Not-so-subtle Recruiting

Some companies play hardball when comparing their products to their competitors’. But not all corporations play recruiting hardball.
 
And then there’s PointRoll. It’s getting pretty good about going for the jugular.
 
First on the product side: PointRoll, which helps Fortune 500 and other companies advertise online, last year issued a press release proclaiming:
 
PointRoll Still Innovating While Others Selling Out
 
Now on the recruiting side: PointRoll put a bulls-eye on employees of its competitor DoubleClick. PointRoll last week issued a press release with this title and subtitle:
 
PointRoll to DoubleClick: While Submitting Your Resume to Google, CC Us! In a not-so-subtle message to DoubleClick employees whose future is uncertain, PointRoll demonstrates their certainty of continued growth.
 
John Sullivan would be impressed.
 
“Sitting there relying on going fishing and putting your name on ads with generic information is not going to get the job done,” says Matt Cadwell, who PointRoll brought on to head up recruiting a bit over a month ago from GSI Commerce. “We’re not a household name.”
 
Speaking of names: PointRoll, which is now owned by Gannett, dubs its products “FatBoy,” “TomBoy,” “BadBoy,” “TowelBoy,” and “PaperBoy” (though its job descriptions can be relatively boring).
 
Cadwell’s task is to bring add about 80 people to the 250-employee company over the next year (he’s starting to think about an upgraded applicant tracking system). About 35 to 40% of these candidates will be found through employee referrals. For the others, Cadwell and PointRoll are moving away from the Monsters and the Hotjobs of the world toward more niche sites like phillyadclub.com, actionscript.org, and creativehotlist.com.
 
“The interactive vertical — it’s a tough market to source for,” Cadwell says. “There’s not a lot of folks who do what we do here. The folks we’re trying to hire — they’re not looking for jobs on the big boards. They’re looking to rub elbows with the people who speak the same language they speak and are on usergroups, blogs, and so on.”
 
PointRoll and others at the company (where 80% of candidates interview with the president) spend a lot of time on behavioral interviewing and assessing “cultural fit” — trying to figure out whether someone’ll fit into the environment of the company, which is highly entrepreneurial and involves a lot of trying new ideas. When pitching candidates on a PointRoll job, Cadwell and others play up the variety an employee will get if they work there. Cadwell says that at a larger firm you may work with one client and one campaign, while at PointRoll it may be hundreds.
 
He says a future round of PointRoll recruiting advertising, perhaps on niche usergroups, will feature current PointRoll employees. “You typically don’t see a lot of companies doing stuff like that,” Cadwell says. “The whole online advertising industry,” he notes, is only about a decade old, so “there’s just not this abundance of folks. You do need to take an aggressive approach when you’re looking for staff within the interactive realm. I’ve been charged with thinking of new ways to do that.”
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