Good to Know

Ways of Seeing Recruitment


Recruitment Marketing

HireClix Continues to Grow – Come Join Us

Not for nothing, but things are a’cookin at HireClix. Very pleased to be able to share this press release. The acquisition of Meritage brings us many things, but most importantly, it brings us Kara Yarnot, while demonstrating the exciting growth path HireClix continues to follow.
A quick pitch: HireClix combines seasoned leaders from corporate talent acquisition (ie, “been there, done that, feel your pain”), with a talented team of recruitment marketing analysts, recruitment technology experts, creative services, and deep vendor relationships. It’s a very hard model to match, and we’re proud of the service we’re bringing to the market, as well as how often our client’s refer us into new relationships.

Beyond that, it’s the best culture I’ve ever been part of, full stop.

If you need our help – be it with your recruitment marketing mix, ad spend, technology selection, sourcing strategies, etc, please reach out.
Annnnd, if you’re thinking about career change, we’re growing, and building our own talent community to engage with as that happens. What will you get, aside from the opportunity to work on fascinating projects, for great brands, delivering work you can brag about? Colleagues you’ll love. A leader who’s all heart. Random paint parties. Outings to Escape the Room (where a bunch of, sadly, did not in fact escape said room). Lots (and lots) of free lunches. Dogs running happily around the office. No hierarchy – every idea is listened too, and everyone’s voice counts. We are defining the culture. Oh, and benefits. Full (100% company paid, with multiple plan options), medical, dental, vision, company matched retirement plan, APE service days (have to help animals, people, or the earth), and on and on. And on.

This is an amazing time to join us – either as a client, vendor partner, or colleague. Whatever ship your arrive in, we can’t wait to greet you 🙂

Oh, and here’s how to reach me – I’ll move you along to the right person, if it’s not me:

And now, some gratuitous pictures… 

HRsmart Customers Just Took Another Hit

Follow the bouncing ball. In 2005, Monster agrees to be a reseller for an ATS called HRsmart. Over time, as the market shifts and other tools (Indeed, LinkedIn) outmaneuver Monster, it decides to roll itself out as a product company that also happened to have a deep candidate database, and a job board. They bought several companies, and began offering career site hosting, nominal job distribution, etc. They kept HRsmart at part of that offering, but did not acquire the technology

*(As an aside, the ATS is a super important tool to not control it as part of your tech-offering stack, if you’re offering a full stack solution for sale…)

Monster sells its solution to a number of companies.

In 2015, HRsmart is acquired by Deltek, a poor-man’s, wanna be Oracle.

You remember them, from the movies, right..?

They decide that since Oracle has an ATS, they need one too. Support and development at HRsmart stops almost immediately. ATS begins to go down for clients, sometimes for days on end.

In 2016, Monster is acquired by Randstad, which has its own set of tools, as well as investments in numerous recruiting tech start-ups. Including some which could compete with Monster’s tech stack – so, is the tech at Monster being sunsetted, merged, or what..?

This week, HRsmart drops the ball with at least a dozen clients. Jobs do not post, and applying is turned off, as they announce that Deltek is being acquired by Roper Technologies. And if you use HRsmart, and think things were bad under Deltek? Just you wait. This ride’s gonna get all sorts of bumpy for you.

Here’s the thing – this is where it helps to be able to “dial a friend”. If any company that bought HRsmart over the past few years had asked for our advisement, they would not be in the boat they’re in now.

It’s that simple. HireClix Consulting Services (we’re calling it “Sherpa”) is designed to help avoid just these types of problems. We have spent years getting to know the technology in our space – who’s doing what, where, what’s the innovation, what’s breaking, who integrates with who & how, who simply cannot be implemented, and on and on. Our depths and breadth of knowledge in talent acquisition technology comes from years of working within the space. We install, rip out, reinstall, fine tune, etc, ATSs, live within their CRM, marketing platforms, sourcing tools. Manage our clients’ tool selection processes.  Partner with the investment space, providing guidance to HC tech investors. Test products and help with design for vendors.

And, because of all of that – we don’t build products. Not ever. Any consulting firm that tries to offer advice on what tool to buy, when they build a tool like that… is pretty suspect. Our guidance is agnostic – client driven, and knowledge informed. We can get you to the top of your next mountain.

Meantime, if you’re reading this, and you’re using Monster’s technology, call us. Asap. It’s free – we’d like to help, since the site dropping, and acquisition, cannot be fun to be dealing with. Just email, or call: 617-851-7277.

Heineken’s New Recruitment Advertising: The (Oh, So Very) Bitter in the Sweet

Last week, I was shown the new Heineken recruitment campaign site for Go Places.

It was, and I’m sorry for using this word, amazeballs. (I am really sorry for using that word, actually, but… it was). I believe I called it “genius” on Facebook. Showed it around. Loved it. Choose your own adventure, on steroids. Stylish, cool, fun steroids.

