Recruiting digital hunters is the number one challenge for digital sales managers growing their organizations. We surveyed ten successful digital ad directors to find what has been their best source for finding digital sales people who succeeded and stayed long term:
By far the number one choice for most executives in the survey is LinkedIn, but everyone uses it differently. Here is a quick checklist of ways to use LinkedIn:
• Join user groups, and share job openings.
Groups have different rules for posting jobs, but a direct request from a hiring manager, rather than a recruiter, is typically welcomed. Everyone knows someone out of work in the media industry!
• Ask sales employees to post openings to their own networks.
This typically requires spiffing employees for a successful hire.
• Use in-mail to ask assistance from your personal network.
You can also search by key word for a company or companies and send recruitment inmails - especially companies that have recently had lay-offs.
• The company page.
Increasingly, employees are looking at the LinkedIn company pages when researching opportunities, so make sure jobs are posted and the name of the hiring manager is linked. Candidates who start on the company page and inmail the hiring manager know how to use social media - a good sign.
• Post fee-based ads.
Fee-based ads on LinkedIn show up on the sides of linked in pages, much like Google AdWords. However, you can also flex your digital chops and try sponsored posts from the company page; post the update to the page and then select options to make it a sponsored post and send it around. It's a little rigorous to get set up correctly as an admin so check out this "how to."
A LinkedIn blog also recommends using inmail to request references - here's the language they use:
‘I see you’ve worked with this person. Do you know this person well enough to comment on their skills, and can you tell me whether they’re any good?’ And in most cases, the person will come back and tell you either, ‘Yes, I know them well enough to comment,’ or simply, ‘Not really, I just had a drink with them once.'
2. Your company website
Is the jobs area findable (typically at the bottom of the site to distinguish it from classifieds) and inviting?
Most local media don't need a long online form-based application process. Here's a simple recruitment page that works for WJLA. Larger companies can find inspiration at the outstanding recruitment page created by Gatehouse Media, complete with video invitation from the COO, Kirk Davis.
We thought of MediaBistro as being more pertinent for editorial positions, but a quick check showed that about 20% of classifieds' posts are sales related - mostly in major East coast markets and Seattle.
4. Industry recruiters
This is just one element in the mix, but even a few good candidates from those sources can alter the composition of the team in a positive way.
5. Former Dex employees
One pureplay manager says they look for former Dex employees - quite a few were spun off when Dex merged with SuperPages. "Former Dex employees are really capable."
6. RealMatch's Total Talent Reach
RealMatch is also a recommend by LMI's tech editor. This platform allows hiring managers to post jobs across the largest network of job boards, including ads on LinkedIn and ads that reach passive job seekers.
7. College newspaper conferences
If you don't have a college newspaper conference in your area, colleges and universities still have "job days" where companies can make on-site person-to-person contact with the best graduates - a great place to be.
Reaching out to the sales people at the college paper is another way to find sales people interested in advertising. Those juggling a college work load with advertising sales show both work ethic and moxie. Finally, sales interns from colleges have a high track record for evolving into trained, vetted sales people, who are already familiar with company standards and "what works."
Another way to reach college students and graduates is AfterCollege, a network of job boards that is unique in that it taps into permission-based sites. Post across the college job boards in your area using this tool.
Referrals is a top source for the most successful candidates. Use a spiff program to reward people in the company for referrals, they also become stakeholders in the success of the new hire. A typical spiff is $500 to $1000 for finding a sales employee who is hired and lasts six months. Encourage employees to use Facebook and LinkedIn to reach out to their contacts.
One company in the survey recommended Facebook, as a top source for finding sales candidates. Digital hunters are hard to find, so why not utilize the fan base - and even Twitter, or Google+ - of readers? We think this is a great, underutilized idea.
Noteably absent from this list are Craigslist, Monster and CareerBuilder.
Thanks again to all our members who contributed their top sources for findng successful sales people.
Other useful Articles, and links for assembling and optimizing the performance of your digital sales team:
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