I Don’t Always Use Recruiters, but When I Do… (I use Tim Sackett!)

I love those old Dos Equis commercials “The Most Interesting Man in the World” where the most interesting man says, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis.” It’s great marketing that doesn’t seem to get old.  It actually ended in 2018, but it’s become part of our vernacular.

It got me to thinking as well. I started my HR career in recruiting working for the company I’m now running, so in a sense, I’ve come full circle. I started recruiting right out of college for HRU Technical Resources, doing technical contracts. It’s a tough recruiting gig but pays very well if you’re good.

When I left my first job, and the third party recruiting industry, to take my first corporate HR job. I left with a chip on my shoulder that armed me with such great recruiting skills that I thought, I would NEVER, I mean NEVER use a recruiting firm to do any of my recruiting. WHY WOULD I?  I mean I had the skills, I had the know-how and I would save my company a ton of money by just doing it on our own.

So, I spent 10 years in corporate HR before returning to HRU in 2009, and you know what? I was young and naïve in my thinking about never using recruiting agencies. It’s not just about having the skills and know-how; it’s much bigger than that. I worked for three different large, enterprise-sized companies, in three different industries in executive recruitment type roles and in each case, I found situations where I was reaching out to some great third-party recruiters for some assistance!

So, why did I change my philosophy on using recruiting agencies?  A few of the reasons I ran into in corporate HR…

1. Having Skill and Know-How only works if you also have the time.  Sometimes in corporate gigs, you just don’t have the capacity to get as deep into the search as you would like with all the hats you have to wear as a corporate HR pro.

2. Corporate HR positions don’t give you the luxury of building a talent pipeline in specific skill sets, the same way that search pros can build over time. As a corporate HR pro, I was responsible for all skill sets in my organization. Niche search pros can outperform most corporate HR pros on most searches, most of the time. It’s a function of time and network.

3. Many corporate executive teams don’t believe their own HR staffs have the ability to outperform professional recruiters, primarily because we (corporate HR pros) have never given them a reason to think differently about this. Thus, we are “forced” to use search pros for searches where executives like to get involved.

4. Most corporations are not willing to invest in the model and tech stack (people, technology and process) that puts themselves on a higher playing field than professional recruiting organizations. I would estimate only 1% of corporations have made this investment currently and more are not rushing out to follow suit.  Again, this comes from corporate HR not having the ability to show the CFO/CEO the ROI on making this change to have the best talent in the industry you compete in. So, the best talent gets sourced by recruiting pros and corporations pay for it.

I didn’t always use recruiting agencies, but when I did I made sure I got talent I couldn’t get on my own in the time and space I was allotted in my given circumstances.  When I talk to corporate HR pros now, and I hear in their voice that “failure” of having to use a recruiting agency and I get it! I get the fact of what they are facing in their own corporate environments.  It’s not failure, it’s life in corporate America and it’s hard to change.

Stay thirsty my friends…

College Students Have No Idea You Want to Recruit Them!

For part of my career, I did the standard corporate college recruiting gig. It sounds “super-cool” when you first think about it. “Wait, I get to fly around the country and go the best college campuses and recruit people who actually want to be recruited?!”

The reality is college recruiting as a corporate recruiter is much less sexy. Think a lot of Courtyard Marriotts, a pizza, and a six-pack, while you watch crapping hotel TV and follow up on work email. Then wake up early and get to the next campus. You quickly begin to hate travel, hate college campuses and miss actually being in the office!

But, corporations believe they must be on campus to recruit the best and brightest college students. Here where the problem begins. College students don’t even know you’re there! A recent study by Walker Sands found out that the majority of college students don’t even know you were on campus:

