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So we’ve been recruiting pretty aggressively here at Homestead in every department; of course, I’m most involved in the engineering positions. We’ve tried tons of things, and we continue to experiment.  We recently tried HiddenNetwork.com.

HiddenNetwork.com allows you to submit a job listing that they will show on their network of tech/developer blogs.  It costs $299 to show your listing “tens of thousands of times” (they claim it’s $500 retail but they’re running an indefinite promotion).

Unfortunately, I have to report that it didn’t work at all for us.  We submitted our recruiting ad 5 weeks ago, paid our $299, and so far we’ve received all of 2 resumes, neither of which came close to meeting our needs. And when you go through literally many hundreds of resumes to hire a single engineer, two resumes for $300 is pretty much a total failure.

Maybe the ads weren’t appealing enough, but we’ve had more success with similar copy with other channels of recruiting ads. I think that blog recruiting just isn’t targetted enough; eventhough these blogs are being read by geeks, it’s not targetted enough to geeks looking for work to be worth it for smaller companies like ours.  If we were willing to spend more money for just “brand marketing” for recruiting, it would make more sense.

Disappointingly, for a site that caters to high tech recruiters and high tech blog publishers, it’s surprisingly low tech. As an employer, there are shockingly few resources on the site: there’s no way to see our ads on the blogs themselves, no reporting of where and when my ads appeared, no reporting of click-thru, no reporting of forms filled, no reporting whatsoever.  It makes you wonder if they’re not reporting anything because they know that click-thru is so low.

Even more disappointing was this bizarre footnote to our experiment. I recently tried to log in to the employer portal but had forgotten my password. Amazingly, there was no “Forgot password” functionality to automatically retrieve my password (Strange…).  I had to call their number where a support rep (or someone) told me they didn’t build “Forgot password” functionality because they were waiting to see if anyone wanted it (Huh?).  He told me I was the first person to request my password (What?!).  Then, he asked for my email address, and told me my password with no security questions or authentication (Now, it’s just surreal!).

It goes without saying that we won’t be going back to HiddenNetwork. I really hope they figure it out. But right now, I just want our money back…

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