Just Landed and recruitment processes

Almost two months have gone by since I moved from Vigo to Madrid. During this time I have been involved in half a dozen recruitment processes, most of them in English. One of these processes was drived by Just Landed, a portal that intends to be a one-stop solution for expatriates.

Expats are a very attractive niche and this means that a wide variety of competitors in this field can be found with little effort. Just to point out a few of them, I can think in magazines (Expatriate Lifestyle – Malasya, Living Abroad – Edinburgh, International Living – Ireland, Expatriate Living – England), vertical social networks (Expat Blog), portals (EasyExpat.com, Expatexchange, Expatica, Expatnetwork, InterNations, Transitions Abroad, BristishExpats.com, even very targeted like Expat Women or Overseas Digest), forums (Expat Forums), directories (Expatriates.com) and many other resources (shopping Guides –Expat Shopping-, books –Living Abroad in-, B2B services companies like Living Abroad, etc.).

However, I think that Just Landed has a key advantage: more than 50 country portals  in up to 20 languages. This is something to keep in mind.

Well, this company was looking for an Online Advertising Sales Manager and naturally I sent my application. Daniel Tschentscher, one of the founders of the company, contacted me by email in order to let me know that he would be interested in arranging a telephone interview. This interview was supposed to be a sales simulation with an specific company and I answered his email asking for further information (as follows):

Good morning Daniel,

First of all many thanks for your quick answer. Telephone and email have been my main tools for more than five years, I am most pleased to do the interview / test whenever convenient for you.

I have already gathered info regarding this company (naturally I gathered info about Just Landed before sending my application). The Media Kit looks good, but if I were the lead I would make some questions. I know that this is only a first contact, but I have learned from experience that a properly preparation of the sale is crucial to get positive results. Information regarding the following issues would be very useful, unless you consider it is not necessary:

  • Users:
    • Available data regarding users? The Media Kit does not include info about the amount of registered users or their household income, for example.
    • Data regarding different countries/languages? This is important in order to reach specific targets.
  • Advertising:
    • CPM is widely used, but is there the possibility of offering alternatives under request (I am thinking about performance based models like PPC or CPA)?
    • What about rich media? Video, slideshares…
    • Newsletter rates? How many subscribers has this newsletter?
    • I have checked that Just Landed offers assistance in order to get an effective copy for the client, does Just Landed offer also help to prepare the advertorials? I assume that this kind of stuff is always looked through before been published.
    • Agency fees?
  • Trends (I know very well how picky clients can become):
    • Social Media? I know that Just Landed has presence in Linkedin, but what about synergies with other social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc.? Probably Xing could be also interesting for professionals.
    • Future development: at present Just Landed has a community of users, ideas in order to promote it? Do you think that the social element is going to be more and more important? I am thinking in start-ups like Expat-blog or Erasmusu, for example (as you know, when a users gets familiarized with a platform pops up a natural change resistance).
    • Mobile version?
    • What about user’s feedback about the services contracted through Just Landed (reviews / votes)?

I hope I am not asking too much! I am going to assume that this would be the first contact with this company, anyway this can always be checked in the CRM.

If you let me make a suggestion, I think that displaying testimonials from clients can be really valuable.

Please, feel free to call me at your will:

  • Land line: +34 91******5
  • Mobile: +34 66******8

I remain at your disposal and look forward to speaking with you.

Best regards from Madrid,

José Francisco Alfaya

jfa@alfaya.es
www.alfaya.es

Daniel answered my email with the information he considered relevant and got in touch with me as foreseen. What can I say about the telephone conversation? Daniel was very kind to me, but the truth is that my performance at the phone was… poor. Daniel pointed out that I was nervous and this made my accent very tough, and that he considered that I needed to focus more in the engagement with the client. And he was totally right.

It is curious, this is the only interview I didn’t perform as expected, and it is curious because I have a considerable experience using telephone and email as main tools in my daily activity (advisory sales), both with national and international clients. Naturally I am aware that keeping the nerves under control is a must during any professional meeting and my communication skills in English are not bad at all (taking into consideration that it is not my mother tongue).

I felt very disappointed with myself because I love online advertising and I really liked this project, but I think I have learned something valuable from this experience. Naturally I would like to wish the best of luck to the new Online Sales Manager of Just Landed, now it’s time to concentrate on the ongoing recruitment processes.

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2 Responses to Just Landed and recruitment processes

  1. Daniel says:

    Very nice post – and it shows the ability to self-reflect. That said, there is one thing that José did not point out: The requirements at Just Landed are extremely high in terms of language fluency, due to the international audience. Though in Spain, “fluent” means speaking without any mistakes and being able to express yourself well (which José does), in an international context of telesales to British and American customers, fluency means an almost accent-free expression in English.

    The reason our requirements are so high is probably due to the fact that Just Landed has been founded by Northern Europeans. Up to this point, we have had
    – about 200 applications
    – 40 phone calls
    – with 2 potential hires

    Interestingly, about 90% of the applicants were Spanish, but both people we finally opted for are not from Spain. This is not due to the quality of the Spanish candidates (some of them such as José were really great), but probably rather to the limited number of Spanish people that can speak English without any noticeable accent.

  2. Bueno, supongo que a ciertos niveles es inevitable; por lo que se ve, los requerimientos de la empresa eran muy exigentes en este sentido, y siendo así, sólo queda hacer lo que hiciste: encarar la entrevista lo mejor posible, y en caso negativo, aprender de la experiencia.

    Un abrazo
    Pablo Rodríguez

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