Walker Sands’ new Perceptions of Consulting Careers study, 56 percent of college students don’t even know if consulting firms recruit at their school. On top of that, 82 percent feel that major firms only recruit from a limited group of select universities.
Okay, this study focused on consulting firms, but the reality is the students don’t really know the difference between Deloitte and Dell when it comes to getting a job!
What can you do to make your company stand out and be remembered while you’re on campus? Try these five things:
1. Develop a Pre-visit communication strategy. Work with the schools you want to recruit from most to find out how you can get your message in front of them (email, text, the student newspaper, geo-targeted social media campaign, billboards on campus, etc.). Each school has a way to reach every student, you need to find out what that is, and how you can tap into that, even it costs a little money.
2. Come in early and take over classes in the majors you’re most interested in. Professors are like most people, they don’t want to work hard if they don’t have to. So, if you build 45 minutes of great content, most Professors will let you ‘guest’ lecture as long as it’s not one big sales pitch. Come up with great contact professors will find valuable for their students, then go deliver it the day before the major career fair. Then invite each class to come see you.
3. Make a splash in high traffic areas on the day of your visit. College kids haven’t changed much, they like free food and drink, free stuff, basically anything free! So, find the highest traffic area on campus and give away free stuff college kids will like. If you’re only interested in one specific school within the university, find out where those students hang out.
4. Stay a day later after everyone else leaves. Whether it’s the day after or even another time altogether, find a time to be on campus when you don’t have any competition to getting your message out. 99% of employers only show up on career fair day. Stand out and be the employer that is there when no one else is!
5. Post-visit communication strategy. Most organizations never contact the students who show interest in them after they leave campus.  They’ll contact a handful of the ones who stood out to them, but so is every other employer. Recruiting kids after you leave is more important than the time you spend on campus. Most kids will see 20+ employers and will only remember a couple. If you stalk them after the fact, they’ll remember you!

Sure! I can give you my “Free” staffing firm option!

I’ve gotten a chance to work both sides of the fence for an extended period of time in the Talent Acquisition/Recruiting/Staffing game. For ten years I ran corporate talent acquisition shops for some very large organizations.  One organization spent over $3M annually on staffing agency fees! Obviously, prior to my getting there!

I’ve spent almost fifteen years on the agency side, sandwiched in between my corporate experience. What I’ve learned along the way is that there isn’t a “free” option when it comes to hiring great talent.

Frequently, I get asked from clients for discounts to my fees on the agency side.  I get that. When I was on the corporate side, I would never take an agency’s first offer.  Here’s the main problem with all of this:

Corporate talent acquisition pros don’t want any of it. They don’t your 20% direct fee, they don’t want your retained plan, they don’t want your RPO plan. What they want is Free. A free option.

Therein lies everything you need to know about staffing agencies and corporate talent acquisition.  One side wants free. One side needs to get paid.

The reality is, even staffing on your own on the corporate side isn’t free.  Corporate talent acquisition done right has a ton of costs. Recruitment tools, automation, branding, job boards, applicant tracking, college strategy, recruiter training, and hiring, etc. None of that is free.

All of this, though, should be screaming to the agency folks that something isn’t right.  What corporate talent acquisition pros are saying is “we don’t like the options we are getting from agencies”.  This should be of serious concern because there are companies trying to design other options for corporate talent acquisition pros.  Options where they’ll feel like they are getting the value they want.

These options aren’t free, either, but they are less than all of the traditional options that 99% of staffing agencies are offering.

When I was on the corporate TA side of the desk, here was my decision matrix to when I would use a staffing agency.

This matrix made me feel good about my decision to use an agency:

1. Does my team have the capacity to do this search? If Yes, why would I pay to have this done? If No, the cost is justifiable.

2. Does the agency offer me recruitment expertise and/or pipeline I don’t have on my team?  See #1 for Yes and No options.

3. Is it financially feasible for me to add more capacity to my team, as compared to an agency option? This one took some more work. If I had a need for an agency to fill, let’s say, three positions and it was going to cost me $100K, well, obviously I could hire a pretty good recruiter for $100K. But, would I need that Recruiter in year 2, 3, etc.? Adding headcount isn’t a one time cost for an organization.

Ultimately, for me on the corporate side, it was almost always a capacity issue.  I had the expertise, but we had bubbles of work I needed extra support with.  Too often, I see corporate TA leaders upset over agency spend and it’s based on the fact they don’t have good recruiters on their team, yet they’re unwilling to change this fact. I’ll pay for additional short term capacity. I won’t pay for expertise I should have on my team every day. That becomes my issue!

Corporate TA leaders become frustrated over agency spend because ultimately it’s a reflection on the team they have created.

Through the Eyes of the Hiring Manager

On Wednesday I was sitting on The Talent Fix Book Club webcast with one of my Recruiting Managers, Zach Jensen, and Zach made the comment that great recruiters do something a bit different, they look at applications and resumes through “the eyes of the hiring manager”. It’s a brilliant piece of advice, but what does it mean!?

New, or lesser experienced, recruiters look at candidates like a checklist:

  • Do they meet the minimum qualifications? Check.
  • Can they work when we need them to work? Check.
  • Will they fit the compensation band we have for the position? Check.
  • Are they interested in our company? Check.

Get enough checks and you send this candidate over to the hiring manager.

