Will big data usher in a focus on quality in the job advertising space?
Two years ago, I was visiting a recruitment Ad Agency with Chris Billetz, former head of Beyond agency relations. Chris asked how Beyond was doing for the agency clients. The answer? You guys are knocking it out of the park. When the agency was able to measure job description views and applies, Beyond consistently measured as one of the top sources of quality candidates.
The problem? Agency clients didn't care. Very few companies were measuring this data themselves, and they preferred to stick with tradition and anecdotal data, favoring Monster and CareerBuilder over newer brands.
Fast forward two years, and wow. Recruiters have gotten savvy. It seems like every company has made a leap forward in what they are tracking, analyzing, and making decisions based upon. The companies that weren't even able to track who was clicking on their jobs, are now tracking clicks and applications. The companies that were tracking clicks are now measuring the conversion funnel from click to hire. And the companies that were already tracking click to hire? They are actually measuring retention and quality of hire.
It's a brave new world out there. Quality is starting to win the day. And that means that all of us companies in the career space -- from the aggregators to the career networks -- have to start focusing less on how many times we show a job ad, or how many candidates view a job description, and more on which candidates we are delivering.
In a former life I worked in the advertising industry. In the 90s, traditional agencies were struggling to understand digital, and as a result were becoming less relevant. I helped two agencies integrate their processes to stop thinking digital vs. traditional, and to start thinking holistically about how to reach the audience in a relevant way at every touch point. You could make the analogy that recruitment ad agencies have undergone a similar transition. Recruitment ad agencies were in danger of becoming irrelevant a few years back--incapable of demonstrating to clients the value that they could bring. Today, the leading agencies are adopting or pioneering the technology to help their clients understand and improve the hiring funnel.
In this world, career sites are the publishers, who must adapt and deliver value to stay relevant. It's not always easy. Clicks and views are still the easiest things to measure. There isn't always widespread visibility into applications and hires. And let's not even talk about multi-channel attribution -- how do we account for the candidate who sees the job on Beyond, then does some research and applies by reaching out to a contact on LinkedIn?
These are all things we need to solve. But if 2015 was the year in which recruiters got savvy, and were starting to really understand their hiring funnel, then 2016 is the year in which they expect their job advertising to work smarter -- to deliver the best candidates, not the most candidates.
We've made that our mission at Beyond. Our member model was designed to eliminate the random clickers, and deliver a more targeted audience. We introduced "following" alerts last year, which provide highly relevant jobs interspersed with industry news, part of our effort to introduce candidates who are career minded and savvy. And, we are working to better understand the entire funnel.
We can get better if we all work together. What is your average conversion funnel? How many views does it take to get an apply? I've read two reports from reputable technology companies this week, one of which measured an 11% view to apply, the other a 6%. I can tell you that Beyond clients often report about a 10% view to apply for the traffic we drive -- but that for jobs that have "one-click" apply on Beyond, we often see as high as 30% conversion.
These are exciting times, for the industry as well as for hiring managers and job seekers. Hiring managers obviously benefit if they get better hires. But job seekers benefit as well as we get better at introducing the right job seekers to the right companies. Big data has come to recruiting. Let's see where it takes us.
Joe Weinlick serves as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Beyond.com. In his role, Joe focuses on guiding the company’s brand position and oversees marketing strategy and execution across all markets.
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