Job Boards

Twitter is NOT a Job Board. Please, Don’t Make It One

Thu, 19 March 2009

Twitter WAS an excellent tool for getting a job the old fashioned way – through word of mouth, networking, and building relationships online. For a few fleeting months, you could go onto Twitter and connect with some really smart people. You could connect with a senior manager, or a drone working the desk at any number of your potential employers of choice. You could build a relationship with a human, and help each other to mutual benefit. It WAS fresh and different. It will now turn into something automated, and dissatisfying. launched very recently. It provides job seekers an easy way to find job opportunities that have been posted to Twitter. That’s not really what it does though. Instead, makes it blatantly obvious that there are hundreds of people out there building a mini job-spam empire on Twitter. Clearly, many recruiting firms and job board vendors alike have registered twitter names to game the search engines into believing they are the authority on ChicagoTechjobs, or topjobsinlondon whatever. They load up their twitter accounts with automated feeds from the job board they already have online.

So, riddle me this. How exactly does this make things any better for the job seeker? If was aggregating a ton of job related tweets from actual humans working at actual companies and recruitment firms, with actual photo avatars of themselves, THAT would be a great service. Seekers can find plenty of cold, impersonal “job postings” all over the interweb. What they thirst for is the hiring manager at a company who tweets, “We need a marketing mgr to launch a new product for us, RT please”, or the recruiter that says “My client is interviewing for 3 java devs TODAY to build a GPS product by end of Jan, DM me if interested.”

Instead of optimizing FOR all of these automated accounts with “jobs” or “hire” in the Twitter handle, TwitterJobSearch should exclude them on purpose. What do you think?

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Job Boards, Marketing Strategy, Recruitment Industry, Staffing SEO/SEM | 12 Comments »

Another CMO Bites the Dust: Joan Blackwood Out, Ted Gilvar In

Mon, 04 August 2008

Another CMO gets eaten

Monster moved their marketing program on to seemingly greener pastures by replacing Joan Blackwood with Ted Gilvar as Chief Global Marketing Officer. I met with Joan recently at the Monster Customer Advisory board, 6 months after I was critical of Monster’s new branding campaign. She and I discussed the circumstances of the campaign and both agreed that the timing was pretty poor. Monster hadn’t upgraded their product in months, so the promises of the campaign were not well delivered by the product. I can only imagine the pressure she was under to launch something new. The quick hook (14 months tenure) further bolsters the volatility of the CMO position, and ought to scare the crap out of anyone looking to move up in the marketing profession.

I know that Monster has some pretty extensive product changes coming down the pipe, so perhaps Mr. Gilvar’s original campaign vision will come to life. I can’t wait until our first meeting.

photo by dospaz

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Job Boards | No Comments »

Why Can’t All Staffing Firm Job Ads Read Like This?

Wed, 09 April 2008

Have a look at a nice example of a job ad that reflects very well on the staffing industry. Jim Durbin posted this ad on his blog and tweeted it out to his network.

VP Marketing Role In St Louis

The job ad has the following things that all staffing firm recruiters could do:

  1. Admit right up front the relationship between the recruiter and the client. For seekers really naive about recruiters, it might even be good to link to a definition of contingent search.
  2. Make a short statement about the company in your own words instead of some marketing boilerplate about ‘startup with IPO potential’. Jim really builds trust that he has a relationship with the client and has internalized it enough to boil it down to a meaningful synopsis for his candidate audience
  3. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Jim doesn’t bother with what’s in it for the candidate. He goes right in to ‘What I’m Looking For’. It actually better reflects the fact that recruiters are acting as candidate agents with a responsibility to present the best/right fit for the job. You get the feeling that what he’s looking for isn’t from some internal job description that lists one hundred requirements and ‘desired skills’. He has crafted three profiles from his candidate research that he can effectively sell into the client.

