As part of our effort to turn FamilyLink into the most useful site for people to connect with living relatives and discover their recent family history, we are about to digitize our first major microfilm collection. We have 10 scanners in place, and 3 part time employees, but we need someone to manage this project and our team.
We need to fill this position immediately, as the first few thousand rolls of film from this massive collection are heading to Provo. If you have experience with microfilm scanning and post-scanning image processing (including OCR) and would like to join our exciting company, please apply today (by emailing jobs AT familylink.com).
After 3 years of relying on Amazon Web Services, FamilyLink is switching the majority of our servers to a local managed hosting company, supplemented by Amazon as needed. We need to hire a system administrator (see full job description here) to manage both systems.
If you are interested, please apply immediately. We are hoping to fill this position in the next 1-2 weeks.
Filed under: Families, Family Tree Projects, FamilyLink.com, Genealogy
Randy Seaver is one of my very favorite genealogy bloggers. (Click here to visit his blog.) He has excellent insights about tools, technologies, and content that genealogists find useful, and he often provides better reviews (and screenshots) of new products and services than anyone else I follow.
He is into genealogy – not social networking – so he typically reviews things from the perspective of a genealogist. I think that makes sense, because he is an excellent genealogist and his readers look to him for genealogy advice. But I have sometimes felt that he and other genealogy bloggers haven’t appreciated the fact that our primary thrust at FamilyLink.com has been to expose literally tens of millions of non-genealogists to the first experience building a family tree made up of their living relatives (whom we make it easy for them to find on Facebook) and then to help them stay in touch with those relatives.
Most of the millions of trees that our users have created on our Facebook app or on our Flash-based family tree on FamilyLink.com are made up of living relatives. In fact, of the 80 million people who have used our application, the average user has 8 known relatives. We make it easy for them to drag-and-drop those relatives onto their family tree on FamilyLink, and then, if they want to, to add information about ancestors as well. (Randy is right that we haven’t enabled GEDCOM uploading on FamilyLink – making it almost useless to a genealogist wanting to share his/her tree with their relatives. The reason is that only a small percentage of our users even known what a GEDCOM is, while the majority of our users want to share and view recent family photos with each other. So it’s always been a matter of priority.)
Because of our unique focus on helping people find living relatives, we have attracted a huge mass audience since we first launched “We’re Related” on Facebook in October 2007. Clearly, far more people are more interested in their living relatives than they are in their deceased ancestors. (I recall data from my MyFamily.com days – a long time ago – that 7% of adults are involved in family history but 95% of people feel it is important to stay in touch with living relatives. That means we may potentially have a 13.5x larger audience than purely genealogy sites.) That said, many of us at FamilyLink helped pioneer the online genealogy industry, and have wanted to provide valuable and innovative tools and content to the family historian in every family – in addition to the living family tools.
Already this year, we have enhanced our photo sharing features for families, added instant messaging, and are rolling out a new sign-up flow, a new home page, and a desktop photo uploader in the next few days. After we complete two more major features in the coming weeks, we will take FamilyLink.com out of beta and formally launch it. We believe it will be ready for millions of families to rely on as their primary family web site. Other features and enhancements will be added later, of course, but the major features of our family social network will be in place, and no longer in beta testing mode.
With the social features well underway, we are turning our attention back to taking some of the “really good ideas” Randy gives us credit for – he’s referring to our genealogy ideas – and baking them into our FamilyLink experience. Many observers will say “it’s about time.” But as a company, we feel good about the fact that given our limited startup capital we had to choose between building (or completing) our advanced and innovative tools for genealogists and our mass market family social network tools, and we chose the latter. Now we are in a position to complete some of our earlier projects and roll them out as part of our flagship service, FamilyLink.com.
Randy recently wrote a blog post about FamilyLink Plus, the new premium (subscription) service that FamilyLink is introducing. Like most other companies in the family/genealogy space, we have chosen to introduce a premium service on top of our basic free service – and some of the main features in the Plus product will appeal primarily to the family historian of the family.
