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Paid Job Postings or Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Paid Job Postings or Pay-Per-Click AdvertisingSince the early days of posting jobs in local newspapers, the standard way to promote a job opening has been to pay a fixed price and, in return, receive a designated slot for a specified amount of time. When the Internet took over as the primary medium to post a job, the model remained the same — companies started paying an agreed upon amount to include their job posting on an online job board.

The fixed price, one-time posting model was going great, right up until businesses like Google introduced a new way to advertise online, which they referred to as pay-per-click (PPC). It wasn’t long before the new way of thinking was being adopted by job aggregators like Indeed and Simply Hired, who started offering pay-per-click advertising for jobs.

This brings us to where we are today. Big job boards, like Monster, Workopolis and CareerBuilder continue with the traditional paid posting model and aggregators are pushing the PPC idea. All of these players remain successful and competitive, proving that there still isn’t a clear “right way” of posting your job. Instead, the question becomes which is the right way for you and your company to promote your job openings, assuming it’s in your budget?

The Benefits of Pay-per-Click Job Postings

  • Only pay for specific clicks. Exactly what the name suggests, pay-per-click means that you only pay if somebody actually clicks on your job, and that’s often less than a dollar. Yes, it can add up quickly; however, at least you know most of what you paid was to give more information to an interested candidate. (Note: There will always be a few accidental clicks or extremely unqualified people.)
  • It’s easy to measure. You get a report from PPC postings, meaning you’ll see exactly how many people clicked on your job and the cost of each of those clicks. You’ll also know how many clicks resulted in an application and how many of those applications were quality.
  • Set Budgets. PPC seems like it could get out of control, but another advantage is the ability to set exactly what you’re willing to spend, both the maximum click and a daily budget.
  • Specify Targets. The nature of PPC also means it’s easier to say exactly who you want. For example, you can ensure your job ad only appears for somebody who typed in certain keywords for certain regions. With sophisticated engines such as Google, advertisers can often name the specific demographics and search history of their target audience.
  • Free Postings. PPC job postings are frequently associated with search engines and aggregators which also offer organic search. That means you can post all of your jobs for free and only pay to boost those which need extra attention.

The Benefits of Pay-per-Post Job Postings

  • Low-maintenance. Regular job postings are much easier to use and, with a “set it and forget it” functionality, require much less maintenance and planning. This is the opposite of PPC, which requires more planning and monitoring.
  • Easier internal sell. Recruiters and HR managers trying to sell a new recruitment solution to their managers have a much easier time getting buy-in for traditional job boards because they’re familiar and easy to understand.
  • Unlimited views. You pay one price for a posting for a certain period of time and if a million people click on your job, you’re still paying that same price.
  • Easier to Budget. Fixed prices make it much easier to predict what you’re going to spend. If you anticipate a specific number of posting requirements, then you’ll know your exact costs early on. In PPC, you can set budgets, but you never know exactly what you’ll spend until afterwards.
  • You Still Get Organic. When you search through aggregator job boards, you’ll often notice postings (sometimes paid) from the major job boards. It’s in these big players’ best interests to promote your job everywhere, and they have the resources to do so.

As with every business decision, the right strategy will depend on your current situation and the direction the company is planning to go. Hopefully these few benefits of each job posting technique will help you make a clear decision on the best route for you.

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How Secretive Are Your Job Postings?

How Secretive Are Your Job Postings?Sometimes, when writing job descriptions to promote a job opening, you come to a fork in the road where there’s an important decision to make: how much information should you include? Very often, companies are hesitant to divulge too many trade secrets that may jeopardize the business, such as specific employee benefits, technologies used, future projects, or certain policies.

Potential job applicants skim through many postings across countless job boards when hunting for jobs, and yours is just a number to them. As such, you want to include all of the attributes of your organization that make it a unique and desirable workplace.  Simultaneously, you must remain cognizant of the fact that competitors may also be reading your job postings, seeking to learn how you’re stealing all of the best talent in the industry.

