Why targeted job board advertising is important in a candidate-short market

With candidate availability still low and costs rising, targeting the job boards that are right for your jobs is more vital than ever. We look at how the market has arrived at its current state and the resources you can use to ensure your jobs are being found by qualified candidates.

Efficient recruitment marketing remains essential

Where have all the candidates gone? It’s a question many of us have been pondering for some months now as the summer saw applications steadily drop whilst simultaneously jobs soared.

WaveTrackR October data has shown that the landscape may be slowly improving but the fact remains that recruiters are having to work harder to find talent. Added to that a number of rising expenditures, from energy bills to some job board prices, and you will no doubt be looking at ways to increase the efficiency of your recruitment marketing plan.

Ensuring your job board advertising is highly targeted makes good business sense at all times but especially in the current climate.     

A market in flux requires laser-like marketing strategies

Just a year ago recruiters were facing the opposite problem – an influx of applications and low jobs. Not long into 2021 jobs began to tick upwards. This was followed by a summer of soaring jobs as the economy began to reopen and the vaccination programme continued at pace. Business confidence boomed and companies began a hiring spree.

However, alongside skyrocketing jobs, applications began to drop away. You only have to look at WaveTrackR data from May onwards to see the ever-growing gap between jobs and applications, the former on a steep upwards trajectory until October and the latter dropping month on month until September. 

Candidate availability hit by many factors

Jobs may have dipped slightly and applications begun to rise but jobs are still a massive 346% above the 2020 monthly average. Applications continue to be relatively low compared to the number of jobs on the market.

The reasons for the lack of candidate availability are manifold – remaining uncertainty, a dearth of EU workers in industries that previously relied on them, parental demands at home due to rising COVID cases in schools, historic skills shortages, and early retirement are just some of the factors. 

Data-driven job posting targets qualified candidates

With increasing job posting costs adding to a lack of candidates, it is more imperative than ever that your job board advertising is laser-like.

In order to ensure your ads are being seen by quality, qualified candidates, you need to know that you are posting them to the right boards at the right time and that the content is spot-on.

There are many factors involved in getting your job board strategy right and it can be hard to do without data-powered recommendations. That’s where tech like WaveTrackR really comes into its own. Using constantly updated, live data, it can advise the best platform and time to post your job and the based on current circumstances. That way you can reduce the number of job boards you use – steering well clear of the ‘spray and pray’ model – and target the ones that you are most likely to get a good response from.

Knowing where and when your candidates are searching for jobs is invaluable, allowing you to generate a higher number of quality applications and reduce costs. 

Timing is everything to reach the candidates you need

Targeting the job boards that your candidates will be searching is crucial but post your job at the wrong time and it may have dropped down the list by the time they are actively looking.

Our data consistently reveals that candidates are most actively searching for jobs at the beginning of the week but the majority of jobs are posted towards the end of the week, sometimes a good four or five days before the majority of applications are made.

Knowing the day and even the time that most candidates are searching for jobs in the particular industry in which you recruit means that you can post a job at the very time they’re online so that it is fresh and towards the top of the list when they are looking.

A focus on job ad content to target candidates 

As well as targeting job boards, the ad content itself must be targeted. A well written, concise job ad that contains relevant keywords and compelling copy will be far more likely to be seen and responded to by the candidates you want to find.

Keep it fairly short – between 200 and 300 words – and avoid simply posting the job description. Use the key points that will really sell the job and provide enough information without boring the candidate.

It should be benefit-led and interesting enough to compel the candidate to read on and eventually apply. Incorporating keywords that candidates will be searching for will help to ensure that the job is found by them. The same applies to the job title – keep it standardised and the job is more likely to be included in the search results.       

Effective targeting through resource utilisation

Targeted job board advertising will help you to reduce costs and increase efficiency, ensuring a greater ROI. At a time when candidate availability is low and budgets may still be tight, it is essential that recruiters avoid posting jobs on multiple job boards without knowing whether they might be the most effective sources of candidates for their jobs.

Data-powered tech takes the guesswork out of it for you but if you don’t have the tech to provide you with data-based recommendations, speaking with a media buyer or directly to the job board reps can you more of an idea on where you should focus your budget. Use your recruiter’s instinct too. Your gut and your experience together can be powerful when it comes to strategising. 

Ultimately, as a recruiter, you need to know that your job ads are being seen by the candidates you are looking for. In a candidate-short market you don’t have the time or the budget to waste on posting jobs to platforms that won’t deliver the talent you need. The time of spray and pray recruitment marketing is over. Use the resources at your disposal to target the job boards that are right for your jobs and you are far more likely to find and attract talent to them.

If you’re interested in more advice on how to improve your job posting strategies, take a look at Getting your job board strategies right for 2022 and How to attract more talent and not Jost more candidates. For further tips on improving your job ads, check out Why jobs should include salary indicators, The importance of gender neutral wording in job ads and Top tips to optimise your job ad copy

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