Dear Jen:

We are struggling. We have had an open job order for the past six months for a Director of SEO. We have what we want in mind but we can’t seem to find it. We were close to making a hire a few months ago but they turned the offer down. Now, everyone we interview gets matched up to that candidate we wanted but didn’t get. Do you have any recommendations on how we should go about finding the right person?


Tired of Searching

Dear Tired of Searching,

Before we get started, we just want you to know that you aren’t alone. This is a real struggle that so many organizations experience. Unemployment is low and on top of that, there aren’t enough people that have the digital marketing and technology skills employers are seeking.

The post and pray method isn’t attracting qualified candidates and HR often doesn’t have a deep network with those types of candidates. Sometimes HR doesn’t understand the role and other times, they just don’t have the time.

You can always reach out to a nearby recruiter focusing on those types of roles but not every company has a budget set aside for recruiters. If you do, let us know, we can help. If that’s not you, then take the time to carefully read our suggestions below and try putting these practices in place.

  1. Get educated. It is difficult to recruit for a position you know nothing about. Hiring managers should sit with the lead recruiter and explain to them what is expected of this person. Get clear on requirements versus nice-to-haves. Be realistic. Share general highlights on trends and things you are looking for so they are sending you highly qualified candidates. And recruiters, remember, Google is your friend. If you don’t know something, look it up!
  2. Offer referral fees. Employees and other folks love extra money AND they know people you don’t! If you can save money (time IS money) by paying out a referral fee, it’s worth it. Determine, as a company, what you can offer to pay for someone who is hired. Remember, there should be some stipulation on it such as the person must be hired and stay in their position for at least 90-days. When you hire good people, they know good people so this is a great way to find talent that is a fit for your company.
  3. Attend digital focused networking events. There are all kinds of them around Columbus and outside if you aren’t located here. Do a quick Google search, ask for suggestions from your employees and on LinkedIn and check out your local meetups to see what is offered near you.
  4. Build your network. Partner with your recruiting teams to discuss your hiring pipeline (roles you expect to hire in the next 3-6-9-12 months) so they have candidates they can quickly reach out to should a position open.  Have informational interviews with potential top talent. Keep in touch. Build trust with potential employee through ongoing communication. This takes time and you may not have that kind of time right now.

If you are still struggling to find the right person, consider reaching out to a recruiting firm (such as TalentID). Some firms are flexible on payment schedules or other creative solutions to help you meet your needs.

We would be happy to talk through your options with you. You can reach us at