7 Key Trends for Recruitment Advertising in 2018

Recruitment Advertising

2017 was an interesting year, lots of talk of change, new technology and media entrants. But in reality, for most in-house recruiters and recruitment advertisers, it was largely business as usual.

However, like in any storm, you hear the distant rumble of thunder before the full storm hits, 2017 was very much a year of rumblings. 2018 looks set to be the year when we see the storm itself and how it creates real change within our industry, driven by the rollout of AI technology (Including our own

ClickIQ platform), entry of major media players such as Google and Facebook, the creation of new recruitment advertising networks and the increasing adoption of spend on Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising.

ClickIQ looks ahead at what the year ahead has in store and how to make sure you ride out the storm and don’t drown in the subsequent downpour. Here are our top 7 trends for 2018…

1) A surge in performance-based advertising

Pay per click recruitment advertising, as championed by Indeed and soon to be joined by Google, has grown exponentially in the last few years. 2018 will likely be the year in which traditional pay for time job boards also offer it up as a commercial model for clients in the UK.

We’re expecting pay-per-click (PPC) ad spend to skyrocket in 2018 as more and more recruiters realise its benefits, including:

  • Access to a much larger audience of job seekers, since job search engines/aggregators (the channels that predominantly offer PPC) are now the #1 method of finding jobs
  • Free advertising through organic search results (no more paying for high responding roles)
  • Lower advertising costs for harder to fill roles (PPC is much more cost effective than time-based ads in skill shortage areas)

The downside however, is that in some skill shortage areas, such as Nursing, click inflation will mean that due to high levels of competition prices will increase significantly.

2) Managing PPC complexity with programmatic software

As advertisers move to a Pay per Click model, the complexity and time needed to manage advertising campaigns manually increases significantly, and trying to optimise every ad on every search engine every few hours, adjusting your bids according to response levels, conversion rates and job types quickly becomes impossible. But if you don’t then you’ll waste budget on easy-to-fill roles, not apportion enough spend on hard-to-fills roles, and end up with a flood of unwanted applicants.

This is where automated programmatic software comes in, particularly if you’ve got a lot of jobs to fill. That’s why we expect to see more and more recruiters adopting these tools in 2018, which will help manage it all for you.

3) AI and automation

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are having a huge impact across many industries, not just recruitment. Manual processes are being replaced by automated ones, speeding up companies’ operations and allowing staff to focus on other things. AI is being used to continually hone those processes to make them more efficient, more valuable, and more targeted to customers’ needs.

In recruitment, AI and automation are enhancing applicant tracking systems by reducing time-to-hire, speeding up CV screening, and improving responsiveness to candidates. Buying and managing advertising is also becoming increasingly automated (using programmatic technology, as discussed above) largely due to the complexity in managing and optimising it manually. In 2017, ClickIQ became the UK’s first programmatic recruitment marketing platform with integrated AI — the purpose of the AI being to continually optimise your ad campaigns by learning what works and what doesn’t.

4. Google and Facebook

 These two online giants signalled their intent to enter the UK job space in 2018 is sure to have the biggest impact of all on the market. Google’s ad revenue in 2017 was a staggering $74 billion, and at $38 billion, Facebook’s was pretty intimidating too. Together they own about 50% of the online ad market.

Following their dominance of the digital advertising world, they now have their sights set on the recruitment advertising industry with Google for Jobs and Facebook Jobs. Google already owns the top of the recruitment funnel, with c70% of all job searches starting there, while Facebook with its huge reach and customer segmentation data allows advertisers to target passive job seekers. Once job advertising spend starts flowing into Google and Facebook, it will have a significant impact both on traditional job boards and the major aggregators including Indeed.

The best advice we can give to traditional job boards is, if you can’t beat them, join them by incorporating a PPC option for clients. For smaller boards, join networks too; there is strength in numbers.

Again ClickIQ, provides you with a single platform to track and Manage all your media, ensuring you are always ready to track and promote your jobs using any new sources of applicants.

5. Skill shortages and passive candidates

Skill shortages are set to continue in 2018 and be worsened by Brexit, particularly in industries like healthcare and hospitality. Trying to plug the gap means extending your reach to appealing to passive job seekers as well as active ones. Social media and display advertising are good ways of reaching passive candidates and should be considered when planning your recruitment strategy.

A few tips for targeting passive job seekers:

  1. Your employer branding needs to be strong and appealing. You’re trying to attract people away from their present employer, so you need to make it clear what’s in it for them.
  2. Improving your company rating on sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed has a significant impact on application conversion rates, so utilise their tools fully.
  3. However, don’t put all your efforts into just targeting passive candidates. Appeal to both, just remember that strategies targeting active ones are still more important. After all, passive job seekers are — by definition — harder to recruit, and therefore more expensive.

6. The emergence of media networks

To compete with the larger Job boards, many of the smaller are grouping together to join or create networks, often through 3rd party sites like JobG8 and ZipRecruiter. Both distribute ads to a network of external boards and share the revenue between them. It’s a way for recruiters to buy ads across a network, and for traditional job boards to generate additional revenue through PPC.

Our own ClickIQ software platform already integrates across 22 different sources including both individual sites as well as networks such as JobG8 and ZipRecruiter. The AI, then takes a media neutral approach to allocate the spend in the most effective way, by using sophisticated analytics, AI-enhanced programmatics, and automated campaign management tools to optimise advertising performance across the network.

7. The rise of in-house recruiters 

There’s been an increasing trend for companies to move their recruitment processes in-house, rather than outsourcing them to recruitment agencies. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Global agency fees are at an all-time high of about $100 billion per annum.
  • Emerging technologies and the availability of CV databases are making it easier and cheaper to recruit in-house.
  • Agency recruiters have been slow to invest in new things, such as PPC and AI, and are now lagging behind their in-house counterparts.

Companies reducing their agency spend and doing it themselves is set to continue in 2018 if agencies don’t up their game. Our blog Are recruitment agencies getting left behind? has some advice for agencies looking to do just that.

About ClickIQ

ClickIQ is an Automated Talent Attraction Platform which uses AI and Programmatic technology to intelligently manage and optimise your recruitment advertising in real time, across an extensive network of performance based recruitment media.

Saving recruiters significant time and money whilst also increasing their advertising reach.

Follow Richard Collins on LinkedIn to explore of the latest developments in the sector and to learn how you can keep your Talent Attraction strategy ahead of the curve.

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