Randy raises some good questions about FamilyLink Plus, which I will attempt to answer here.
- Regarding Ancestor Searching (letting members search more than 1.5 billion online names) he says, “This must be a subscription to WorldVitalRecords, right?” Yes, in fact, it is a subscription to the World Collection on WorldVitalRecords.com. This is an introductory price, and there is currently no way to extend your current WVR subscription for $59.40, but our call center will probably be able to do that soon. (Call 801-377-0588 in a week or two if you want to do this.)
- Regarding Family Tree Matching he asks, “Does this mean they will finally accept a GEDCOM file upload?” I hate to disappoint, but the answer is our tree matching will be done before we support GEDCOM uploads. We have purchased technology that will enable us to support GEDCOM uploads soon – hopefully within a month or two – but the focus of our family tree matching will be to help you find more possible living relatives more than it will be to help you find more possible ancestors. As Randy says, others have done a very good job with tree matching for genealogical purposes.
- Regarding Map My Ancestors he wonders if FamilyLink will “permit all localities to be shown for the family tree entries” and if this feature will behind the subscription wall. Since this is built on Google maps, it should support all localities that match current place names in Google (some historical locations will continue to give us trouble), and since we have far more engineering resources on FamilyLink than we have on worldhistory.com, we expect our location-support will improve on what we built before.
So even though Randy concludes that he will pass on subscribing to FamilyLink Plus for now (partly because of the very sound logic that he already has a subscription to WorldVitalRecords), I especially appreciate Randy’s sentiments about FamilyLink:
“I want them to succeed, because they have really good ideas and I believe that competition is really good for the genealogy world.”
In conclusion, we view ourselves as the world leader in social networking for families. Our priority has to be features that help families find and stay in touch with each other.
But at the same time, it is often true that the genealogist in the family is also the connector of the living family – the person who keeps track of marriages and births and family achievements and makes sure that family reunions occur to keep people connected.
When I was fund-raising back in the late 90s for my first genealogy company, I used to joke that there are two kinds of people who keep in touch with all their living relatives – genealogists and multi-level marketers – and that we decided to focus our company mission on helping the former gather families together online.
Building more features for the genealogist of the family will increase the number of people actively using FamilyLink to share and preserve their family heritage online — in addition to “what’s happening today” in their family.
It’s still a well-kept secret, but last month FamilyLink was the fastest growing web site in the US according to Comscore. But you wouldn’t know it from the (low) number of requests we get for part-time employment or internships.
If you are studying web development, marketing, multimedia or business at BYU or UVU, wouldn’t you be excited to find a part time job or internship with a company that is growing this fast? You can learn so much and meet so many great people working at a company that is growing so fast and providing value to so many millions of families.
I often refer local job hunters to SiliconSlopes.com to find Utah companies that have raise capital. That is usually a sign of a company that is growing. You will find FamilyLink listed there, but you can also find stats about FamilyLink on Quantcast.com, which shows FamilyLink ranks about #100 of all US web sites for monthly unique visitors.
Almost every time I lecture to college students and entrepreneurs, I talk about catching the next wave in technology or business. FamilyLink is riding the huge wave of social networking fueled by Facebook’s platform, and is going to be launching mobile applications for families on iPhone and other platforms as well. But we need more talented and passionate people to make these things happen!
I’m very surprised at how few potential employees and students are contacting us to tell us how much they want to work for us, or intern with us. Either everyone is already employed, or maybe everyone is just busy playing Farmville on Facebook or something – because they certainly aren’t knocking down our door. We had a popular booth at a recent BYU job fair, but the conversation always starts with us explaining what we do. It would be much nicer if everyone already knew about us and what we do — then we might have people with passion coming to us with ideas about what they want to do for us.
We’re about to launch our first billboard on I-15 – so hopefully awareness of FamilyLink will grow in the next few weeks. I’ve always wanted to do a billboard (See Recruiting with Billboards), and now Cydni Tetro (our CMO) is making it happen.
