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How to Maximize ROI from Job Board Spend

Posted by
Diane Melchionne
July 25, 2023

The average cost of hiring rests at $4,700 today, with a sizable chunk of that going toward recruitment advertising. In an uncertain economy, budgets are getting tighter, and we're all trying to do more with less.

In my role as the VP of Customer Success here at Sense, I've noticed that many of our forward-thinking customers have implemented strategies to optimize their return on investment (ROI) from job board expenditure.

Recently, in an insight-packed session with Sense Co-Founder & Head of Product Alex Rosen, we took a deep dive into those strategies, metrics to watch out for, and tips to improve candidate conversion.

Here are the key takeaways from the session.

Set yourself up for success and drive more ROI from job boards

Here are actionable ways to get the best out of your job board efforts.

Ensure that you have a single owner for cost analysis

Recruiting (like any department) is responsible for effectively managing their budget. However, most recruiters are laser-focused on filling their roles, and reporting/analysis is often an afterthought.

According to Indeed, assigning a dedicated team member as the "CFO of recruiting" empowers them to measure and report on job board performance for every role. With an analytical mindset focused on cost analysis, this individual can make data-driven decisions to allocate your recruitment budget effectively.

Track your application & hire sources

Many organizations ask candidates to select how they found the job on the application. However, self-selection can be inaccurate because candidates may have seen your role on multiple sites, may select a random source to complete the job application as quickly as possible, or may not see the job board they came from among the options. Also, applications should be quick and easy for candidates to complete, and self-selection adds another step to the process. 

Instead of relying on self-selection, enable automated tracking through your ATS for your recruitment advertising. This allows you to accurately determine the sources of your candidates and eventual hires, providing valuable insights for optimizing your recruitment strategy.

Continuously analyze candidate source data

Sure, you may have hired a great candidate from that one job board that one time, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you right now. Preconceived notions like that lead you to feel like you “need” to have your job openings on your favorite job boards (or avoid job boards you don’t like).

Use data to evaluate the performance of different job boards. Key metrics such as cost-per-applicant and cost-per-hire offer insights into the effectiveness of your job board investments. Regularly analyze these metrics to identify top-performing and underperforming job boards, so you can make informed decisions and optimize your recruitment budget.

Reassess your budgets

Once you have accurate data that you’re continuously measuring, you’ll know which job boards are worth investing in. The person in charge of recruiting data should circulate these learnings with the entire team to help them overcome their preconceived notions about certain job boards.

Experiment with emerging job boards and different pricing structures (CPA vs CPC) to identify what works best for your organization. Tailor your approach based on the specific requirements of different roles, as not all job boards may yield the same results for every position.

Create a positive employer brand

According to Forrester, 60% of talent acquisition professionals believe that a strong employer brand enhances their ability to source quality candidates, while 88% acknowledge its differentiating factor. Additionally, an overwhelming 99% agree that it contributes positively to achieving recruiting goals.

Identify what sets your organization apart, such as benefits, employee development opportunities, leadership, work culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion, work-life balance, well-being, and corporate social responsibility, and share those advantages in all your recruiting messaging.

Candidates rely on the experiences of actual employees. Collaborate with your HR team and organizational leadership to ensure that your employer brand messaging accurately reflects the actual experiences employees have within your organization, such as positive reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed. Additionally, make your application process really easy, with “Scan to apply” QR codes or “text to apply”. Candidates value transparency, so ensure that you clearly state the compensation and benefits associated with the role.

Ready to maximize your job board ROI?

Job boards continue to be essential tools for effective talent acquisition. Implement the strategies outlined above to maximize the ROI from job boards and optimize your recruitment budgets. You’ll also see significantly improve core hiring metrics such as cost-per-hire, time-to-hire, candidate quality, and application conversion rates.

For more cost-saving strategies, click here to learn how to slash thousands from your recruitment budget.

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