Marketing 101 for Recruiters, Part 5: Pay for Performance

Recruiting and marketing are two distinct parts of an organization, and rarely do workers cross from one field into another, but the departments have some key traits in common. In fact, when it comes to recruiting, there are many benefits you can reap when you put on your marketer hat. In the coming weeks, we will discuss how adopting five tried and tested marketing techniques can lead to lower cost per application, higher quality candidates, and better overall performance of your recruiting campaign.

In Rule No. 4 we discussed the importance of testing your job description as a marketer would test its “marketing copy.” Our fifth and possibly most important fundamental rule for job marketing involves testing channels and paying for performance. 

This is an area that distinguishes good marketers from great ones. Paying for performance is an undisputed standard for the modern marketer and should be the same for the modern talent acquisition professional. Tracking the source of your candidates and matching them to the overall investment in ad spending is something most forget to do. Historically, it has been a challenge for job marketers to do this effectively. Today this is becoming a much more streamlined and easy task with great opportunity for increasing overall performance in attracting quality candidates.

The ability to track source and ROI from each channel depends on the tools. If you’re still using traditional mediums and don’t have tracking tools or an ATS, a simple solution is to incorporate a response form to track the source. When using a flat-rate job board or similar service, divide the overall spend by the candidate list received. This should give you a breakdown of the number of candidates and the degree of cost to acquire them. If you can break this down by the degree of quality and or hire rate, you’re in an even better position.

If you’re using social media channels be careful about spending. It can get out of control. Monitor your click-through-rate (CTR), and compare this to your spending.  If you’re tempted to increase your advertising spend on a campaign, be sure to assess the candidates received to date before you click the ever so tempting “continue campaign” or “boost budget” button.

Finally, try job search engine sponsoring if you’re not already doing so. Job search engines offer a true pay-for-performance model, which means you have greater control, lower costs and budget certainty. You set a budget, agree on a price-per-click for traffic, and you pay when someone actually clicks and views a job posting. The cost per viewer is significantly less than that of a fixed-rate job board. In fact, a Forrester study showed that the Simply Hired job search platform costs a third as much as traditional job boards.

This advertising model has been a staple within the consumer advertising community for several years and only recently has become a major tool for recruitment advertising. The key differentiators with this model are campaign flexibility and ease of measurement. In terms of flexibility, it allows you to adjust your campaign to your needs. When you have enough candidates, you can pause or end the campaign instantly. In terms of measurement, you only pay for the traffic you receive, so you won’t blindly assess the value of your spending using data from third parties or outdated stats supplied by the vendor.

Regardless of the channel or tool you decide to use, measurement is essential. A professional marketer always knows the ROI from an advertising campaign. The professional job marketer should understand this and adjust spending accordingly. After all, if you’re spending money and not getting the results you need, you have options.