Some of the positions (or internships) that we could create for part time employees this spring or summer include:
- web analytics
- graphics design
- banner creation – dynamic, flash, social, targeting
- brand partnership project management
- agency and advertiser account management
- twitter / facebook marketing
- mobile app development (android, blackberry, iphone)
- mobile marketing
- pay-per-click marketing
- content licensing / business development
- sales lead generation and “setting”
- viral video production and marketing
- localization / translation
If you know any students who are smart, passionate, and get things done, have them check us out and give us reasons to create a position for them this spring or summer. Last summer we hired 8 twitter interns, many of whom learned a lot about social marketing and have gone on to do great things.
Maybe this spring or summer, you will be the one to use FamilyLink as a launch pad for your next career move.
Filed under: FamilyLink.com, History, Social Entrepreneurship
A couple of weeks ago my brother-in-law, who lives in Washington, DC, told me he was reading the multi-volume world history by Will & Ariel Durrant called “The Story of Civilization.” I was impressed. I have always wanted to read this series but haven’t yet done it. So I ordered a used set on Amazon and they arrived earlier this week. I started reading volume 1 last night.
The first chapter in volume 1 is titled, “The Conditions of Civilization.” Durrant defines civilization as “social order promoting cultural creation.” He lists factors that impact whether civilization exists, such as geologic conditions (“civilization is an interlude between ice ages”); geographical conditions, such as mineral wealth, fertile soil, and natural harbors; economic conditions (the sine qua non of culture is “a continuity of food”); and political conditions including “political order.”
There must be “some unity of language to serve as a medium of mental exchange.” There must be “a unifying moral code, some rules of the game of life” acknowledged by all. There may also be “some unity of basic faith” that “lifts morality from calculation to devotion, and gives life nobility and significance despite our mortal brevity.” And finally, he writes, “there must be education–some technique…for the transmission of culture. Whether through imitation, initiation or instruction, whether through father or mother, teacher or priest, the lore and heritage of the tribe–it’s language and knowledge, it’s morals and manners, its technology and arts–must be handed down to the young, as the very instrument through which they are turned from animals into men.”
How Civilizations Can Be Destroyed
Most interesting to me is Durant’s survey of how civilizations can come to an end; how even the disappearance of a single prerequisite may “destroy a civilization.” Here are some of the causes he lists which have led to the destruction of previously great civilizations:
- “A geological cataclysm or a profound climatic change” (he published this first volume in 1935)
- “an uncontrolled epidemic like that which wiped out half the population of the Roman Empire under the Antonines, or the Black Death that helped to end the Feudal Age” (he was 33 years old when the influenza of 1918 killed nearly 50 million people worldwide)
- “the exhaustion of the land, or the ruin of agriculture through the exploitation of the country by the town, resulting in a precarious dependence upon foreign food supplies” (the US became a “net importer” of food in 2005 for the first time in 50 years)
- “the failure of natural resources, either of fuels or of raw materials”
- “a change in trade routes, leaving a nation off the main line of the world’s commerce”
- “mental or moral decay from the strains, stimuli and contacts of urban life, from the breakdown of traditional sources of social discipline and the inability to replace them”
- “the weakening of the stock by a disorderly sexual life, or by an epicurean, pessimist, or quietest philosophy”
- “the decay of leadership through the infertility of the able, and the relative smallness of the families that might bequeath most fully the cultural inheritance of the race” (the total fertility rate in all European countries is below the population replenishment rate–NY Times article, 2002)
- “a pathological concentration of wealth, leading to class wars, disruptive revolutions, and financial exhaustion” (here’s a blog post about the concentration of wealth in the US)
Durant concludes that “civilization is not something inborn or imperishable; it must be acquired anew by every generation, and any serious interruption in its financing or transmission may bring it to an end. Man differs from the beast only by education, which may be defined as the technique of transmitting civilization.”