So where’s the balance? How do you decide what you’ll include in a public job posting and what you’ll save to tell an applicant in a job interview, or after they start the job? Here are a few thoughts to consider:

  • Trade secrets vs Industry standards. Have a strategic discussion with the company’s leadership about what’s truly a trade secret within your organization, and what’s an industry standard that everybody else is also doing.
  • You’ll attract more people with more details. As noted, there is a trade-off. If you hide more information, then it’s harder to sell your company and everything you have to offer. Eventually, you become just another employer.
  • Does it look sketchy? You’re hiding information from competitors, but if job seekers perceive it as hiding information from them, you’ll lose trust right from the start.
  • What’s the market like in your industry? If it’s more important to find people than it is to keep innovations a secret, then consider giving a few more details to bait in the talent.
  • Do competitors really care? That’s the next question to ask yourself. Sure, you think it’s an important part of your corporate culture and sets you apart, but maybe that piece of information means nothing to your competitors.
  • They’re going to find out anyway. And if they do care, they’ll find out (assuming they haven’t already). Except for well-kept secrets that require confidentiality agreements, there is little that remains confidential. It’s a fact that employees leave organizations and some will talk to competitors. You’re kidding yourself if you think they’ll remain loyal and never talk about what you offer for benefits.

In the end, what you’ll disclose in a job posting is up to you and your company’s strategy, but avoid over-thinking the discussion. In today’s economy, talent is arguably the top competitive advantage, so in most cases, giving up more information to attract better people will win.

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Just Proof-Read Your Job Postings!

Just Proof-Read Your Job Postings!We frequently criticize job seekers for spelling and grammar mistakes on resumes and unprofessional-looking emails, but are we taking a close enough look in the mirror? It’s simple to make a spelling mistake, often just because we’re rushing and our fingers type the wrong word or put letters in the wrong order. If you’re hesitant to forgive job applicants and immediately judge them for these slips, then you had better be certain that you never make the same mistakes. After all, just about every professional has learned the hard way that the sophistication in spell check in programs like Microsoft Word and Google Chrome, is not perfect.

Failing to properly proof-read your job description before posting it out to job boards, can have serious implications on your recruiting process. The obvious consequence is how unprofessional you will look to job seekers, though it is unlikely they will disregard the opportunity because you used the wrong “your.” Proof-reading goes beyond spelling and grammar ensuring text is formatted and written clearly to make sense. Without this process in place, you can suffer miscommunications with job seekers who misunderstand the actual role due to a vague job description or misguided requirements and perks. What if this misunderstanding isn’t recognized until mid-interview? You could waste both your time and the candidate’s time.

A few of the common mistakes job seekers report seeing in job postings include:

  • Spelling and grammar errors
  • Inconsistent tenses in bullet points
  • Run-on or incomplete sentences that don’t make sense
  • Excessive corporate jargon
  • Inconsistent or sloppy formatting

Given the potential outcome of not reviewing a job description before publishing it, perhaps it’s time to review your own processes and minimize your risk of appearing unprofessional. A few practices you can consider are:

  • Review it later. If you wrote the entire description, then close it and come back to it later when you have a fresh set of eyes.
  • Review it with different goals. Use the common errors above as an example. Proof-read your description five times and, each time, search for a different type of error.
  • Get somebody else involved. Sometimes, no matter how fresh, your eyes just won’t catch errors and your mind will always make sense of the convoluted sentence you wrote. Ask somebody else, preferably somebody detail-oriented and not connected with this particular role, to proof-read as well.

The reality is, no matter how much effort you put in, some errors are going to sneak past you. As long as you have a plan to quickly fix them as they’re identified, you will minimize the risk of losing business or candidates.

You could also ask yourself how you will deal with applicants who point out your errors. Is it a negative or a positive trait? Start that conversations in the comments below!

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Are Facebook Job Postings Right for You?

Are Facebook Job Postings Right for You?Social media is an integral part of many strategies in today’s business world. It’s used by e-commerce sites to sell products, marketing departments to build relationships with customers, and recruitment teams to attract new talent. Focusing on the latter, the most popular social network for recruiting professionals is LinkedIn. It boasts a massive network of future employees for companies around the world. But, LinkedIn tends to be limited to professionals and white collar workers, meaning it is not effective at recruiting for all positions. Enter Facebook!

This past February, Facebook finally got into the job board game and opened up free job postings for employers. Since then, companies have scrambled to understand and try the new service and see if it works for them. If you’re still working to wrap your head around this concept, then keep reading this simple overview of Facebook’s job posting feature.

How do Facebook Job Postings Work?

  1. The administrator of a company page just has to go to the “Jobs” app in Facebook, which is usually located in the left menu of their newsfeed.
  2. Immediately at the top of the page will be a button to Publish a post. From there, the administrator can enter all of the details, including a job description (max 5000 characters), a photo to attract users and, if you’d like, questions to ask applicants before they apply.
  3. Once published, a link to a “Jobs” tab will appear in the left menu of your company page. That tab will have all of your company’s jobs for visitors to explore. Your job will also appear in Facebook’s main job board section, and link back to your page.
  4. For extra exposure, companies can pay to boost their job postings. The benefit of paying to boost on Facebook is that you can target specific people. For example, ensure it is only viewed by people living in a certain region who previously worked in a specific industry.
  5. When job seekers are interested in your job, they only need to hit an “Apply” button. Facebook will auto-populate their information based on their profile and allow them to edit it.
  6. The candidate’s complete application will arrive in your Facebook company page’s inbox, ready to review. The administrator can then send Facebook messages back and forth with the applicant to receive further clarifications and request a resume.

