TalentSeekr: A Smart Way (That Gets Even Smarter) To Find Talent

Sep 15, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

EnticeLabsEntice Labs, the Provo, Utah, company that set out to create a better recruitment marketing system, is suddenly getting industry buzz.

Earlier this year, John Sumser described the company as a “game changer.” In June, Susan Burns, president of Talent Synchronicity, said the company’s TalentSeekr product is “a sleek and effective approach to targeted employment brand positioning.”

Now, TechCrunch has said of the company, “it still beats hiring a headhunter.” OK, so that’s not as scintillating an endorsement as either Sumser’s or Burns’, but then TechCrunch is a site for geeks, not recruiters. But you gotta figure that a product that wows both techies and recruiters is worth taking a look at.

So let’s start with the elevator description: TalentSeekr is a recruitment advertising program that creates interactive ads out of standard job postings, targets them by the criteria you specify, places them on sites in its ad network, then monitors the results, adding exposures here, reducing them there and deleting ads entirely from sites that provide too few or too poor results.

The ads can be of all types, including video, Flash, banners, and text ads, for example. Formats and placements are tested and refined in real time. Recruiters can monitor the performance of individual ad types and placements and make changes. But the automated adjustments are the real selling point. As candidates click in and are qualified, TalentSeekr learns what performs best, and provides more of the same. The longer the campaign, the better the performance and the lower the cost of each applicant.

This heuristic capability sets TalentSeekr apart from mere monitoring systems that provide lots of information but don’t act on it. With the potential of having an ad appear on hundreds, thousands, and even more websites, being able to make changes on the fly can save money on PPC postings and improve the quality of the candidates overall.

The other, and equally important capability, is the potential for capturing passive job seekers. Ads can be placed on all sorts of sites and places. Adidas managed to snare a candidate who saw an ad when checking their  Gmail.

Targeting can be contextual, behavioral, geographic, or by social media type or all of these. There’s a video on the TechCrunch site that says Entice Labs can target as broadly as a nation or as narrowly as an individual building.

On her Talent Synchronicity Burns describes the process:

“EnticeLabs begins by collecting information from the recruiter about a job or a job category to develop a highly relevant positioning strategy. They’ll work with you to understand key markets (talent and geography) and create text, image, picture, video, or flash ads that will appeal to passive and active seekers.

Then, TalentSeekr automatically generates an engagement page that serves as a “storyboard” type concept to enhance the prospect’s experience with your company’s brand. Through the engagement page, TalentSeekr weaves together video, photos, referral capability, and links to your career site, job posting, community interface, or any other digital real estate to which you want to drive traffic that results in a valuable employment experience.”

In the interest of complete transparency I should point out that Burns and Sumser are members of the Entice Labs Expert Panel. But having seen some of what TalentSeekr can do, the descriptions are apt, if understated.

The heuristic nature of the system sets it apart from other advertising networks, most recently SnapTalent, which closed up shop in August.

TalentSeekr, as its VP of strategy and alliances, Joshua Westover, says, makes the most sense for continuous recruiting. Small companies with only the occasional need to advertise positions or those that care little for branding are not Entice Labs’ best prospects.

But, as Stephen Fogarty of adidas explains in a video Burns did with him and Westover, TalentSeekr can help fill even challenging positions, the kind that adidas used to turn over to headhunters. In her blog posting, Fogarty reports that in a test campaign to fill a difficult job, TalentSeekr produced several qualified candidates in two weeks.

Writes Burns, “The prospect adidas hired had seen the ad on their Gmail page and was so taken by the experience and highly relevant content they were blown away.”

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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