Extending your reach

The traditional approach to advertising a job opening is to purchase a classified ad in a local newspaper. And that was Don Mackenzie’s first instinct when he was looking to replace a departing salesperson earlier this year. But after doing some research, the Boats Inc. general manager became concerned that not only was he paying top dollar at a cost of almost $500 for a week’s worth of advertising, but also that the newspaper might not reach far enough to help him find the right person for his Connecticut dealership.

Instead, he turned to Monster.com, where he was able to post a help-wanted ad for 60 days at a cost of $355. As this was written, the ad had been up for 30 of those days, generating 566 views and resulting in almost 100 resumes.

While a few of those resumes came from marine industry professionals such as licensed captains, manufacturers’ reps and boat salespeople, the vast majority came from “every other industry imaginable.” Among those who applied were people displaced from scaffolding companies, marketing companies, heavy equipment manufacturers, paper supply firms, banks, appliance retailers, auto dealers, copier manufacturers, the Yellow Pages, Enterprise Rental Car, Pella Windows, furniture retailers, restaurant chains, hotels, Waste Management, Nautica clothing, an AT&T retail store, a security and surveillance company, a golf course, a software firm and more.

Though the applicants came from all over the country, Mackenzie said most were willing and eager to move as no jobs were available where they were. And while he’s not sure all the people who responded were serious about the position, Monster.com served as an effective tool to obtain a high quantity and diversity of resumes to sort through.

Mackenzie interviewed several candidates, basing his evaluation of each on a combination of his first impression, their communication skills, references, background, work history, success in prior jobs and their answers to the three pages of questions he prepared. By doing so, he narrowed the list down to three candidates, who were then also interviewed by the sales and office managers.

“Being a small company, you need to make sure the chemistry works,” he explained.

Ultimately, Boats Inc. was looking for someone young and fresh with a hunger to learn and a passion for going on a boat ride, and Mackenzie says the company found the perfect fit. Both managers said in separate meetings that “he is our man.”

“I think we have a keeper,” he concluded, “and just hope he has the patience to learn our systems and ride this out, because if he does, he will be happy with his position in life.”

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