At first, mental illness and job posts might not seem the happiest of bedfellows. The common thread between the two for me is the overwhelming nature of PTSD when you have an episode and the overwhelming choice of web promotion options open to the recruiter, with some very sketchy results.
So having mastered my own PTSD, here is how I think you can look at promoting your jobs without getting overwhelmed by salesperson speak or “Band Wagon” marketers looking to assist their old boy/gal network to get their hands on your money.
Mastering the overwhelmed part is critical to your success online. The frenzy of choices is enormous and the price for getting it wrong quite high. For example, do you use a job board, do you use a job aggregator, do you use Google AdWords, do you use SEO, will you use Google for Jobs, do you use your website, what about forums, what about social media, if social media is a yes then which one: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc?
A second mind trap if you are on a tight or limited budget (and another thinking pattern in common with PTSD) is the disaster/perfection thinking starts to kick in. Like you need the campaign spend to be perfect, and if it is not, it is a total disaster. Indeed, your job may even depend upon it being a perfect budget spend.
Good mental health is often about not getting overwhelmed to a level you can’t find a way back from and knowing that ‘good enough’ is OK. You don’t need perfection, people. Picking a route to promote your jobs is the same.
Before we look at the promotion methods/mediums, I’d like to say that as an ex-recruiter I am acutely aware that time is the killer of all deals, and in many circles, the need to get a candidate across the contingent line first places a burden unlike advertising for other services/products.
I have always been an advocate of needing to split your sales and marketing strategy into methods and techniques that serve your short-term needs (next 30 days), medium-term needs ( next 90-180 days) and long-term needs (180 days plus). I will add where I think the methods relate as we go through.
I am going to make short work of this medium. My top tip is to Google the job title you are trying to fill, in the location you are trying to fill it, with the job type that needs to be filled. Then see if Google has any job boards in its top 10 results.
If the job board that is pitching you, or you are considering, is not in these top 10 results, then ask the job board what percentage of the money you spend is going to be spent on promoting your job, or their landing page of jobs results that might get you the traffic you need on services like job aggregators, Google Adwords, SEO, Social, etc. etc.
Then decide if you want to run the adverts. Working with job boards should always be about asking what can they do for you online you can’t do yourself.
P.S. If you have an account with the job board already and checked what you need is not in the CV database, then be doubly sure to ask this question.
P.P.S. If you see Google Adword Ads or results from indeed and services like it when you make your test search, then happy, happy, happy days.
This for me is a medium to deal with your short-term needs, and a bit of medium-term via the brand association a well-represented agency has on an influential job board.
Indeed and its peers offer a way to promote your jobs in their search engine, and they use a combination of ‘Google Adwords’ and then ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ to get the job seekers to their platform and their overall platform success to keep users coming back.
When looking at their systems, you will find you need to bid for what you are looking to rank in the top results in much the same way as any click-through system. However, unlike general services like Google Adwords, the people viewing your sponsored posts will be job seekers. A bid for a click can be just 15 pence in many cases, and what you need to do is optimise that click spend to find your niche’s sweet spot inside this medium, or my top tip is to work with a vendor who can do that for you.
Now, will it work? Well, the broad stats say yes, but as with every service there is a loser or losers. Now I can’t be sure, as I have not met everyone who lost from going this route, but in general, the feedback seems to be the recruiter asked indeed what they needed to spend, set up their account, spent it, and did not get the rewards they hoped for.
£2000 a month seems to be the sweet spot for what to pay, though as I say, my working sample is small. I mentioned it before, but I’ll repeat it: the best person to advise you on how to work with indeed and its peers is a job aggregation click spend guru, not the vendor themselves. The vendor has targets to hit and a view that their broad stats cover most recruitment needs.
A job aggregation pay-per-click advisor either charges you a fee for their expertise which gets you the clicks you wanted, or they get paid by indeed and the like to keep you happy out of what you pay the supplier. Take the expert path every time, and there is little to no chance of being overwhelmed by the medium. They will have highly detailed stats and like-for-like studies.
