Use Pay-Per-Click Job Advertising to Attract More Candidates for Less

Over the past decade, competition for attracting top candidates has skyrocketed. Advertising jobs online, which was once a supplemental recruiting activity, is now imperative for successful recruiting. Traditionally, advertising jobs was done through pay-to-post services hosted on job boards. However, in recent years, the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model has gained popularity in recruiting and is revolutionizing the way that employers promote their jobs.

With the recent release of our Indeed Apply integration, we created a leverage point for employers to use to maximize the benefits of pay-per-click job advertising. In the roll-out of this feature, we have found that many professionals in recruiting and hiring don’t yet fully understand the power of PPC job advertising. Our goal is to break it down for you. If you are interested in a brief history of pay-per-click job advertising, then read on. If you want to get to the meat of how it works, skip ahead to “How to Make Pay-Per-Click Job Advertising Work for You.”

A Brief History of PPC

At the turn of the 21st century, search engine companies such as Google realized that they could capitalize on the user behavior they were aggregating. As they scrambled to put together monetization strategies, several were introduced early on but in 2002, pay-per-click advertising emerged from the pack.

Pay-per-click advertising such as Google AdWords provided businesses with unprecedented spend flexibility and unparalleled targeting capabilities. Marketers bid to have their ads prominently displayed at the top and bottom of search return pages for people searching for specific keywords (ads in these positions attract 64.6% of total clicks on a web page). Furthermore, costs were only incurred when a user actually clicked on the ad. Because of its effectiveness, the PPC model immediately took off and is now one of the most popular forms of marketing and advertising.

Indeed Ends the “Era of Post and Pray”

Admittedly, talent acquisition was late to the party (pay-per-click job advertising was not ushered in until 2006 by Indeed). Traditional online job advertising followed a pay-to-post model, where employers would pay a flat fee upfront (usually $400-$500), regardless of how their posting performed (clicks on a job posting, applications received, etc.). Although these posted jobs would remain on job boards for 1-2 months, they would be bumped down in search results as each subsequent job was posted.

Fittingly, this form of job advertising is commonly referred to as “post and pray” or “set it and forget it.” Once a job is posted, there is literally nothing that can be done but to sit back and pray that applicants apply. And if they don’t? Tough luck. Your money’s already spent and your ad can’t be changed.

Pretty terrible model, right? Luckily, Indeed felt the same way and applied the PPC model to their site. Employers, who for years had succumbed to “post and pray” sites, immediately flocked to this more flexible model. As a result, Indeed ballooned to become the world’s #1 careers site and today, other employment sites are rapidly adopting the PPC model.

What Sets the Pay-Per-Click Job Advertising Model Apart?

PPC job advertising works similarly to normal PPC advertising. You set a monthly spend budget and a penny doesn’t leave your pocket until someone actually clicks on your posting (truly pay for performance). Applicants are targeted based on your postings title, location, and job description. The level of competition for your job determines the cost-per-click amount (usually between $.25-$1.50).

On the surface, this may sound complicated but the beauty of job sites is that they automate everything for you. From adjusting daily spend caps, to fine-tuning the placement, timing, and target audience of your ads, everything is managed on their end.

How to Make Pay-Per-Click Job Advertising Work for You

1. Targeting

A good PPC strategy starts with your title, job description, and location. To craft an enticing job title and job description, put yourself in the shoes of your ideal candidate. How would they describe their title and the roles that they fulfill? What would they be searching for? Using this mindset will make your ad more targeted to relevant job seekers and lead to several benefits:

Your Posts Won’t Get Lost in the Shuffle

With our new Indeed Apply integration, you now have a tool in place to maximize candidate conversions. However, conversions are only valuable if you are actually getting clicks to begin with. Major job sites such as Indeed have 8.2 job postings added every second, amounting to 708,480 new jobs every day. As each new job floods in, free job postings get pushed further and further into the depths of candidate search results.

Sponsoring your jobs gives them a life jacket, keeping them afloat amidst the never-ending wave of new jobs flowing in. How? Sponsored jobs appear prominently at the top and bottom of the most relevant search return pages. Beyond this, sponsored jobs are also advertised to an extensive publisher network, consisting of thousands of partner sites. This increased visibility gives your ads the exposure needed to drive more candidates to apply. Studies have found that on average, sponsored jobs receive 5X more clicks than free job postings.

Not Just More Candidates, More Qualified as Well

You’re probably thinking, “sure I may get more clicks, but the quality of my candidates is likely to go down.” Actually, this is not the case. Sponsored jobs are targeted specifically to candidates who search for keywords found in your job title, description, and location. This means that your sponsored jobs are displayed only to the most relevant job seekers.

2. Set a Budget

Once you have your job posting ready to go, it’s time to determine your advertising budget. As mentioned before, the average cost-per-click on Indeed ranges from $.25-$1.25. However, competition varies greatly amongst different roles and locations. Keep this in mind when deciding how much you would like to spend.

Advanced Flexibility

One of the greatest aspects of PPC job advertising is budgeting flexibility. Unlike with “post and pray” campaigns, where a flat rate payment is made upfront, with PPC campaigns, spend amounts can be customized to fit your company’s budget. You provide your monthly spend amount and the job site will optimize your job advertising strategy to bring in the most candidates under that limit.

What’s more is that you can stop promoting your jobs at any time. Campaign not attracting the quality or quantity of candidates that you were looking for? No problem, simply stop the campaign, make the necessary adjustments, and re-advertise once you are ready!

3. Measure Performance

With pay-per-click job advertising, your job postings are no longer static. For this reason, you should be actively measuring their performance. Also, it is important to note that click amounts tell us nothing about the quality of those candidates coming in or how many actually end up applying. It is up to you as an employer to keep track of and make sure that the quality coming from your PPC ads remains high. Luckily, job sites that offer PPC advertising make it easy for you to do so.

Increased ROI reporting

PPC job advertising gives you advanced ROI reporting capabilities. This includes spending reports, click counts, and candidate conversion rates. Furthermore, some sites such as Indeed even have support teams to help you track campaign results and optimize your efforts.

Realize the Power of Pay-Per-Click Job Advertising Today!

If you want to stay ahead of the competition in recruiting today, pay-per-click job advertising is essential. At Newton, we realized this early on and built seamless integrations to all of the major job sites within our applicant tracking system. Not only do these integrations streamline the application process for candidates, but they also enable you to manage the sponsoring of jobs directly within Newton. Interested in learning more? Contact us today!

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