Job Offered; Click Here to Accept
Self-styled chief recruiting geek and cofounder at Jobs2Web, Doug Berg started out as a techie, managing the IT center for one of the larger colleges in Minneapolis. He moved into recruiting and headhunting in the late 1980s, then grew a consulting and staffing company up to about 100 people.
"When the Internet hit," he said, "I went out and started a job board called techies.com. It was one of the niche sites and it grew very quickly to compete against Monster, Career Builder and HotJobs. We grew with the Internet bubble and had a million members – we were probably closer to what today we’d call a social community. And then of course the Internet bubble burst and unfortunately our opportunity dissolved."
Berg got back into the market in the early 2000s with Jobs2Web.com, which has attracted top tier clients such as Microsoft, General Electric, Best Buy and many others.
How did Jobs2Web evolve?
I noticed that even though many companies had their career site and their applicant tracking system, it still wasn't helping them to fill all their jobs. If a candidate was doing a Google search for a pharmaceutical sales job in Chicago, all the job boards would show up in the results, but not one employer showed up!
Our recruitment marketing platform could help employers use search engine optimization to get out on all the major search engines to help drive talent directly back to their sites. In a downturn market, companies can capture visitors through our talent community system. We’ve also added employee referral and social networking applications.
Where does social media fit into the recruiting process?
My opinion is that social media is overhyped in the short term and underhyped in the long term. A company can’t just show up and get all their jobs filled because they’ve got access to Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter. We see our bigger customers wanting to do more strategic launches in their social strategy.
We’re also seeing the social networks actually evolving their marketing capabilities. You can get on Facebook today and say "I want to do an ad to everyone who is a nurse in the Chicago market and works for one of my competitors."
Where are things going in the next 6 to 12 months?
The winds are changing right now in terms of hiring. I think most talent acquisition leaders are feeling that at some point they’re going to get avalanched with job requisitions. The hiring community is going to come back to them and say "What did you do during the downturn besides just downsize our job board subscriptions?"
And if I were that talent acquisition leader, I would want to answer, "Look, I rearchitected a lot of our strategy; I captured every email address of every person that visited our career site; I now have thousands or even millions of people that we have direct access to; and I’m going to be able to market your job opportunities and fill all of our positions for free.
"At the same time I built social channels in our key hiring areas that now have either hundreds or thousands of people in them that will instantly get either a tweet or a Facebook wall post or a LinkedIn group update whenever your jobs go out."
To me that’s more strategic staffing. And unless somebody has a very powerful talent acquisition engine in place like this, you’re just not going to have your company compete in these compressed cycles in the future.
What are your thoughts on mobile recruitment?
Mobile is growing, especially outside the U.S. We've just launched our new mobile sites, so all our clients have a mobile version of their site that detects whether somebody's viewing their site on mobile or not, and then instantly renders a mobile friendly version of the site.
But what’s interesting is it's not just about being able to read content, it's about changing the course of action for candidates. Because no one’s going to go through a 45 minute Taleo apply process on their mobile device, even if they could get through it!
The challenge is how do you continually market to that person until they go through the apply process, and track whether or not they did it. We also see a lot of companies launching mobile applications to keep talent engaged.
How far off are we from the day when a candidate walking down the street feels his iPhone vibrate and glances at a message reading, "Job Offered; click here to Accept"?
[laughing] Ten years or less.