The final thing to say about job aggregators is that yes, they give you direct access to job seekers, but they have also covered Google Adwords and SEO in part for you. So the medium is more than the sum of its parts. Since this post was first written, Google for Jobs came along in the UK, and so I wrote a guide for it you can read here: https://www.recruiterweb.co.uk/google-for-jobs-the-definitive-recruiters-guide/
I think this medium is all about serving your short-term needs.
Promoting your site via Adwords, you could say, is very similar to aggregators, but you are one level up the catchment food chain, because you have a chance to get to the job seeker before they enter the other mediums and see your jobs and probably all of your competition’s at the same time.
Now, I said above it is happy, happy, happy days time if you run a test search to see what Google throws up and a PPC advert or adverts are top of the page, because it means you can be there too. Adwords is so open it will even tell you what you have to do to be there in place of the links you have seen.
In this respect, Google is not fussy; if you meet its pay demands and know how to optimise your adverts, then you are on top of the list. Of course, the natural reaction for most recruiters for the past 14 years I have been looking at this subject is you can’t beat Reed, Indeed, Monster, etc. Well, the truth is, the reason you can’t beat them is you don’t try.
I did a test for a client, and to be the top advert or the second advert of the four Google permits at the top of a search results page for “legal secretarial jobs London” for six weeks was £250. That would put your proverbial cat amongst the pigeons of some very-large job boards ads. 360 clicks were predicted for the campaign, which in theory means 360 clicks from legal secretaries looking for work in London.
For me, the best use of Google Adwords and, for that matter, SEO is to exploit what is called the Longtail job seeker query, made in search engines by job seekers. I have written about Longtails before, but if you have not read those posts, here is an essential reminder.
Web marketing geeks call the words people use in search engines keywords; then they categorise these keywords as head terms, shoulder terms (sometimes called mid tails) or longtails (also seen written as Long Tails or Long-tails, which as you can imagine is a real pain in the arse for us dyslexics. If I failed to mention that earlier, it is the reason for my typos, so suck it up – it is part of me).
In recruiter-speak, that might look like this:
- Education jobs – head term
- Teaching jobs in Liverpool – shoulder term (mid tails)
- key stage 2 special needs teaching assistant jobs near Durham – longtail
Long tails are very powerful when it comes to job seekers, as the direction of behaviour travel when it comes to job search queries is 100% towards the longtail methods by job seekers. As proven by their hundreds and hundreds of millions of longtail searches per month. I only see that increasing when voice search has its say in search engine results, as we speak in longtails when looking to get specifics.
The critical thing to understand here is that you need to work with a Google Adwords consultant who can be arsed to work at the longtail level; most want to stick with head and shoulder terms as it is less work, but the exact-match candidate for you is going to be in the longtail.
The more exacting the niche, the more this longtail is going to play out to your advantage. The cost of generating these clicks will be very, very small. Plus anyone and everyone can search for teaching jobs, including many who are not qualified to be a teacher! But the person who runs the search “key stage 2 special needs teaching assistant jobs near Durham” is very likely to be a teaching assistant at key stage 2, with special needs skills and/or a desire to work with special needs.
I think this medium is all about serving your short-term needs.
Top tip: If your PPC vendor does not want to work on longtails for you, run away. That is run, not walk away from the vendor.
Well, much of what you need to know about SEO is covered in what I wrote about keywords. Well, all of SEO is about that mainly, because depending on what you decide to target, you may just need to have that combination of keywords on your website, or you may need to spend thousands in ‘Link Partner’ programs. In general, longtails come at very low cost, while head terms come at very high costs.
Longtail SEO can be instant, so can solve your short-term needs, but mostly it is a medium to long-term method to feed your job promotion needs.
Top Tip: The key test for any vendor you engage with for SEO is for them to be able to tell you the longtails for your niche, not you tell them.
Social has two distinct parts to me: paid programs, which can echo what you can do in the mediums above for your job posts, and the real use of social, which is to build brand presence, be that personal or corporate branding.