I am an optimist, not a pessimist
I realize that by even quoting Durant, and by adding comments or links in quotes, my position on world conditions may be completely misunderstood by my readers. I am not a pessimist. I do not believe the end of civilization is imminent. I do believe, however, that the dominant leadership role of the United States in world affairs may be coming to an end. It appears likely that in the 21st century the economies of China and India will pass that of the United States. It seems certain that the mounting US debt combined with the larger role of the federal government in the economy will stifle US economic growth in the next decade or two. However I do believe that is not pre-destined. I think it is a matter of choice and will. But the lessons of history seem to be largely unknown and/or unheeded.
If the spirit of technological innovation and entrepreneurship which made the United States the most productive economy in the past century can continue to thrive, we may indeed remain a leading world power indefinitely. Attending conferences with venture capitalists and entrepreneurs with their world-changing ideas gives one plenty to be optimistic about. The move towards transparent government, promoted by so many on the left and the right, and enabled by new technology, is a huge reason to be hopeful. The scanning of all the world’s books by Google makes the transmission of culture from past civilizations possible in ways that Durant could never have dreamed of.
And the power of social networks to bring people together as friends, families, and communities, may shape our relationships in the future more than industrialization, modern transportation, and even the telephone. The future of self-government may be connected to social networks and mobile networks in ways we can’t yet imagine.
In 1935 a religious leader I revere described his vision for a future civilization of peace and prosperity by referring to the power of mobile communication. “We must…improve the means of communication until with radio in our pockets we may communicate with friends and loved ones from any point at any given moment.”
Mark Pincus from Zynga described in a speech at Stanford how 100 years from now our generation may be described by people then as the generation that brought forth treasures to the world such as Amazon.com and Facebook. He feels his career has been or should be part of a great effort to create immortal internet treasures that will benefit the world for generations.
Having been involved in the founding of Ancestry.com, the leading site for discovering one’s heritage, and more recently, FamilyLink.com, the leading social site for families, Durant’s final words struck me:
As family-rearing, and then writing, bound the generations together, handing down the lore of the dying to the young, so print and commerce and a thousand ways of communication may bind the civilizations together, and preserve for future cultures all that is of value for them in our own. Let us, before we die, gather up our heritage, and offer it to our children.“
FamilyLink.com is now the top Facebook Connect site. We are helping millions of families connect with one another. We have more 16.7 million users that are connected to more than 10 relatives. We hope these families will transmit stories and memories and family values and heritage from one generation to another. Our demographic profile shows equal numbers of users from 18-30, 31-45, and 46-60, and half as many under 18 and over 60. There is clearly interest by family members of all ages to connect with other family members.
I am not suggesting that FamilyLink might become one of the “immortal internet treasures” that Pincus described, or that we are going to play a key role in preserving culture and civilization. In fact, we are a product of the civilized world’s focus on the family, not the cause of it. If we didn’t play the role we play, to paraphrase Durant, “given like…conditions…another [company] would beget like results.”
But I am suggesting that on this holiday weekend, you might want to get your own copy of “The Story of Civilization” and join with me and my brother-in-law in a conversation about what lessons can be learned from history and philosophy that might help all of us “preserve for future cultures all that is of value for them in our own.”
Filed under: Facebook, Facebook Applications, FamilyLink.com, Genealogy, IPO Watch, Social Networking Watch
This week is going to be amazing. Possibly, the most interesting week of my career. I’ll explain.
Ancestry.com is slated to go public on Wednesday. I always dreamed of being part of that IPO, but I’ve been out of the company (7 years) longer than I was in the company (6 years). But my excitement about watching a company I helped create trade on a public exchange is mounting. I cannot wait to see what happens when ACOM debuts on the NASDAQ this week.
I’m thinking about holding an IPO party at my house on Wednesday for the early Ancestry.com employees who are no longer with the company. It would be fun to reminisce a bit and see where everyone is now. If “public demand” for a party is high, I’m sure we’ll be able to pull it off on short notice. Between LinkedIn and Facebook, my blog and twitter, we should be able to get at least a dozen or two people to show up. If you’re interested already (and qualify as a “former Ancestry employee”), shoot me an email. (paul AT familylink.com) We’ll watch a couple of old company videos and hopefully some Tivo’d coverage of some of the business news about Ancestry from Wednesday.