Perhaps if Jim were working for a large staffing firm, or if this weren’t a VP level job, his approach may have been different. Maybe he wouldn’t have had as much knowledge of the client. Had this not been for a marketing job would he have taken the same approach? I’m not sure. It does strike me as a much stronger case for working with a recruiter than the majority of the schlock out there.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Job Boards, Staffing Firm Blogs | 3 Comments »

CareerBuilder Super Bowl ’08, the Day After

Mon, 04 February 2008

The game was great. Much as it pains me to say **hurray** when a Giants team that at one point in its history put a dagger in my heart (Wide-Right), I did in fact jump out of my seat when Eli Manning played Houdini on one play, then hit Plaxico Burress wide-open in the end zone for the game winning touchdown.

The ads were less than great. The ‘follow your heart’ spot was a provocative stunt which definitely got people talking…mostly in the way they would talk after leaving a movie with gratuitous gore. The ‘Firefly’ ad was dopey. For some reason it took me until my second and 3rd viewing today to really grasp the punchline. I think it was a lot of story development in 30 seconds, and my slow brain just couldn’t keep up. It could also have been that it was later in the game when fatigue and beer had already set in.The CareerBuilder ’08 SuperBowl ads plus 2 others in the series are posted here.

Let’s see what the market has to say. I’m very interested in a lot of aspects to the campaign. I’ll list them below and continue to update this post as I find out more and more.

  1. What is the overall sentiment toward CareerBuilder after it dropped the motherlode to buy those ads?
  2. How much web traffic did the ads generate? How many additional resumes, job views, applies, etc.?
    From my CareerBuilder Rep:

    Feb 08’, hit a record high in unique visitors (in the Career Services and Development) with 25 million! Most importantly, right after Super Bowl commercials aired (Monday and Tues following)….CB internal data showed a substantial increase in EOI. It increased by 26%. EOI stands for “Expressions of Interest”…meaning # of people applying to jobs. In those 2 days following, there was a 26% increase in people that applied to jobs.

  3. With social networking more mainstream than ever, how well does the campaign reach into influential social and professional networks?
  4. How much do the interactive/online components to the campaign contribute to its relative success?

I’ll keep my ear to the ground on CareerBuilder campaign happenings as well as on the Monster ones to see who is getting it right, and who is treading water. Ultimately, it has an impact on where we invest our precious marketing budgets. Stay tuned.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Job Boards | 1 Comment »

CareerBuilder’s ‘Slap Upside the Head’

Fri, 01 February 2008

CareerBuilder has action, Monster has aspirations. CareerBuilder’s 2008 marketing assault is taking a different tact toward driving job seekers than is Monster’s newly minted global ad campaign. Here’s the agency-created promo that was shown to CareerBuilder employees.


This video is from

CareerBuilder’s ad campaign, just like the rest of their product offering aims at immediacy. It is all about getting the traffic, driving applies, and ultimately delighting the clients who pay them for those candidates. For me, CareerBuilder’s recent success is more about their Recommended Jobs engine. The campaign is only going to augment the effectiveness of that product feature, and ultimately drive staffing firm success.

Case in point. Recommended jobs are present in every part of the job seeker experience. From the home page, to the thank you note you get after applying to a job, CareerBuilder drives users to that next opportunity that is relevant to what they know about you. It is a very Amazon-like experience, a site famous for leveraging knowledge of its customers to provide information about what you should do next. On Super Bowl Sunday, when Sally job seeker gets convinced it’s time to leave her sucky job, she’ll go to CareerBuilder and find 25 targeted recommendations on how to fix that problem. Even if the recommendations based on her zip code and uploaded resume lead her to my competitors, she’ll likely see Hudson jobs that could solve her problem too. Because of CareerBuilder’s product these are the types of seekers we’ll be looking for.

Monster has taken the aspirational high road, choosing to inspire people to find a job they are really passionate about – even if it’s in another industry. I’m not as cynical about their campaign as some, but I do find the following scenario a likely result.

Hmm…my calling is calling. Let’s see if I have a shot at being an executive chef. Keywords=chef + $100k, Apply Now. Ooh…I’ve always thought coffee was fun to drink, how about a career as a barista? Keywords=coffee + training available, Apply Now. Because the site isn’t telling Ms. Aspirational Accountant that the Contract Tax Manager position right up the street is in her wheelhouse, she’s almost encouraged to spread her application to any number of stretch positions. It’s a great marketing message for job seekers for sure, but for over-burdened recruiters and staffing firms with a mountain of unqualifieds on their desk, it’s a nightmare.