The hiring manager receives this candidate and immediately looks at this person completely different from the recruiter who was checking boxes. The hiring manager will look at the candidate and immediately think, can this person do the job I have, and do it well? Will this person fit into my team? Do I think I can manage this person? Will this person be challenged by my position, or will they be bored? Is this person better than me or someone on my team? Does this person make me/us better? Etc.

Great recruiters have enough of a relationship with their hiring managers that they are less concerned with checking boxes, and more concerned about these questions that are in the hiring manager’s head. They want to have those answers, so when the hiring manager asks, “What do you think?” What they will respond with is not checked boxes, but strategic explanations that help the hiring manager make a decision.

It’s a transition we usually see happen around year 3 with our recruiters. Checking boxes isn’t all bad, it’s how we all start. The reality is we don’t know much, so we have to go on something. Some, though, never make the transition. They just think recruiting is about checking boxes.

It’s the one reason I’m not concerned about ‘technology’ taking my job, and why the best recruiters I speak with aren’t concerned either. In fact, they welcome it. Technology will eliminate box checkers. A.I. can check boxes faster and better than you or I. A.I. can’t get into the head of a hiring manager and know what she really needs for her team. I can. Zach can.

Great recruiting happens when you build relationships with your hiring managers where they trust you know what they are really looking for. How do you get that? Mostly time and consistency. Keep showing up. Show them you have some interest in helping them improve their talent. Be persistently annoying. Rinse. Repeat.

What Does Tim Sackett Actually Do?

So, besides my beautiful wife asking this question, frequently, I get asked this question all the time! During the spring and fall conference season, I’m out and about all over the world speaking. At almost every stop I’ll have at least one person come up to me and ask,

“So, what do you actually do?” 

Ugh! It’s the single biggest failure of my life!

I probably should start each conversation like an AA meeting:

“Hi, my name is Tim Sackett, and I run a technical staffing company!” 

That’s the real job. That’s the money maker. I run a recruiting shop! Like most of you, I have to go out and buy a recruiting tech stack that works. I need to decide if I spend money on Indeed, or LinkedIn, or ZipRecruiter. I need to hire and train recruiters. At the end of the day, I’m in the weeds finding talent.

Unlike most Staffing Firm executives, I can’t really hide. I’ve been blogging and speaking for ten years in our industry. When I meet with new clients who want to use my team, I try and tell them, “I think we’re better than most, but the one thing I can guarantee is I won’t lie to you, or take advantage of you! I’m too public! You could kill my brand overnight if I was one of those cheesy staffing guys selling you a load of bullshit!”

The name of my company is HRU Technical Resources. We are a 100% certified female-owned technical staffing company. Most people believe I’m the owner, but in reality, my Mom started the company in 1980.(Check out her profile pic from the 1st day! She looks like Farrah Fawcett!) She’s the original OG Recruiter! In her 70’s, she still could out recruit probably 99% of Recruiters in the world! Old school and proud of it!

Want to work with me? I want to work with you! 

Here’s what we do:

  • Contract staffing – helping organizations for 38 years build that part of their company that they want to maintain as contingent to add flexibility to their workforce.
  • Sourcing Projects – we will your funnel with talent and let you do the recruiting
  • Project RPO – we bundle some critical hiring for you and do the entire thing end-to-end
  • Traditional Direct-hire staffing

I also do a bunch of Talent Acquisition consulting with clients as well, helping them build out their own recruiting tech stack and just flat out execute better when it comes to their own direct hiring and figuring out what’s the best way to get the most out of your recruiting team.

So, yeah, I write a lot. I speak quite a bit. I do webcasts, etc. But that’s not the full-time gig. I wrote a post a few years ago titled “What would it take to get you to work 80 hours per week?” I don’t work 80 hours per week, but I probably work 60-ish. A lot of nights and weekends to make both my full-time and my side gig work.

The reality is, if I don’t work my full-time gig, my bills don’t get paid. That’s real life. So, let’s work together! I would love to get to know more of you and work with a bunch of you. Send me a note and let’s connect – sackett.tim@hru-tech.com.

Doing Time in Recruiting

Have you done any time? I asked the unsuspecting young lady sitting next to me. She just stared at me not sure if I was joking or serious, and really not wanting to engage either way. 

Old recruiters tend to be a bit forward. Their time has worn away the niceties and cultural norms society places upon us when you go through the system.

Mine have been gone for a while now.

“Have you done time?”, Is me asking you, if you have ever worked in staffing? Corporate TA isn’t time! Corporate TA is an all expenses paid trip to Disneyland, with the Disney Princess breakfast included.

