Facebook or Print ads?

Ivan Andrija Stojanovic, Head of Online, CPL Osijek CroatiaWill you advertise on Facebook or in the traditional proven media like newspapers or radio?

I was talking to some postgraduate business and IT students (Overeducated and under experienced for Jobs of tomorrow) and asked them who has the Facebook account. I wanted to show how deep the Facebook penetration actually is. I got more hands up than that I could count. So I reversed the question – and asked who doesn’t have or didn’t use his Facebook account in the last week. I have 3 hands up. In the group of 80 people.

I asked them if they bought papers (any papers) in the last 7 days. Two bought local classified advertising paper looking for flats to rent. One bought photo magazine and one other bout a gardening magazine. Same 80 people.

All are postgraduate students, and all are looking at the job market. All are exactly those you will want to target with your jobs advertisements. So where will you advertise?

To look into it even further – the question is how will you actually advertise there. Facebook and LinkedIN will gladly take your money. Since those are ‘Cash Hungry’ businesses. Twitter and most other social networks do not provide a facility where you can just bluntly dump your advertising budget. It is a known fact that the proper ‘usage’ of a social networking site will give you far better results that advertising on the same site. Painfully small is a list of jobs filled from the advertisements on Facebook or LinkedIN. The way one sources the candies from the Social Networking sites is by constant branding, inbound marketing, networking – all the opposites from classical advertising.

Facebook seems like the best place to invest 90% of your recruitment marketing budget from todays perspective. Tomorrow? Ahh… it will probably change again… Just remember, it will never be the same as it once was, and the wheel will never start turning back. Where you will invest next year, is most likely into something that does not even exist today.

Free Jobs (freejobs.ie)

Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch?

free-jobsI call from a client today about their jobs being published to FreeJobs.ie made me thinking. Their jobs published on the Free Jobs web site are about 3 years old. They got an application for a job advertised there yesterday. Since my client is using the multiple job posting service eRecruit, as a part of our Recruitment Marketing Manager product, they assumed that eRecruit is supplying the jobs to the Free Jobs web site, as it does to all the Irish Jobs sites (and news sites, and blogs, and niche web sites, etc…). Well in this case this was not the case. We in eRecruit have actually never even heard about a site called Free Jobs before.

So jobs published on Free Jobs web site are taken from somewhere. And published on the Free Jobs web site, without the owner of the content – the advertiser, in this case a recruitment agency knowing about that fact. Three years after that, the advertiser receives the job application. And un unpleasant situation really – how to explain to the poor job hunter that the recruiter quoted on the Free Jobs web site does not work anymore in that recruitment agency? How to explain that the company that was actually hiring does not even exist anymore? How to explain why is the job advertised, and invites the job seeker to reveal quite a lot of his private data (in the CV) for something that is not there? Quite unpleasant, isn’t it?

Well, that is the problem with the things that are free. No one is really responsible for the maintenance or the quality of their service. Sometimes it seems one would be better of paying 1 Euro, or some minimal fee, and receive a guarantee of a quality of service. This provides some revenue to the service provider as well, that helps funding the project. In the same time it gives the user of the service a level of guarantee that the service provided will work well.

I like free things. We all do. But unfortunately there are inherited problems with free services. Free Jobs web site is not the alone in the scenario where a free service of advertising jobs simply failed because of the unsustainable business model.

Irish Recruitment Marketing

If we clearly define and make a distinction between Marketing and Advertising in saying:

Advertising–what Larry Heiman refers to as “Lead Generation”–is the “magnet” you use to attract the customers you want to your business. Marketing is the process you use to determine who and where those people are, what they buy from you, why they buy from you, and how they think. With that information at your command, then–and only then–can you begin to construct the strategic magnet that irresistibly attracts your ideal customers.

The typical Irish Recruitment Agency hires a Marketing Manager. The Job of a Marketing Manager of an Irish recruitment agency is to… ADVERTISE! Marketing manager manages the advertising budget, typically spent on the Irish Job boards, and the print, radio, beer mats, bus shelters, LUAS, cinema, bank machines, taxi, airports and other visual advertisements.

