  |  Meshworking.com                       Thanks,  Credits     First,  I’d  like  to  thank  everyone  who’s  fingerprints   are  all  over  this  book  in  one  form  or  another:   Allison  Kelley,  Todd  Maycunich,  Dustin  Carper,   Claire  Hess,  Sehare  Hemani,  Melinda  Benoit,  Andy   Crestodina,  and  Nancy  Goldstein.     If  this  book  has  been  helpful,  pass  it  around.  If   you’d  like  more  of  this  kind  of  information,  you   should  read  Meshworking.com.       If  you’d  like  to  get  in  touch  with  me,  either  to   praise  or  blame,  reach  out  to  me  on  Twitter.  I’m   @TheWarForTalent.     Thanks  for  reading!     -­‐James      
  • 45. Solving  the  Ten  Biggest  Hiring  Problems   45                     About  James  Ellis     James  Ellis  is  the  Vice  President  of  Inbound   Marketing  at  TMP  Worldwide  in  Chicago,  Il.  He  is  a   recruiting  digital  strategy  thinker  of  the   MacGyver/Mad  Scientist  school:  hacking  disparate   digital  ideas  together  to  serve  a  strategic  business   objective.  He  is  a  writer,  drummer,  sketcher,   speaker,  coach,  coffee-­‐drinker  and  prolific  maker  of   lists.      
  • 46. 46  |  Meshworking.com                           ©  Copyright  2016   Meshworking.com