With the COVID-19 pandemic rocking the United States in the middle of March, its impact on the staffing industry was profound. With all the uncertainty surrounding our country and industry, now is the time to see how people changing their behavior.

As the biggest marketing company in the world for the staffing industry, we wanted to look at data to see what changed in terms of online behavior. Sticking to the facts and avoiding guesses leads to more-informed and data-driven decisions for staffing agencies.

In this blog post, we’ll look at four different areas of data from Haley Marketing: Job Board traffic for staffing agencies, Google Display Advertising and Google Search Advertising behaviors and Facebook Advertising behavior.

We’ll show the data, look for a trend and give a takeaway for recruiters and staffing agencies.

JOB BOARD TRAFFIC

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WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT: At Haley Marketing, we have job board technology that hundreds of staffing agencies use to display their jobs and collect candidate applications on their website.

TREND: Overall traffic to staffing agency job boards dropped by more than 20 percent and job applications dropped by 21.6 percent. 

Mobile traffic went down by four percent, which confirms the theory that people were spending more time on their desktops and laptops due to spending more time at their residences.

TAKEAWAY: Fewer people were looking for jobs right away. However, the conversion stayed very similar. That means people were still finding what they wanted, there just weren’t as many people looking.

Keep posting the jobs you have and updating job descriptions. Include information about interviewing procedures. Mention how you are keeping your employees’ safety. Explicitly state remote work opportunities and the chance to work-from-home. At the top of your postings, really focus on answering the questions candidates want to hear right now.

FACEBOOK ADVERTISING TRAFFIC

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WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT: Haley Marketing runs Facebook advertising campaigns for companies across the staffing industry. Several different tactics and goals come into play with these campaigns, from candidate applications, driving website traffic, user engagement and more.

TRENDS: WOW! Where to begin?!

Let’s start with the cost to advertise on Facebook – the cost per thousand impressions decreased by nearly 25 percent and the cost per click decreased by more than 33 percent! The click-through rate increased by almost 14 percent

Now let’s look at the raw data: clicks increased by more than 76 percent, impressions were up by nearly 55 percent and engagement was up by almost 50 percent. All while we only spent 16.7 percent more. That’s a huge increase in ROI!

TAKEAWAY: Seriously consider getting your marketing, recruitment and advertising budget to Facebook. The data shows people are spending time on Facebook and inventory is readily available.

It costs less for ads to be seen and for ads to be clicked. Ads are converting at a higher rate. More people are seeing the ads and engaging with the ads.

Think about your goal and invest wisely. Do you want to stay top of mind? Do you want to keep your pipeline full? Do you just want to communicate with your audience to let them know you are there for them?

GOOGLE DISPLAY ADVERTISING TRAFFIC

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WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT: The Google Display Network is a collection of 2 million websites that displays banner ads at various locations throughout the websites. The ads also appear in mobile apps and a variety of other locations.

TREND: When using a display advertising tactic, the top goal is to focus on brand awareness and staying top-of-mind. Think of it as a digital and online billboard. Yes, we want conversions, but it’s not the primary/direct goal of the campaign.

Keeping that in mind, we want to look at the CPM – or the cost per thousand impressions. The CPM dropped by nearly 20 percent, and went from $2.79 to $2.24. We had 7.65 percent more impressions in the second half of March while spending 13.65 percent less. 

On the flip side, the conversion rate dropped by more than 17 percent. 

TAKEAWAY: The primary goal of display advertising should be to stay top of mind, which means it’s much cheaper to advertising on Google’s Display Network right now, nearly 20 percent cheaper! But the conversion rate on clicks also decreased by a strong amount – more than 17 percent.

What does that mean? This combination of cheaper impressions and fewer clicks means people are spending MORE time on the Internet, but less time converting. We know Internet usage is through the roof (up 20 to 30 percent.) There is more inventory available to stay in front of your audience.

Get your ads up on the Google Display Network and stay top of mind with your audience! The last thing any company wants to do in a recession is to be forgotten by its clients and candidates. They will think you shut the doors, and you won’t be the staffing agency your candidates and clients think about when the economy turns around.

GOOGLE SEARCH ADVERTISING TRAFFIC

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WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT: Another big part of Google advertising is on the search side. Whenever a user conducts a search on Google, the top results can come from advertising. Companies will bid to “buy” that space, and Google’s algorithm determines if the advertising should appear at the top of the list.

TREND: When using Google Search advertising, you want to convert. People go to Google and conduct a search with intent. The purpose of this advertising tactic is to capitalize on that user intent with your ad results.

From the data, there was a sharp decrease in the click-through rate, more than 17 percent. The cost per click increased by more than six percent. The amount of impressions increased by nearly 11 percent.

TAKEAWAY: We know people are spending more time online, which means they are conducting more searches. The combination of more impressions, lower clicks and a higher cost per click implies more searches are taking place, so the real estate is more valuable.

The recommendation here is to be careful. Don’t stop advertising but really look at your own results. Have your conversions been affected? Is the increase in cost per click too much of a negative impact on your budget?

Remember, people will go back to Google to search for jobs and it will be soon. You want your staffing agency to be at the top of the list. Have a strong strategy to be there.

Data Helps Make Better Decisions

We want to use data to help and guide the best decisions for staffing agencies in the areas of marketing and recruiting. At Haley Marketing, we work with hundreds of staffing agencies and are able to analyze through this collected data to better inform the industry on where to get the best ROI

That’s vitally important right now as companies really look to reduce expenses, but the companies that rebound fastest out of a recession are the staffing agencies that play the right amount of offense as well.

Use these trends as a guide to analyze your company’s situation and make the best decision for your staffing agency.

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