The Hunt

All the time Business Owners, Managers and HR colleagues ask me where I advertise jobs. To some degree, it’s an easy answer — where they need to be …to …be …seen.

In my opinion the amount of applicants you get is directly related to the depth and breadth of your employer brand. Google? Apple? Facebook? They all get boat loads of job applications. Why? They’re global brands and everyday topics of discussion in our homes. People know them, want to work for them and continually hit refresh on their jobs page. Refresh refresh refresh!

So what do you do if you don’t have a big badass brand?

You have two options. You either grow your brand or you advertise your job postings. And actually maybe #3 is working with a Recruitment Agency – but I think the strong majority are absolutely terrible… so moving on. I could talk for days about employer branding — but I won’t.

Instead let’s talk job postings!

First things first, you’ve absolutely must post the job opening on your company website. Seems simple enough but you won’t believe the amount of people who advertise it everywhere and never post it on their site. Fun fact: Job candidates go to your website to 1) see if you’re company is any fun, and 2) verify that you’re legit. If you’ve posted the ad on Craigslist and haven’t posted it on your company website — it looks like a scam. And you might have lost a candidate — or a hundred!!

Next up, post it on anything free! Some of the best admin’s I’ve hired in my life have come from Craigslist. Post every job on the free and easy sites… Craigslist, Kijiji and Service Canada {there are a bunch of other ones but they have super low traffic…}. You might get fab job applications, you might not. Regardless free is free, it’ll only take you a few minutes to upload a posting and it very well could increase your exposure in the market.

With ‘free’ advertising comes the wonderful world of social media. If you’re hip, happenin’ and/or operate a business in 2012, you likely have a Facebook or Twitter account. :) Well get the word out there. The world is a small town and who knows who could be the right fit for your role! The more people that know about it the better. Post the opportunity n your social media networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, whatever!

A few ideas:

  • Take a picture of your next new hire’s empty desk and post it on Facebook with a “This could be yours! 5 ft by 2 ft white desk with ergonomic chair, opportunity for growth and the best team you could ask for in 1 click. We’re on the hunt for a Business Analyst at our Vancouver office. Will you be our next hire?”
  • Grab an iPhone and film the supervisor explaining ‘a day in the life…’ of this new role! No need for it to be complicated – just keep it professional. Post it to YouTube and ta da, you’ll reach a new market!
  • Instead of spamming your LinkedIn contacts with the posting, reach out to specific contacts who are connected in the same realm as the opening. Remember your friend Joe, who used to work at Accenture, who probably has Business Analyst friends? Yeah, send him the posting. And tell him what he’s getting out of it too.

The point: think outside the box!

Example of a great tweet:

We’re on the search for the best + brightest Biz Analyst in this beautiful city! Spread the word! #Jobs #YVR #Tech

Example of a bad tweet:

Our Biz Analyst just quit because he hated his boss. Desperate. Apply today. #Jobs #HelpUs #FreakingOut



{Examples like these happen all the time. Horrific.}

Make sure your presence on social networks oozes with heart.

The online community wants to build a relationship with you, all you gotta do is embrace it with open arms.

If you have a company blog — use it. Write about what you’re looking for — not in a job description kind of way, but in a trait / skillset / personality kind of way, get people learning about your company. At the same time, send the posting out to your entire company and let them know you’re hiring. You know how many people forget to do that! It’s as easy as:

Just wanted to let everyone know that we’re currently on the search for a Business Analyst. We expect the new hire will begin November 1st and she/he will support Joe’s team. We’re offering relocation across Canada. If you know of anyone who might be interested in learning more about the role, feel free to forward this email and/or let me know. The job posting is up on our career board at:

If an employee refers the successful candidate, you’ll get a reward. An iPad and Lunch with me! Oooo yahhhh.

