Betabrand, my online clothing-retail platform, recently needed a new VP of digital marketing. Normally, a company like ours would hire a headhunter and pay tens of thousands of dollars to fill the position, but that option didn't sit well with our shoestringy startup culture. So, we turned our garage door here in San Francisco into an irresistably shareable social media post that generated outside awareness and hooked more than 20 great candidates in under a week.
Cost: $1,000. Opportunity to amuse people on Facebook: priceless.
Happily, the ad got a wild reaction -- both from people walking by and an extended audience on social media.
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And the response grew. Hundreds of people commented on the photo (above) that we shared on our Facebook page. And the comment thread was used widely.
The upshot? We succeeded in getting the attention of marketers without paying a dime to a talent recruiter. About a month after we put up our most recent help-wanted hack -- that purposely pathetic garage door sign advertising our opening for a VP of marketing -- I was pleased to introduce to my team the winnning candidate, Doug Hoggatt.