The Internet Marketing Staffing Process
Onward Search Career Cast, Episode #2
In our second episode of Onward Search's Career Cast, Ken and Josh discuss the Internet marketing staffing process and what candidates can expect when they work with us.
PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 12, 2010
Peter Clayton: Hello and welcome to the second episode of Onward Search Career Cast. We're in Wilton, Connecticut with Ken Clark, the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Onward Search and Josh Gampel, Vice President of Onward Search.
In our inaugural episode, Ken told us how Onward Search came to be and we learned a little bit about the professionals that Josh's team staffs. Today, we're going to talk about how a typical assignment works for the candidate and give you some more background on how this whole process comes about.
Ken, for someone who didn't have a chance to listen to the first episode of the Onward Search Career Cast, can you just give us a brief overview of the staffing model for Onward Search, the types of assignments, and assignment lengths.
Ken: Sure. Thanks Peter. What Onward Search does is we are the nation's leading provider of internet marketing and creative talent, and what that means is we provide everyone from internet marketing, search marketing, social media experts to flash developers, usability experts, iPhone developers on both temporary and permanent assignments across the country.
The way our model works is we have regional hubs in all the major metro regions across the country such as Chicago, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas to name a few of them, and we also have an executive search team which specializes in placing C-level, SVP, and director level candidates on a permanent basis.
Peter: Ken, can you walk me through how a candidate would go about getting started with a career with your organization Onward Search?
Ken: Sure. As you could imagine, our recruiters are talking to our clients and our candidates in our marketplaces throughout the day, networking and developing a database of great talent. We kind of eat our own dog food, so to speak. We're very active using social media, channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, other sites that are specific to our niche, and what we're doing is we're working in finding candidates all over the internet and, frankly, just through kind of traditional hard work on the phone and things like that.
What we ask our candidates to do is typically either give us a call or fill out an online application on our website and once you do that, you're going to sit with a recruiter, so to speak, speak with a recruiter who is going to walkthrough what you're looking for in your career and help you really get started so we can find the right career for you.
Peter: Josh, can you kind of expand on that process for us?
Josh: Yeah, thanks. Just to elaborate, once you've identified Onward Search and you give us a call or you fill out an online application, you speak to one of our recruiters and they're really going to be looking at your background, your skill sets. If you're a web designer, we're going to want to look at your portfolio and we're going to look at the look and feel and all the different aspects of the portfolio and really get to know why you did what you did and how you did it and make sure that you are the one responsible for all the work.
A lot of times, our recruiters are going to be interviewing you really to get a feel for your background and what your career goals, and what type of compensation you're looking for and all those fun details and then when we present you to a client, a lot of it is subjective. Our client on the web design aspect may be looking for somebody that has a little bit more creativity in their background from their perspective, or a little bit more cut and dry in their portfolio. Web design, just to name that example, is very subjective based on what the client is looking for.
On the search engine marketing side, it's black and white - how many keywords have you managed, what's your budget, what type of responsibility have you had, and what have your results been. So a little bit more black and white on the search engine marketing side. But our recruiters are very skilled in asking you direct questions, knowing what your background is all about; most importantly, trying to understand what you're looking for so we can match you up with the right career opportunity.
If you go on our website, you can see dozens upon dozens of job postings. They're updated every day. There are feature jobs. They change all the time, and what a client's looking for today may not be a fit for you, but it may be a fit for you two weeks down the road. So it's good to get in touch with our recruiters, keep posted on what's going on, on our job boards, and really keep tabs with us so we can present you the right opportunity.
On the executive search side, when you call in, we're going to present a few jobs to you based on your geographic preference and your skill set. The interview process on the executive search side is a little more detailed, it goes more in depth. We present full write ups on our candidates to our clients that are behavioral based, and what I mean by that is we want to know what decisions you made, why you made them, and what the impact was and how it helped drive revenue for the top line and help increase the bottom line for your organization. So it depends on what your skill set is, whether you're a Flash developer, a search engine marketer, or a VP of marketing, each kind of interview process is a little bit, but we try to cover all the bases.
Peter: So, when I call in, and I talk to a recruiter, let's say I'm based in New York, and let's say I'm an iPhone developer - using an example that Ken brought up - how do you decide which recruiter is best for me to work with? Is it geographically based? Is it based on skills?
Ken: We have recruitment teams that focus on both actually. We have recruitment teams as I mentioned all our metro areas, so if you're a New York candidate, you are almost always can be speaking to a New York recruiter. The case where you may not be is on executive search.
Executive search, as Josh has mentioned, is a totally separate business from the temp business. It's a different service to our customers and our clients. It's a different service to our talent. So we have a dedicated team for executive search.
So if you were in New York, iPhone developer, and there was theoretically a perm position available for you, you may not be speaking to someone in New York.
Peter: Back to the temp side for a second Josh, if I am interested in working with you, do I have to come in for an interview or is this done over the phone?
Josh: Great question. That's all depends, depending on where you're located. If you're in New York, and the position happens to be located in New York, we're going to speak to you on the phone first, qualify it, make sure that you're a good fit and then depending on the situation, we're going to ask you to come in and meet with one of the recruiters. Most of the time though, you don't have to meet the recruiter. It depends on the assignment, it depends on what our client's requirements are. It really varies from assignment to assignment. However, most of the time, we can at least evaluate you and have the initial conversation over the phone and discuss whether it makes sense to move forward.
Ken: Something that we also do with increasing frequency is we actually leverage Skype to have video interviews with our talent. Oftentimes, that's easier for them but it still gives us the opportunity to meet face-to-face, so to speak.
