Jason, Kevin and I are very psyched, and relieved, to have finished our “Unicorn Designer” search (welcome aboard, Max as employee #4!).

This Unicorn search didn’t start off easy: our first real screened candidate walked out out of our offices in the middle of our Topgrading interview — I had never seen that before.

And we also got beaten up (rightfully so) by some designers (click the job ad screen shot below to see the comments) for trying to find a “Unicorn” Designer, which we define as someone who can do:

  • UX
  • Visual design and
  • Some front-end development (HTML, CSS, Javascript and perhaps even some dev languages)

Some designers pointed out that if you ask for so many skills you will get a designer who’s not that great at any one of those disciplines.

UI/UX Designers are hard enough to find even without the FE Dev skills some folks point out.

However, Ongig decided to go for it in finding the Unicorn because they can be a game-changer for small startups because such a designer can design and code, enabling a startup to iterate much faster.

How We Found Our Unicorn

1) We Created a Free Job on Ongig — To find our Unicorn, we started off by eating our own dog food and creating the job ad (below) through Ongig (where we used video and pictures, social sharing and chat).

We made our headline/job title a little different. Instead of putting just “UX Designer” as the job title,  we named the job “UX Unicorn Designer (Employee #4)”. We did this because the “Unicorn” label is a bit provocative and the “4th employee” was one of our advantages over larger employers looking for UX Designers.

2) We Posted a Link to the Ad on Craigslist & Behance.net — We wanted some extra inbound traffic so we splurged for an ad on Craigslist SF Bay Area ($75) and Behance.net ($199).

3) We Shared the Job on our Social Networks — Every Ongig job has a social share button and we shared the job on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

4) We Checked out the Stats on Ongig’s FREE Dashboard — Ongig now allows anyone who creates a job (which is FREE) to also see the basic stats about the job’s traffic, applications and social shares.

5) Traffic — First, we checked out the overall traffic (which ended up being 734 unique page views) and where it was coming from.

Not surprisingly, Craigslist and Behance generated the majority of the traffic, followed by Direct (Ongig.com) and then Google.

We were a bit surprised about the social networks. While people shared them 35 times, each share only generated 1.1 visit over to the job ad.

It was cool to see that job candidates spent 15 hours and 19 minutes with the Ongig job ad video and the rest of the page.

As Ongig co-founder Jason Webster (a 17 year recruiter) points out, that’s the same amount of time as a recruiter spending 30 30-minute recruiting calls with candidates.

Not bad!

6) Applications — Next we started to see some applications roll in.

We had 50+ total applications but for this analysis we are counting only 14 of them as “real” applications — this is because 40+ applications were people from Craigslist and Behance who just shot us an email (often with no cover letter) (we had specifically asked candidates to click through to the Ongig job ad where they could see video and pictures of the Ongig team and office, comment directly with us on the page and then apply if they want to).

Note to candidates: It’s lame when you do that. 

The breakdown of “real” applications was:

  • Craigslist: 7
  • Behance: 3
  • Direct: 3
  • Google: 1

I’m a little surprised that not a single application came from any of the major social networks since Ongig co-founder Jason and I both shared it with our personal LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter connections, and we got 40 visitors from there.

Oh well, “social recruiting” isn’t the holy grail some think it is.

And the Unicorn Came to us from…

So, where did our winning candidate Max Brody come from?

Drumroll please….

…it was Craigslist — Max saw part 1 of our ad on Craigslist and then clicked through to part 2 of the ad (Ongig) per our request.

So, here is what  the final funnel looked like for the job ad:

  • 734 views of the job
  • 14 applications (1.9% of views or 1 in 50)
  • 1 hire (7.1% of applications)

And the Craigslist funnel was:

  • 7 Applications: (3.2%)
  • 1 Hire: (14.3%

The Behance funnel was:

  • 3 applications (1.6%)
  • 0 hires

The Craigslist ($75) funnel was clearly more efficient than Behance ($199) across the board.

This is a bit funny because we beat up on Craigslist for having a crappy looking job ad — which they do — and Behance is a place where designers specifically hang out.

However, there is no arguing that Craigslist is a cheap/effective sourcing tool for the top of the funnel and awesome people like Max still use Craigslist.

One important piece to remember about our whole process is that we further qualified the Craigslist/Behance traffic through Ongig’s own job ad which was very targeted (mentioning that this would be employee #4 (that’s not for everyone), asking for an ungodly amount of design skills and showing video and pics of the Ongig team and culture (I’m sure some people were turned off by the transparency).

And if you want to create an awesome job ad, please give Ongig a spin (all the screen shots above are part of the FREE Ongig product). We’d love you to try it.

Note: Special thanks to Nadya@Google, Gabe@Facebook, Nefaur@Square, Tai@Inflection, Todd@Causes, Puja@Monitise, Keather@A&S, Josh@Aclima, Peter@MM, Jen@rRobi, Saba@Ancestry, Noah@EchoUser, Kevin@Wells, Ja Gold, LouietheLowe and Matt Jalbert for being Obi-Wan Kanobes to me on this Unicorn Designer search.

by in Job Ads