Intuit’s Secret Sauce

Ning and AIRS, CareerMole and Google: these are a few of Intuit’s favorite things.

Intuit is the maker of Quicken and TurboTax with more than $2 billion in revenue. Traci Wicks, Intuit’s candidate-generation manager, says the company has saved approximately $700,000 this year by centralizing its candidate-generation processes.

“Candidate generation” is what Intuit considers the hub of a hub-and-spoke model, with the spokes being social networking, university relations, employee referrals, quality-of-hire initiatives, and other methods of finding candidates.

Among the many tools Wicks and her team uses: Jobster; H3; LinkedIn; Facebook; TheLadders; MySpace; and Jigsaw. She loves the social-networking abilities of Ning. Another favorite: NimbleCat, and its ability to figure out, for example, the top-10 resumes Intuit receives for a job. She’s excited about ADP Virtual Edge, and its ability to “give us more names and send sophisticated brand emails.” AIRS SourcePoint is one of Wicks’ most-used vendors.

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Google Co-op is in beta, and Wicks, speaking at the Employment Management Association of Southern California, says she’s liking it. “Yahoo’s a really good partner of ours,” she says, reporting that Yahoo has been great at finding out where product engineers spend their time because of its ability to make use of data in people’s individual profiles they fill out on the Yahoo site.

Despite all the use of online tools, Wicks says the best move Intuit’s sourcing team made was hiring a brand-marketing manager with no recruitment experience. In the same way that Intuit watches customers use Quicken in order to improve its products, the brand manager has been watching candidates. Intuit, which received ERE’s Recruiting Excellence award in 2007 for employment branding, has been asking people who dropped out of the hiring process why they did so, and has been asking people who didn’t get Intuit jobs how their experience was.

“The secret sauce of sourcing isn’t these [online] tools,” Wicks says. “It’s understanding your audience. Find out what your audience wants. Then pick your tools, then blog, then do everything else.”

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