Peter: I'd like to return to what you were talking about earlier as far as your employment of social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook; I know you have a Twitter feed, which is online search. Do you have a LinkedIn group, or do you have a Facebook fan pages?
Ken: We actually have the largest Twitter presence of any staffing company that kind of even remotely operates in our space. In addition to our main feed, Onward Search, which provides a lot of good news contents, promotes a lot of the jobs that we have, we have several segmented Twitter feeds. One example is SEO jobs, another is social media jobs, another is PPC jobs, that really focus on giving a stream of targeted jobs to the professionals that we work with. We also managed a number of LinkedIn groups that are designed really as discussion areas for our talent, whether we're working with them or not and our clients, to discuss issues related to career topics and training and hiring within our segment.
Long answer but the short is we're doing all of the above.
Peter: And I imagine those candidates who are very active on these sites, such as LinkedIn, really get your attention.
Ken: Yeah, and I'd actually like Josh to probably comment on this but if I could give one tip to anyone out there that's looking for a job is make sure that you're on LinkedIn , because it's a great resource for the job seeker. There are a lot of great tips that actually we provide to our candidates and our talent about how you can optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Josh, maybe if you can talk about how our recruiters use LinkedIn to help source talent.
Josh: Sure. LinkedIn is a great tool and as Ken mentioned, if you're not on it, get on it right away, because when you look at ability to access information on the web all across the spectrum, our recruiters use LinkedIn first, and the reason being is we can really go into a company, understand who all the players are, what their roles are, you can look at recommendations of their work and really know what their career path has been before you even talk to them.
In regards to LinkedIn, I would recommend making sure you have a complete profile, adding multiple jobs that you have had on there, include your Twitter name, which Twitter and LinkedIn have recently merged so you can kind of sync the two together, and get references and recommendations for the work that you've done.
When I look at the candidate, and I'm looking through their background, I look at the companies that they worked for, I look at the descriptions of what they've done at those companies, and then I also get recommendations of their work right off the bat.
If this is what your intent is and you want to get a lot of calls from recruiters, and you're good at what you do, update your LinkedIn profile and you'll have your next job coming to you.
Peter: LinkedIn groups really, even over the past year, have become much, much more visible and important and powerful in help building your personal brand.
Josh: Yeah. Each one of our recruiters has a few different groups that they manage. Just to name a few, search marketing careers; that's one group that we manage. There are hundreds and hundreds of people in there that on a daily basis are commenting on different aspects in the search marketing world. E-commerce careers is another one, and then we have subgroups within these e-commerce careers that are on digital analytics. So anybody that is an e-commerce and really looks at the analytics, and they ROI on a daily basis, you'll love that group because there's a lot of topics going back and forth.
Peter: On your temp side, just out of curiosity, is there any fee for the candidate signing up on Onward Search?
Josh: If you want to pay, sure. : No there's no fee. The fees are on the client side. It's absolutely free. All we ask is for your time and partnership with us and we're going to give the same back to you.
Peter: And what happens when an assignment is over, Josh, do I remain under contract with Onward Search? Are you going to help me find a new position?
Josh: Another great question. You are never obligated to work with us for any period of time. The employment is at-will employment. What happens is typically we're going to put you on a project based assignment. Let's say it's three months, we're going to expect you're going to work on that project for the three months. At the completion of the project, we're hopefully going to have another job for you based on a client's needs and your skill sets. If we don't have that, we're going to actively work with you to help you find a new position especially if the employer beforehand has given you two thumbs up. However, you're never contractually obligated to work just with Onward Search.
Ken: You know, one other thing I'd like to add is in that process typically, what we do is when we have an expected end date of your assignment, usually about halfway through the assignment, your recruiter is going to start talking to you about what you want to do next and the reason that's so important is because if you are on that six-month assignment, that conversation about where you see your career is headed, it's happening somewhere in that three to four month time period. That way, you get to work with your recruiter and if you want to make a very large shift, or you want to stay doing the same type of work, we have enough time to help you find that right job.
Peter: One last question, Josh, let's talk about some hot jobs or opportunities that you currently have at Onward Search.
Josh: As I look at our job board and if you are by a computer onwardsearch.com, you can see all of our hottest jobs for internet marketing and creative. Right now, we're looking for interactive copywriters, SEO analysts, SEO superstar is one of our job descriptions, so you better be good. We're looking for a VP of Analytics for a digital marketing agency, A J2EE developer, social media specialists - you name it. I mean, all across the board - and iPhone application developers, as we've talked about before, are some of the hottest jobs that we have.
Peter: One last comment, you know, what I find really remarkable is three years ago, half of these jobs didn't even exist.
Josh: Me too. It's a great point. I mean, if you look at the way the industry has changed, as Ken mentioned, it's all about being able to really track your marketing span and if anybody hasn't heard of Google, I don't know, they've been hibernating under a rock. Google has really changed the way the world markets and the ability to track your marketing span down to the penny has really created a lot of the search marketing and acquisition jobs. And on the web design side, people being creative, have really been able to change jobs from back five years ago when it was just getting a website up and running, to now making sure the user experience is there, the website loads quickly, the images are fresh and keeping up with the competition because there's always somebody trying to make their site look better than yours.
Peter: Ken and Josh, thank you so much for your taking time to speak with us again today on Onward Search Career Cast. This has been really informative.
Be sure to tune in next time for the next episode of Onward Search Career Cast.
Thank you for tuning in to Onward Search Career Cast. For more information on the career opportunities available through Onward Search, you should visit us online at OnwardSearch.com or call 1-800-829-0072, and speak with an experienced recruiter. And you should also follow Onward Search on Twitter at Twitter.com/onwardsearch.