Online Marketing for RecruitmentRecruiting can be an interesting proposition at the best of times. Prior to getting into online marketing on a full time basis, I spent close to three years in the staffing industry. I specialized in light industrial personnel, industrial management and skilled trades positions. I was fortunate (or unfortunate… depending how you look at it) to work in an extremely hot economy. Qualified staff were at a premium and the competition to land quality candidates was fierce. It wasn’t uncommon to have 40 or 50 unfilled positions on our board at any one time.

Online marketing was still relatively new in our office. We relied on newspapers, job fairs and websites like Monster to bring in resumes. Our recruiting practices were very traditional and we were constantly being scooped by other companies that were willing to experiment with new online recruitment methods.

It wasn’t until I started into online marketing on a full time basis that I was able to re-evaluate some of the things we did at the staffing agency. The online marketing part of my brain started to go wild. Emerging online technologies offered a wealth of recruitment opportunities – even in a hot economy.

I started to think of some of the most common problems we had at my previous job and how technology could have helped us overcome these challenges…

Traditional methods weren’t yielding enough quality candidates – Competition for quality candidates is fierce – especially during an upturn in the economy. I found that traditional recruitment methods (newspaper, job websites, etc.) were overrun with ads. It was really difficult to stand out.

Online marketing has come a long way in the past few years. Targeted advertising opportunities, social media monitoring, advanced SEO tactics and new multimedia content resources can all play a part in an organization’s recruitment strategy. Creating a strategy with the right mix of old and new recruitment methods is vital for organizations of all sizes.

Offline media costs were high – Offline media (mainly newspapers) accounted for a big chunk of our advertising budget. We’d often find our advertisements buried under hundreds of others and there was really no way of knowing if our efforts were paying off. Customization options were limited when advertising in the newspaper so creating ads that would stand out was tough. Offline media quickly became a bit of a financial black hole for us.

Online media is a relatively low cost advertising method. While traditional methods often rely on blanket coverage, online advertising allows for a much more focused approach. Companies are able to target their ads by variables like geographic location, keywords, age, time of day and interests. Online advertising also offers budgeting options that make it easy for organizations to control how much they spend each day, month or year.

Limited Tracking Abilities– We often referred to offline advertising as duck hunting in the dark. We didn’t know what we were shooting at and we never knew if we hit anything. Unless someone came in and specifically told us the location of the ad that they saw, we’d never know what brought them to our door. The lack of tracking made it virtually impossible to determine which of our ads worked and which didn’t. We were a company driven by numbers and results yet there was no reliable way to calculate the ROI of one of our biggest expenses.

Online advertising allows for complete tracking. Leads can be tracked from the time they click the ad, through the website and to the call to action. Tracking allows us to make changes to better optimize the path in which visitors take. It also allows us to modify our ads to better target and attract the right visitors. Full tracking capabilities allow companies to calculate a ROI on their investment.

Reference checks didn’t yield enough information – There will always be a place for reference checks as a way to gain insight on a possible employee. Despite being far from perfect, they’re often the only way to gain 3rd party information on a candidate.

Savvy companies are now turning to social media to supplement their reference checks. It’s amazing how much information about an individual can be discovered through a few social searches. These searches offer fantastic insight into how the person communicates and relates with others, what they think of former employers and employees, who the person hangs out with and what the individual does away from work. With a bit of digging, employers can gain additional assurance that they’re making the right hiring decision.

Online marketing makes it easier for companies of all sizes to find the right person for the job. Strong Coffee Marketing can help develop, set up, monitor and maintain an online recruitment strategy to fit the needs and budget of your organization. Learn more about our Recruitment Starter Package and how it stacks up against the competition.

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Post Written By:

Duncan McGillivray

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Director of Advertising

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