It’s almost perfect.

And then… god, and then it is terrible. Awful. Like meeting the person of your dreams, greatest first date ever, only to get invited in for a coffee at the end, to discover they live with their parents, 35 cats, a flock of pigeons, two of their exes, and their spouse. And then being told that they’d like to talk to you about “Our lord and savior, Cthulhu” (okay, that last bit might be hysterical).5b1d071c622d3bb26b6c26a80d80534e.jpg

Here’s the thing: Heineken invested a year-and-a-half, and a ton of money on this. It’s clearly a work of love. Their employment branding and recruitment marketing teams deserve huge praise.

But. No, they don’t. Not yet. See… they take that experience, one where at the end you are delighted to apply for a job (seriously: I wanted to apply, just for the sheer fun of it all), and tank it. Kill it. Stick a knife in it’s back, whilst forcing strychnine down its throat, all while laughing and shouting “Tricked ya! There is not true joy in life! Taste the pain!”

It’s the ultimate example of the front of the house not checking in with the back of the house. This is the mullet of recruitment marketing.

The pain? The pain in question is called HRSmart – its from Monster, and it’s part of their tacked together recruiting “technology”. They take you, the consumer of jobs, freshly pumped full of love and joy, from this:


Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 2.00.37 AM.png

To this:

Screen Shot 2016-09-21 at 6.23.11 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-09-21 at 6.22.55 PM.png

Yup. It says there are two accounting jobs in California. Until you hit search – hey, where’d the jobs go? And why aren’t you matching me to the info I just gave you? And why is this getting so hard, so fast??

Right. I get it. They need to get your info, collect it, and all the rest. It’s an application process. We expect to have a bit of this. But… this? Wait – I have to create a profile before I can apply?? This is terrible!!

Screen Shot 2016-09-21 at 6.26.09 PM.png

Because: HRSmart. Potentially the _worst_ possible option. A career site notorious for going down and dark. That forces candidates through so many hoops, and lags, and lost data, that the apply drop-off is one of the highest in the industry.

But… it’s even worse: the entire premise of “The Interview” is that they’re assessing you, in a very, very fun way. Heck, at the end, they say “We think you’re true character is [Investigator/ Innovator/ etc]”. They say they think they know some potential types of roles for people like you. That’s great! Fun! ‘Click here, and we’ll show you a bunch of potential fits,’ it implies.

But… no. Nope. Everything you just did, that fun work, the choosing and laughing and feeling hip stuff? A complete and utter waste of your time. None of it transferred. The campaign site, with all its data, can’t work to the freaking ATS. Here’s the conversation the marketing site and the ATS have at this point:

“Hey, this is Martin, he’s so super excited to apply, and we told him he could do it with his LinkedIn profile – wait, he can’t use his LinkedIn profile to apply? Oh, he kind of can, but it’s really not clear, and he really can’t, in the end, because that option fails all the time? Huh. Well, we lied to him, but.. well, never mind. We think he’s an Instigator! You know, that career category, and if he just tells you some basic stuff about his background, you’ll match him to – wait, what? No matching? What do you mean, you have no idea what I’m talking about?? Wait – who am I? You don’t know?? Didn’t employment brand talk to Operations about this, and get – he, where’d you go?? Shit – your entire site just went down again!! Goddamit, I’m gonna start pointing them to Sam Adams. Maybe they’ll listen….”

Heinken: why……?????? This was so full of win. And then full of fail. So sweet. And then so, so bitter….

Such the mullet. Next time, shoot me a note, or get in touch with HireClix. We’d be more than happy to help you get into a more modern style…





Monster, Randstad, and… What’s That About HRSmart?


It’s entirely possible you heard the news. Possible. Certainly, if you work in the recruiting industry, it’s definitely possible. Maybe even highly so.

Anyways: Randstad (big giant Dutch recruitment process outsourcing company) bought (former) big giant US job board company Monster.

Which is interesting.

This acquisition may benefit Randstad – the integrations are going to be fascinating – and there’s nothing wrong with that. If they really keep the Monster brand intact, it’s going to be tough long-term (and I don’t see them doing that). So, if it’s not to create an entire separate product company, and it’s me at Randstad, I’m doing this for a simple reason.

Growth, through (a modest) diversification.

The RPOs have had several years of growth in the EU and Asia-Pac, but were more stagnant in the States and Latin America. They’ll likely slow in the EU (political and economic instability may hinder job growth), but continue to scale in Asia-Pac, as hiring by scale vs quality is still more the need for many of the larger manufacturers. The larger RPOs have been retooling internal processes lately, seeking innovations in models, technology, offerings, etc. On the technology side alone, many, if not all, of them are dealing with legacy contracts from clients, have to work with disparate ATS’s due to their client base, often don’t do CRM internally, etc. Because of this, they don’t have the ability to get a strong handle on source tracking, SEO, etc etc, because their data is in multiple places.