This week is also exciting because FamilyLink.com is going viral. Our FamilyLink.com Quantcast chart shows that we’ve had more than 6 million unique visitors since we debuted last month and we are just getting started. We think our Flash-based family tree tool is the funnest online tree ever created, and it is getting tons of usage. We hope to be a top Facebook Connect site soon. In fact, Facebook’s Wiki shows FamilyLink as an example of how to create invites and requests using Facebook Connect. Facebook has been an incredible platform for our company to build on.
Even though Compete.com shows us as having more unique visitors than Ancestry.com, and even though we are classified by them as a genealogy site, we are actually a totally different creature. We are a family social site. Users of our Facebook applications (we have about 60MM users) can easily navigate to FamilyLink.com and enjoy an enhanced family experience there. We connect you to your living relatives. We help you share content and life experiences and memories with your immediate and extended family. Family trees are a fun part of our overall experience (because everyone loves to see how they fit into their family) but we are not currently a deep research site for ancestral records.
About 15% of our users consider themselves genealogists (which means 85% do not). Many of them already subscribe to paid services like Ancestry.com or use free genealogy web sites for research. We believe that genealogy will likely be an important advertising category for us in the future, since we are attracting millions of families to our service and as the saying goes, “there’s a genealogist in every family.” But you can also say there is a photographer, event planner, scrapbooker, top chef, health nut, sports fanatic, vacationer and couponeer in every family. When we ask customers what additional features they want us to build into FamilyLink, we get everything from photo albums to recipe sharing to online chats and event planning tools. We will generate ad or product revenue from a lot of categories as we try to meet the needs of millions of families worldwide.
This week is also intense and interesting because of all the upcoming changes Facebook announced for their Platform last week. Here are some links:
- Video of Facebook’s platform changes. Ethan Beard, who heads up the Facebook Developers Network, describes the product roadmap in this nearly one hour video. Mark Zuckerberg introduced him.
- Facebook’s developer policies have been condensed from 17 pages to 3 pages — all policies are now in one place
- Nick O’Neill’s This Week in Facebook post shows how much is going on at Facebook right now. The pace of change is incredible, and it is hard to keep up with everything, but the pay off for being in the Facebook ecosystem can still be amazing.
More information has been coming out in the last few months about the best ways to monetize social web sites than I have ever seen before. The Social Ad Summit in NYC provided a lot of good information, especially about virtual currencies and virtual goods; PeanutLabs followed the Mike Arrington “Spam Facebook Like a Pro” blog post with some great survey data about how users prefer to pay for in-game virtual currency; and this article from VentureDig covers monetizing social networks with recommendations for 2010.
It’s a great time to be in social networking. Investor interest in social networking related companies seems really strong. For years the conventional wisdom was that social networks could not be monetized, but it turns out that for most of that time the fastest growing social networks (like Twitter today) weren’t even focused on monetization. They were sacrificing revenue or deferring even thinking about revenue to capitalize on the fact that millions of people would be joining social networks and that the network effect would lead to a few winners, with a winner-take-most outcome. That was a very good bet.
It is well known that Facebook has turned cash flow positive, Twitter raised money at a $1 billion valuation, and Zynga is generating a ton of revenue, some say about $250 million this year. But it is not so well known that teen social network myYearbook turned profitable this year (in Q1 according to CEO Geoff Cook) because of “Lunch Money” and virtual goods. There are other under-the-radar social networking companies and app/game developers that aren’t well known at the moment that will breakout in 2010 and become widely known.
Here’s to hoping that FamilyLink.com will be one of them.
Filed under: Families, FamilyLink.com, Market Research Statistics
I am running a survey tonight on We’re Related (a family-oriented Facebook application with 17 million monthly users) to find out if people know the love songs their parents loved.
