Get the most from your paid recruiting tactics

Are the best things in life really free? It would be nice if that were true, of course. Alas, as recruitment marketers, we know the best communication tools, the ones we rely on most, usually cost money. 

It’s important, then, to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your paid recruiting tactics dollar. I’ve seen too many companies overlook easy ways to ensure they’re using job boards, advertising and other paid tactics efficiently. That’s why you need an effective strategy before you deploy any paid marketing, and especially marketing aimed at your most-likely-very-niche hiring audience.

Let’s take a look at three ways you can maximize your paid tactics.

Fish where the fish are

You own hiring data will tell you which paid tactics are, well, paying off. Take an honest look at what that data reveals. You might see some unexpected results. You might be getting tons of applications and hires from places you’d dismissed as low value, like Craigslist or Instagram.

When you spot these trends, and I bet you will, put your preconceived notions aside and adjust your ad spend accordingly. Kijiji is bringing in top notch clients? Keep using it. Facebook keeps delivering quality candidates? Dial it up. Google ads not getting the job done? Take them down a notch in your marketing mix.

As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But if it is, do.

It’s also vital to look at the right data. The number of leads generated is helpful and interesting, but it’s a surface-level metric. We like to look at how many completed applications a channel generates, and what they cost, along with the number of hires generated.

Cost Per Application (CPA) and Cost Per Hire (CPH) give you a real sense of what tactics are proving truly effective. And if you want to go really deep, look at the lead sources for drivers who have stayed with you for more than a year, or more than three years, and even longer. Because those are quality hires you want.

Cost Per Quality Hire (CPQH) is something that would need its own article to unpack. But believe me, it’s magic if you have the data to tell the story.

Mix and match paid tactics

You never want to put your proverbial eggs in one basket (that’s the last metaphor I’ll use, I swear). As tempting as it is to use your advertising spend on just one outlet, that won’t give you the diversity you need when it comes to reaching your full hiring audience. Different people use different platforms for different things.

Instead, create a tiered paid tactics system, using several channels, that lets you target all comers from any angle. I like to break it down three ways:

  • Evergreen. These are the ones you want to be using all the time. Think Google Ads, Facebook, and Indeed. While the proportions of the channel mix may change over time, these are typically “always on” when it comes to recruitment marketing.
  • Rotational. These are the outlets you turn on and off as you tap out their audiences: Craigslist, secondary job boards, and regional outlets come to mind. After a few weeks, you’ll have reached most of their audience, so you can hit pause and come around again later.
  • Situational. These are the channels you leverage when you have hiring surges, or need a flood of applicants. Think radio, video, out-of-home, or programmatic digital ads. Getting into market with this kind of stuff in advance of hiring pushes will build your credibility and your employment brand. They’ll then create a large trailing “lift” in job applications through other channels.

If you’re starting to panic at the potential cost of all this, don’t. A lot of the above options are surprisingly affordable when used judiciously, especially when you’ve budgeted for them in advance. Which brings me to my next point…

Fight for an Annualized Budget

Most companies tend to set quarterly, or even monthly recruitment marketing budgets. But why? I’ve found it’s often a case of “it’s just what we’ve always done”. Which is unfortunate, because in my experience, short-term budgets are almost always detrimental to long-term goals.

A good marketing strategy takes a lot longer than 30 or 90 days to come to fruition and build momentum. More importantly, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for long-term strategic planning.

An annual budget, on the other hand, makes it much easier to plan long-term recruitment marketing strategies. It lets you set aside more spending for key hiring times or busy seasons, and build a groundswell in advance of them. If you haven’t switched to an annual budget, now is the time to start.

If all of this both sounds great AND is making your head spin, don’t worry.  We’re an owner-led business like many of our clients, and we know what it takes to help businesses like yours thrive. We can create a customized road map that will put your paid recruiting tactics to work for you. (And we can help you justify that annual budget to the decisionmakers, too!)  Give us a shout today.