Case study: Wine funnel used as metaphor by Web recruitment company

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Recruitsoft wanted to introduce itself to human resources and recruiting executives in a big, high-end way, so the Web-based company sent to 2,000 recipients a 2-foot-long box containing an oversize brochure-and a pewter wine funnel.

Two Toronto-based agencies, Recruitsoft agency of record Bos Advertising working with Continuum Relationship Marketing, came up with the funnel to illustrate Recruitsoft's value proposition.

Recruitsoft "helps a client access a whole potential field of candidates and, through their technology, basically funnels down that whole group of people to identify the best candidates," similar to the way a wine funnel filters out the sediments in wine without removing flavor, said Bos VP Claude Carrier.

And the fruits of the effort exceeded expectations-30% of recipients agreed to meet with Recruitsoft sales reps, double the 15% response rate they hoped to achieve.

Recruitsoft, whose Web-based system automates the recruiting and hiring process for large corporations, launched in September 1999 and the mailing went into 2000. The company's application service provider now powers the career sites of companies including Dow Chemical Co., Hasbro and Hewlett-Packard Co.

"We have a very direct marketing-oriented approach, so we know who our clients are and we utilize direct marketing primarily," said Diane Pardee, Recruitsoft VP-marketing and communications.

"By targeting the people who may need the product [high-level recruiting professionals and hiring decisionmakers], it was designed to get a meeting, to get a foot in the door. We were an unknown company at the time with no references," Mr. Carrier said. "It was a brand new market for them, and that's why this direct marketing program was deemed at the time to be so critical."

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