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Trade Me Jobs launch “Talent Chaser”. Recruiter writes Blog

By December 4, 2014One Comment

Jon is once again absent, this time on a “father and son” camping trip. In my mind, the idea of centuries of bush craft knowledge, passed from father to son, perhaps set to life-affirming music, makes a fine Gillette advert. Having had a conversation with Jon about his knowledge of fishing, I feel the reality will be sons jumping on a jumping pillow, fathers drinking craft beer.

Party Season is now in full swing and any plans of having a ripped 6-pack for summer have been replaced by a swollen liver and borderline halitosis. This week the Rice and virtualRPO family were kindly invited to the Trade Me Jobs “Talent Chaser” launch.

The event was a success; an open bar, good canapés, and the chance to have “robust” conversations with industry folk is almost my perfect evening, and I wouldn’t expect the missing piece to be provided by a job board. This isn’t South East Asia.

Trade Me’s  ever amiable and energetic Head of Jobs Peter Osborne was in fine fettle, reluctantly ditching the usual blazer and shirt combo for a Trade Me t-shirt, but I’ll stop the physical descriptions there – this isn’t Vogue. Dealing well with a thirsty crown, Peter kicked off the evening by introducing Trade Me’s latest innovation; “Talent Chaser”, no doubt hoping it will avoid a similar fate to their Bounty Hunter “promotion”.

So what is it? In their own words:

“Talent Chaser is a highly targeted display advertising product developed by Trade Me Jobs. It showcases your job ads and brand to potential candidates across the Trade Me network who we have identified are a good match.”

Trade Me Jobs have a unique opportunity, one that their only other major competitor could only dream of. People visit Trade Me to do something other than look for a job. They have nearly 3 million members, with 1.1m people buying or selling on Trade Me last year. I could go into more detail, but basically – your candidates use Trade Me. It’s as Kiwi as complaining about milk prices. Imagine, if you will, an opportunity to specifically target and market the right job to the right candidate based purely on user behaviour, with a banner ad appearing on the main “non-recruitment” site.











My mind started racing over the use of big data scraped from the main Trade Me site, chucked into a clever computer controlled my men in Star Wars t-shirts, spitting out profiles of users likely to be interested in my vacancy.

Imagine, and I want you to close your eyes this time (not really, this is a blog not an podcast dummy), the ability to get your Director level vacancy in a creative agency in front of all those Trade Me users looking at Auckland properties priced over $1.5m, cross-referenced with those with a penchant for purchasing soft furnishings? Or perhaps when looking for part-time workers and returning mums, as we frequently do here, serving your job ad to those shopping for kids clothes and wine racks?

Sadly, this isn’t quite what the product does.

Talent Chaser relies on a candidate having previously searched for a job on Trade Me Jobs. It then takes this data, couple with your engagement level (based on frequency of use of the site), and markets to the candidate, via a display banner, jobs that may be suitable. It doesn’t, to my understanding, factor in any of your non-recruitment browsing behaviour on the main site. There’s no clever analytics and profiling based on non-recruitment search activity. And if you’ve never searched for a job on Trade Me Jobs, you’ll never see a job ad.

Trade Me Jobs had a fantastic opportunity to try and capture the truly passive market. I would love to get my brand in front of all those rich Aucklanders looking to buy Aston Martins online. They’re probably decision makers and business owners. Or their Granddad sold a farm to the Chinese. I’d love to be able to market part time roles to returning mums who haven’t started applying for jobs yet. Talent Chaser sadly doesn’t work like this.

Also I believe, and Trade Me Jobs correct me if I’m wrong, these banners will not show on mobile. Given that around 55% of traffic comes from mobile and tablet, just who are you actually reaching? Oh, and it’s $25 for up to 500 impressions, not clicks. Until I hear of an agency smashing it via this channel, that’s too rich for my blood.

Seek have been marketing jobs directly to me since before I arrived on these shores, ever since I clicked that I wanted to be a recruiter in New Zealand. They’ve favoured an email with recommend jobs over a display banner, but as a Microsoft Outlook jockey, it’s a more effective channel for me. And it also doesn’t cost the advertiser anything. They also use targeted banners to drive people back to the site.

To Trade Me Job’s credit, it is something different, and I can’t criticise the overall concept. Marketing your job to a candidate is almost always a good thing right? And depending on the sophistication of the algorithm, I can see some recruiters making a few extra sneaky placements. However, the idealist in me can’t help but think that given the unique position that Trade Me finds itself in, that the proposition could have been so much more.

As always the proof will be in the Christmas pudding. According to Trade Me, early testing has yielded fantastic results. Some of our competitors also advertise on Trade Me Jobs, but sadly, I’m sure we’ll be the last to know if Talent Chaser is working for them…


Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.

One Comment

  • Pete Osborne says:

    Hey there Sean,

    The team and I are chuffed that you enjoyed the night. Auckland certainly turned on a great evening and we were delighted a good time seemed to be had by all.

    At this stage Talent Chaser is primarily about extending the reach of job ads to people on the whole Trade Me network who may well otherwise not be looking, and the best opportunity to do that is targeting people who have used us in the past – and there is a mountain of them. If we were to use non-job related info in the first instance there’s simply no way of knowing whether any particular job is relevant. We tested that, and it just wasn’t a great option.

    It’s really important to remember that we’ll continue to grow and develop Talent Chaser, and this will include doing other big data stuff to tap into that advantage you quite rightly pick up on. So, more clever things to follow.

    In terms of mobile, most tablet traffic goes to full site so while ‘mobile’ sessions are a big proportion, Talent Chaser will reach a very clear majority of talent across the network.

    Anyway, we’re innovating. We’re not sitting idle but are working hard to bring new development and initiatives out that will help access the undoubted rich talent using Trade Me. This is the first iteration of the first development we’ve had in a while, and I’m confident we won’t disappoint over the months and years to come.

    P.S. My wife will be well pleased you call me ever amiable and energetic. I think I’ll print that out and put it on the fridge at home…