The Unconditional Blog

The impartial voice of the industry


Recruitment in this digital age

Posted on: September 20th, 2011 | Filed in Online marketing, Website news

We have recently been recruiting for a new Marketing Manager. It is always difficult to replace such a key role in an organisation; we were sorry to see her depart, but equally we much appreciated what she had done for us as she headed for a new and larger career opportunity.

The recruitment process for her replacement is well under way now with applications for this role compiled and the interview rounds started. We very much hope to make an appointment shortly.

I just thought that it would be useful for me to provide some feedback on this recruitment process in terms of effectiveness of recruitment marketing which might be of interest to others thinking about how to approach recruitment in this digital era.

This role of Marketing Manager for our company is a very nearly pure digital marketing role (we do some offline media) and as such given the importance of the capabilities we seek in digital marketing and social media, I decided that more than any other role within the company the candidates must be living in the online space. As a function of this profile for the role I decided we would manage the recruitment process ourselves rather than employ a recruitment company.

Let me be clear (for fear of alienating recruitment companies) I value the role of recruitment companies and have utilised them extensively in the past. We have used their services in recent times to find for us sales and finance roles. They add significant value in candidate database search, as well as the initial stages of recruitment screening and objective reviewing the interview process, as well as reference checking. My motivation for not using a recruitment company this time was not to save money. It was far more the desire to better understand the recruitment process, especially as it so closely mirrors the property marketing arena.

I wanted to test the various recruitment websites (Seek and Trade me Jobs) as well as to see the value of using our own social media contact network. In addition I was also very keen to try the recruitment offerings on LinkedIn. I have to apologise to the team at, it was my intention to use their services, however time was against me and I never got the advert established in time.

In total I received 50 applications for the role, of these I was able to immediately cull 14 as they were not able to work in NZ. They were from a variety of countries (US / China / Chile / India) and yet all had excellent experience and qualifications.

In terms of source of leads the most came from Seek (16) closely followed by LinkedIn (14) and Trade me (13); direct enquiries totalled 7.

However when accessing qualitative performance the outright winner was LinkedIn that delivered 13 credible and applicable candidates, Seek delivered 10, Trade me with 6, together with the 7 direct enquiries all being credible.

LinkedIn provide a great toolkit of solutions including a slightly spooky ability to “pitch” to prospective candidates who meet the specifications of the role and who live and work in Auckland. I chose not to use this service, preferring to act in a more passive manner. Their dashboard though is an excellent reporting capability that adds significant credibility and professionalism to the service they provide.

As ever, just as in real estate the recruitment process comprises far more than simply advertising; and this is the hard task we are currently undertaking to select a worthy new marketing manager. It is though very useful to have had the opportunity to evaluate the various methods of recruitment in the new digital age.

Article Discussion

  1. Amar Trivedi says:

    Hi Alistair,

    At the very outset, “Kudos” to you for being first among CEOs who are open to embrace technology, change, social media…

    Your willingness to explore what’s out there, and your openness to to experiment… takes a fair amount of both, street-smarts and astute leadership.

    That LinkedIN emerged as the clear winner is not so surprising. In fact, it’s a clear pointer to where recruitment is going in the digital age. While relationships IRL can never be replaced, LinkedIN shortens the

    I’m no recruitment expert but in a not so scientific manner, the recruitment process is…

    Networking > Database > Leads > Screening > Shortlist > Interview > Selection

    As an avid user, I can clearly see how LinkedIN with its many features (Recommendations, Get Introduced via a connection, How you’re connected, Companies) can add value at every stage of the process.

    All the best to you and your incoming Marketing Manager.

    (ps: It was a pleasure listening to you at SMCakl last Tue. Missed the opportunity to speak with you. Hope to see you at the next one. Tue 18 Oct, at YooBee, Britomart. It’s on your way :)

  2. Amar

    Many thanks for your comments, insight and support – also congratulations on the Social Media Auckland events – they are great meeting places and excellent content

  3. Mason Parker says:

    Hi there again Alistair,
    This is an interesting topic – the emergence of digital tools has on the face of it reduced the perceived need (dare I say it usefulness) of/for recruitment providers in tight economic times.

    Feedback we get in our market is often that employers have tried self recruitment and not met their needs…crikey this is so similar to Real Estate .
    Our best business come from our networks, our solid understanding of client’s businesses and really driving into the motivators and commitment to the vacant role…then matching equally motivated and qualified people to the role and organisation.

    As in Real Estate with vendors who sell privately – employers who self-recruit face many of the same challenges – if you are not recruiting regularly do you know the legal issues, are the processes safe, do they challenge and qualify the applicants, are the wages and conditions market sensitive, do you have the time/energy to advertise, network, screen, interview, assess competencies etc. Then following up with all the applicants (in your case 50 seperate communications even if they were all NO’s)

    I believe a significant concern is -by not using a third-party specialist- are you able to hold an impartial assessment of commitment, legitimacy and accuracy of your preffered applicant …and if you get it wrong do you really know the cost of doing it all over again?

    As I mentioned some employers can do all this and can manage this very effectively – as many homeowners can market their own properties well …but as we know buyers like using consultants for consumer protection reasons and often applicants feel the same about employers.

    Applicants want to apply for qualified roles in organisations that match their goals, morals etc and trust our advice in these areas…just like consultants who understand their buyers needs and present them with viable properties they may not have considered otherwise.

    There is a few employers out there who forget applicants also assess the employer by their advertising, speed of communication and professionalism in the recruitment process.

    So in a round-a-bout way I agree Recruiters and Consultants face changing times and need to work with the technologies available to remain relevant and effective – both trades can add significant value if they adopt the useful tools and demonstrate their true value.

    One thing I miss in recruitment vs real estate is access to quality statistics to educate the employment market with …unemployment stats demotivate and track the wrong information for employers….maybe you can launch and fill that void!

  4. Mason

    Appreciate the thoughts and feedback, there are many similarities between the two industries. I would agree with you that there could be better insight through data which could be of interest to media and value to the industry.


Post your views