Given our modern obsession with music, I find it interesting that only 7% of the respondents say they do. (See Survey Results)
Come to think of it, I don’t know my parents’ favorite love songs, but now I want to. I do know one song that my in-laws fell in love to 50 years ago while dancing because my wife used it as the sound-track for their 50th anniversary wedding video last year. It was really, really meaningful to have that song play along with all the pictures of them dating and then having a family.
Here are some of the answers I’ve gotten so far tonight:
- Waltz Across Texas, by Ernest Tubb. (YouTube video)
- Always Love You, by Whitney Houston (YouTube video)
- Summertime (YouTube–performed by Billie Holliday)
- All Around the Water Tank, by Jimmy Rogers (YouTube video — “it’s a very old song. My momma’s 84 years old.”)
- He’s a Rebel, by the Crystals (YouTube video)
Do you know the love songs that your parents loved?
If you could run a survey about music and families, what would it be?
Filed under: Brand Marketing, FamilyLink.com, Market Research Statistics
Last year, as FamilyLink.com’s product strategy and business model were becoming more clear, we realized again that in many ways, the family is the center of the economic universe. So many consumer purchases are really made within families. Think about the mortgage, the car payment, educational expenses, travel, health-related spending, consumer electronics, and gifts too. Most of our major and minor expenditures have something to do with family.
As FamilyLink reaches more consumers each month with our family applications on social and mobile networks, we have more opportunity to understand our users better. We have developed a robust survey tool that allows us to collect thousands of answers very quickly on all kinds of questions. We often ask our members what they like or don’t like about our applications, what they want us to do next, and how we can improve our products and services. But sometimes we ask our members what products they use, or like most, or recommend. We also religiously read every user post on our Uservoice customer feedback site which contains thousands of ideas and suggestions from our customers, along with their collective votes.
Last year, before we developed our in-house survey tool, we ran a third-party survey to find out what products people used because their mother used them. I blogged about it last February. The top ten products were Tide, Ivory, Clorox, Campbell’s Soup, Crisco, Dove, Crest, Kraft, Comet, Quaker. I have no idea why 7 of the top 10 start with a K sound, but they do. These are all household products that most people use daily or weekly.
I asked a similar question recently to discover what products (brands) people use because their father used them. And for the first time, I’m publishing the list here, in ranked order. We received 19,288 responses to this question.
- Old Spice
- Heinz Ketchup
- Coca Cola
- John Deere
- Dial soap
- Hellmans mayo
- Folgers coffee
- Duct tape
Old Spice had 16 times more responses than Dodge, which was in 30th place. The survey was unaided and all the answers were typed into a text box. The hardest part in compiling the survey answers was in finding all the misspellings of Budweiser. The dads that influenced their kids to drink Bud also forgot to buy them a dictionary.
If you had a customer base of 50 million people of all ages and family sizes using a family-related web application, how do you think this kind of market research could both generate revenue for your company and also provide a better experience for your members than traditional display banner ads? In other words, how do you think we can or should incorporate popular brands into our user experience?
(We have some really fun ideas, and are working with some selected brands already, but I always love to hear other thoughts on big strategy questions like this.)
A few years back, inspired by the book “Angel Investing,” we founded FundingUniverse.com and started holding SpeedPitching events–two hour events where about ten entrepreneurs could have a few minutes at small tables with 2-3 investors.
FundingUniverse SpeedPitching events have been successfully held in six states, and are held bi-monthly in Utah. They are very affordable for entrepreneurs and they are popular with angels and VCs because they get a little exposure to a lot of deals very quickly–and save them a lot of time.
Most investors will tell you that they know within a minute or two if they are interested in a deal. But most introductory meetings between entrepreneurs (who think everyone should love their idea and can talk about it passionately for a long time) and angels/VCs are half an hour at least. Often, they go a lot longer than that, because it’s hard to cut a meeting short without appearing to be rude.
