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Onrec Magazine Feature: How to effectively use online recruitment

By Lauren Mackelden, Features Editor, Onrec Magazine

Spring cleaning is in the air, and it’s worth applying the same process to the way you advertise jobs and indeed even the adverts themselves. Taking a fresh look at where you advertise, how you pay for it, the success of the ad and the whole application process is always a good idea. Chances are that there are new deals and ideas out there to reinvigorate your recruiting.

As a generalist job board, Jobsite say they pride themselves on offering broad exposure, as well as ever-evolving user friendly products and strong expertise for recruiters. They say they use refined performance marketing to ensure they deliver a high volume of relevant candidates for every role. “When it comes to choosing the right job board, it’s important to evaluate the performance of a site. The only way to truly evaluate performance is to look at placements. Numbers such as traffic and registered candidates can offer an indication of the potential audience, but effectively tracking the origin of placements you make is the only way to be sure your investment is delivering. For Jobsite, that means that despite having a large audience, it’s important that we target effectively and deliver the most appropriate audience to each advertised role.”

However, Jobsite caution that it’s important to remember that while online recruitment sites can give you access to the best candidates, they can’t do all the work for you. They say that ultimately, a job advert must effectively sell the role; if it fails to do this, you’re unlikely to receive the right applications. To ensure maximum ROI from advertising, make sure you’re giving the advert creation process as much consideration as possible.

How to get the most from the sites you advertise your jobs on?

According to Jobsite, when it comes to advertising jobs roles online, it’s important to remember that your posting is an advert and not a job description – it’s a chance for you to not only sell your vacancy, but also your company. Try and work out what it is that will make a candidate want to click through and apply for the role.  Jobsite suggests investing in extra advertising such as individual fully bespoke, targeted emails can propel a role, and allow recruiters to target the most relevant and active candidates. “Employers can also increase applications by using enhanced template options to make a vacancy stand out. Compared to other larger job boards, we are the only ones who offer clients the option of creating bespoke adverts, allowing the entire post to be tailored for specific needs. We’ve found that bespoke adverts tend to receive 2.5x more applications than other postings.”

A common mistake when advertising a vacancy is to try and achieve a large quantity of applications,  rather than a high quality of candidates says Jobsite. For the best results, they say to only use keywords and locations that will be relevant to the right candidates, and avoid irrelevant ‘click-bait’ terms which will only pull in larger quantities of inappropriate applications. 

Simon Hughes, the founder of Jobatar agrees that it should be quality not quantity. To get the most out of any advertised role, you need to attract a high number of quality candidates. Hughes says those particular candidates can have their pick of companies to work for, and if they are to pay your role any attention, you need to stand out from the crowd.  He advises steering clear of creating a ‘same-old same-old advert’, instead advertise the role with effective and well placed branding.

Have new adverts

In the same way that you need to be interested in a candidate from the first few words of a CV, Hughes reminds us, they need to be first captured by your advert, and subsequently interested in the role in order to apply. “There are some terrible examples of adverts out there, vague job descriptions, terrible spelling and poor formatting. Any of these will turn a candidate off a role. The best job adverts are those that have an immediate impact, hooking the reader in seconds; usually I recommend the content is kept be short and simple.” Hughes encourages us not to be afraid to refresh job adverts. He says if an advert has worked well in the past, it’s fine to re-post it, conversely, don’t re-use an advert that hasn’t performed well. “Consider why it failed and counter this with new text, targeting and images. Beyond getting the basics right, I would advise introducing video job descriptions. A video job description is memorable and makes a company appear innovative and modern. Diode Digital once found that, before reading any text, 60% of site visitors will watch a video if available. So take advantage of this. Introduce video job descriptions; get a HR manager to talk about the role and the culture of the organisation in order to engage candidates as this offers them the best flavour of the company.”

Plan your advertising, and prices

Amy Edwards, Digital Marketing Manager at Bubble Jobs recommends that in order to get the best results from a job board, it’s always worth listening to the advice each individual job board has to be offer. Edwards continues: “Each works in a different way and each knows their audience better than anyone else. Different candidates search in different ways. While some prefer the typical what/where search, others prefer to search by job area/category so it’s always worth ensuring you’ve chosen the correct job categories for each advert and you’ve posted your job in the right location.”

In terms of getting the best deals from job boards, considering your long-term hiring plans and opting for a six/12 month subscription bundle can work out to be much more cost-effective compared to purchasing individual adverts as and when necessary, says Edwards. “Choosing a long-term subscription deal can also work out to be really efficient (eg. you don’t have to go through the process of negotiating a deal and settling an invoice every time you want to post an advert) – and can help you to streamline your recruitment process going forwards.”

Regarding the adverts you post, Edwards believes it’s the details that really do count. She says even simple things such as given a salary band, rather than stating “Highly Competitive” can be enough to make a candidate who’s torn between applying and not reach for that ‘apply’ button.  “Candidates these days, particularly in the highly competitive digital sector, are looking for a company that’s a bit different and that has a bit of personality – so if you can inject some of originality and character into the advert, that can help to improve application rates too.”

Other simple tweaks Edwards recommends that can improve application rates also include laying out the job advert in a pleasing manner (bullet points rather than huge paragraphs of text), specifying an exact city (counties can be pretty huge) and using a relatable job title (eg. a job title someone is actually searching for!).

How should you evaluate the performance of a site?

When it comes to evaluating a job board, it’s worth looking beyond the bottom line in terms of views and applications, says Edwards. “Consider what you received for your money (was it just a standard job advert or did you receive more targeted services?) and what level of quality the candidates were who applied. While large view numbers and application figures can look impressive initially, it’s worth analysing each application to see how relevant each candidate was – and how likely you’d be to take them through to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Similarly, when reviewing candidates received through recruitment advertising, consider if there are any candidates that applied who aren’t necessarily right for the position you advertised, but would be a good fit for your company in general and could be added to your existing candidate database. In this situation, a job board could prove to have great ROI in the long-term and could help to bring your recruitment costs down in the future because they’ve already provided you with a number of relevant candidates for upcoming roles.”