The Google Job Experiment: Lessons for Job Seekers & Recruiters Alike

From both sides of the table, the job hunt and recruitment process is complicated.  Writing job descriptions, writing resumes; working with head-hunting firms; posting positions on the variety of job sites out there, filtering through these sites for the right position; qualifying a candidate pool for interviews, making sure your resume is optimized to make it to an interview; asking the right behavioral questions, having the right answer to those questions; extending formal offers and compensation packages, deciding on the best offer and compensation package for your career.  It’s a complicated waltz for job-seekers and job-providers alike.

Alec Brownstein simplified this waltz down to a line-dance  with his rather audacious approach to the job hunt.  For $6, Brownstein targeted 5 high level executives through Google Adwords – gaining 4 interviews, 2 offers and most importantly, a job.

Brownstein’s method and the fact that it is so audacious brings up an interesting disconnect between employers and would-be employees – recruiters constantly think of ways to sell their company to candidates while candidates don’t always mirror that mentality.  I don’t mean that job seekers don’t sell themselves via their resume, linkedin profile and within the interview process but to actually advertise their skill set directly to their audience is rare.  If this wasn’t at least somewhat true, Mr. Brownstein and his job hunt wouldn’t be so popular.  The natural question is why?

Why not have candidates advertise their location, expertise, work experience, education, and salary and benefit requirements to specific companies, recruiters or high-level executives?  There are certainly sites and proprietary databases that allow employers to filter candidates by those criteria but as far as I can tell it’s called a “Job Hunt” and not an “Employee Hunt” for a reason.  If you’re a recruiter who relies on incoming resumes from Monster, Linkedin and your company’s now hiring website, you may actually be missing out on top talent who, for whatever reason, didn’t apply for the position in the first place.

What I commend in Mr. Brownstein’s approach is his directness.  He truly thought of himself and his skill set as a product and marketed himself to the right audience at the right time, ultimately making it easier on himself and his potential employers to go through the recruitment, interviewing, job offer and hiring waltz.

The real question is would you have clicked on the ad?  Given him an interview?  Offered him a job?  Or conversely, from a candidate’s perspective… would you create the ad to get the job you want?

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