I’m eager to see whether the data supports my theory, or if I’m off my rocker. I’m certainly not the only armchair critic this year. Happy Super Bowl everybody.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Job Boards | No Comments »

Monster, Your Website is Calling. Take Down the Billboards.

Mon, 07 January 2008

Monster, and its new global agency BBDO Worldwide have created a much ballyhooed new ad campaign, “Your Calling is Calling”. I haven’t yet seen all of the TV spots, but from what’s been posted on YouTube (not by BBDO or Monster, mind you) the campaign is nothing short of brilliant.

My question is. WHAT were they thinking with their treatment of their global website homepages? The company line…

Monster visitors will experience a fully refined site offering greater usability and reflecting the tone of the “Your Calling Is Calling” campaign. The updated “My Monster” homepage provides instant access to personalized information, such as job search history, for easier job search management. Also, Monster’s award-winning content is integrated throughout the experience, delivering relevant insight and advice as seekers navigate through the site. Currently available in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands, the new look will be rolled-out to other countries in the coming months.

In addition, Monster has deployed a new search engine across all of its sites around the world after seeing the number of job applies increase significantly following the technology’s implementation in the U.S. last year. The engine allows job seekers to more effectively refine, modify and augment their searches and helps them more easily manage the overall application process.

The execution is scary…literally. Have you ever gone on a journey up a rasta-businessman’s nose? Now you can. On Monster’s new homepage, you too can waste your precious time by selecting one of 3 misfit workers (rasta-businessman, Ivy League frat-boy chef, or cheerleader turned auto mechanic) and see how to reach your “true calling”.

Monster Calling Web People

As a paying client of Monster I’ve got more than a few thoughts on why what is there today is so wrong.

  1. Questionable Candidate Targeting. I get it. You can do anything, find a job to match your personality, stretch beyond your boundaries blahbeddy-blah. Here’s some positions we look for all the time: Experienced Accountants, IT Business Analysts and Developers, Contract Attorneys, Marketing and Sales Professionals. These are the professionals that run Corporate America. While being a chef or an auto-mechanic are admirable professions that they might be “Called” to after retiring from knowledge work in the cube farm, these images certainly don’t attract placeable candidates.
  2. Branding Instead of Utility. Apparently using your homepage as a gigantic billboard is the in thing to do these days to pitch products. Take a look at Adobe, Volkswagen, and Xerox to see what I mean. That same approach is awful when it comes to a job board, which is a productivity application at its core. Save the branding for TV, splash pages, YouTube, whatever. Your precious homepage real estate should be dedicated to the one thing; getting paying customers’ jobs in front of the right audience as quickly as possible.
  3. Keeping the Personalization Buried. Why is it, that when I log into LinkedIn everyday, it gives me all sorts of information customized to me, right from the homepage? What about Monster’s direct competitors Yahoo!HotJobs and CareerBuilder? Same thing. So, has Monster differentiated itself in a positive way by consuming the homepage with brandware and burying it’s personalized My Monster on a secondary page? Maybe, they did this so they can continue to put interstitials in front of my face before I can even get to the part of the site that is useful to me.

    My Monster Personalization hidden by an advertisement
    An interstitial that stops me from getting to “My Monster” Homepage

    After I’m logged into My Monster account and return to the homepage, It’s like the site doesn’t even know me. Instead I can suffer through the same ad all over again.
    Monster Home Logged in

  4. Lack of Social Web Imagination. The TV ad is a smart, and unique take on the rate race that I’m sure the masses can identify with. Does it seem like the homepage campaign and the TV ad are even from the same company? Shouldn’t the online have been an extension of the TV? Couldn’t the campaign have become a game complete with battle arena and weaponry to fend off the impending week? Or Facebook prizes you can send to your friends to help eclipse the work week? The payoff for sitting through the brand ad sequence is a link to “Find Your Calling” which dumps you right back to the Job Search tool. **Thud**
  5. Global. Really? I very much admire the fact that Monster was able to unify their homepages globally. I’m shocked that they used the same exact campaign images and verbiage only translated. These are pretty far from the European aesthetic.

