The main purpose of job ads may be to drive applications, but did you know they can also be used to inform different aspects of your Recruitment Marketing strategy?
Compared to the reach of organic content shared on your careers blog or through social media, which are limited by factors like SEO, the size of your talent network and social media algorithms, the reach of your job ads is only limited by your budget. Even if your budget is on the smaller side, this almost always results in your job ads reaching far more people than your organic content.
Farther reach means more eyeballs on your ads, more engagement with them and ultimately a much bigger data pool to work with — all acquired much more quickly. From this data pool, you can glean insights to apply to your organic content strategy around messaging, topics and which channels to target, as well as insights helpful in improving your candidate journey.
To learn how to do this, keep reading below!
Rally note: Check out our library of free Recruitment Marketing tools to take the tactics covered below even further.
Job ads can inform the messaging you use in your employer brand content
Not everyone searches for the same job the same way. For example, some people trying to find work in the hair industry might search for “barber” while others might use “hair dresser”. This is why it’s important to experiment with different title variations for the jobs you’re advertising.
If you’re hiring in multiple geographic locations, you may have to tailor your messaging to fit each location. For example, people living on the west coast might use and understand certain words, phrases or slang that are completely different from people living on the east coast (i.e. the use of “sneakers” instead of “shoes”). It can also be helpful to look at what messaging other employers hiring in the same locations as you are using in their job ads to understand these local nuances.
As data begins to pour in showing what ads are receiving the most applications, you can start to hone your messaging based on what your candidates are searching for, both in your ads and your organic content.
For example, let’s say you have two day-in-the-life blog posts, one about an engineer in your New York office and the other an engineer in your San Francisco office. Based on data from your job ads, you can tailor your messaging (such as how you phrase job titles or local references) in your each blog post to suit its respective audience.
Job ads can inform what topics to cover in your employer brand content
Do job ads that contain certain pieces of information result in more quality applications? For example, do job ads that go more in-depth about your benefits, DEI initiatives and company culture produce more applications than those that don’t? Does this change depending on the talent audience you’re advertising to?
When you can make these types of connections, you can start to understand what topics your candidates care about most. You can then use this information to guide what topics you cover in your blog posts, talent newsletters, social posts and other employer branding content.
Another experiment you can do to understand what topics your candidates care about most is mess around with the placement of information in your job ads.
In our webinar How to increase top quality candidates by 50%, Jim Levine from Express Employment Professionals, the largest light industrial staffing agency in the United States, shared his observation that candidates only read about 1/3 of a job ad before deciding whether or not to apply.
With this in mind, experiment with placing different information at the top of your job ads (i.e. salary and benefits in one ad variation, culture in another) and see how it affects the quantity and quality of candidates that apply. Other than helping you optimize your job ads, this can also give you a more targeted look at what topics entice candidates to apply.
Rally note: For more help creating the right job content for the right job function, use our Recruitment Marketing Content Recommendations Calculator.
Job ads can inform what channels to post your employer branding content to
Data from your job ads can also educate you on which channels you should be focusing on for your organic content to serve your needs.
Whether you want to understand which channels to publish to produce the most applicants, the highest quality candidates, the most diverse candidates or you’re looking for new channels to find talent altogether, job ads can point you in the right direction.
For example, you might learn that while it doesn’t have the same number of candidates looking for jobs as a major site like Indeed, a smaller, more niche posting site generates more applications from women, lending to your goal of increasing women representation at your company. Knowing this, you can then look into what content opportunities exist on the site, such as publishing a guest blog.
You can also gather data more quickly (and with less manual work required) with the help of a programmatic job advertising platform. Instead of having to manually manage each channel you post your job ads to, programmatic platforms allow you to post to up to thousands of different channels simultaneously. These platforms then automatically track how each of these channels performs and adjusts your budget and targeting automatically to focus on only the best-performing channels.
By way of automatically posting to many more channels, many of which you might not know exist otherwise, you can develop a much bigger pool of data to inform where you should be posting your content to than if you were manually posting your job ads.
Rally note: For more insights to help strategize your content across your Recruitment Marketing channels, sign up for your free account of Rally Inside.
Job ads can highlight potential areas of improvement in your candidate journey
If candidates are clicking in your jobs through to your careers site, landing pages or other destinations but not applying, there might be an issue somewhere in your candidate journey.
For example, perhaps your application process is too long, complicated, suffers from a technical issue or isn’t optimized for mobile. Or, there might be inconsistencies between your job ad and where you’re sending candidates, such as a lack of branding letting them know they’ve landed where they’re supposed to be or a page layout that isn’t optimized for conversion.
In combination with your job ad analytics, you can look in your ATS to see where candidates are dropping off to uncover potential problem areas in your candidate journey.
For example, if lots of candidates are starting applications but not finishing them, you may want to look at how you can streamline your application process. Similarly, if candidates are clicking through to your careers site but not applying, try adding related jobs, blogs and other employer branding content to your landing pages to encourage them to stick around to learn more about your company.
You can also try including CTAs throughout your landing page to join your talent newsletter. This gives candidates who are interested but not yet ready to apply a way to stay connected with you, and it gives you a way to nurture them until they are ready to apply.
To learn more about taking a data-centered approach to Recruitment Marketing, read our How To Guide, How to Track Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy!