How to Assess the Value of Top Recruitment Job Boards

The recent increase in the price of job boards has been a talking point for the industry. If you haven’t had to adjust your budget to reflect these extra costs yet, you might be forced to do so very soon.

But cutting off one of your strongest channels could hurt your flow of candidates. So before you make a decision, it’s worth evaluating the ROI of every job board you use.

To help you out, we put together 4 great ways of evaluating your job boards:

1. Check the response rate by job board source

Response rate is the number of applicants (aka responses) you’ve received per job board. Any good CRM should let you access this metric. Run the report in your CRM and look at which of your most trusted job boards is bringing you the most responses to your ads.

Want to dive even deeper? No problem. You can also break this down into different parameters such as salary expectation or location. You’ll then have specific data about the number of applications coming from the type of candidates that interests you the most.


The job boards with the highest response rates are giving you the most exposure on the market. But this can be a vanity metric if you don’t combine it with the other ones… Which leads me to my next point.


2. Assess the conversion rate

While you might have hundreds of responses from one single job board, this number means nothing if the candidates don’t convert. That’s why it’s good to assess the conversion rate, too. This tells you how many of the applicants actually translate into new hires.

As a busy recruiter, you don’t have time to sift through loads of irrelevant applications! If you are getting a lot of applications that aren’t converting you need to ask yourself – is it your adverts that aren’t attracting the right candidates or is it the quality of candidates on the job board itself?

3. Calculate the 'new hire cost'

When the cost of posting ads rises, it’s crucial to assess whether your investments are coming back to you.

Calculate the new hire cost by dividing your monthly job board pricing by the number of new hires brought on by that source in the same period:

For example: £300 ÷ 5 new hires = £60 a hire.

This way you will see exactly which job boards are bringing you the best ROI, which will allow you to cut the worst ones out. Saving money is easy when you have the right data!

4. Work out a success ratio that is sustainable

Another thing that’s worth checking is how many hires you get for the overall number of candidates from the source. This will allow you to determine a ratio that works for you and is sustainable for your business. For example, if you get 1 hire for 5 applicants, a ratio of 5:1 is what you’ll have to aim for!

The length of time it takes to place an applicant from the source is also important. If one job board’s average time time-to-hire is 6 weeks, whilst another is only 2 weeks, you’ll know which one to go with.

5. Weigh up additional features

Even though they serve the same purpose, every job board will have different features. It’s good to assess which brings the most value to you as a recruiter. For example, those with direct apply integration that seamlessly link with your CRM not only save you on admin time, but they allow you to easily control your job board credits from within your system, so you don’t overspend.

It’s also worth having a look into whether or not it ties in with the reporting in your CRM – it will allow you to track your candidates’ journey from start to finish without having to put in any data manually. This is a feature that brings huge value to your recruitment process.

Finally, don’t forget about your candidate’s journey from the job board to your database! It’s equally important to check what process the candidate goes through when setting up an account. If the process is short and quick, such as with Direct Apply, it’ll increase your application numbers. If it’s long-winded and clunky it will only hinder your processes. Likewise, if the form fields are simplistic, the data you gather won’t be of much use when compared with a job board that gets a lot of solid information on the candidates.


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Beth Williams

Awesome Aussie Beth is an experienced recruiter and Growth Executive here at Firefish. She has a huge love of the industry and a real passion for helping recruiters to change the way they recruit.

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