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A New Twist That Dramatically Increases Applications and Cuts Recruitment Costs

According to research from Bersin by Deloitte (Benchmarking Talent Acquisition), the cost of talent acquisition for U.S. companies increased to an average of more than $4,000 per hire! And the average opening took 52 days to fill!

As unemployment rates continue to push historic lows, the competition for top talent--and the cost of hiring them--will continue to explode. Employers are desperately looking for new ways--and new vendors-to find talent faster...and at a lower cost.

So what does this mean for your staffing firm?

  1. You need to pass higher recruiting costs on to end employers.
    As an industry, we absolutely need to educate the market on the rising cost of recruiting. We should be as transparent as possible with our clients about the cost of sourcing, and show them why they must be prepared to pay more if they are serious about hiring top performers. Ideally, 100 percent of our increased recruitment costs will be passed on to our clients.
  2. You need to get smarter about your recruiting investments.
    If you can't pass your increased costs on, you have three options:
    • Find less expensive ways to recruit.
    • Find more efficient ways to recruit.
    • Suck it up...and watch your margins fall (definitely not ideal!).

So how can you get smarter about your recruiting investments?

Step 1: Measure cost vs. benefit.

You are doing this already, right? You're looking at your spend for each recruiting channel, the quantity and quality of applications received, and the actual placements made, so you can determine the ROI from each.

If you're not already evaluating the return on your recruiting investment, you can look at a technical solution like Recruitics, or if your recruiting is not too diversified, you can create a simple spreadsheet to track:

  • Dollars invested (per month) on each recruiting channel
  • Number of job applicants directly from each channel
  • Number of placements made
  • Cost per applicant
  • Cost per placement

One quick note: Cost per placement may be determined by factors beyond the quality of the recruiting source. It could be influenced by the quality of your recruiters and the selectivity of your clients. If you decide to use this metric, you may want to compare applicant-to-placement ratios for each of your recruiters to identify differences.

Step 2: Increase investment in the stars. Kill the dogs.

Sorry for the brutal analogy, but when it comes to evaluating your expenses, you have to be brutal. If a tool like CareerBuilder is working for you, and delivering a low cost per placement, continue using it and consider increasing your spend. If a tool is inefficient, cut back or kill the investment.

One challenge is that different tools are likely to be more or less effective for different types of jobs. If your firm only recruits IT professionals, your analysis is pretty easy. But if you place people in a variety of skill disciplines, you need to track your metrics by skill, and then adjust your investments independently for each skill.

Step 3: Optimize your website.

Deloitte found company websites drive more hires than any other source. Individual company websites beat out third-party job boards, internal candidates, referrals, social media and all other channels as the biggest driver of new hires. The research goes on to show just how influential your company website can be:

"Job candidates now routinely use company websites to assess a firm's strengths and help determine whether they would be a good fit with an organization before even applying for a job," said Robin Erickson, VP, Talent Acquisition Research, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Let's take this research even one step further...

Candidly, this research wasn't anything new. For years we have studied traffic to staffing and recruiting websites, and the data is always the same. People want to see your jobs! The job portal gets more traffic than any other page on a staffing or recruiting website.

So, in order to get smarter about recruiting, you have to dig deeper. We did, and what we found was kind of shocking.

Not all website traffic converts at the same frequency.

At Haley Marketing, we have the luxury of having access to the world's largest collection of real-time staffing and recruiting agency website traffic data. We monitor more than 500 staffing and recruiting websites, and our data analysts are constantly looking for trends and insights.

We examine staffing websites across a variety of different industries and geographies to determine which actions drive the most visitors, and more importantly, the most applications. We look at traffic sources, time of job posts, headlines, job descriptions, visitor demographics and more.

After analyzing all of this data, we were able to identify one factor that drives more than double the number of job applications.

So what was it? It wasn't the time you posted the job, or where the person came from...

The key takeaway:

Returning visitors to your job board are 2x more likely to apply to a job than a first-time visitor.

How do you take action on this information?

Easy! You need to focus more effort on attracting people BACK to your website. But traditional recruiting doesn't do this. It focuses on new job applicants.

It's time for Re-Recruiting!

As name implies, Re-Recruiting is about getting return visitors to your website and your job portal. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars trying to attract new candidates, you can invest a fraction of that amount targeting previous website visitors.

With re-recruiting, we target two key audiences:

  1. Existing candidates in your ATS.
    A simple candidate export from your staffing software allows us to target current and past candidates with great new job opportunities.
  2. Visitors that have been to your website in the past.
    When a visitor lands on candidate-facing pages or job posts, we can install a tracking code and then target that user with online ads across the Internet.

Three ways Re-Recruiting targets the right candidates and drives more applications:

  1. Be in the right place, at the right time (always).

    As we mentioned earlier, return visitors to your website are 2x more likely to convert. So how do we get people to return? Through very targeted advertising that keeps you top-of-mind!

    By adding Google retargeting, or remarketing code to your website, we can track and tag visitors. Once a potential candidate visits your job listing or candidate section of the website, we add them to your ad targeting list. As they visit other sites across the Internet, your advertising (and great job opportunities) follow them.

    With a Re-Recruiting campaign, we use attention-grabbing images and ad copy to evoke an emotional response and encourage action. These ads will show up on Google's extensive ad partner network, which includes the world's top websites.

    For example, when someone is watching a video on YouTube, your ad may appear. As someone is reading an article on their favorite website, your ad appears. And remember, we're only showing ads to people who expressed an interest in you (so your advertising cost is very low), and we're encouraging them to come back and take action (so your cost per application is also very low).

  1. Use Facebook and Instagram to drive results.

    Want to turn social media in a recruiting engine? Start re-recruiting on social!

    Similar to retargeting people on Google's ad network, we can begin targeting the right job seekers on social media. Once someone visits key pages or job listings on your site, we begin showing targeted ads to them on Facebook and Instagram. Each of these ads drives traffic back to your job postings where they can immediately apply.

    87 percent of all millennials are active on Facebook. More than half of all millennials are active on Instagram. Re-recruiting allows you to be in the right place, at the right time to ensure they apply with your firm, instead of a competitor.

  1. Ensure you're at the top of Google search rankings.

    When conducting just about any search in Google, you'll notice the top two or three listings are sponsored, or paid, listings. There are also sponsored listings along the right-hand column. The way this typically works is that you only pay when someone clicks on your listing (Pay-per-Click or PPC advertising).

    With traditional PPC campaigns, you would bid on a term like "jobs" or "employment agencies" and your listing could appear at the top of search results whenever anyone searches for these terms. This can be effective, but in this case, you're reaching a very wide audience (and it can be very expensive!).

    So instead of casting a wide net like this, and wasting money targeting people who are less likely to apply, we focus on the audience that is most likely to convert. Remember that past candidates and visitors to your website are 2x more likely to apply. So we used advanced targeting to only show ads to people who already know your firm.

    Now, when a past employee or past visitor to your website uses Google to search for anything job or employment related, we can make sure your employment agency is at the top of search results.

Take the next step

Let our team help guide your marketing strategy this year.