Online recruitment has grown greatly with the continual development of the internet, seeing a shift in the dynamic of traditional and digital market shares.
It’s often hailed as cheaper, more flexible, more measurable and can been used both as a supplementary tool or a standalone product. Not to say that either of the above is more appropriate in any given example, both strategies can work. However the approach to online recruitment advertising, particularly in reference to job boards, can sometimes be much less thoughtful than the planning which is done when organising printed advertising. There are several things that commonly arise which if tackled, can make online adverts a lot more effective.
1 – Media Research
From the outset, gather information about any options that you are considering so that your choices are well-informed. If you have your own data from previous campaigns then use that too and build a solid case for your shortlist of media channels. If you are starting from scratch, get your advertising agency to suggest and then contact any relevant media with a view to obtaining a few case studies and up to date statistics, segmented with applicable criteria if possible. Compare these head to head and be sure that you make decisions based on more than a hunch.
2 – Advert Copywriting
Compared with the way that text is presented in print advertising or on the radio, the quality of online text is rarely in the same league. So why is there such a difference in attitude to the way that text reads on jobsites? Aside from the sheer volume that larger recruiters place onto recruitment sites, there is no real excuse for the lack of creativity in most of the advertising copy on most of the websites. If you’re saving hundreds or even thousands of pounds by going online only, make a small investment and use a good copywriter to ensure that when someone reads your advert, they are excited, interested and inspired. That’s how a good advert should make candidates feel.
3 – Advert Enhancements
Appealing as it may be to place an advert online only for less than £100 in it’s most basic format, the problem is that it is swiftly buried beneath a mass of enhanced, featured and premium listings. In the world of advertising, the minimum is rarely enough to genuinely do the job well. The basic text listings are akin to the linage adverts that appear in the newspaper, small in presence, largely unattractive and greatly overshadowed by other advertisers that have invested in promoting their brand. The market might be changing, but the existence of competition isn’t.
4 – Response Measurement
One of the most valuable and genuinely great features of online advertising is that you can always find out exactly how it is performing for you. The availability of statistics from job boards allows instant evaluation of the success of any listings, and the variety of good quality (free) analytical products on the market allows the tracking to easily continue onto your own website if that is relevant. This is particularly useful if you are directing candidates to your website to apply. It will allow you to identify potential points in the process where visitors abandon their application. If nothing gets tracked, mistakes can get repeated and successes can’t be credited.
It’s important to always bear in mind that these listings represent organisations in the same way as any other advert. They are still the public face of the company as an employer. They might be cheaper than a full page in a trade journal but you are still engaging with serious jobseekers which means that your approach should be serious too. Use the support that you have, whether it’s an agency, consultancy or internal department. Creating a professional and consistent online presence is no less of a challenge than it used to be and the more popular the online job board market becomes, the more prepared and pro-active recruiters will need to be to continue attracting and retaining the top talent.