What Do You Need to Set Up Facebook Job Posting?

  • Company Page: You absolutely need a company page if you’d like to do get started. It is easy to set-up and doesn’t have to be complicated. In addition, you need to ensure that anybody who will be involved in the job posting process on Facebook has the proper administrative rights.
  • Proper Employer Branding: The previous point said set-up doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should be well thought out and more than just a name. Be sure to add pictures and information that show your corporate brand so job seekers immediately know what it’s like to work at your company.
  • A Second Company Page (optional): When you tell your marketing department you plan to take over the Facebook page to show your internal culture and recruit people, they may not be happy. Especially in B2C companies, Facebook pages target customers who may have different behaviours and interests than employees. If this is the case, consider a second page that is corporate and geared towards recruiting.
  • A Defined Process: Posting jobs to Facebook and receiving applications is different from traditional job boards, especially since applications only come in through instant message. Ensure you know how you’ll post, take in applications, and interact with candidates.

Do Facebook Job Postings Suit Your Needs?

There are endless job posting and recruiting tools out there and you clearly don’t need all of them. Facebook is no exception and should be evaluated accordingly. A few questions to ask yourself are:

  • Who are your candidates? As noted, LinkedIn is better for professionals. Facebook will include them, but will also encompass another demographic of workers. At the same time, many people boycott Facebook or, if they are on it, they do not want to use it for a job search.
  • Do you have the resources to manage it properly? The previous section discussed developing a defined process. Once that is outlined, can you follow it? Do you have enough time and ability to manage those applications?
  • Do you have too many jobs? Perhaps the biggest downside for many recruiters is that Facebook has no integration with Applicant Tracking Systems. Part of its value is the easy application and information to your Facebook inbox, but if you have hundreds of job postings, that is an administrative nightmare.

All social networks have their uses and benefits and whether Facebook works for you is a decision for your recruiting team. One thing is for sure, as the largest social network in the world, its free job postings are guaranteed to be the right opportunity for countless small and medium sized businesses.

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Using Analytics to Create the Best Careers Page

Using Analytics to Create the Best Careers PageThe Careers Page on your website is one of the most important online recruiting tools you have. It’s the place where you can be certain all candidates are going to get your sales pitch about working for your organization. You use it as the hub for bragging about your benefits, culture and opportunities. It also usually includes links to job openings so people can apply.

Such an important asset must be monitored, maintained and continuously improved to ensure you’re always delivering the right message to job seekers. The question is: How do you know if it’s working?

Measuring your Careers Page will apply the same strategy used by your web team to monitor the success of your entire website. Google Analytics or a similar tool should already be set up, in which case, it’s a matter of requesting the right information.

Set Your Goals

The first step to improving anything is understanding specifically what you want to improve. Simply saying “We want the best Careers Page” makes it very difficult to measure success. Work with your recruiting team to understand exactly what you want to get out of the page. Does it just need to tell people how awesome it is to work at your company? Do you want job seekers to find your page and apply to job openings or reach out to HR? Is it a place where candidates at the interview stage can seek additional information about the organization?

You should also set a strategy about how you want people to learn about your page. For example, are you making a push to promote your company through social media or do you want to understand how successful your in-house recruiters’ emails are? Your strategy may also focus on referrals from other job boards or search engines like Google.

Decide What You’ll Measure

Your goals will dictate what you want to measure. Very often, people will track the traffic on the site, and feel happy when that grows. But how useful is that? What if all of those visitors were living on another continent where you don’t do business? Perhaps you have keywords and content that’s causing an influx of high school students to end up on your page while researching an assignment.

Conversely, you can’t measure everything either. If we consider Google Analytics as an example, there are hundreds of metrics and reports to choose from. Asking your web team for everything will be a waste of everybody’s time. A few areas you may want to consider monitoring are:

  • Which sources are people coming from? Do they fit with any recruiting investments you’ve made?
  • How well are people engaging with your page? Do they stay on it for a long time or are they leaving right away?
  • Where do they move to after your Careers Page? To another page on your company’s website or do they leave it completely? Do they apply for jobs?
  • How many of your visitors are returning visitors versus new people?
  • What region are they from? Are your recruiting efforts being wasted by attracting people from the other side of the world?
  • How many people apply to jobs versus look at them? Are any people dropping off part way through the application process?

