Increasing the conversion rate of your careers site is an important strategy that will make your recruitment advertising budget more effective. The right kind of job alerts is central to this strategy, yet today most employers aren’t taking full advantage of new job alert technology.
At the RallyFwd Virtual Conference on May 10, Sam Fitzroy, Co-founder and CEO of Dalia, a sponsor of RallyFwd, presented a strategy for how employers can optimize their job advertising budget with a new approach to personalized job alerts. In this blog post, you’ll learn the key strategies and takeaways from Sam’s presentation, including:
- The importance of optimizing your careers site conversion rate
- The problem with standard job alerts
- Getting better ROI from your job advertising budget
Meet the Speaker
Sam Fitzroy, Co-founder & CEO, Dalia
Sam is the co-founder & CEO at Dalia, a Recruitment Marketing automation platform. He has been in the talent acquisition and HR tech space since 2008.
Rally Note: If you’d like to see Sam’s full presentation, “Reimagined Job Alerts that Convert More Careers Site Visitors,” watch RallyFwd On Demand.
The Importance of Optimizing your Careers Site Conversion Rate
According to data from Appcast, 95% of visitors to a careers site don’t apply for a job. This is a hard truth that more and more employers are beginning to understand, and it’s a problem that Sam has been focused on solving for several years.
Before founding Dalia, Sam spent a lot of time as a job seeker engaging with careers sites. He tested many Recruitment Marketing platforms, careers site vendors and CRMs. Sam even signed up for 100 different talent networks, and the negative experience he faced is what drove him to start Dalia.
What Sam learned was that he didn’t get content very often from employers after he was in their talent network. Sam knew this was ineffective, because when a job seeker signs up for a talent network, they’re likely actively looking for a job. So if the employer doesn’t capture the candidate’s interest right away – within the first week – the opportunity with that candidate might be lost.
Through working with his clients at Dalia, Sam has become an expert on candidate behavior on careers sites. Data shows that 60% of people who visit a careers site don’t take any action at all. That includes not clicking an apply button, not engaging with the chat service, not signing up for a job alert and not joining a talent network. There are many reasons candidates drop off, such as the candidate may be early in their job search or they’re on a mobile phone and the careers site experience is poor.
Sam found that a key reason why there’s so much candidate drop-off is that most careers sites aren’t built for engaging a person who doesn’t want to take action immediately. So the core focus of Dalia is going after this group of candidates who visit the careers site, either because the employer has paid for them to get there through job advertising or they arrive at the careers site organically through Recruitment Marketing content. He’s learned that if you have a strategy to engage candidates right away – and keep them engaged – then you can actually improve the conversion rate of your careers site, to capture more leads and more applicants.
E-commerce does this really well. The last time you shopped online, you probably saw a pop-up form on the website trying to get you to sign up for their email and text program by offering a discount. E-commerce sites know that people are very unlikely to buy something on their first visit so they use strategies to convert that website traffic into leads so they can remarket to them in the future.
The same strategy can be applied to careers sites, Sam said. When people first arrive at your careers site, consider a pop-up form that makes it very easy for candidates to sign up and connect with your employer brand and career opportunities through job alerts.
The Problem with Standard Job Alerts
Sam believes that job alerts have the potential to capture a candidate’s initial interest and keep them engaged, but not the out-of-the-box job alerts that come standard with an ATS. He sees a lot of challenges with these types of alerts as a job seeker. The biggest problem is that many of these job alerts are not personalized and not relevant to the candidate.
Relevance means a few different things. For example, the companies that Dalia works with tend to be very high-volume hiring companies where the location of the job is critical. Candidates want to know if they can easily commute to the job.
Another aspect of relevance is ensuring that the jobs featured in the alerts are ones that the candidate is looking for. For example, it doesn’t make sense for a candidate to get job alerts for both pharmacist jobs and warehouse technician jobs in the same alert. But unfortunately that’s what happens every single day with many out-of-the-box job alert systems. So, Sam recommends that you collect the right information from a job seeker upfront so that the jobs that get returned to them actually match what they’re looking for.
The other thing that Dalia sees, especially with high-volume roles, is that these job seekers are on their phones primarily or exclusively, not using a computer at all. So if you’re only sending job alerts via email, your talent audience is probably not seeing your content.
Dalia addressed this challenge when building their job alert technology. Dalia’s job alerts are not only personalized and relevant, they’re also delivered via email and text. Dalia’s data shows that 70% of the clicks on job alert messages come via text versus email. So when assessing your job alert program, ensure that your job alert technology also leverages SMS. It’s a huge opportunity to get the best possible results, especially for high-volume roles.
While text messaging is critical, email can still be effective for job alerts. The problem comes in the deliverability of email messages. Sam found that a lot of job alerts end up in the spam folder. This is related to relevance, because if emails get low open rates, email providers start to treat future emails from that sender as spam. Maintaining a high open rate is critical to ensure that your job alert emails and your text messages reach the inbox and get delivered.
The final factor that can make or break your job alerts is when you send them. Sam recommends that you consider what is the job search cycle of the person you’re trying to hire. Is it a week? Is it days?
“Oftentimes, the standard cadence of ATS job alerts is weekly or monthly, no other option. But for most job seekers, especially in this economy, their job search lasts just days. If you go out to look for a job on a Monday, you’re very likely going to have that new job by Thursday or Friday, especially in high-volume roles. So if your system is sending weekly alerts, you’ve missed those job seekers. Therefore, look for job alert technology that has the flexibility to send alerts more frequently, so that your talent audience gets engaged fast and stays engaged,” Sam said.
Getting Better ROI from your Job Advertising Budget
If your careers site is built with modern job alerts and optimized for conversions, you’ll get better ROI from your job advertising budget. Think of it this way: your job advertising will drive candidates to your careers site, then your careers site will capture more candidates into your talent network and then your job alert technology will continue to market to candidates in a personalized, relevant way.
As Dalia has applied this approach to their clients, they’ve seen job alerts become the number one source of qualified applicants. This is because the technology is automatically engaging with careers site traffic that has already shown interest in the company as an employer. They’re warmer leads!
By using this marketing strategy, you can also dramatically reduce your job advertising spend. Just imagine if you could convert 10% more of the traffic that visits your careers site into an application, how much less money would you have to spend driving new people to your careers site? The result would be a reduction in the cost per hire.
In summary, Sam recommends that you start by knowing the conversion rate of your careers site. How many of the people who visit your site end up completing an application? If not an application, how many join your talent network?
Once you know your conversion rate, you can take steps to improve it, and ultimately optimize your job advertising budget to get better ROI. And, you can deliver a better candidate experience by making your Recruitment Marketing content more personalized, relevant and timely.
Rally Note: If you’d like to hear Sam’s full presentation, and the rest of our amazing conference speakers, register to watch RallyFwd On Demand.