How long was your sentence? 

It seems like most recruiters do a cup of coffee and get out for parole within a year. A fucking year! I’ve got searches on my desk longer then a fucking year! 

What can you learn in staffing in a year? That you suck at Recruiting is really the only thing I can think of. You don’t even learn the language of what you’re searching for in a year!

I think everyone in talent acquisition should do some time in staffing. It produces calluses, it thickens the skin. Staffing doesn’t come close to giving you all you need for a corporate TA job, but it gives you one thing that is desparately lacking. It teaches you how to fill positions.

I’ve worked in both staffing and corporate TA and I loved both. Both a very different and I loved them for different reasons, but I’ve always been extremely grateful that I had experience in staffing before I went into corporate. Both sides have lifers, and it makes sense. Some people know that one side is just for them and the other isn’t.

So, on this day, hit me in the comments and let me know how long your sentence was, or has been, and let us celebrate our time served!

The 2018 Emerging Jobs Report is Here!

LinkedIn released their 2018 Emerging Jobs Report today and as always it’s packed full of some great information that speaks to where we see the world of Recruiting today, but also what we need to keep our eye for the future! 

So, what stood out in the latest report? First and foremost it’s what jobs are hot this year to last – 

So, I think we’ve all been hearing all of this A.I. and Blockchain stuff. The reality is, we aren’t really talking about true A.I., it’s Machine Learning (ML) and we’ve seen giant increases in the needs for these skills. 

Out of the top 15 emerging jobs (those jobs growing the fastest on LinkedIn) 6 of those were related to ML, Data, and Blockchain. That’s significant in terms of the products and technology that are being built by companies for the future. 

What else did we learn? 

While the report is designed to make us believe it’s all about Tech hiring, it’s not really all about tech hiring! 

  • Sales Executives
  • Recruiters
  • Realtors 
  • Account Executives (another title for sales)
  • Administrative Assistants 

Were all super high on the list as well. What does that mean? Well, those really aren’t emerging or growing jobs, it’s more about who’s living, searching, and spending time on LinkedIn. That might not be the patronage that LI really wants long term for the health of the site, in terms of your normal mix. 

The largest skills gap is still good old fashion oral communications! 

Again, I’m not sure how much of this is truly a skills gap and how much of that coming up in the data is just a function of the types of roles people are trying to recruit for on LI. If the report shows that all of these A.I., Blockchain, and Data jobs are what’s truly hot, oral communication wouldn’t be the most critical thing in those roles. 

But, oral communication is definitely a skill that is in short supply for most professions, and much needed by most professions outside of tech, like sales type roles. 

Machine Learning is definitely a skill set that employers are begging for. I reached out to my buddy and Recruiting savant, Steve Levy, just the other day as we had a search for a client demanding 10 years of ML experience. I was like, I don’t even remember ML being used as a term ten years ago! 

Steve confirmed, it most likely wasn’t. We did find some mention from 2009, but that was about it. So, the hysteria is real. Entry level position, five years of experience! 

I was surprised not to see Autonomous vehicle knowledge on there as this is another skill set we see companies begging for and we are constantly helping our clients in these searches. It’s not just about cars. It’s about delivery vehicles, mass transit, freight hauling, garbage trucks, etc. If it moves people or things, it’s going autonomous eventually. 

Check out the report. It’s great read at the end of the year as you’re preparing for recruiting plans for 2019! 

Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: @Indeed takes Away Free Traffic to Staffing firms!

Today on The Weekly Dose I dig into Indeed’s recent announcement to stop scraping the jobs from staffing companies. If you didn’t hear Indeed announced as the Staffing World conference that beginning January 7, 2019, they would no longer include “recruitment-based” jobs in their organic search results due to ongoing search quality issues (link to the official Indeed Policy on Recruitment-based companies).

I was able to talk directly to Paul D’Arcy, the SVP of Marketing for Indeed, about this decision. Paul was refreshingly frank about the announcement. Here are some of the things that came out of that conversation:

Think of the jobs Indeed posts on its site in four type of buckets:

#1 – Organic Jobs listed on Corporate websites scraped by Indeed

#2 – Promoted Jobs listed by corporate TA teams willing to pay to get those jobs to show up higher in the search results

#3 – Organic Jobs listed on Staffing Industry websites scraped by Indeed

#4 – Promoted Jobs listed by staffing firms (recruitment-based organizations – in Indeed’s wording) willing to pay to those jobs to show up higher in the search results

Of those 4 kinds of jobs, three out of the four have very similar rates of candidates getting hired. One of those types doesn’t do well at all because of a number of factors. Basically, Organic staffing jobs that Indeed has been scraping do very poorly. “Analysis shows that impacted jobs represent approximately 5% of applies but just 2% of hires on Indeed.”