Once you understand your goals and are tracking them against specific metrics, you will quickly see more success in your Careers Page. If you’re still not seeing success in your recruiting goals, then your next step may be to re-evaluate your online goals, ensuring they all connect.

What goals do you have for your Careers Page? Share your experiences with our readers in the comments below!

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Optimize Your Job Postings for Maximum Exposure

The first step to reeling in top job applicants is to have the best possible job posting. Beyond  a detailed description that tells a job seeker what you need, a perfect job posting uses persuasive communication to grab their attention as well as optimizes tools to drive people to the posting so it gains more exposure.

All of a sudden, creating a great job posting seems more difficult than a standard cut and paste job… it requires thinking! Before you get too overwhelmed, have a look at this AkkenCloud infographic that was created in partnership with Ghergich&Co. It highlights the most important strategies for gaining maximum exposure for your job postings.

Click To Enlarge

How to Optimize Your Job Posts for Maximum Exposure

Via AkkenCloud

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How to Write a Job Description (Video)

A proper job description is helpful when posting jobs during the recruiting process, but their usefulness goes beyond hiring. A perfect and detailed job description will ensure all employees are completing their tasks and allow for accountability if something falls apart.

Writing job descriptions can be daunting, especially when you’re starting from scratch or dealing with extremely outdated files. If you’re working in HR, or any sort of management, and find yourself in this position, have a look at this short video from HRCloud. Not only is it entertaining, but it gives some quick pointers on the basic elements of a job description.

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Does Your Recruiting Process Match Your “Fun” Corporate Culture?

Does Your Recruiting Process Match Your "Fun" Corporate Culture?How fun is your recruiting process? Not for you, but the applicant. If your organization boasts a fun work environment and encourages new hires to have a sense of humour, then shouldn’t you demonstrate that as a company while recruiting them?

Before going any further, let’s clarify that not every organization wants to have that fun, Silicone Valley-style corporate culture with ping pong tables. We all have different definitions of “fun” and to different degrees, and some organizations prefer to define their corporate cultures in other ways. Today, we’re going to provide some tips on where you can inject fun and humour, on any level, into your recruiting process.

Careers Page

The Careers Page on your website is the first place a job seeker goes to learn about your company before applying. It needs to reflect your culture. A common technique many HR departments already use on this page is interviews, either written or video, with current employees. You can continue to do this, and add lighter elements into the interview. For example, ask them to tell their favourite joke, their weirdest experience while with the company, or any other out-of-the-ordinary question. The way people dress and what’s happening in the background of a picture or video will also give an idea as to the company’s culture.

Job Descriptions

If you search through job descriptions on Indeed, you’ll notice that very few of them have that “fun” element to them. Most, at best, have a standard company boilerplate, followed by a description of the role and the requirements work in that role. That doesn’t scream “fun corporate culture.” Try including a few off-the-wall responsibilities or make light of the position’s stereotypes (make sci-fi references in a developer post, or comment on the accounting department’s obsession with being organized). You may also add some graphics, comics or memes.

Job Interview

Do not hire a stand-up comic to run a job interview, unless you plan to film it and make the next viral video on YouTube.  Your top priority in the interview is to evaluate the candidate and their skills, so it needs to stay relatively serious, but you do have some opportunities to stand out. Interviewers have a habit of going on a power trip, trying to intimidate candidates and make them sweat — why? Keep the conversation light and add a subtle joke here and there. You may choose to evaluate how they react or respond to your jokes, but most candidates will remain conservative as opposed to exposing their natural wit. A couple quirky questions will also soften the mood and give you a chance to learn about the candidate’s creativity.

A Few Words of Caution

Comedy is a tricky thing. If you’re not funny, you come off as cheesy or offensive. Understand where to draw the line and run ideas by other team members, before causing damage to your company’s reputation. Also, it goes without saying, but take note as to where the fun should be minimal. For example, the first phone interview, salary negotiations, and the first-day policy review all need to remain serious and professional.

How can you spruce up your recruiting process so it better matches your corporate culture? Do you have an ideas you’d like to share with our readers? Please share them in the comments below.