The closest the Marketing Managers of the Irish recruitment agencies ever get to the real (Internet) marketing is when they ask the job boards to supply them with the ABC approved figures, that show the number of the visitors per day, their geography, and so no. Anyone who has ever seen the two of the such reports from different Irish Jobs Boards knows that you simply cannot compare one with another. And if you try to reach some conclusions from those reports – it is in clear disparity with what you see yourself online.

The Online Marketing Manager of an Irish Recruitment Agency should know the answers to the following questions:
1. Who are our clients (employers) looking for, and expecting us to deliver?
2. What internet recourses do those candidates use?
3. Who is advertising on those web sites (or online software like Skype for example)?
4. How likely is it that an advertisement is going to be seen on the web page where it is advertised?
5. How likely that the advertisement will result in a ‘click’, and wring a job hunter to our web site?
6. What is the cost per application from each of the web sites where the jobs are advertised?

As opposed to the above, the typical Irish Marketing Manager of an Irish recruitment agency is interested in and managing:
1. What Job boards to use and advertise on?
2. How many jobs can be advertised there (number of job slots)?
3. Are our jobs ‘seen’ in the searches on the job boards ‘high enough’ – or down below thousands of other advertisements?
4. Can we reduce the rates paid to the job boards (or increase job slots!)?

We all know that people use the search engines more than job boards. In fact, the job boards get the vast majority of their visitors from the search engines. In the same time the Irish Recruitment Marketing Managers are totally oriented and dependent on the Irish Job Boards as opposed to the search engines. The only exception is Google AdWords that most of the agencies have trued using, but were simply outbid by their own money they invested in the Jobs Boards, who simply outbid them.

An Irish Online Marketing Manager of the Recruitment Agency should think on how to put his advertisements on the web sites that are being visited the most. Google.ie is on the top, for a long time now. Why is there not a single recruitment agency on top of the search results for the phrases job hunters use to find the jobs? Simply because the Marketing Managers have got the wrong job description. They should not manage the advertising budget, but monitor what job hunters use, and where they can be ‘surprised’ with the advertising message.

Recruitment Process – Getting the Right Candidate for the Job

Larry Heiman wrote a nice blog post: Recruiting is a Marketing Task
Here is the part where he explains the Marketing processes applied to the recruitment, and sourcing to help you find that right candidate for the your jobs:

As an enlightened business owner, you understand the importance of doing market research on your prospective customers. For example, you want to know where they’re located, any common characteristics they may have and, ultimately, as much as possible about how they think – their needs, wishes, and motivations. The goal, of course, is to refine your ability to effectively and efficiently target your message to those with whom you most want to do business.
Well, you may be surprised to learn that this wisdom equally applies in seeking prospective employees. In fact, marketing for customers and marketing for employees address the similar four key questions:
• What is my likely trading area? (Where are my likely employees located)?
• What is my product? (What is the position?)
• Who is my “ideal customer”? (What are the qualities of my “ideal employee”?)
• How can I best attract their attention?
Even when you are feeling the pressure to quickly fill an unexpectedly open position, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief if you take the time in advance to get very clear on the answers to those four questions.

In the Irish market – that is dominated with the recruitment agencies advertising on the job boards and the traditional media, would you see such model as a ‘workable’ one? The most agencies will try to get the candidate who is slightly overqualified, to impress the employer with a quality of the CV. Also they try to match the same role title – of the past and the future role of the candidate.

So in a sense – the recruitment agencies her in Ireland do all the opposite to what Larry is suggesting above.

I personally like the marketing processes applied to the recruitment model. I can see it work beautifully, especially with the lower level jobs in Ireland.