Many investors have told me they love this approach to deal flow because it saves them time.
As an entrepreneur, given the stage that FamilyLink.com is at, raising capital is not taking up much time these days. What is taking up as much time as I can possibly give it is recruiting–finding candidates on LinkedIn, responding to candidates who find us, identifying needs for positions we need to create and fill, and then doing lots of phone and in person interviews.
I blogged early today about our plan to use a Billboard on I-15 to attract potential candidates here in Utah. But the more candidates that we get, the more time it takes to screen them, hold preliminary interviews, and then finally, get the top 3 or so candidates in face to face interviews with at least 5-6 hiring managers.
To streamline this process, what we really need to do is set up some kind of SpeedRecruiting event, where we can schedule 2 hours for all our top managers to meet with maybe two dozen or more potential recruits in a rapid-fire format. Each manager can have a prepared list of questions they want to ask each prospective employee. (It’s probably a good idea to ask the same questions each time to fairly assess the candidates for any given position.)
The goal of SpeedRecruiting would be to filter out candidates who aren’t nearly as impressive in person as their resumes suggest, and to identify top prospects for in-depth interviews with key hiring managers.
I can already see several potential flaws in this approach, but I’d like to know what other fast growing companies have done to speed up the recruiting process without ending up hiring employees that don’t end up as valuable contributors. Hiring too fast almost always ends in regret.
Have you seen any best-practices in this regard?
Help, we need suggestions here!
Filed under: Billboards, FamilyLink.com, Recruiting, Utah Jobs
Several of the best Utah high-tech companies have billboards along the I-15 corridor from Provo to Salt Lake City that are focused on recruiting. I recall billboards from Omniture, Mozy, Property Solutions, The Generations Network, Orange Soda, and Doba. I’m sure there are others as well that I just don’t recall. I’m wondering if Move Networks has used billboards–but I can’t recall.
Omniture can afford to creating an ongoing serious of recruiting billboards–most of them with messages that only hard-core developers would get. But more recently they’ve mainstreamed their recruiting message with interesting billboards like “We need more Dougs” or “We need more Kates.” They followed that up with a “We have too many Mikes” billboard and then more recently, a “just kidding Mike” message, though I can’t recall the actual wording. They are definitely the 800 lb gorilla in Utah recruiting and billboards seem to play a big part of that.
Mozy’s billboard talks about afternoon meetings (probably for the developers who like to work late and sleep late) and announces they have a Ninja-friendly workplace.
Property Solutions is always looking for top PHP programmers, but their latest billboard announces a run for the cure for Rabies. When you go to the Rabies web site, you do see a “We’re Hiring” link and they do have several open positions. I really like the design of their recruiting pages.
The Generations Network has billboards that focus on it’s “one million subscribers and counting” message, but I can’t recall if it is explicity a recruiting billboard or not.
There is an excellent billboard from APX, I believe, that says “Change your Facebook Status to EMPLOYED” and says they are hiring 85 internal sales people. Very eye-grabbing. Great message.
Does anyone at any of these companies know how important the billboards are in actually filling jobs? I would love to have reader comments about the use of billboards for recruiting. I assume these companies find the billboards a good investment, because they continue them month after month and year after year.
I decided yesterday that it is time for FamilyLink.com to try a recruiting billboard on I-15. I’ve asked our marketing department to put together some ideas for this.
It might be nice to combine a key message about our growth, with an explicit recruitment message. For example, we have more than 40MM users of our Facebook application, and we are nearing the top 100 of all US web properties based on unique monthly visitors. More importantly, we are profitable and will be filling at least 20 positions in the next several months, although only about 10 of the job openings are currently listed on our corporate web site.
What are your favorite recruiting billboards?
What suggestions would you have for FamilyLink.com? Most people have never heard of us, though about 1 of every 6 Facebook users uses our application. The app itself is called “We’re Related,” so most people haven’t heard of FamilyLink.com.
What is the best recruiting call to action you have seen to attract interest in a company?
I’d love to hear your ideas.