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How to Create Images for your Job Postings on Social Media

How to Create Images for your Job Postings on Social MediaIn a previous post, we discussed the importance of adding an image when sharing job postings on social networks, as well as a few tips for sharing them on networks including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. That sounds great, but for many recruiters and managers, it may raise the question “Where do I get images to share on social media?” Once again, Virtual Recruiter is here to help!

What kinds of images can you share with your job postings?

It’s really limitless. If you can think of something visual that would grab your job seeker’s attention and represent your employer brand, then throw it up there! Here are a few ideas to get your mind working:

  • Just the Title. Sure the title may be in the post, but adding “.NET Developer – Apply Today” in large colour letters will make a job seeker see you before your competitor’s identical LinkedIn post.
  • Any other stat, quote or statement. All you need to do is make somebody look at your link. Your image can be somewhat irrelevant to the job posting, as long as it will make your target audience look twice.
  • Memes. Memes are those witty images you see with white writing that get shared (sometimes overshared) across every social network you’ll ever be on. They also go viral. Wouldn’t it be cool if your job posting went viral?
  • GIFs. Social networks have only recently started supporting GIFs as much as they do now. There are ways to create your own, but even easier is to find a website that provides GIFs for free.

How can you create images to share with your job postings?

First, there’s no need to create them. There are plenty already available for you to share, you just need to look. You can share one that you already see on a social network (remember to give credit), or look through a free database, like Google Images.  Use search terms related to job hunting, your industry, or the specific skill. For example, “funny developer meme” or “job search quotes.” If you use Google Images, remember to click “Search Tools” and under “Usage Rights” select “Labeled for Reuse.”

Here are a few suggestions if you’d like to create your own images related to the unique job posting:

  • Talk to Marketing. If your company has a Marketing Department, then they may have access to software that makes creating graphics a cinch.
  • PowerPoint. Yes, PowerPoint is for more than just presentations! Start with a blank slide and use some of the built-in formatting. Then add your words, maybe some clip art and you’re done! Go to File, Save As, and change the file type to jpeg.
  • Canva. Finally, there’s this tool that will turn anybody into an expert graphic designer. Canva is a free resource that helps you create graphics very easily. It also has templates and sizing already optimized for the social network to which you want to share your job.

Are you adding images when sharing your job postings on social media? Do you plan to start? What ideas can you share with your readers?

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Tips to Recruit Techies When You Know Nothing About IT

Tips to Recruit Techies When You Know Nothing About ITAs your small business grows and becomes more successful, you may need to expand your team and start bringing some work in-house. As exciting as this is, hiring a new employee is always a huge investment and you want to make sure you recruit the right person the first time. If screening piles of resumes wasn’t already complex enough, what happens when you know absolutely nothing about the role you need to fill? Specifically, how do you hire your first information technology employee when you know absolutely nothing about IT? Here are a few tips:

  • Understand your needs. You don’t need to know all of the technical requirements at this point. For now, identify your own business objectives lay out everything that you know this person will need to handle. It’s a good idea at this point to also discuss the requirements with other people on your team who may require this person skills.
  • Write the job description. Read through job descriptions online and search for ones similar to what you require. This will help you nail down the right title for your new IT resource and learn about jargon, technologies and certifications you may want to include.
  • Know what attracts IT professionals. Your job description should also speak to your target market to attract the best talent. Like most people, techies are looking for a nice salary, but they also want to know they will have interesting work, new challenges, and work with the latest technologies.
  • Get the word out there. Major job boards and LinkedIn are great resources for recruiting anybody, but there are niche IT job boards and technical forums filled with with techies looking to be hired. Attending networking events or tech meetups will also get the right people in front of you faster.
  • Conduct detailed interviews. You go through this process with every new hire, but there are a couple extra steps to take with your new tech professional. In the interview, ask them about similar work they’ve done that relates to your current situation. Also, test them to ensure they can understand your business and objectives, as well that they can explain things to you clearly, in layman’s terms, and not in “geek speak”.
  • Ensure you can support them. Your new hire will want to be able to do their job in the best way possible. Learn what kind of equipment and software will be required to do that and obtain it, or you may be setting them up for failure.
  • Consider contractors. Independent contractors are often a better solution for technology projects that don’t last forever. Review your needs and see if a temporary or contract worker would make better sense.
  • Get help when you need it. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Especially if you truly don’t understand what you need, you don’t want to hire somebody only to realize it’s the wrong skillset. Help can come from your friends, your network, or a recruitment agency.

IT professionals — developers, analysts, architects or any other discipline — are a major asset to organizations; however, they can be tricky to find when you don’t know what to look for. These tips, plus the help of a trusted recruiting professional, will surely get you on your way to hiring the best IT resource.