Friday, December 14, 2007

Learning a little bit about headhunting on the web

Central Presbyterian Church of Tarentum is looking for a part-time administrative assistant.

In the course of starting up this search I have learned a few new things about how the web can help us in the search.

I knew the obvious: we can post the information on our own website. So I posted the most informative help wanted advertisement on our own site, with a link to it from the site's entry page. That was something we also did a few years ago when we were looking for an organist.

Also, as we had done in the previous search, I set up a special email address that any interested people might use to contact us about the position.

As in the previous search we also used our internal publications and word of mouth, letting members of the congregation know through an announcement in the bulletin that we were looking, and encouraging them to tell people they know. The announcement encouraged people to go to the website for more information.

I also knew the somewhat less than obvious: There are places where job listings can be posted on the web for free. One such place is the classified ads on Topix. So I took out a free ad on the page for Tarentum. This is the ad on Topix.

Pittsburgh Presbytery has a page on their website where its churches can post their announcements about positions they wish to fill. So I asked for a short notice to appear there. It was up in a flash.

In addition to the internet we knew we would have to bite the bullet and take out a paid classified ad in the local paper.

What I didn't expect was that the ad in the paper would be picked up by HotJobs. Ordinarily we would have to pay to get a listing there. I could tell that HotJobs got it from the classified ad, because the listing slavishly matched the classified ad right down to the hyphenation inserted to keep the ad short. This is the way we are listed on HotJobs. The connection between the newspaper and HotJobs seems to have been a TribTotalMedia company called

So far the responses to our job listing include: one person who found us through word of mouth, one who found us through HotJobs, two who found us through the printed newspaper, and one who did not identify how she learned.

If I were to do all of this over again, one thing I would change is the hyphenation in the newspaper ad. Knowing that the text that appears in the newspaper could be picked up and replicated elsewhere, I'd rather spend a couple extra bucks on an extra line in the ad than have hyphens appear where they are totally unnecessary.

Meanwhile, the search goes on. If you know someone who would be interested in a part-time position as an administrative assistant in a small membership church in Tarentum, let them know about us.

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