Innovation comes by trying new things and measuring them!

Originally posted on the SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Blog.

I love the saying "Throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks!" That's experimentation at it's finest in trying to solve important problems. But the real key in this statement that I think gets missed most of the time and is the most important is the "see what sticks" part. Sure deciding what to throw (i.e. the viable choices) is important but ultimately measuring (or seeing what sticks) is the key to really driving innovation from these types of experiments.

Deciding what to measure and how to measure it is key to making educated and better recruiting decisions and we stress this on a daily basis. We are consistently asked by clients and prospects questions about their recruitment marketing strategy. What new job boards should we be using? How long should our online application be? What should we include in our job advertisement?

The answer we always give is "it depends". While we have a good deal of important collective data that can help answer these questions, all this data is ill-equipped to answer these questions for a single company / scenario. We've seen time and time that collective data is imperfect for these types of questions and that in-house personalized data is the best way to ultimately decide the best way to go with most recruiting questions.

So try out new job boards, test out new job ad messaging, shorten your online application, start using social networks for recruiting and experiment with a whole slew of new recruiting initiatives at your company to foster innovation within your recruiting organization. But don't do it blind, set up a process to collect key recruitment metrics for each of these new initiatives to prove if these experiments are true innovations or rotten ideas!

About the Author: Chris is the Marketing Analyst for SmashFly Technologies. SmashFly is the provider of the first recruitment marketing platform called WildFire that enables companies and staffing firms to easily distribute and more importantly measure the performance of their recruiting efforts online.

The WildFire recruitment marketing platform offers every tool you need for your recruitment marketing needs all in one centralized solution including Real-Time Recruitment Metrics, Job Ad Distribution (job boards, social networks, SEM, email & SMS campaigns), Recruitment Opt-In Database, Recruitment CRM, Web Commercials / Micro-sites and Resume Sourcing services.

Views: 82

Comment by Charlie Allenson on August 4, 2010 at 11:01am
With all respect, I strongly disagree with the spaghetti toss. It's usually an act of desperation when you think you've run out of ideas. Rather tossing pasta or anything else against the wall to see what sticks, take a break. If you have time, go to a movie or remove yourself for a little while from your current physical location. Then come back to the issue. If you don't have time, try an exercise I use in my improv workshops based on non-linear thinking. Think a word. Then note the first word that comes to mind. Don't say that word, but note the word that the second word inspires. Say that word. By leapfrogging your thought process you can open up a whole new way of looking at what you're trying to solve and gain some new perspective on that issue. Without ruining a perfectly good box pasta.
Comment by Chris Brablc on August 5, 2010 at 10:49am
Thanks for the comment, Charlie!

I understand your point but I don't see the spaghetti toss as an act of desperation. I would hope that the choices you throw up against the wall are well thought out and decisions that you think have a chance to be successful. My biggest point with this, is that you need to try new ideas that you are not sure will be successful and make sure to have some sort of metric to measure the success of the idea. Too often organizations just go with the same choices over and over again and get in a rut where they never try anything new. I don't see this as a great overall strategy when trying to beat the competition.

And I like your exercise and think it's a great way to come up with new ideas to test. But the key is that you need to test these new ideas in a real world setting and measure their success in order to truly innovate and move your organization forward.


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