So, the decision is made, by Indeed’s Search Quality team, to no longer scrape staffing jobs.

THIS IS SUPER UNFAIR TO STAFFING FIRMS!!! (I hear a collective 3 trillion dollar industry shout!)

Is it?

No one on the planet has lit up Indeed worse than me over some of their practices! (Hi, Todd!) I’ve been in Indeed Jail since early 2018 when they first shut off my free organic traffic. But, let’s be real, Indeed isn’t saying they won’t work with staffing firms or kicking staffing firms out. In fact, every single product Indeed sells is still available for staffing firms to use. They just aren’t giving you anything for free anymore, and that stings a bunch.

It’s like that first time the crack dealer tells you that you have to pay for the next hit! It sucks, and then you hand over some money.

Indeed understands the optics of this, according to D’Arcy, and they also know this will take some work to repair some relationships within the staffing industry. The fact is, staffing companies have been making millions of dollars off of free traffic from Indeed and it hurts to lose that!

The reality is, we (staffing) basically did this to ourselves. No not you! It was always the other guy! There was location spamming, posting ‘evergreen’ jobs that you would never fill, etc. Like most good things in recruiting, the staffing world found ways to exploit it and Indeed is shutting that down.

It’s D’Arcy’s hope that Indeed will find a way to begin bringing back some of the ‘real’ staffing jobs that out there. Think of contract and temporary jobs. Indeed corporate clients will be impacted if those jobs aren’t filled, as many now rely a great deal on their contingent workforce for large parts of what they do. Those are real jobs, that real candidates, will want to apply for and Indeed just took those away from candidates. They do realize this and they are trying to come up with a way to bring the real jobs back, without opening up the bad jobs again.

This is just Indeed making a move into the staffing world!

Wouldn’t be a bad business move, let’s be honest! I would do it, so would you, but Indeed is telling me this isn’t part of the strategy behind making this decision. Take it at face value, some will believe it, some won’t. The reality is Indeed is making hundreds of millions of dollars off staffing firms as clients right now, and for years have also been working in the staffing industry simultaneously, so I’m not sure it really makes that big of a difference, short term.

What does this mean for staffing firms!?!?! 

If you want to keep making hires on Indeed, you’re going to have to start paying up! Indeed’s short-term revenue will increase because of this decision because most staffing firms will initially just fork over some money to keep the faucet on. Eventually, they’ll find our avenues to find candidates. Optimize their postings for Google Jobs and the traffic and hires will come from others sites and sources.

You might decide to start testing other tools like LinkedIn Recruiter, CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice, ZipRecruiter, Programmatic job postings, maybe even pick up the phone, build a recruitment marketing machine, grab some sourcing technology, etc. Staffing firms don’t know this yet, but the reality is not relying on one tool so heavily is a blessing in disguise for your longterm success.

One piece of good news from Indeed is they’ll still allow staffing firms to use their paid resume database product.

What does this mean if you’re in Corporate TA? 

The hope will be you’ll actually see more traffic to your jobs, but understand that Google is no longer indexing Indeed’s job pages, so traffic has been going down and will continue to go down unless Indeed buys that traffic through marketing efforts. What does that mean? You’re probably going to be paying a lot more for the same or less traffic.

Now, with less staffing firm jobs clogging up the search results the hope is that you’ll see more candidates, faster to your jobs that are scrapped as part of your organic Indeed feed, and potentially even better results using Indeed’s job promotion products.

What do I think?

From someone who has been living in Indeed Jail for almost a year, you’ll survive. It’s not fun losing your free organic traffic, but you’ll figure it out and you’ll be a stronger recruiting shop in the end.

I think Indeed really screwed up by announcing this without first figuring out the contract/temp/consultant jobs. The contingent workforce is the fastest growing segment of the labor market, and someone at Indeed completely dropped the ball. I’ll blame Matthew in search quality because that’s kind of the inside joke at Indeed, if a client is pissed, blame search quality. But, my hope is Paul and the team will stick by their word and figure out a way to get those jobs back on Indeed for candidates.

