Multi-Posters – The Pros and Cons

Multi-Posters!

Having been a recruitment consultant before they were invented, I can really appreciate how much easier they have made life for recruiters around the world!

At Wiley we are massive fans of multi-posters because recruiters trialling the Wiley Job Network are far more likely to post a large number of jobs across a wide variety of different areas. This tends to mean a better return on investment for clients, who are therefore more likely to commit their budgets. Our problem, prior to the advent of companies like Broadbean, was persuading hard pressed consultants to take time out of their days to post adverts to yet another new job board. I spent five years chasing the business of a major global recruitment consultancy and, following several failed trials (when their consultants simply didn’t post jobs), we finally proved our worth after they began using a major multi-poster. Today they are one of our most important clients.

Whoever was responsible for the invention of this technology doesn’t get enough recognition (I can’t find a name anywhere) as they single handedly revolutionised the recruitment industry!

So after establishing my pro-multi-poster credentials it may come as a bit of a surprise that, after some internal research, I have to conclude that (as a general rule) posting direct to our platform yields a better return on investment for our clients.

Now, in most cases the efficiency savings in using a multi-poster will far outweigh the small loss in applications that clients would have otherwise seen posting directly, but the figures are worth bearing in mind. The first chart below illustrates the proportion of our clients using the various multi-posters available (Broadbean is now by far the most dominant player in the market as a result of its excellent service provision) and the second shows the jobseeker views to applications ratio our clients see through differing posting methods:

  href=”https://allistercrowley.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/broadbean-chart.png”>Broadbean Chart

  href=”https://allistercrowley.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/application-ratio-chart.png”&gt;Application ratio chart<                  
As you can see from the charts above, adverts posted through a multi-poster are the least effective in terms of attracting applications.

Obviously there are a number of factors that could explain these results, but I have my theories.

The most effective adverts, those posted by our own WJN team, are being posted on behalf of Recruitment Advertising agencies. They therefore have  the copy, design and branding to give these adverts the edge their clients are paying for.

So why the disparity between adverts posted directly onto our job board and those posted through multi-posters?

I believe this is all down to one crucial and overlooked factor; taxonomy categorisation.

When posting adverts on specialist sites, it’s vital that jobs are posted under correct categories.

Location is the most obvious example of this. Jobseekers search on very specific criteria, so it is important that adverts are associated with specific criteria. People searching for jobs based in Woking, Surrey, aren’t going to be seeing a job posted to the whole of the UK. Likewise, clients of ours who post purely under “Pharmaceutical”, when really they should be posting under “Pharmaceutical, Clinical Research Associate” aren’t going to see the quality or quantity of response.

Whilst the choice of taxonomy criteria is clear when a recruiter posts directly though our system, multi-poster interfaces tend to make this a more confusing exercise. The reason for this is that, because they pull taxonomy criteria from multiple job boards (each of which is likely to have idiosyncrasies), the correct categorisation of a job is not always obvious. For example, when posting directly through the Wiley Job Network it is very clear that a role in Clinical research should fall under “Healthcare and Pharmaceutical” but clients posting though multi-posters frequently choose the incorrect “Science, Life Sciences”. This is an easy mistake to make, but leads to adverts being posted alongside content in subjects like evolution and ecology, rather than more relevant topics in drug discovery and pharmacology. Both categories make sense to the recruiter, but the first will lead to quality applications and the 2nd will lead to very few applications, which are unlikely to be relevant.

So what conclusion am I making from all of this?

Well, after having established the massive benefits to using multi-poster software, I am definitely not advocating a return to the darker ages of the recruitment process. What I would suggest is that if recruiters take a little time to visit the numerous job boards that provide taxonomy choices for the their multi-posters interface, and provide their posting consultants (particularly new starters, unfamiliar with their industry sectors) with an informed user guide of the best categories for their roles, they are likely to see a better return on their investment.

The Online Recruitment Conference 2013

I recently attended the Enhance Media Annual Online Recruitment Conference, for the 4th year in a row.
As you might suspect, I am a bit of a fan!

It was at the same conference, back in 2009, that an inspired colleague and I brainstormed the initial ideas for the Wiley Job Network. Four years down the line and it’s a reality. To anybody who ever doubted the contextual advertising model; a quick scroll through our list of current advertisers should be proof enough of its merits. More about our unique and trail blazing methods of candidate attraction at a later date….

Although there were some interesting presentations from the internal recruitment teams at Nestle, Virgin Atlantic and Telefonica, I found the most enlightening talks to be those from Content Etc., LinkedIn and Jobsite!

This post is going to focus on the findings of Jobsite’s ‘Quarterly Recruitment Review’, which provided a fascinating insight into the state of the market place but, before I go into more detail on that, I feel I need to make a couple of honourable mentions.

Craig McGregor of Content Etc. gave a surprisingly insightful talk on the art of writing good advert copy. I feel its importance is overlooked all too often; it’s incredible how two identical job descriptions can solicit such differing responses as a result of the quality of advert. I see countless demonstrations every day on our CMS; any company that wants to improve their quality and volume of candidates should be addressing this.

David Cohen at LinkedIn reminded us all (…lest we had forgotten) that their platform is now an essential part of any recruitment process. The latest innovation from the online recruitment wunderkind, is a tool that allows companies to measure the strength of their recruitment brand against their competitors. They have all the information to be able to do this already (no online surveys involved) and are offering it free of charge. It’s the kind of market insight that any marketer of a corporate brand would kill for but, apparently (thanks to LinkedIn) it’s now something that recruitment world can take for granted!

So onto the meat of this post: Jobsites presentation of 4 years’ worth on Quarterly Recruitment Reviews.

To anybody who doesn’t yet know of the company (which now appears to be synonymous with Max Beasley’s gnarled features) Jobsite is one of the older and more established job boards in the UK. Originally a generalist in scope, it has developed over recent years and added a number of niche brands and even an aggregator to its portfolio (Evenbase, the parent company, purchased Job Rapido a couple of years back).

One of Jobsites niche brands, e-medcareers, is a competitor of ours, so I was surprised when Mervyn Dinnen stood up and magnanimously shared several years’ worth of market insight with us. I suspect it might have had something to do with the 300 or so in-house recruitment teams in the room. He had some interesting findings to share. Here are some of the highlights:

• There has been a steady increase of job seekers who feel their current employment situation is ‘worse than last year’ and a steady increase of uncertainty in the job market since 2008.

• Corporate clients are recruiting less but, there has been a recent increase in hiring from SME’s.

• Regardless of company size, the top three methods of candidate attraction are still personal networks, online job boards and (amazingly) newspaper adverts.

• Jobseekers see job boards and company websites as their primary ports of call whilst looking for a job,although the number looking to social media, is rapidly increasing.

• Price is the most important factor to companies when choosing where to advertise; followed by ‘knowledgeable staff’ and the ‘specialists in sector’ (the niche board is still the way ahead it seems).

• The most desired job board feature by employers is the ‘CV search’

• The service most desired by jobseekers is the ability to upload CV’s (I have been saying for some time that the best candidates simply expect to submit their CV to a database and let the recruiters do the work)

• The majority of jobseekers at the end of 2012 were female and involved in a passive job search.

• The number of passive job seekers has been increasing over the last year (people hedging their bets perhaps?)

If you haven’t been to the conference, I’d recommend you book it for next year! It’s reasonably priced and offers a great insight into what’s going on in the market place. I’ve always found it inspires me with new ideas and I am sure it will have a similar effect on you!

That’s it from me now – more next week!