This is part two of our Behind the Curtain: Uncovering Amazing Search Marketers series. Yesterday, Jessica N. posted the introduction to our hiring process on PPC Hero and SEO Boy. Today is part two about the job announcement process and writing portion of our process.
Last week, we here at Hanapin Marketing welcomed four new teammates at our office in Bloomington, Indiana. The process that these awesome individuals went through to get here was the first time I had the chance to experience hiring from the employer side of the table. Hanapin does a lot that’s very common place in hiring, but we also have some unique bits that we’ve made uniquely ours. This weeklong hiring series is to bring what we’ve learned through research, trial and error, and happy coincidence to our readers.
Today, I’m going to talk about how our job announcement process works and the initial questions we ask to filter for our second round.
Here at Hanapin, we try our best to cover all of our bases and bring in the best talent, and most passionate Internet marketers. We’re careful to advertise on a mass level as well as locally. Here’s the job listing we posted most recently. This listing was on our website as well as in the following areas (among others):
Career Builder, Monster/Hot Jobs – Job listing sites like Career Builder and Monster shouldn’t be ignored. However, it’s also more likely that you’ll have to spend extra time sifting through applications, as job seekers tend to apply to any job they find that sort of fits their personality and experience.
Industry job sites– It’s important to utilize job sites that are more targeted for your industry. With internet marketing and advertising sites, you tend to locate more talent that’s been in the game longer and knows exactly what sort of position they’re looking for. Here’s a few examples we used from our last recruiting round:
The Bloomington Herald Times – This is the local paper for our community. You never know when the next great member is in your backyard! We try to run local ads on a Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday for maximum exposure. Here in Bloomington, we’re lucky to have a large amount of internet savvy students who are familiar with us and are able to apply or spread the word. As you’ll see from the chart below, a large chunk of our company learns about opportunities through word of mouth. Even in the digital age, it’s important to stay connected to the community so they know who you are.
Linked In – For our last hiring round, we had a huge amount of response from Linked In users. This was the first time that Linked In had been used as a recruitment tool at Hanapin, and I’m sure we’ll be using it again in the future as it continues to grow and develop.
SEO Boy and PPC Hero – No one is more interested in search engine marketing then those who love to read about it. When Hanapin is in search of some great search marketers, we’re sure to post the opportunity on our blogs a few times to get the word out.
Twitter – I’m in love with Twitter. I’m not going to act otherwise. When I surveyed the office before writing this post, I was surprised that two of our team members used Twitter as the catalyst for applying to Hanapin. We use Twitter to count down the top reasons to work for Hanapin, including: our culture, knowledge, trust, growth, and leadership. We also link each Tweet to our company website’s career section. (@PPCHero and @SEOBoy if you’re not already following).
College job boards – Two members of the Hanapin family came from a college job board (myself included). Sometimes college advisors can be very proactive and will actually forward job listings to students with a matching profile. Here at Hanapin, we tend to post on boards for colleges in Indiana or along the border.
Survey Says! Here’s a breakdown of where our current Hanapin employees found us and applied. A large amount of the folks on our team learned about the hiring opportunity by word of mouth.
Our Application Process: The Written Portion
As you might have noticed on our job listing, we have a pretty detailed application process. This is a huge part of our filtering system. Of all the people who will apply to these emails, a large chunk will instantly not be considered simply based on their inability to follow directions. Here’s a copy of the application section:
HOW TO APPLY
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- As the body of your email, include:
- A short but sweet bio/intro;
- A blog (personal or work related) you read regularly and why;
- Why this particular position and why Hanapin interests you;
- Where you learned about the job opening; and
- If you’ve applied for a position here more than three months ago, please denote that and also include two examples of areas you’ve improved in or skills you’ve acquired — since the last time you applied — that would make you more valuable to our organization.
- Attach your resume as a PDF.
- Apply no later than 5 pm (EST) on Monday, January 17, 2011. No phone calls or walk-ins, please.
We’re pretty strict here, but it’s our belief that if you can’t get us an email with the above information in the correct format by the deadline, then you won’t be ideal for our team. As an agency working with other people’s money, responsible for generating results, it’s important that we find individuals who can follow directions and do so on time. So, in essence, we can filter out a large amount of applicants right away and focus on those who got the process right.
After the application process, we invite people to our “first round” which consists of a series of essay questions that we expect to have returned in a PDF format. Again – we want to make sure you can follow directions! The questions we usually ask our potential recruits are:
1.) Why do you love the Internet?
2.) What’s the most challenging work problem you’ve ever encountered? What could you have done differently?
3.) Describe a situation where the workload was beginning to be too much. How did you meet deadlines and maintain the quality of your work?
4.) What’s the single most important lesson you learned from your parents?
5.) What would make you not a good fit for (position)?
We’ve found that these questions really help to give us an insight into why the person is applying and a feel for their personality. You’d be surprised how many times little warning signs might creep up in essay questions, and that gives you an opportunity to address those things. In addition, it gives us something to go off when we conduct the “second round” of phone interviews rather than just a cookie cutter cover letter and resume.
The “second round” is where our telephone interviews begin. Steve Hill is going to go more in depth with this topic tomorrow on PPC Hero. Then be sure to catch Amy’s post on the infamous Hanapin Meet and Greet on Thursday. Thanks for reading and be sure to share any of your recruitment tips and tricks in the comments below!
Jessica is an Assistant Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.