Job Board Journalist: Employer Disconnects Could Spell Trouble for Job Boards

Peter Weddle

Note Bene: The following post is based on a presentation at TAtechEurope by Terry Baker, President of PandoLogic. It details the preliminary findings of the 2018 TAtech-PandoLogic Global Recruitment Advertising Survey. It is the second in a multi-part series. To read my first post, click here.

One of the key aspects that makes this Survey unique is that it acquires responses from BOTH Solution Providers (job boards, social media sites, digital media companies and other publishers) and Employers. This 360 degree perspective supports a comparative analysis of the two groups’ views of each other’s recruitment advertising strategies, practices and performance.

And, preliminary results from the 2018 survey indicate that there is a significant disconnect between Solution Providers and Employers in many aspects of recruitment advertising. Why is that important? Because alignment between those two parties – the sellers and buyers of ads – is critical to the health of the online recruitment market.

The Survey covered four specific areas: Ad performance (which I discussed in last week’s post), Advertising products, Product pricing and Programmatic ad buying. I’ll cover Advertising products in this post. (Numbers have been rounded up or down as appropriate for ease of comparison.)

Advertising Products

The Survey asked Employers, Which recruitment advertising products do you purchase? and found that:
• 80 percent used traditional job postings,
• 60 percent used performance based-advertising, and
• 50 percent were still buying print classifieds.

When the Survey asked Solution Providers Which job advertising products do you offer?, it found that:
• Almost 60 percent sold print classifieds,
• More than 50% offered traditional job postings,
• Better than 40 percent offered both traditional job postings and performance-based advertising, and
• Just 15 percent sold only performance-based advertising.

In other words, only slightly more than half (55 percent) of Solution Providers offered a performance-based product, while 60 percent of Employers said they were currently purchasing it. In addition, when Employers were asked which advertising products they find most effective – traditional job postings or performance-based advertising – a majority gave the nod to performance-based advertising.

On the quality of ads, 50 percent of Solution Providers gave their customers’ ads a rating of 3-out-of-5, while better than one-third rated them a 1 or 2-out-of-5. And sadly but no surprise, not a single Solution Provider rated the quality of the ads they were asked to post as Excellent.

It’s odd, therefore, that the majority of Solution Providers do not currently offer job aids, training or services to help Employers produce better ads. More than odd, it could also be leaving money on the table (as well as jeopardizing future advertising business) since 50 percent of the Employers said they would purchase such services if they were available.

Now, we all know that saying they would make such a purchase and actually opening their wallets to do so are two very different things, but still, it would seem that even Employers are aware of just how much work their ads need. Sure, job boards and other sites can provide assistance directly to their users, but that approach fails to reach the vast majority of recruiters (and thus a site’s potential customers).

What’s the answer? I think this finding makes clear that recruiters would welcome such content at recruitment conferences, and job boards should go to battle stations to ensure they get it What weapons do they have? All the money they spend on exhibits, sponsorships and registrations at those events. If conference organizers want that money, their conference programs should include content that would help employers make better use of job board products.

Finally, when asked if they adhere to the TAtech Declaration on Traffic Quality, just a quarter of the Solution Providers said Yes. Given that trust is the foundation of the recruitment advertising business – if Employers don’t believe the reports they receive on their ads’ performance are accurate, the business doesn’t exist – it would seem that every job board, social media site, digital media company and publisher would want avail themselves of this no-cost way of affirming their commitment to truthful ad reports. You can see the Declarations of companies already making such a public statement here.

Food for thought,

P.S. I’ll be covering the remaining two areas of the Survey in subsequent Job Board Journalist posts.

Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2018 events include:

• February 12-13, 2018 Scottsdale, Arizona USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on AI/Machine Learning in Talent Acquisition – the only conference totally focused on the capabilities and impact of AI/ML/NLP in recruitment. See you next year!

• March 13-14, 2018 Dublin, Ireland: TAtechEurope 2018 – the premier event for recruitment advertising and technology thought & business leaders in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. See you next year!

• April 18-19, 2018 Las Vegas, Nevada USA: The TAtech Spring Congress & Meetup – a unique conference designed to maximize opportunities for B2B networking, trending topic discussions and the exploration of partnerships and business opportunities.

• June 5-6, 2018 Minneapolis, Minnesota USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying – the only conference totally focused on the technology and applications of programmatic ad buying by both publishers and advertisers.

• September 26-27, 2018 Bourbon Street New Orleans, Louisiana USA: The TAtech Fall Congress & World Job Board Forum – the Global Economic Forum of recruiting, this event brings together thought & business leaders from job boards and all other talent acquisition technology solutions companies.


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