The Mail Online- Daily News, Affiliate Marketing News, Advice and Tutorials
The Mail Online- Daily News, Affiliate Marketing News, Advice and Tutorials

By: Mike Carney, President,

Of course. Everyone wants to grow their business and beat 2013 profit numbers. To do so you are going to need two key strategies in play. If you’re thinking weekly payouts and great offers then definitely keep reading.

What exactly are your 2014 profit goals? Not a hard question. Most would say it would be X percentage growth on profit over 2013. OK, now that you have a number in mind, do you have a plan on how to accomplish those goals? Of course. This is where you would typically hear things about great offers, tons of affiliates, momentum from the last trade show, following up on leads, etc. Fine.

What is your Talent Acquisition strategy and how do you plan on dealing with Employee retention in 2014?…umm. These questions are where things typically fall off the rails and that is why I am writing this helpful basic guide so that companies in the Performance Marketing space can reach their goals with the one key asset that is needed in all plans: Talent.

If you want to “get paid” then you need a plan in place to not only acquire Talent but also to retain it. Please use the following as a top level guideline and then customize actions items appropriate to your company and location.


Before focusing on acquiring Talent let’s quickly look at minimizing your losses. In each business there is always going to be turnover – some people leave for better opportunities and some people you just want to leave. It’s up to you to identify “A” players quickly, nurture them and make sure they are the backbone of your team…and that they stay. For the others, every team has super stars and plumbers and plumbers are also key to have. It’s all about positive contributions. If they are contributing, paying their way PLUS some then work with them to raise their game.

How to Keep Talent

Some companies do it better than others but the key things to put into play to keep talent are:

  • Appreciate them (everything from thank you notes to free snacks to team cruises)
  • Give them responsibilities and goals so that they have focus and can understand how they are performing
  • Guide them on how to reach those goals
  • Reward them when they reach the goals
  • Have a common goal as a team so that the office environment is friendly but focused
  • Treat them like professionals. Let them work remotely if they can thrive in that setup.

Talent Acquisition Strategy

Map out your 2014 RevenueNo matter what you’re going to have to acquire Talent to either maintain your business or grow it. Either someone leaves, someone needs replaced or you just need more quality Employees to grow the business. If you plan on growing your company within the next 12 months then you need to have a plan on how to get there. If your goal was to land on the moon then you would figure out first how to land on the moon surface and then work your way back to lift-off. Basically mapping out the GPS.

Think of your Talent Acquisition Strategy as your GPS and use it to get to your goals. Sally, please take me to a 25% lift in profit in 2014.

Establish a Talent Supply Chain

Having worked for Monster for 3.5 years and now running a recruitment network for the Performance Marketing space I know that there is a constant need for certain positions – normally it’s the revenue generating positions. The main high volume and recurring needs that I see in the Performance Marketing space are:

1. Affiliate Management
2. Business Development
3. Online Media Buying
4. Tech staff

The starting point is always being present to active job seekers. Having researched the Affiliate Summit Exhibitor list for the past two years I can let you know that in 2013 there were 41 companies actively hiring for new staff – and that is only counting the ones that had open career opportunities VISIBLE on their sites. For the 2014 Affiliate Summit West show I stopped counting when I got to 135 companies that didn’t have a Career section. If a candidate is willing to take the team to investigate your company then give them something that showcases what you offer as an Employer.

Constant Job Postings

Most of the companies in our space are masters at Lead Generation but have a horrible conversion path for Talent Acquisition. First, load up a Careers section and tell candidates why you’re special. Second, load up job postings for all key positions – and leave them up. You are going to need Talent for one of those positions at some point in the year and it’s best to build a database of possible candidates vs. starting from scratch each time someone quits your company or when you need to grow. Think Just-in-time hiring vs. waste-my-time trying to find someone when an Employee quits or gets let go.

Don’t be Boring

Having consulted for some of the biggest Employers out there I can tell you that most are horrible at writing job postings. Why? For two reasons, first there is an old value association with space. If an Employer paid for space then they are likely going to want to fill it with information. The result: Mile long job descriptions. Second and more importantly, because candidates don’t want to know the inner works of the day to day responsibilities on their first interaction with an Employer – they want to know why they should hand in their notice at their current job and come work for you. This rarely gets answered for some reason and Employers are losing conversions.

To a grand extent, if they are an Affiliate Manager or a Business Development person they understand fully what the inner Key responsibilities of the position are. You need to convince them that if they are looking to advance their career then you are next logical step for them.


Now that you have a conversion path for new Talent with a Careers section and job postings for key positions, promote it through FREE channels like Social stating that you are always interested in talking with great Talent – more so if there are live opportunities.

Source Out Candidates

Whether you do this internally or hire a few contingency based headhunters to promote the fact that there is a LIVE career opportunity available and to explain what makes you a great Employer, it’s always best to reach all of the best candidates. Why? because if only a small percentage of qualified candidates see your posting then you are not hiring the best candidate – you are hiring the best active job seeker.

Having a job posting live definitely helps but the best candidate is likely the one that is kicking your ass and making great money doing it. It’s better that they’re on your team – especially in a relationship based industry like the Performance Marketing industry. Establish that Talent Supply Chain and when the coffee is cold they will know the value that you offer as an Employer.

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