Tivo’s View on LinkedIn Recruiter

Who doesn’t love Tivo? It’s helped to revolutionize home entertainment, yet the humble company seems to face the same recruiting challenges as any large corporation. That seems shocking, given the company’s “cool” factor, but Tivo claims its brand recognition is not enough to guarantee the best talent walk through the door.

William Uranga, Tivo’s senior director of staffing, notes that Tivo does not “have the type of budget that a lot of companies do; we have an awesome brand name but can’t plaster our name everywhere.”

The company wanted to improve its results, and that’s part of the reason it signed up to test out the beta version of LinkedIn Recruiter.

(Another reason why LinkedIn chose Tivo to be a product tester could be due to the fact that LinkedIn’s chief financial officer, Steve Sordello, who joined the company in July 2007, previously held the same role at Tivo.)

Next-Generation Boutique Hiring

“Hiring here at Tivo tends to be very boutique,” Uranga explains.

“The majority of hires here at Tivo tend to be in the experienced column, and to that end, we’re typically looking for people with a minimum of three years in a particular field,” he says.

After testing the demo version of LinkedIn Recruiter, Uranga thinks it is a “huge step forward” and that “the days of waiting for people to respond with the competition are over.”

Uranga says he likes that the product has folders to keep track of individual projects and keep track of who is sending out what.

“Now anyone who is part of that team of users can see who is doing what. It’s not so much keeping tabs, but more to keep them from tripping over each other’s efforts,” he says.

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Another element he likes is the dashboard, which has “nice visuals to it” and the ability to create and save searches that also notify you when new criteria come up.

“Why post-and-pray on a website when I can go in with more laser-like precision, identify the top candidates who have that experience, and go and start a conversation with them about who they know?” says Uranga.

Of course, Tivo still uses online job boards. And it hires about 30% through employee referrals.

This data mirrors new research from Classified Intelligence, which shows that who you know still matters when trying to get a job. The “Recruitment Advertising: Moving in New Directions” report is based on a fall 2007 survey of 177 recruiters. The report also found that, despite complaints about national job websites, 88% of respondents planned to spend the same or to increase spending, while only 13% said they would cut spending with them.

The remainder of Tivo’s hires, based upon the last fiscal year, came from networking/niche boards (17%); Tivo’s corporate website (23%); conversions, temp to perm (9%); internal transfers (9%); and agencies (10%).

Still, Uranga seems pleased overall with what he calls a “proactive” product to help build new relationships.

“This tool takes this to the next level,” he adds.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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