The new Monster TV campaign has the potential to really attract some high quality candidates that recruiters so desperately look for. The problem is when the candidates reach the website, they may run for cover. It is a bit frustrating that Monster goes to such great pains to listen to customer feedback yet customers have to wait until the site has been changed for the wrong to provide our candid observations on marketing campaigns. For a company that started on the web, they have a ways to go with their interactive marketing. Think I’m wrong? I’m all ears…

UPDATE 1/8/2008, 10am
I can tell the healthcare contingent has influence. This image has been thrown into the mix. That seems like a more appropriate image that addresses one of Monster’s largest customer segments.
Healthcare image used in ad rotation on
Healthcare image used in ad rotation on

UPDATE 1/8/2008, 3pm
Ivy League chef is gone. And YouTube does have the other commercial from the campaign – ‘Slots’.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Job Boards | 3 Comments »

All that is Wrong with Job Board Vendor Cold Calls

Tue, 04 December 2007

Ring, Ring…Kris checks the caller ID: ‘’…he frowns and ignores the call. Kris already knows it is a vendor cold call and not someone important from the office. 15 minutes later, just wanting that voicemail light to stop flashing, he listens to a message so annoying that he wastes 5 good minutes of his life transcribing the call into Notepad for inclusion in this very blog.

Hi Kris,
This is Jason S___. I’m calling with Uh…I was giving you a call today to offer you access to candidates seeking employment through our partnered websites and The service is free to you and can provide the opportunity to receive great candidates to fill your job openings. If you could at your earliest convenience, please return my call. I would like to demonstrate what these sites can do for you. I can be reached at 540-372-3009 xt. ___. Thanks Kris, have a great day.

People who know me well understand that I have a voracious appetite for all that is new on the internet. Most Interactive Marketers at staffing agencies would tell you something similar. So, let me give out some friendly advice to all job board vendors, and other marketing software/service vendors for that matter, on what is wrong with your cold call approach.

  1. You Don’t Do Your Homework. Before you even pick up that phone you ought to know that you are calling a centrally based marketing director not a recruiter. You would therefore know that I have no need to find candidates for ‘my openings’. I work for my 150 field recruiters. Somehow you managed to find my name. The least you should do is find something out about me and my company.
  2. Your Message Isn’t Targeted. Does anybody need more random, unqualified candidates filling their recruiters’ inboxes? That’s what I hear when someone offers ‘great’ candidates for free. If you had done your homework you would at least know the types of candidates we place by simply looking at our online job board. No Cold Calling

    Even saying you have more great IT candidates wouldn’t have gotten a response from me though. If perhaps you had sent an email to me prior to the cold call with some statistics on how many resumes you get in the niches our company serves or sent some example profiles, you might have at least gotten some interest.

  3. You Don’t Respect My Time. Do you really think you are the only vendor that calls on me? I average 4 cold calls per week. You first ask me to return your call, and then scare me into thinking that the results of that return call will be a boring demo (which usually average 30 minutes). Both of which disrupt my day. Trust me when I tell you that I enter the demo with the wrong attitude, and leave the demo saying no thanks to any sort of purchase. Now you’ve wasted both of our time.

    Instead, you should already know that anyone buying products or services of any kind today is going to research you online first. So why not acknowledge that? You should only ask me to review your website at my earliest convenience. You should then follow-up 2 times with reminder phone calls to see if I have looked at it. If you still don’t get me to pick up my phone, you can assume that I didn’t like or need what I saw. Move on to another prospect.

I understand that everyone has to put food on the table and I truly don’t consider myself to be an un-responsive professional. But, for my own personal productivity I’ve got to help end the deluge. If you cold call me please try to follow the rules. Otherwise, don’t plan on hearing from me.

original photo by markhillary.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Job Boards | 2 Comments »






This is my Life as a 37 year old husband and father of two and my Work as Executive Director of Marketing at Bennett International Group in Mconough, GA relocating from home in Rochester, NY.
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