Bob, CEO

Now you need to think about where your potential candidates are hanging out. If you’re looking for an Engineer, Accountant, HR or other professional career, post on the industry website (ie. APEGGA, CMA, CGA, BC HRMA etc). It’s worth the $200 as you have a direct point of contact with the exact group you want to hire. I have found that generally people opt-in to professional association communications, even if they’re not technically looking for a job. The more eyeballs on your job posting, the more candidates you’ll have — well assuming you’re not a terrible, unethical company. ;)

If you’re looking for students or interns, post on the college/university careers portal that has related programs. For science or technical positions, post on UBC or BCIT. For business or arts, post on SFU or Langara. Check out progressive programs like Talent Egg, that cater to graduate student openings too!

Next up… LinkedIn. This network can truly be good at finding business-related {and often web-related} candidates. Postings cost $200-300 but they’ll show up on your company page, look super legit and you can share them on the job pages of other groups. Postings always go up for a month, but make sure to check your traffic on week 1 to see how it’s doing. If you join relevant groups to the role, you will be able to post your opportunity onto specific job boards within the groups as well. Spread the ad within your network. One thing I know about people is that they’re usually willing to help out. All you’ve gotta do is ask!

So, what other options do you have?

In my opinion, Monster and Workopolis searches have gone way down hill in the past few years. I haven’t posted on either in absolute ages. The cost is high and you don’t get high quality candidates. A good site to be on is Indeed. Fun fact: “Indeed is the #1 job site worldwide, with over 70 million unique visitors and 1.5 billion job searches per month.” Like whoa. Indeed is also hugely global — 50 countries, 26 languages. Indeed has a whole bunch of rules to post a job on their site (ie. each job needs to have its own URL, no PDF’s, no teleworking jobs, etc etc). If you already use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), many of them syndicate your job ads to job boards across the web. So tell me, if you can get your job ad on Indeed, why on earth would you pay $500+ to post on Monster or Workopolis? I think there is only one negative to Indeed — and similar to the state of the internet today, it’s full of noise. There is a lot of crap  that candidates have to sift through. My tip to you would be to ensure your job title and keywords are legit.

A note on Career Builder… totally not a big deal in Canada, totally A BIG DEAL in the United States. Fun fact: you can’t advertise on the American job board with a Canadian credit card. Lordy loo. Many US Recruiters have told me that candidates in certain professions only search on Career Builder. A good way to tell if your job posting is going to be successful on a job board is to search to see if other people are posting the type of role on the site {make sure to do this on ANY site that you’re going to drop cold hard cash on advertising}. Easy enough, eh? has always been my secret little gem. Why? You can search jobs specifically from companies who have been named ‘Canada’s Top 100 Employers.’ Whether they deserved that title or not is a whole different blog post… :)  They also have company portals where you can learn about employers, what they offer, etc. Fun fact: Eluta indexes straight from employers career pages and you have to be added to their database to show up in search. There isn’t a lot of garbage on the site, no agency jobs and it’s the most accurate {and current} site in the Canadian job market. To add your company to their database, click here.

Still not getting the right applicant? Or any applicants?

Houston we have a problem.

Look internal. Does the one job you posted actually describe 6 jobs? Are you trying to find the perfect person with every skillset? If you didn’t know already, that person doesn’t actually exist. :)

When writing a job posting, ALWAYS brainstorm to determine your deal breakers. What does the candidate HAVE TO HAVE? What are your NICE TO HAVES? Evaluating candidates is much easier when you figure those two things out.

Before posing the job, figure out the 5 tasks the candidate has to be able to complete. Then when you interview determine if the candidate’s background / education / experience  will set them up for success in completing those tasks. It’s fine to have a gap, the gap just shouldn’t be large enough that you’re setting them up to fail.

A final piece of advice…

Don’t hold off on making a decision solely so you can compare an applicant against another.

When you find ‘the one’ — hire them.

That was 1690 more words than I was planning on writing tonight. HR Lady peacing out. 


  1. Harold November 7, 2012

    You really make it appear really easy with your presentation but I
    find this matter to be really something which I believe I would
    never understand. It kind of feels too complex and very large for me.

    I’m taking a look ahead for your next put up, I’ll attempt to get the cling of it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.