14 August 2013
Recruitment advertising trends and tactics for 2013
Nearly 10 years ago I gave a keynote speech to 50 corporate heads of HR about how to recruit more effectively and reduce dependency on recruitment consultants. At the time, everyone was talking about the rise of the job boards and the demise of print media. More recently, we hear about the demise of job boards and the rise of social media. Behind all the rhetoric, some basics remain constant:
- Job boards remain a key component for employers and recruitment ad agencies, and will for the next 3+ years
- Online ad job postings are rising (10%+) in the UK despite adverse economic activity
- Candidate response rates to online jobs remain high (4.5m candidate responses in October 2012 represents a peak)
- Application rates through online ads remain steady, according to a basket of indicators
- Employers report the best performing sectors for response are building/construction, transport and rail and engineering. The worst performers are advertising/PR, retail and law
- Brand, and how your organisation is perceived and projects itself, is the single most important influencer among candidates after pay and location
In our experience, either your organisation’s in-house recruitment team are in control of recruitment, or recruitment agencies are in control via PSLs and chances are there is no coherent recruitment strategy that adds value financially or operationally.
However, there are some basics that organisations can do to reduce recruitment costs and maintain control.
1. Dovetail with corporate communication ads/imagery/messages to create a recruitment-specific campaign that is on “company message” and which reflects the direction the organisation is travelling and some of the exciting work/projects it is handling. Drip this out continuously to provide an umbrella awareness programme which is seen by existing employees (including trade press, intranet) and potential employees. The effect? It will feed and improve ROI against job-specific, just-in-time advertising.
2. Thoroughly map media options considering all of the online tools at your disposal including basic job posts, enhanced job ads, solus html, CV search and for sustained programmes a microsite linked to jobs which reinforces your own website content. If in doubt, outsource it to someone who specialises in recruitment advertising and can (a) walk you through it and (b) can and will add demonstrable value
3. Be highly selective about which job boards you advertise on and consider and carefully utilise aggregators to enhance results
4. Consider the whole candidate experience from first contact with your organisation through to offer letter. Every candidate your brand touches is a potential referral or roadblock to reputation
5. Use of print and agencies: I can only think of a small number of roles and sectors where national press is appropriate (sadly) and PSL agencies should only be brought in once you have exhausted your own efforts. Candidates and agencies dislike duplication of effort and ambiguous hire journeys
6. Social media is increasingly important, but it is not the Holy Grail. These days, your organisation needs a very effective social media strategy which would probably include Facebook and LinkedIn for many large organisations. Whatever you opt for, the experience has to be compelling, lively and corporate
7. The old ways are still the best. Despite the hype, there is still no substitute for integrated corporate communications with what we call a recruitment “twist” which keeps the employer in control, keeps vacancy marketing in-house (or via your recruitment ad agency) and focuses on cost per hire and candidate offer conversion rates before an external recruitment agency (PSL or not) gets anywhere near it. Effective recruitment requires a focused in-house recruitment team, access to a diversified toolkit of channels through appropriate job board, on-going, low cost recruitment umbrella advertising, selective, job/practice-specific marketing, a slick interview and communication process and just-in-time recruitment that adds value, reduces talent drain and controls expenditure
(Source: Broadbean Technology and AEP advertising, December 2012)
Chris Abraham leads www.AEPadvertising.com, a recruitment advertising agency that helped LogicaCMG save £2m in recruitment expenditure by getting more organised and reducing its dependency on recruitment agencies