When most people first think about the term ‘time decay’, an image of two wild-haired scientists sitting in their secret lab in the caverns of a volcano laughing maniacally about their plot to use time travel to take over the world may come to mind.
But then again, maybe that’s just me…going off on a sci-fi tangent. Let’s back up for a second and explore this term in some detail and also what it means to hiring teams who advertise their jobs on various job boards and networks.
What is Time Decay?
The concept of time decay is mostly used in the financial industry. As Investopedia defines it, time decay is the ratio of the change in an option’s price to the decrease in time to expiration. Basically, as time goes on, the value of an investment becomes lower as it gets closer to expiration. The idea is very similar to depreciation, with the added notion of expiration.
This same concept applies to the job postings, or job ads, that hiring teams and recruiters purchase every day as a means to fill their open roles.
Let’s say, for example, you purchase a 30-day job posting from Monster. On the first day the job is posted, it is firmly planted at the top of the search results, probably resulting in a huge flow of candidates due to its prime positioning. However, fast forward two weeks, and chances are your job has fallen down the page due to other people buying the same premium postings for a similar role, which means the number of new candidates you’re receiving is also starting to shrink. In essence, the value of this post is decaying as time passes, and ROI, or your incoming candidates, is diminishing over time as well.
The concept of time decay also applies to organic, or free, job listings, but the investment becomes your time and effort rather than an actual monetary value. We all know however, that time is money.
So now that we get the gist of it, how can recruiters and hiring teams combat the evil forces of time decay? Here are 5 tips to help keep both sponsored and organic postings at the top of search results:
5 Tips to Combatting Job Posting Time Decay
Write Great Job Descriptions – A well-written, detailed job description is one of the most powerful weapons you can wield in the fight against time decay. For one, it allows you to maximize the number of candidates who actually read your posting and then decide to apply for your open job. And more importantly, it can help to differentiate your post as it moves down the page and competes with other similar postings. This is particularly important for free organic postings that don’t usually win prime on-page position to begin with. And finally, as some job boards will push poorly written job descriptions down a page, you don’t want to risk losing any more ground than you already are. If you want to learn the 7 essential elements of a standout job description, how to optimize your job description titles, and why a well-written job description is now, more than ever, critical to your hiring success, download our free “Developing a Winning Job Description” eBook today.
Choose the Right Board for the Job – The job board you choose definitely makes a huge difference in performance. As previously discussed, there are thousands of paid job boards that will take your money, but not all of them can deliver the number and quality of candidates you’re looking for. Really explore the options, and if you are considering posting the job to a niche board, make sure to find one that focuses on the role or industry itself. For example, StackOverflow is recognized as a tech talent leader, so the next time you want to spend some money on hiring a developer, you might find great results from using a site like StackOverflow.
Consider Shorter Term Ads – Some job boards only offer 30-day posting options, but there are also boards that will offer 14-day or even 7-day ads. These shorter promotional periods may be good options for very competitive or popular jobs, which may be flooding the various job boards. Buying on shorter terms allows you to minimize the effects of time decay and basically “refresh” the job posting’s position by boosting its placement at a more frequent rate, but it may cost a little bit more as a consequence.
Refresh Organic Job Postings – When talking about free or organic job boards and the postings they offer, sometimes the best option to combat time decay is to force a refresh of the job itself. One easy way to do this is to close the job that has been sitting a while and duplicate it entirely to start fresh at a higher position on the page. The candidates from the closed job will still be there, and you have a new stream of candidates coming in from a posting with a fresh creation date, which will rank higher in search results. Do note, some job boards are catching on to this practice and flagging posts for removal – so refresh at your own risk.
Distribute Far and Wide – Getting your job posted to as many of the well-known free job boards as possible is another tactic for dealing with the inevitable effects of time decay. Taking advantage of a multitude of platforms allows you to maximize your reach and limits the diminishing returns on your candidate yield. If you’re not familiar with more than just a few job boards, there are tools like MightyRecruiter that make it simple for you to access a large network with just a click of a button. Try it today and watch the candidates roll in.
And otherwise, learn more about how to distribute your postings far and wide with our free eBook, Creating a Mighty Job Posting Strategy.