I have some wild ideas about how to attract and source for applicants. After all, I have been in the “Internet Recruiting” space since 2000 and have watched applicant traffic come from places you’d never imagine. So today, Toby Noding and I went out on a live presentation and the first thing we got to talking about with a Senior Director of Global Staffing was fantasy football. He mentioned that he picked up a guy named Arian Foster who had a huge day against the Colts but was on his bench. Why was he on the bench if he had such a huge day? Because this player had to prove himself to this manager before he had the guts to start him on his fantasy team. I think Mister Foster passed the first interview and he’s got the guts now. How does this relate to recruiting you might ask? Well this post isn’t going to talk about how to relate a fantasy pickup to the hiring process. (Someone remind me to post about that though, thanks.)
When we got back to the office, I read a tweet from this guy: @mobiletize that said 27 million people play fantasy football. To me that’s not hard to believe because I have been doing it since 1999 and each year I’m in another league with new guys. I was even in a league last year with @steveboese so we know HR Tech folks are doing it too. I quickly went to Google and searched “fantasy football demographics.” One interesting result was from back in 2007 by, get this, the Fantasy Sports Association (which seems to have site issues now but has some great data) saying that there were 11.7 million unique fantasy football users across multiple providers (most of whom sell ads). They even broke down the data by occupations and over half the users are Professional, Executives, Managers, Techincal, Educational, or Sales people. Who knows how accurate the information is but it doesn’t surprise me because I am in leagues with people from each of these categories. Here, take a look if you don’t believe me: (it’s a power point that I downloaded so you don’t have to) here’s a screen shot of it:
I was also able to dig up and old Forbes article about the costs of Fantasy Football on companies that said:
“According to online market research groups Hitwise and comScore, the average fantasy football player makes between $60,000 and $100,000 per year. Taking the $80,000 midpoint as its estimate, Challenger Gray calculates than an average employee wastes $6.40 for those 10 minutes a day he or she is brushing work aside to check the fantasy waiver wire in search of a backup tight end. That would add up to $32 a week and $545 over the course of the season. With 13.6 million players, the check comes to $7.4 billion for American businesses.”
So, I’m thinking...There’s got to be a way for us to leverage this booming channel to source applicants. Buying keywords on search engines seems to be a hot topic these days. So, how could HR and Recruiting capitalize on all these people wasting time by dabbling in some ads on these sites? We could have a real good chance to attract those “passive job seeker” unicorns we’re all looking for. I’m willing to bet that not every fantasy football player loves their job or wouldn’t at least look at enticing new career info. I know that if companies strategically posted employment ads in Yahoo! Fantasy Football, in my “Big Time” league, they can reach a few targeted skills and have a strong chance of gaining an applicant. Method MAC (sales executive), Hot Dog Larry (project manager), The Mike (construction manager), and Hacksaw Jim Dunnan (financial analyst). Fast Eddie (OptiJob sales superstar) and Beware of Doug (me) would also follow through to see how the candidate experience was because we’re HR Technology freaks. That’s 6 people they could attract from just one league right there and a chance for 4 bona-fide applicants in the ATS. And you know they're coming back next week.
Seems like a shotgun approach, but it’s not much different than half the things we already use or have tried. Now, I’m thinking that if a company had the guts to try this, I’d recommend 4 days/times (all Eastern) to try this.
1. Sunday morning between 11:00AM and 1:00PM when lineups are being finalized
2. Sunday night at say…10:00PM or right around halftime of the Sunday night game when people are checking their scores before they turn in for the night, dreading work on Monday.
3. Monday Morning between 7:00AM and 10:00AM when we’re checking to see how bad we’re kicking the ass of our opponent or doing math to see how many points we need from our RB or Defense to win on Monday night. And we all know that people hate their jobs when they’re at work first thing on Monday. Seems like a no brainer to me don’t you think?
4. Tuesday morning between 7:00 AM and 10:00AM when you’re sitting there checking to see how bad you really kicked your opponent’s ass and gloating about it or how he or she pulled it out with a forced fumble with 34 seconds left.
Try it and let me know how it works. Fantasy Sports isn’t the only place I think we could be testing ads. If we polled our top performers and new hires, there’s probably a list of 20 sites we could buy an ad or two on that we never thought of. This was my first official blog post. If you liked it, then that’s awesome, please comment and look for more posts. If you didn’t, well then I still got you to read this far, didn’t I? You should comment too.