Job boards have always been and remain to be an important tool for recruiting candidates. But what we do need to address is our over-dependency on them. Running straight to boards as soon as we have a job on is an expensive strategy that drops us bang in the middle of a war for top talent.
So, how can you be more strategic when advertising your jobs?
Increase direct applications
Every time you post your jobs on job boards, there are tonnes of lazy recruiters just waiting to take advantage of your hard work. Watchdog alerts rob of us of great candidates every single day! So why are you paying for other recruiters’ candidates?
Focusing your job ad marketing on diverting traffic to your own website and your own jobs pages will reduce costs substantially and bring you more unique candidates that other recruiters aren’t covering already.
Since Google For Jobs launched, it’s totally changed how candidates find our role online. Not only are your jobs instantly visible through local Google searches, but most job ads on job boards will be pulled into Google For Jobs too and the experience is much clearer and straight-forward there.
If your jobs pages on your website are optimised for Google For Jobs, the first application they fill out will be directed straight to you, so no more sharing your candidates.
Put it this way – if you were presented with the below, which button would you click to apply for the job?
Use candidate personas
As an industry, we have a habit of throwing money at tonnes of different boards in the hope that the right candidate will eventually see our ads and apply.
But this is a massive waste of money! Spending even twenty minutes doing a bit of research to fill out a candidate persona template will ensure you focus on the job boards and other platforms that are actually going to bring you results.
Candidate personas will also help you create tailored job ads that speak directly to that candidate’s needs, desires and challenges, which will increase your job ad conversion rates. Candidates can tell a mile off if you don’t fully understand the roles you’re recruiting for as this will be clear from your ads – which is why generic job ads don’t work.
Recruit from your CRM
Our recruitment database is our biggest asset, so why is it always the last place we look for candidates?
Building and maintaining relevant talent pools within your recruitment software will allow you to build a network of excellent pre-qualified candidates you can place without even having to market your job ads at all.
It’s crazy how much time and effort we put into finding candidates, only to put them forward for one role then leave them to gather dust in our database forever.
Most recruitment CRMs are running on around 85% dead candidate data (meaning no one has engaged with these candidates in the last 24 months). In those two years, these candidates could have changed jobs, changed phone number or email address, so it’s no wonder we don’t turn to our database to find candidates – the data is so out of date that it becomes pointless.
Keep your candidates in your database engaged so you build partnerships that will prevent you from having to compete against 100 other recruiters for the same CV.
Focus on passive candidates
More than 70% of candidates are passive at the moment – they’re focusing their time on doing a good job, not hanging around on job boards!
This means that in this job seeker-led market, you’re going to have to upgrade your passive candidates recruitment strategy if you want to see results.
Your strategy should involve everything from ramping up your personal branding, social selling and networking to ensuring your candidates love you so they’re likely to recommend you to everything they know. What can you do to increase the likelihood that when a passive candidate has a bad day, you’ll be the recruiter they reach out to?
Use job boards to boost reach
And finally, instead of using job boards as your first port of call when advertising your jobs, use them to give your jobs an extra boost instead. For example, if you have to deliver a certain number of applicants to a client or you’re under pressure to fill a role very quickly, job boards are a great way to give your job ads some quick traction.
But wherever possible, get the job boards to link back to your website so candidates apply there instead. This is not only good for branding but it’ll also bring the candidates directly to you rather than your competitors.
Our Google for Jobs Playbook tells you everything you need to know about getting your Job Ads on Google for Jobs. It's great place to start if you want to update your job ad strategy today.
Alan is the Associate Director of Growth at Firefish. An agency recruiter in a former life, he loves helping recruiters find ways to recruit smarter.