There is NO holy grail when it comes to advertising jobs

Written by Stan Wasowicz

Stan has spent the bulk of his career working in the recruitment industry. He loves gaining and sharing knowledge, especially when groundbreaking technologies are involved. At VONQ he operates at the forefront of recruitment innovation and contributes to the future of recruitment marketing.

Tldr: Successful job advertising and recruitment marketing require a tailored multichannel approach to support the full candidate journey and turn passive candidates into applicants.

No disrespect to my friends at the many media channels we leverage on a daily basis, but it’s time, to tell the truth. None of them offers a total one stop shop solution when it comes to advertising your jobs effectively.

Whether it is behemoths like Indeed, Reed, StepStone and Monster, niche websites like StackOverflow, Kaggle, ResearchGate and Changeboard, or social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, they are just playing a part in the candidate journey. (Will explain that more elaborately below.)

Of course, their savvy marketing departments and cunning sales reps will try to convince you that throwing enough money at them to purchase advertising space and sourcing their databases will secure a constant pipeline of qualified candidates.

Unfortunately, that’s not true. There is NO one channel to rule them all, NO master key, NO shortcut, NO holy grail. There is a winning strategy though…

It’s all about the mix

There are literally thousands of channels available to advertise your jobs. The following diagram will give you an idea of how they can be categorised.

Recruitment/Advertising/Marketing Channels

Job boards work brilliantly when you’re attracting active candidates, but the candidates you’re trying to attract are most likely working somewhere else at the moment and not actively looking for a new opportunity.

Niche channels and online communities allow you to build credibility and strong cognitive associations between your brand and your key target audiences interest, but they don’t necessarily catch your candidates at the right time – as they are most likely visiting them to gather industry or job-related information, exchange thoughts and collaborate with peers.  

Social media and apps, on the other hand, can reach everyone, but people generally don’t log into their Facebook or Instagram accounts to look for jobs, but rather for entertainment. So, although they are great for generating exposure and piquing interest, they’re much less effective in driving applications.

It’s no surprise that a lot of recruitment budget is being wasted, or that some hiring teams have lost faith in online job advertising. This could have been avoided if they were advised in the right way.

What is the right way then, you ask? Investing in all of the above and tailoring it to support the full candidate journey. Using social media to establish awareness, niche websites to establish credibility and job boards to drive applications.

Unfortunately, for a long list of reasons, you shouldn’t expect that sort of advice from sales reps representing one or more specific channels. They will intrinsically try to sell as much of their own product as they can and leave you trying to figure out how to get the mix right yourself.

But don’t worry, I got you covered in the next paragraph.

What a well-structured job marketing campaign looks like

(aka “How Tristan fell in love with VONQ”)

An average online candidate journey involves 8-15 so-called “touchpoints” before candidates apply. Touchpoints are moments during which candidates interact with your brand or employment-related content.

Mind you, this is an average, counting the active candidates that require significantly fewer touchpoints (5-7) and bring the number down, as well as inactive ones that are targeted but don’t engage or apply at all, bringing the number up.

Here’s a visual representation of what an online candidate journey looks like for our own international sales talent at VONQ. (Disclaimer: It’s just showing the media, not the content we’re using or interaction with our career website, which occurs multiple times during this process.)

Candidate Journey - Recruitment/Marketing/Advertising

From left to right it shows my leading UK account executive Tristan de Kooker, going from being a passive candidate to an applicant in approximately 30 days.

On the far left, you see him standing at the bus stop checking his Facebook timeline to kill some time. Because he fits the ideal candidate persona we’ve targeted, he’s confronted by a visual about working at VONQ. The picture that we’ve selected appeals to salespeople and stops Tristan from scrolling for a second, but it doesn’t do all that much for him at this point.

The bus arrives, and Tristan gets on board. He opens his LinkedIn app to check his messages and finds VONQ again on his timeline. This time he clicks and reads about a job that seems to be a great fit (note: job descriptions should be treated as one of your most important content pieces), but again he doesn’t bother to apply yet.

Next is Instagram. Tristan checks this while walking home and, because he viewed the VONQ visual on Facebook earlier for a certain amount of time, the algorithm decides to retarget him on his Instagram feed as well.

When he gets home, he tells his girlfriend about VONQ and uses Google to search for the job. Reed has invested a lot in SEO in the region where Tristan lives, so it pops up on top of his search result. Tristan clicks the link, and they explore the job together.

Later that evening, Tristan searches YouTube to enjoy some football highlights in bed. He selects a video but, before it starts, there’s VONQ again – this time in the form of a short video tailored to appeal to people matching Tristan profile.

No coincidence here again. Remember Tristan used Google to show his girlfriend the job opportunity? Well, YouTube is a Google product, so the tech giant’s algorithm retargeted Tristan with the recruitment video, based on his previous behaviour.

As you can see in the visual, this process repeats a couple of times. As it progresses, the messaging Tristan receives shifts from ‘check it out’ to ‘apply now’ – until Tristan easily does this (by using his LinkedIn profile, in our case).

Tailoring your channels is crucial

As you can imagine you will need to use different channels to generate applicants depending on the job openings you’re trying the fill and the region that they are in.

Just look at the difference between job marketing campaigns targeted at marketers versus software developers in the United Kingdom.

Marketer UK

Marketer UK

Software Developer UK

Software Developer UK Channels

And now look what happens if you want to target talent for that same software development role, only this time in Germany and Holland respectively.

Software Developer DE

Software Developer DE Channels

Software Developer NL

Software Developer NL Channels

It’s clear to see that, although there is some overlap, different regions require different channels to realise the optimal results when targeting candidates for similar jobs.

Final words

I hope all of the above makes sense and will help you increase your hiring speed and quality. Feedback is very much appreciated and if you’d like to have more in-depth discussions about recruitment marketing I’m easy to find and always happy to share some free advice.

If you’d like to learn how you can reduce a ton of time and effort embracing all of the above check out our website and request a demo of our free to use technology.

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