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Does the age of your job posting affect performance on job boards?

Job Application Data
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The following transcript was taken from InSights, a staffing and recruiting podcast from Haley Marketing dedicated to providing quick-hitting takeaways on Digital Marketing and Recruitment Marketing. To listen to the episode, click play on the player above or visit the episode page [InSights] Does the age of your job posting affect performance on job boards?

Brad Bialy: Does the age of your job posting affect performance on job boards? Matt, this is a really direct question, and it’s something that I know you’re constantly looking at in the recruitment marketing space. So I’m going to ask it one more time and then I’m going to shut up and actually listen to you talk here because I’m interested as well. Does the age of your job posting affect performance on job boards?

Matt Lozar: Yeah, Brad, it’s a question when you work with clients or anybody when they talk about, when I post a job, right away I get applications. But after a couple of days or a couple of weeks, I feel like I don’t get applications. And it’s great to hear the anecdotal stories, but it’s even better to dig into data and see what conclusions we can draw. And here at Haley Marketing, by managing a lot of recruitment spend for our clients, there’s a lot of data we have. It’s a question we’re trying to help.

Matt Lozar: We’re actually taking our own advice of questions we get from clients and hopefully educate them with information and data and answers to provide them value to help them get better results. What I did was look at some of our clients. I have three examples in my latest blog post that’s on The Ask Haley blog that we’ll link to here in the show notes where I looked at one example of a client that is staffing for janitors in healthcare facilities and in hospitals out in San Jose area.

Matt Lozar: And we did all this research on Indeed because Indeed made it as easy as any of the job boards to look at data by day. This janitor job in San Jose was posted in the middle of March. It was the end of March actually. The first two days I got 55 applications, which is great. Took it down for a couple of days. In the second week, it got 42 applications, which is great. And then we took it down for a couple of days, and the third week it got 25 applications. It started to decrease, but not terribly. Let’s fast forward to May.

Matt Lozar: It’s the same job post, but on Indeed, it’s going to be viewed as 30 plus days old, right? Because it was posted at the end of March. It’s still up in the middle of May. It’s looked at as a 30-plus day old job. What did we do? We used our software on our end to create new jobs in the surrounding areas of San Jose. It’s the same janitor job, the same janitor job description, but it’s four or five jobs in surrounding cities, so it appears to be a new job. If it’s May 15th, we have our old job that looks like 30 days old. We have new jobs that appear like they posted that day.

Matt Lozar: What does  the data show? From May 16th to May 22nd, the old job had three applications. The new jobs had 31. So we created four more jobs, but got 10X the applications.

Brad Bialy:

Share that data one more time.

Matt Lozar: So we had a job that was 30 days old for a week period. It had three applications. The four new jobs we created drove 31 applications. It shows the impact of new jobs. But the interesting was the jobs converted at a very similar rate. The amount of people that clicked through the job, that applied to the job, that percentage was very similar, but just getting the clicks on the jobs, that came for the new jobs, not for the old job.

Brad Bialy: It’s interesting. I’m just kind of thinking through it. In my opinion, it’s almost like Indeed is saying, “Listen, this old job is irrelevant right now. Why haven’t you filled it in 30 days? What’s wrong with you, right? Or what’s going on here? Something’s not right. Maybe the job isn’t right. Maybe the salary isn’t right.” They’re almost trying to put some sort of logic behind this.

Brad Bialy: They’re bumping the new job and saying, “Hey, this is a new opportunity. Let’s get this in front of more eyeballs because it’s a new listing. It’s a new opportunity. We should elevate this.”

Matt Lozar: That’s one of the conclusions I drew was it could be the Indeed algorithm is pushing newer jobs because those newer jobs are getting more impressions, right? An impression is the number of times your content is seen. The impressions are even up for new jobs versus old jobs. It could be the Indeed algorithm pushing it. It could be job seekers just want to see new jobs and click on them, because they’re pretty smart. Job seekers will know if that jobs up there for a long time.” I looked at this three weeks ago, I didn’t apply. I don’t want to consume it again.”

Brad Bialy: You know what else, Matt? It could be the fact that a job that’s been listed for a while, maybe the applicant is thinking it’s already filled and the staffing firm just didn’t take it down or the employer didn’t take it down. If I see a job listed for three, four weeks, I’m assuming in the back of my mind, “Hey, maybe this one’s already filled. I don’t want to take the 30 minutes to apply to this, go through all the hoops, jump all the hurdles, and make sure that I submit an application to something that they’re not even going to review.”

Matt Lozar: It’s a really good information. It was awesome to see the data backup those anecdotes we hear from clients, or even just when we manage these campaigns to see… I thought this wasn’t a true and we found it. There are three examples in the blog. And I think my big takeaway for clients and for companies is this, is that the data is showing this is happening. But the mistake I see staffing agencies and recruiters make is let’s say you posted the job June 1st, any job. You updated the date of that job on August 1st.

Matt Lozar: On your ATS or maybe on your job board on your own website, it shows August 1st. The job boards are smarter. Indeed is smarter. It knows that first index date. Index is a date where the first time your content was posted. So it knows you posted that job originally on June 1st. It knows you updated it on August 1st. It’s still going to show your job as two months old. That’s the mistake I think a lot of companies are making. The next step is when you fill that job, close the job order. I know it’s a lot of work.

Matt Lozar: I know it’s difficult because it might even still be for the same client, for the same position, but it will give you better results. Let’s say you had that job on June 1st. Let’s say you just filled it end of June, middle of July. You reopened it or reposted it August 1st. If it has a new job order number, if it has a new URL on your website, that’s going to come across as a new job on August 1st and not a job that’s two months old.

Brad Bialy: And if you’re listening right now thinking, “Well, I don’t have the time to close out a job and repost it every single time. We’re always hiring these warehouse associates. We’re just going to keep re-elevating the same one,” I would challenge that and say for 31 applications versus three, you should absolutely find the time to repost that job. It’s not asking you to completely rewrite all of the description, rewrite everything.

Brad Bialy: But to Matt’s point, for 31 applications, instead of three, you absolutely need to repost that job, instead of just changing the date and re bumping that in a place like Indeed.

Matt Lozar: It’s part of the value we try to provide. We help and we manage our client’s campaigns and their spend. We look into this data. We provide them recommendations. I had some calls in July with a client that thought they were doing the right thing, but it just wasn’t… She had a system of changing job order IDs and whatnot, but the job wasn’t getting closed. It was still the same URL. And I think really focusing on that formula of a new ID and a new URL for your job will give you more applications for those jobs. I think Brad’s right.

Matt Lozar: We’ve said that before. Like yeah, it’s a lot of work. We acknowledge that. We empathize with that, but companies are struggling to get candidates pre-COVID, since COVID, and anything you can do to improve your chances of getting applications, this is a formula to really follow to help get more applications for your jobs.

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