How to Improve the Efficiency of Your Recruitment Spend
In a difficult economy, more so than ever, efficiency is key. Technology helps gets you there.
For staffing agencies, an enormous opportunity exists right now to improve the efficiency in the recruitment spend and make those dollars go farther.
Here are four ways to increase the efficiency of your recruitment spend:
- Automate the posting of jobs to the job boards
- Maintain a flexible monthly budget to meet your needs
- Implement candidate source tracking to analyze candidate quality
- Make real-time data-driven decisions
Does it sound too good be true? Because it shouldn’t. All four of these areas should be table stakes for your recruitment team.
Let’s look at each of these areas and provide ways for your recruiters and staffing agency to implement.
Automate Job Posting
The first area to examine when looking at your job spend comes not in the money paid directly to the job boards. It comes down to the time spent by the recruiters (or other staff) in your office in physically adding and removing the jobs to the job board?
How much time do they spend posting that job to one job board? How much time do they spend taking down the posting and then posting the next one? Copying. Cutting. Pasting. Saving. Logging In. Logging Out.
Think about that for each job they are posting.
Then think about that for multiple job boards! If they want to post the same job on 2, 3, 5 job boards, they must repeat the process continuously.
There is a better solution.
Let’s start simple:
- Can you send a feed to the job board, so it automatically posts? When you update jobs in your applicant tracking system, it will update in your XML feed.
- Then, can you include a hashtag to tell the job board which job to sponsor and which job not to sponsor? Instead of your recruiters or a staff member manually posting jobs, your team can select with job to post by adding a code (think “Sponsor1” or “Sponsor2”) to the job description in your applicant tracking system.
All major job boards accept an XML feed of jobs, and they should be able to implement the above system on how your team decides which jobs receive sponsorship.
Staying Flexible with Your Monthly Budget
This point becomes INCREDIBLY important right now. (There’s a reason for the bold, underline, italics and capitalization on that word. Only because our blog editor wouldn’t let me put it in size 96 font.)
Could you imagine the staffing agency with a long-term job board contract right now? Let’s say a company is in the third month of a 12-month agreement with a job board that locks them in at $5,000/month. Maybe $10,000/month. Maybe more.
It sounds great when the job orders are steady or even growing. But right now, how many industries see their job orders decreasing?
If a staffing agency had 100 jobs to promote on that $5,000/month budget in February and now they have 10 jobs, that’s a major problem.
How many companies are regretting that decision of a long-term contract? They thought they were doing the right thing. Or even worse, they may have thought there wasn’t another option.
Again, there’s a better solution.
Focus on a monthly contract. Keep control on your end. Stay flexible with your recruitment budget for this exact reason. We can’t predict the future, but we can protect ourselves.
If that $5,000/month budget was flexible and a company needed to cut it by 25 percent, 50 percent or more, all it takes is one phone call or one email. (And when the economy recovers, they can ramp it up just as quickly and maintain that flexibility.)
Implement Candidate Source Tracking
This section is the most underrated part of managing recruitment spend in the staffing industry right now. Some companies are doing it well, exceptionally well. Most companies are doing it poorly or not at all.
Do you know the cost per application on each job board where you sponsor? How about the cost per quality application? Let’s take it further – how about the revenue generated or the gross margin?
That’s the goal. That’s where we want to be.
Spreadsheets are an option. But they are manual and labor-intensive. (this coming from a numbers nerd who lives in spreadsheets.)
What if there was a better way? (That’s a theme today).
Here’s your goal: when a candidate goes back into your ATS, the source of the application gets tagged with their record. Then, run reports to determine that cost per quality application or gross margin generated.
How can you get there?
- Have an applicant tracking system or dashboard that supports candidate source tracking
- Add tracking code to your job feed for each job source
- Ensure the source gets attached to the candidate record in the ATS
- Monitor the data for future decisions to allocate budget to the job boards delivering the highest ROI
If we can tell that Job Board A drives applications at $2 and is 10 percent of your gross margin but Job Board B drives applications at $5 while bringing 15 percent of gross margin, then we know what’s working the best! On the surface, we would think it’s Job Board A, but the numbers show it’s Job Board B.
Don’t rely on gut instincts. Don’t rely on anecdotal observations.
Use the data to your advantage.
Remember what Peter Drucker said – “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
Make Data-Driven Decisions in Real Time
Right now, how many recruiters are doing this:
- Continuously monitoring application totals on jobs to track sponsorship effectiveness
- Manually adjusting bids based on those application totals (or worse yet, just leaving them alone when they are ineffective)
- Getting mad when five jobs drive 1,000 total applications and the other 45 jobs drive 45 total applications. You can’t keep up with the firehouse and are wasting recruitment spend when every dollar is more valuable than ever.
Guess what? There’s a better solution!
It’s called programmatic job advertising software. And it’s how companies are becoming more efficient with their recruitment spend.
How does it help? Let’s look at one system of a staffing agency in Georgia:
- Jobs are posted in their ATS and automatically get sent to two job boards.
- They don’t want more than 40 applications for any of their jobs. As soon as the sponsorship drives 40 applications, it turns off automatically.
- If a job is under-performing (fewer than 10 applications in 3 days or fewer than 20 applications in 5 days), the sponsorship increases automatically.
- And, when the candidate applies, the source goes directly back into their ATS.
The keyword in those three bullet points? Automatically!
Programmatic Job Advertising Makes the Recruitment Budget More Efficient for Staffing Agencies
Recruiters for companies who implement programmatic software aren’t copying and pasting jobs to multiple job boards. Recruiters aren’t manually tacking application totals on the job boards and adjusting bids.
They’ve embraced a “thoughtfully automated process” and are waiting for the applications to come to the ATS. They’re spending more time talking to the people who want to work for them!
Then, they’re able to work with their recruitment marketing partner to analyze that data and determine which job boards bring the best candidates and most placements.
Remember, in a difficult economy that efficiency is key. Technology helps gets you there.
Programmatic job advertising is the perfect combination of technology and efficiency that gets staffing agencies there.