Corporate Eye

Is TalentSeekr the “Real Thing”—or Just the New Thing?

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TalentSeekr is certainly attracting buzz.  And they certainly have a punchy tagline:  “State of the art sourcing technology that saves you money.”

And they certainly have a chorus of enthusiastic supporters, including Susan Burns of Talent Synchronicity and HR guru John Sumser, who says “TalentSeekr is a game changer.”  Both Burns and Sumser are on the “Industry Expert Panel” assembled by Entice Labs, along with other famous names like Lou Adler and Kevin Wheeler.

So what are these folks enthusing about?  In most cases, it’s the “heuristic technology.”  But you won’t find out much about the product from visiting the TalentSeekr product site.  (In fact—it’s one of the least informative product pitches I’ve come across, though it’s pleasant in appearance.)  Therefore, I’ll quote this description from John Zappe at

TalentSeekr is a recruitment advertising program that creates interactive ads out of standard job postings, targets them by the criteria you specify, places them on sites in its ad network, then monitors the results, adding exposures here, reducing them there and deleting ads entirely from sites that provide too few or too poor results.

Zappe goes on to explain that the system creates a broad spectrum of ad types (including video, Flash, banners, and text ads), then tests and refines the formats and placements in “real time,” and makes automated adjustments to maximize effectiveness .  (You can also monitor performance and do your own tinkering.  Plus there’s a dashboard, reporting, etc.)

Since TalentSeekr learns as it performs (unlike most of us), “the longer the campaign, the better the performance and the lower the cost of each applicant.”  And that sounds believable.  Indeed, IBM, Cisco, Google and Dell apparently believe it, as these companies have recently inked with Entice.  TechCrunch provides a little more detail around the economics of TalentSeekr in their review.

Now for the other half of the tale—beyond heuristics and automation.   Part of the TalentSeekr secret is the “engagement page.”  As Susan Burns explains it:

TalentSeekr automatically generates an engagement page that serves as a “storyboard” type concept to enhance the prospect’s experience with your company’s brand.  Through the engagement page, TalentSeekr weaves together video, photos, referral capability, and links to your career site, job posting, community interface or any other digital real estate to which you want to drive traffic that results in a valuable employment experience.

Burns provides a good overview of how TalentSeekr effectively communicates the employer brand.  And after all . . . without something great to sell, the best sales engine in the world will struggle.

But it’s worth noting that customized landing pages and candidate communications are tools every company can utilize, and should.  With or without TalentSeekr or any other third party.  (That applies to intelligent, cost-effective ad placement as well.)  The allure of TalentSeekr seems to be bringing many parts together in a unified, adaptive process.

And that really could be a significant value-add.

(Thanks to Glen Bowman for the fabulous fireworks.)

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.