New jobs are posted online every day. In fact, one of the world’s leading job boards, Indeed, adds 9.8 new jobs to their site every second! With search results appearing first in terms of keyword relevance and then by date, organic (free) job postings may have only a brief window of time to remain prominent in the rankings. And, as those new job listings appear, older ones may be pushed farther and farther down the search results page. Every day your listing is up, you’ll could see less and less engagement.
So, if you’re not seeing the results you want with your free postings, sponsoring your listings could give you the boost you need to stand out from the crowd. Sponsored job postings appear prominently on the job search platform of your choice and reach more potential applicants than organic postings. Yes, sponsored job postings do cost money, but they also produce better results. That is, if you play your cards right.
Maybe you’re new to sponsored job postings or maybe you’ve tried them before with limited success; either way, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take you through the steps of creating a sponsored job posting that makes the most of your budget, no matter the size.
STEP 1: FINDING YOUR SPACE
Your media strategy will depend on which platform you choose to advertise on. Finding your “space” starts with analyzing your current sources. What are your top recruitment sources for both applicants and hires? For most organizations, employee referrals take first place, and Indeed is the runner-up. But candidates come from other resources as well, which is why we like having our client’s source of applicant and hire reports every month.
As you might imagine, we see the largest percentage of applicants from major job boards. They are well promoted and rank higher in Google search results. But we’re also seeing more unconventional platforms like social media paid advertising, Google Adwords, and even text campaigns produce great results.
Basically, to get the most bang for your buck, you want to go to the place where you usually have the most success with recruiting quality candidates. Whether you’re taking the more traditional route or relying on more unconventional platforms, do what works best for you. Just because other companies have success with sponsored Indeed postings, doesn’t mean you will.
STEP 2: WRITING THE JOB POSTING
While you can’t modify or add listings manually to most job boards, you can submit an XML feed with the information from your applicant tracking system. The job board then automatically updates your listings on the job board periodically.
When writing the actual substance of your job posting, you’ll want to keep it concise. Applicants aren’t interested in reading a book-length post, and you certainly aren’t interested in writing one. Indeed reports a 30% increase in applications for postings with descriptions in the 700-2,000-character range, so clarity and brevity are key.
That sentiment applies to both the job title and the description.
Sponsored job postings operate on a Pay per Click (PPC) model, so to avoid wasting your money, use keywords in the title to accurately describe the job. Familiar job titles act as shorthand for applicants to quickly decide whether or not the position is right for them without having to click through every result that pops up in their search.
Then, in your description, make sure to repeat important keywords a job seeker would use to find the position. Job sites use algorithms to review the listing’s content and sort it for relevance, so you’ll get better results by creating a list of keywords that potential applicants might use to find your job posting and working them into your description. To cover your bases (and avoid sounding like a broken record) you should also include common variations of these keywords. For example, Registered Nurse, RN, nursing are all common variations on the same position.
A good rule of thumb is to use the keyword once in the title and two more times within the body but limit yourself to about 3 repetitions.
STEP 3: MARKETING YOURSELF TO POTENTIAL APPLICANTS
Throw out your job requisition. (Okay, don’t literally throw it away, but maybe just place it off to the side.) A job requisition lists every responsibility and qualification you might need: “Able to sit for 1-2 hours at a time,” “Able to lift a box of up to 10 lbs,” etc. These criteria are often not crucial to finding a qualified candidate, and they do nothing to get prospective candidates excited about the position. Instead, you want to use your limited space to make your pitch to prospective candidates right off the bat.
Salesperson may not be your job title, but that’s what you need to do here. Imagine that you’re selling the company to prospective candidates just like you would sell a good or service. What makes this company different from your competitor down the street? What do you offer that others do not? Think about who your intended audience is and what matters to them. Think about the way you want to present yourself to perspective candidates in your listing, and make it a part of your overall talent marketing strategy.
STEP 4: BUDGETING
To make the most of your allocated budget, you need to be intentional with your advertising spend. This is where having a solid strategy built by experts comes into play. There are nuances that impact choosing a PPC bid. Some positions need a higher bid than others. Hard-to-fill positions and locations will take more of your budget than those that are easier-to-fill. (See our recent blog post “Optimizing Your Indeed Strategy to Maximize Your Sourcing Efforts” for a complete budget breakdown.) The key here is two-fold. First, know the options you have on the media platform you’re using. Second, know the position you’re trying to fill and how it fits into the current job market. Then, use this information to set a reasonable budget, and stick to it.
STEP 5: IMPLEMENTING YOUR STRATEGY
Okay. Now you’re ready to improve your sponsored job posting. Go attack it. Cut it down to size and make it into the best ad it can be. Or let us help you. Our team has audited thousands of job listings and saved many organizations from misused budgets. We’ve given you the ingredients for a successful strategy, but an expert’s eye could be the thing you need to take it to the next level.
With a finger on the pulse of the job market and the latest in talent marketing strategies, we have the know-how to put this plan into action. Our team of experts can review your metrics to find what’s working, what you could be doing better, and what steps to take to get the most bang for your buck. Stay focused on what you do best, and let us handle the rest.
Don’t get overwhelmed, get Wicresoft’s Talent Acquisition Services and our full range of expertise.
Want more information? Insight on an existing challenge? An outside perspective on an internal issue? Contact Wicresoft’s full-service Talent Acquisition Services experts, specializing in advisory, solutions, and operations, to improve all aspects of the talent management practice. We will help you get the results you’re looking for, after all, getting results is what we do best.