June 4, 2010
How to get hired at WhitePages.com
Like many companies in the Seattle area, WhitePages.com receives hundreds of applications for each job description. How do they select the best candidates? We've heard that 85 percent of hiring happens through word-of-mouth marketing. Can knowing someone at WhitePages get you an interview and possibly a job offer?
Employee Referral Program
According to Ringo Nishioka, the company's head of HR, 33 percent of their hiring this year has been through employee referrals. Ringo himself was recently hired through the company's employee referral program. WhitePages' hiring motto is "Top Talent Knows Top Talent." They consider their employees "top talent" and therefore take employee referrals very seriously.
Their employees know what it takes to be successful at the company -- who would be a great fit -- and therefore have made strong recommendations about who to hire. WhitePages generously rewards its employees for their referrals through cash bonuses (up to $2,500) and electronic gifts (like Apple iPads or Amazon Kindles).
In addition, the company regularly hosts LinkedIn luncheons where they teach employees how to promote the company's openings through their own social networks. Whoever comes up with the most referrals for the company that day receives a $250 bonus. The company has received up to 120 referrals in one sitting through these luncheons.
To go one step further, WhitePages encourages employees' friends to send referrals as well. That means that they are interested in their employees' second- and third-degree connections. They even reward non-employee referrals with gifts such as Kindles and iPads.
Company sponsored events
In order to generate foot-traffic and attract the right talent, the company regularly hosts events called Tech Talks. These events are free, open to the public, and cover topics such as: Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Twitter for Business. The company also sponsors events such as the Project Management Consortium or Meetups. Their next event will be hosting a Product Management Consortium July 22 from 6-8:30 p.m. on the topic of "Considerations for Mobile Innovation."
The best way Ringo recommends reaching WhitePages is:
- Visit the company's career page and see if there is an opening that matches your background.
- Log in to LinkedIn, click on the "Company" drop down and type in "WhitePages" in the search field.
- If you find a "1st" or "2nd" degree connection, request an introduction to the company.
- To increase your odds of getting noticed, visit one of WhitePages' regular company-hosted events and build relationships with its hiring managers.
Seattle is a very small town. The more people you meet, the smaller the town becomes. Knowing the right people can do wonders in your job search.
Have you or someone you known been successful with these techniques?
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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