For today's employers, from job ads to resumes to applications and beyond, recruitment advertising takes place mostly in the digital realm.
How has this digital focus changed our advertising choices? Significantly.
Choices have expanded and the old days of posting and praying have been replaced with a new menu of options:
Job boards. Job boards remain relatively straightforward. You pay for 30 days of posting and you get what you get. Job boards are convenient, give you space to feature your jobs in full detail, and typically drive good traffic to your jobs. The difference today is that there are more job boards so you can target the types of candidates you are looking for by choosing a board that caters to your niche.
Pay-per-click ads. Pay-per-click (PPC) job ads were pioneered by Indeed and represent a good way to ensure you only pay for results. And while Indeed is the leader here, there are other options such as Google and LinkedIn. Various job boards have also expanded to offer pay-per-click options in addition to their pay for placement offerings. PPC offers low upfront costs plus the ability to target candidates by keywords, location, and more. The downside of traditional PPC advertising is the limitations on how many characters you can use to sell your jobs and company.
Social networks. Social networks were initially looked to for free advertising of job openings. And while most organizations still post jobs directly to social media, the value proposition for social advertising has changed. Sites like Facebook have changed their algorithms to only show your posts to a small percentage of your followers, so advertising is the only way to reach potential candidates. For paid advertisers, social networks go above and beyond small PPC style ads and offer an option for sponsored content. This sponsored content shows up in users’ timelines and give advertisers a more organic way to reach potential candidates. They also offer more space and graphics making them a perfect way to stay in front of selected types of candidates for longer term awareness. The selection of targeting options are staggering, making social advertising a great choice for everything from pinpointing specialized talent to building awareness to supporting high volume hiring.
Retargeting. So you’ve spent a fair amount of time and money attracting candidates to your career site through advertising. What about the candidates that don’t find what they are looking for? Retargeting places a cookie on the candidate’s device and serves them up ads when they later visit other websites that are part of the retargeting network. Retargeting is a great way to remind career site visitors that you are looking for candidates just like them and entice them to revisit and re-engage. Retargeting can serve your ads to candidates on the open web and on social networks as well. You can use banner ads and text ads and vendors like Adroll and LinkedIn offer robust retargeting platforms that do all the work for you. Retargeting can be an effective way to get more impressions and more applicants for your jobs.
Mobile Advertising. As we’ve written before, any recruiting program must account for mobile. Candidates want to be able to browse and apply for jobs from whatever device they happen to be on. If you have that kind of capability, then definitely serve your ads to potential candidates on mobile devices. It’s a great way to get your jobs in front of a significant number of additional candidates.
That said, don’t bother publishing your ads to mobile devices if you don’t have a mobile optimized career site, job pages, and apply process.
Get the Most Out of Digital Job Advertising
No matter what channels you use to reach candidates, there are some key practices for success that must be followed.
First, don’t spend a dime if you can’t track results from clicks to visits to applicants to hires. Tracking results and optimizing your budget is the name of the game for recruitment advertising.
Make sure you are tracking each campaign with neutral, apples-to-apples metrics. Each ad vendor will provide you with metrics for your ads, however each vendor tracks things differently. One vendor may provide click through metrics while another might track page views while another might track unique visitors, and so on. These metrics are helpful but they don't compare to each other.
The best way to measure your advertising effectiveness is to use response urls with tracking information in them that can be tracked from click to career site/job visit to apply start to apply complete to hire.
Increase Engagement with Recruitment Marketing
The easier you make it for candidates to engage with you, the more value you will get out of your ads. Many application processes have completion rates of as low as 10%. That’s right, up to 90% of candidates bail out on many online applications.
Consider asking respondents to sign up for a talent network rather than fill out a full application. A simple talent network with a resume or social profile extraction process up front will increase the number of candidates that engage with you by making sign up easier. And once you have them in your talent network, you can pipeline them against the proper job and/or email them a link to the full application.
This is where a recruitment marketing platform like Talemetry can dramatically increase the value you get from your advertising efforts. First, Talemetry can automatically distribute your job ads out to most digital ad providers. Second, Talemetry includes a unique ID in the ad that tracks the candidates from job view to hire.
Lastly, each candidate ends up in Talemetry’s centralized talent pool (CRM) where they can be automatically attached to the open job from your ATS, as well as automatically added to any job pipelines they may be qualified for.
This kind of approach can result in significantly more candidates per job advertised, making the ROI for your ads much higher. Just as importantly, once a candidate engages with you in this way, you now own their profile and they will be available for future sourcing in your centralized talent pool.
This approach ensures that all your ads, whether they be pay-per-click, pay to post, sponsored social content, or retargeting, can be measured consistently alongside one another with apples-to-apples analytics so you know which are most effective in driving applicants and hires.
Job advertising has become much more complex with more choices and more potential advantages. Getting the most out of these channels requires the right strategies and technologies that enable you to optimize your results and get the highest ROI.