I’m not sure this was a wise business move, really by Indeed. You never want to wake a sleeping giant. The staffing industry has been a sleeping giant over the past decade ($3 Trillion). Fat on Indeed free traffic and LinkedIn Recruiter licenses, the normal staffing recruiter today is not the staffing recruiter of a decade ago. Indeed just kicked them awake to see if they wanted to pay the check or go find somewhere else to spend their money. Some will go elsewhere.

I also know that Indeed produces results, so many of us, myself included, will continue to use them and pay for the products that work, but it won’t stop me from continuing to test everything and figure out how to lessen my team’s reliance on any one product. That’s just good recruiting strategy for both corporate and staffing leaders.


The Weekly Dose – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the tech space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on The Weekly Dose – just send me a note – timsackett@comcast.net

Want help with your HR & TA Tech company – send me a message about my HR Tech Advisory Board experience.

5 Things Great Employers are Doing to Drive World Class Candidate Experience in 2019!

I’m still struck at how for the most part, we treat candidates like garbage. Historically in Talent Acquisition, we had this really weird power dynamic that took place. We believed we (TA) had jobs to give out or not give out, like prizes, so we would force candidates into our processes and make them jump through hoops.

It’s been a super hard habit for many of us to break! Even with historic low unemployment numbers!

I have some help for you! 

I’m partnering with the folks over at Candidate Rewards to put on a free, live 1-hour webinar titled:

5 Things Great Employers Are Doing to Drive World-Class Candidate Experience in 2019! 

What can you expect to get from this webinar?

5 Rock solid strategies and tactics you need to be using to deliver more candidates to your organization!

3 Things great organizations never do to candidates, and that you can easily change in your own TA Shop!

Candidate Experience data that will give you the ammunition you need to change your executive’s mind and give you more budget money to fix your Candidate Experience issues!

Live Q&A with me on your toughest Candidate Experience questions!

Candidates Experience has been one of the hottest topics over the past five years, and it’s never been hotter when it comes to the hiring environment that we are in right now! Right now is the perfect time for most of us to look at our 2019 strategies around Candidate Experience, because for most of us it’s TA Budget Time!

If you don’t plan, you plan to fail! That’s what we are always told, right!? So, let’s sit down for an hour and discuss how to make 2019 the best year you and your TA team has ever had!

REGISTER NOW for this free webinar! 

I’m looking forward to presenting this information, it’s the first time I’ve ever done a Candidate Experience presentation, and I’m sure my takes will probably be a bit different than most, but you’ll have to let me know!

How do candidates find your company?

I have a brain crush on Smashfly’s Tracey Parsons. She’s a great Recruitment Marketer who flat out gets what you and I should be doing to get candidates to find us!

I only tell you this because Tracey shared something online this week that I had to share. I came on a LinkedIn post by Joel Cheesman (you can look him up as well, he’s way less impressive than Tracey, but he might be your flavor! JK, Joel! He’ll cry himself to sleep tonight if I don’t say that!) where Joel was stating a stat “80% of applicants start at Google“.

Cool stat. You probably didn’t know that. About a year and a half ago, Google said it was 47%, before they launched Google for Jobs, so it shows that GFJ is actually already having a big impact on candidate behavior.

Tracey’s response was this:

“And approximately 0% of those searches involve your brand name”

Bam! Mic drop! Walk off stage.

She’s dead on 100%-ish percent accurate!

No one is going to Google searching for “Jobs at Amazon” or “Jobs at ABC Manufacturing”. If they already know they want to see your jobs, they’re just going directly to your career site, or corporate site, where you’ll make them click around for five minutes to find your jobs. Oh, wait, maybe they should be Googling jobs at “X”!

I think Tracey’s point is that you shouldn’t be focused on SEO to drive people to your ‘brand’. You should be focusing on SEO to drive people to the market and the jobs you have, the brand at this initial point, doesn’t matter.

We love to think it matters, but 99.8% of us have an unrecognizable brand to the majority of candidates. That’s not a negative statement, that’s just reality. They don’t see any difference in what it’s like to work for us unless you’re a Unicorn brand.

But we aren’t all Google or Facebook or Amazon. We’re just good, solid companies to work for, that are virtually indistinguishable from every other good, solid employer who’s out there.

So, what can you do?

  • Truly understand the impact Google is making on candidate behavior.
  • Turn yourself into a Marketer. Think like a marketer. What would it take to get people to know who we are?
  • Turn your employees into Brand Advocates.
  • Stop paying Referral Bonuses, and buy Employee Referral Technology.
  • Build and turn on a Recruitment Marketing machine for your shop.

Also, go read and learn from super smart people like Tracey and Joel. That’s what I do.