Pay Per Click: Using Adwords effectively for recruitment websites

Using Google AdWords for your recruitment campaigns? Here are some basic tips in the article below. Use it as a checklist, to review what you are doing with our Google AdWords campaigns…

Why Use PPC?
When thinking about your online marketing portfolio have you ever considered Paid Search or “Pay Per Click” (PPC)? With the ever increasing competition to get you site on the first page of Google, Yahoo or Live Search for phrases like ‘architecture jobs’, ‘sales jobs’ or ‘marketing jobs’ PPC may seem like an attractive option; you can determine which keywords you want your PPC Ad to appear on, when and where you want your Ad to show and how much you want to spend per month with instant results. By following a few key guidelines you can really maximize the potential of your PPC campaign by generating quality CV’s at a low cost and low risk. You can also add tracking code so that the ROI from your PPC campaign is easily calculated, making PPC an effective and measurable marketing tool for your recruitment website.
Save money by spending time setting up your Campaign
Setting up a PPC campaign is easy but there are pitfalls to avoid. Too many people make the mistake of just adding the keywords and leaving the campaign to run ending up with a huge credit card bill and not much else to report. Remember that Google makes a substantial part of its revenue through Adwords!
So where do you start?
Thinking about your budget is a good place to start. The more money you spend, the more keywords you can bid on and therefore the more CV’s you can get. Once you have decided on your budget set your daily budget limit accordingly otherwise you could see a huge bill at the end of the month!
Writing a good Ad
Once you have decided on your budget you can start looking at what your target jobseekers or clients might search for e.g. “architecture jobs”, “social care recruitment”, “project manager jobs in London”; this will form your list of target keywords. Now you can start writing your Ad. Here the fun starts; you have got only 95 character spaces to create a compelling Ad that is going to entice a jobseeker to click on it – and not on your competitors! There are a few key rules to remember when writing your Ad:
• Make sure the keyword appears in the Ad; the words go bold and the job seeker will see that your site is relevant.
• Be creative in your writing; “apply for 100’s constructions jobs” sounds more enticing than “construction recruitment agency”.
• But also be specific; if you’re only recruiting for graduate positions you don’t want a senior professional clicking though as they are not going to apply for a job and you’ve just used up some of your budget.
• If you’re targeting a specific geographical area e.g. “surveying jobs in London” then say it. It means you’ll save money by only generating a targeted audience to your site.
• Give a call to action e.g. Submit your CV, Apply today! – this is ultimately what the jobseeker wants.
• Create multiple Ads, i.e. create a different Ad campaign for each of your sectors; if you’re a technical recruiter create an Ad campaign for architecture, another one for construction and so on.
And once a job seeker has clicked on the Ad think about where they end up…
• If your Ad is about engineering jobs, the jobseeker is expecting to find engineering jobs, so link your Ad through to the engineering jobs page not the home page.
…and what you want them to do when they get there
• Make sure that there are clear calls to action; register for a job / contact you / submit their CV so the chance of getting that CV is high.
How to make your money go further
It is worth checking your account settings before you set your new PPC campaign live. Think about when jobseekers are most likely to be searching for jobs; it is unlikely that at 4am you’re going to get many serious applications and if Monday to Friday is prime job seeking time do you want your ads appearing on Saturday? Also think about where you want your Ad’s to be displayed. By switching off the content network you can then focus on the real traffic and significantly decrease your susceptibility to click fraud. And if you want your job to display at or near the top of the sponsored listings alter you position preference so that you’re Ad’s display in the top 5.
Tracking / Reviewing / Testing / Tweaking
So how successful was your Ad? By adding the tracking code to the goal pages on your site e.g. your registration thank you page, you can determine how many CV’s you generated from your PPC campaign and the cost of each CV. Calculating your PPC ROI from there is very easy.
Feeling creative? Have another look at your Ad results, from here you can see which ads are generating a high number of jobseekers to the site or in technical jargon a high “click through rate“ (CTR) and which Ads are being displayed a lot (have a high number of “impressions”), but are not being clicked on. You can then try different Ad campaigns under the same keywords to see which one generates a higher CTR, or remove ones which are not generating much traffic. Through a bit of trial and error and monitoring your PPC performance you can tweak your campaign to have a higher spend in areas where you have the most jobs and on the best traffic converting key phrases. Linking Adwords into Google Analytics will give you even more data to play with.
With a bit of patience and tweaking your PPC campaign can be an effective marketing tool for your recruitment website, generating instant results at a high ROI which is all completely measurable and can be tailored to any budget.