Used well, social can be a solver of your short, medium and long-term needs, but if you place jobs on your timeline and expect the volume an indeed can bring with no brand presence, then you will likely fail. Your social site is not a job engine, it is a relationship engine.
Here you must, must, must engage an expert. Your mates laughing at your Facebook posts is one thing, convincing an Actuary you’re the right recruiter with the same approach is another matter.
Top tip: If you don’t know what to write, then make a video. Huge amounts of social interaction are on a mobile device, and once you get in the habit then video is really quite easy.
Last but not least
You can do all the promotion in the world, but if you have a shit job advert then mostly the desperate or unqualified will be who engages with your job posts. Which leads to an overflowing inbox of admin to deal with and potentially means you miss the one right person who registers amongst the 100-1000 unqualified.
Desperate people need a job (btw, I do not judge the desperate – I mean, being unemployed or poorly employed is no picnic), but job seekers need a genuine reason to be engaged. In the same way, you would not ask your clients what level of desperation they are prepared to accept in a candidate. You should not write a job ad that appeals to only the desperate or unqualified who wish to skill transfer for a wage or better wage.
Which leads me to my only old boy network plug, which is to say follow Mitch Sullivan. He pays me no money, sends me no leads, takes the piss out of me whenever he feels like it, but he is an excellent job copy master and a dry-witted guru.
I quite like the following saying: “If you always do what you always did, then you will always get what you always got.” If that means promoting your jobs online is working cool, ignore this blog. If it is not going so well, engage with genuine professionals in each of the aforesaid mediums.
Oops – last and very much least
I might not have mentioned that when compared to other SaaS recruitment website vendors, RecruiterWEB costs the least to operate. Here are some examples of what that means.
Paying your present SaaS vendor £500 a month to rent your website? That is £6000 per year, £18,000 over 3 years and £30,0000 over 5 years. If you moved your site to RecruiterWEB, you would save so much money on renting your website you could buy the following:
- Sponsor 128,000 visits to your jobs from those who search for jobs on indeed.
- Sponsor 19,200 longtail visits from Google AdWords, seen by those who search for jobs on Google.
- Pay for 25 months of SEO to bring job seekers and new clients to your website.
- Have 480 blogs written to share on your website and in your social channels by a current award-winning blog writer.
Paying your present SaaS vendor £750 a month to rent your website? That is £9000 per year, £27,000 over 3 years and £45,0000 over 5 years. If you moved your site to RecruiterWEB, you would save so much money on renting your website you could buy the following:
- Sponsor 228,000 visits to your jobs from those who search for jobs on indeed.
- Sponsor 32,200 longtail visits from Google AdWords, seen by those who search for jobs on Google.
- Pay for 45 months of SEO to bring job seekers and new clients to your website.
- Have 855 blogs written to share on your website and in your social channels by a current award-winning blog writer.
Paying your present SaaS vendor £1000 a month to rent your website? That is £12,000 per year, £36,000 over 3 years and £60,0000 over 5 years. If you moved your site to RecruiterWEB, you would save so much money on renting your website you could buy the following:
- Sponsor 328,000 visits to your jobs from those who search for jobs on indeed.
- Sponsor 49,200 longtail visits from Google AdWords, seen by those who search for jobs on Google.
- Pay for 65 months of SEO to bring job seekers and new clients to your website.
- Have 1230 blogs written to share on your website and in your social channels by a current award-winning blog writer.
How many more sales do you think you would make if you were getting this traffic? 1%, 5%, 10%? I spoke to a job aggregator optimiser who said 18% was quite real.
I have had Complex PTSD for 44 years, formally diagnosed five years ago and treated for the past 3 and a half years, so for anyone who thinks I am taking mental illness frivolously, I have the t-shirt, thank you very much – and I wear it with pride, as it has shaped my mind in so many beautiful ways now I’m on the right side of it. Plus, when you beat mental illness, your ‘Emotional Intelligence’ score rises. #justbragging
If you want to make a donation to a worthy cause, then RecruiterWEB promotes this charity:
Further PTSD resources