This blog post is a collaboration between SmashFly and Appcast.
Raise your hand if this sounds familiar:
How can I optimize my recruitment marketing strategy?
How do I know if I’m allocating my budget appropriately?
What practices can I implement to improve efficiency and success?
Hands raised? We’ve been there.
It’s why Appcast & SmashFly decided to look under the hood of recruitment marketing operations at America’s leading companies: to better understand their best practices and help employers make sure they are on the right track to success. With access to millions of candidate interactions and job advertisements, we’ve joined forces to understand this data, evaluate industry trends, and offer recommendations for mastering recruitment marketing as an essential piece of your talent acquisition strategy.
Digging into both companies’ original research, we identified five quick tips to improve your recruitment marketing effectiveness (and become a leader in the space!).
1. Know your market before placing job ads.
Well-placed job ads can connect you with a wider talent audience and infuse your pipelines with fresh applicants. Performance job advertising (pay-per-click or pay-per-applicant) is becoming the preferred model for employers looking to spend their money on more specific, actionable results.
One key to success in performance job advertising? Examine market conditions. Location is a factor to keep in mind as you budget for job ads. Research from Appcast’s 2018 Recruitment Media Benchmark Report shows a direct correlation between lower unemployment rates and lower apply rates. If your jobs are located in areas with low unemployment rates, prepare to get more aggressive with your advertising and budget to compete for top talent. See the report for a state-by-state heat map of average CPC bid prices!
2. Never pay for the same candidate twice.
High performing job ads see a 9-10% conversion rate to applicant. So what happens to the rest that clicked?
Unfortunately, without a talent network or CRM, you’ll lose them – and the money you spent attracting them in the first place. Offering a way for interested talent to learn more about your brand – like a talent network form or AI assistant – without forcing them to apply will improve passive talent’s experience and increase your leads for jobs now and in the future. With an intelligent CRM like SmashFly, you can continue to nurture these warm leads with tailored communication and convert them into applicants down the line – without any additional advertising spend.
3. Optimize your mobile application experience.
Research from Appcast shows that the average mobile apply rate increased by 18% from 2016 – 2017. The percentage of candidates applying from a mobile device also increased, indicating that employers have prioritized the mobile candidate experience to cost-effectively reach more talent. If your career site isn’t mobile-optimized, you may officially be in the minority – SmashFly’s latest research shows that 85% of the Fortune 500 had mobile-friendly career sites in 2017.
To capitalize on the nearly 50% of job ad clicks on a mobile device, ensure your application process is concise (under 5 minutes!) and doesn’t require a resume upload at the outset (think LinkedIn apply!).
4. Improve your job ad content
It’s 2018, and job ads still need work. Some of the basics every TA team should master:
- Shorten your job titles
- Avoid using symbols in your job titles
- Ensure job descriptions are between 300 – 800 words
- Mention at least three benefits in your job description
If you really want a competitive edge, test adding images or videos to your descriptions – 99% of the Fortune 500 still haven’t adopted this best practice, according to SmashFly’s 2018 Recruitment Marketing Benchmarks report.
Plus, if your Glassdoor rating is high, use it! In Appcast’s analysis of job ad performance, companies with a higher rating on Glassdoor saw higher average apply rates. Responding to reviews and instilling a positive culture via your Glassdoor profile can – yes – actually save you money.
5. Nurture your talent!
Once your job advertising strategy has successfully netted an influx of fresh new candidates in your ATS or CRM, what comes next? For warm leads in the CRM, relationship-building is key to eventually convert them on the right role. Start with small gestures like a monthly or quarterly newsletter: these touchpoints provide potential candidates insight into life at your company through tips, news and employee stories.
For applicants, be transparent and stay in touch by offering visibility into the application process. SmashFly research shows only 41% of the Fortune 500 do so – a missed opportunity to create a memorable applicant experience. Setting honest expectations and following through on them will naturally attract employees that will do the same.
There are no ends to the creative paths you can take with a nurture strategy, but don’t be afraid to start small.