Hiring is more competitive. That’s no secret, but yet many recruiters and hiring leaders continue to depend on core functions that are as outdated as the employer-driven job market of 2008. Exhibit A: the old post-and-pray strategy of advertising jobs on any and all job boards.
In today’s jobseeker-dominated landscape – and with job openings approaching record highs, this simply isn’t good enough. Not only does such an approach fail to get job openings in the right places and in front of the people, but it also means that recruiting teams are relinquishing their ability to fix and learn from their mistakes. Needless to say, recruiters must spend their time – and recruiting budgets – more wisely.
You’ve likely heard it before, and I’ll say it again. To be successful in today’s highly competitive, jobseeker-driven market, recruiters must think and act like marketers – creating effective job postings and campaigns that target the right candidates, understanding the sources that deliver highest ROI, and leveraging the tools that can enhance the entire recruiting process. And an essential part of taking a marketing-centric approach to recruiting is media buying, or the act of identifying and determining which kind of media and which specific platforms best suit the company’s needs in promoting open positions and attracting the right audience.
Recruiters are, of course, already doing this whenever they decide where to post jobs. But to be truly effective, the process needs to be more sophisticated. Here’s how to create a successful media buying strategy like a marketer, up your recruitment marketing game, and attract the best talent possible.
- Target the right audience and define your goals
The first step in optimizing a recruitment media buying strategy is to know who you’re looking to reach and what you need to achieve. In the case of the first point, just as marketers understand who the target audience is for their products (e.g., they wouldn’t market a denture cleaner on channels used by young adults), recruiters must zero in on the right candidates. This involves much more than just knowing a job title; it requires a deep understanding of other factors. In what location are you looking to hire? What are the skills necessary to do the job? Are there transferrable skills that individuals from other industries have that could help expand your search? By pinpointing the types of talent needed for each position, it will be easier to create a more targeted job posting and strategy. In regard to knowing what you need to achieve, goals around how fast you need to hire someone and with what budget are important to outline before you move forward.
- Selecting the best medium
The next step is to determine which kind of media and what specific platforms to use. This requires thinking about the available options from a marketer’s perspective. It’s obvious that posting a sales position on a niche site designed for IT talent won’t be the best use of time or effort, but what you might not have given a lot of thought to is that job boards have different business models. Most recruiters blindly post to flat rate job boards, like Monster, that provide no guaranteed return for your spend. But there needs to be more of an effort to move away from choosing job boards based on brand, and rather diversifying your approach and exploring CPC (cost-per-click) and CPA (cost-per-applicant) boards – both of which give you a chance to better evaluate ROI.
Meanwhile, the right platform to connect with desired talent might not even be online. For instance, 28 percent of jobseekers still report using a local newspaper or trade publications to find jobs.
- Take an omnichannel approach
Successful recruitment marketing isn’t just about posting job ads, it also entails an omnichannel strategy that includes promoting those postings across various channels and making sure your postings are readily accessible from any medium. For instance, social media networks enable you to engage with active and passive jobseekers at a very low cost, while connecting with candidates on a more personal level. At the same time, as 68 percent of jobseekers have reported applying for jobs using their mobile devices, all sources should be mobile optimized. Just as important is activating your media – and making sure the entities you work with do the same – to ensure they start attracting potential candidates.
- Track results
As in marketing, the key to success is to measure the results so you can understand what works and avoid doing what doesn’t. This means analyzing media purchases and calculating the results of their efforts. Things to measure include the number of candidates who apply from each source, the cost per click, cost per applicant, cost per hire and time to hire. Equipped with these insights, it will be easy to figure out the effectiveness of each paid media purchase.
Once you have collected sufficient data, you can understand where you’re getting the most for your money. Are some platforms over-performing in terms of supplying qualified candidates? Then you’ll want to keep investing in those solutions. You may even find that certain job postings do better than others, meaning you’ll want to replicate that strategy. A successful recruitment media buying strategy is a flexible one – seeing what works and adapting to achieve continuous improvement.
Want to learn more about how to get the most out of online media buying? Then catch my session, “Using Media Buying Strategies to Improve Your Candidate Quality”, and schedule your demo with MightyRecruiter at SourceCon on September 22, 2016 by clicking the button below.