Ranstad’s move makes sense, in this context. If they want to rip out a number of internal, hodgepodge systems, and replace them with something new, unified, and efficient (not to mention being able to provide this suite, at a cost, as a service to clients), then they have two options: build from the ground up, or buy an existing stack and adapt it.

My money’s on the latter. To buttress, consider this: the Ranstad Investment Fund that invest only in TA/ recruitment start-ups. Some of them, you know. They also have a really smart team.

Here’s why I think it adds up. First, Randstad is buying a stack that has some tested technology across most of the recruitment cycle. I say most of, for a reason. There are a couple important gaps.

Roughly, define the recruitment process as starting with “we need to hire someone” to end with “they started”. It’s everything in that gap. Monster’s tools hit at pieces of that process (sometimes over and over) – they’ve got workforce planning tools to get the job opened, advertising and research tools to find people, a CRM to keep track of leads, a career site hosting product for you, and an applicant tracking system (ATS) so you can track people as they apply and move through your process. The issue is… not all of it works well, or necessarily together. There are still issues with integration across the tools. The CRM is a challenge, to say the least. And – strangely – the ATS and career site hosting offerings aren’t even Monster-owned products.

That’s right: two of, one could easily argue, the most important parts of the overall hiring process, are not Monster. They’re HRSmart, owned by  . HRSmart no longer works very well (source tracking is minimal-to-nothing, career site occasionally goes offline for hours – sometimes an entire day, etc). We’ve been urging Monster to work on the issues, but… well, not their product. And the products owners are Deltek, which is simply a private equity backed acquisition play that is not investing in development. So they’re not gonna fix it.

I see a possible future. If Randstad completes their acquisition, they’ll have some holes to fill in the offering stack. Notably, ATS and career site. Randstad invests in recruitment technology, and there’s an opinion out there that it’s simply as a way to test and potentially acquire technology firms. One of their investments is a platform called gr8people: a career-site product, ats, and CRM all in one.

Again, if I’m doing strategy at Randstad, I’m sliding those products into the stack, and shoving HRSmart out. Heck, I’m looking at my entire portfolio, and saying “can we really step up, and offer a working ERP that focuses purely on TA? It makes sense, right? You get your own internal ERP running, since it can track the vast majority of your product cycle; can offer a full stack to your clients; and get all that anonymized data in one spot, finally, where you can begin to build data models.

Here’s the rub for you, the HRSmart user: this doesn’t happen tomorrow. You’re still stuck with a platform that’s frustrating, and not going to get any better due to the integration. You may get access to the Randstad stack at some point, but it’s going to come with costs (higher fees, unlikely you’ll be able to just buy career site hosting & ATS, pressure to go RPO).

If it’s me, and now I’m just me, the guy who used to run Talent Acquisition at a few places, and thinks about this stuff way too much, I’m going to want to hear about options if I’m an HRSmart customer. Heck, I may just want to hear about options because I don’t like my current platform. If only for safety, to make sure what I’m doing makes sense (there are a loooot of options out there right now).

Can I Help?

Since I’ve been there, and feel your pain, I’d love to make an offer (paying it forward, since I’ve been given similar help in my time).

Call me. Well, or e-mail me for times, and we’ll set something up. A half-hour chat, about where you’re at, and what are your options. I’ll pontificate, probably, but mostly there will be good advice, and probably some laughs. A shared war story. Or two.

Here’s the info:
Phone: 617-488-9444

HireClix Strategic Consulting Services Launches

So, first off: let me say that working at HireClix is like working with a bunch of people you love, all of whom just want to make recruitment marketing better.

Wait: it’s not like that. It is that.original

Recruitment marketing thunder-buddies for life.

Thing is, we decided it was time to start talking more publicly about the new group we’re setting up. We’re gearing it around the idea of being a Sherpa for our talent acquisition clients, helping them find the top of whatever mountain they’re climbing, silent partners who know the best paths, and tools, to help them succeed. We’re playing with names for the new group (Sherpa is in the lead, but Recruity McRuitface, and Tequilla Cobra are strong contenders – that may tell you a bit about our culture, too: very boring, and buttoned up…).

We’ll offer a number of service, and more to come.

The Strategic Consulting Services will include…

  • Talent Acquisition Architecture & Design
  • Recruiting Systems Review and Selection
  • Recruiting Process Transformation
  • Applicant Tracking System Audit & Optimization
  • Recruitment Marketing Audit & Assessment
  • Customized Strategic Services

Meantime, we just issued a press release. I’m blatantly using my blog’s SEO to give it additional life. I’d be thrilled if you shared it around. And, if you happen to work for, say the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, or – heck – the National Enquirer, feel free to republish (btw, if you’re with the latter publication, yes, that was Elvis, and no, Bigfoot was not drunk at my New Years Party – that was the Yeti, because: sherpas).

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: