What is a Targeted Recruitment Strategy?
Targeted recruitment is a strategy used in recruitment advertising to describe the process of narrowing down your advertising efforts on a specific audience based on differentiating factors like geography, skill sets, or experience. Focusing your talent acquisition efforts with a targeted recruitment strategy ensures that your open jobs are shown only to individuals who fit the criteria you’re looking for.
Implementing a targeted employment recruitment strategy can help you build your employment brand within a specific niche, hire for hard-to-fill requisitions, increase applicant quality, and lower your cost-per-hire.
But how do you craft an effective targeted recruitment strategy?
Be specific: You need to know what you’re looking for and research effectively. Targeted recruitment is just that – targeted! To effectively target and market to the right potential candidates, you first need to know what you’re looking for. For example, are you looking to fill a Marketing role in Boston with a candidate that has 3-5 years of experience and a deep understanding of the field, or someone more entry-level with room to grow? Recruiters and hiring managers should work hand-in-hand to iron out targeting criteria to ensure that quality candidates are delivered.
Find your niche: Think about the publishers you’re including in your targeting strategy. For example, if you’re trying to reach healthcare talent, send your open jobs specifically to healthcare job sites. Work with publishers who know how to speak to your target group, and meet them where they live, work, and play online.
Set goals: A vital part of any recruitment strategy is setting goals. Whether your goals are to lower your overall cost-per-hire for a certain job group, to hit a number of applies for a specific role, or to hire X number of candidates for all of your entry-level jobs, it’s important to know your goals at the outset of your campaign planning so that you can effectively measure the ROI of your strategy.
Use data: Most importantly, use data to make your targeting decisions. For example, depending on the state of employment in the markets you’re hiring in, how you advertise will be impacted by unemployment rates. Evaluate trends in the markets in which you need to hire, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Lower unemployment rates correlate with more competition for candidates, which means you need to ‘bid up’ for the talent you want. A smart strategy is one that evolves with the market.
Benefits of Targeted Recruitment vs. Open Recruitment
There are numerous benefits of targeted recruitment that make it a smart strategy to implement at your company.
First, targeted recruitment enables you to build your employer brand presence in front of a select, highly valuable group of candidates. By crafting a recruitment strategy that targets healthcare professionals like full-time or per-diem nurses, for example, you have the opportunity to cultivate a positive employment brand image in the healthcare space. When your targeting is effective and your messaging is relevant, healthcare professionals will see your job ads and, as a result, become more familiar with your brand over time.
Second, crafting an effective targeted recruitment plan can help your company hire for hard-to-fill requisitions. In traditional open job advertising, the easiest-to-fill roles often receive a disproportionate amount of applicant volume, while the hardest-to-fill roles are left with hardly any (if any at all!) applicants. Targeted recruitment solves for this by taking the “post and pray” mentality out of job advertising.
Third, when you can be specific about the criteria potential candidates must meet in order to see your job ad, you know that the applications you receive will be qualified, desirable candidates. It’s as simple as that!
Finally, focusing your advertising efforts on generating quality (vs quantity) ensures that your spend is focused on delivering applicants who fit your targeted criteria. When you narrow your search to a select pool of talent, every dollar put toward your recruitment advertising becomes even more valuable. Targeted recruitment allows you to manage your budget more effectively and reduce your cost-per-hire because you can better allocate your spend, thus allowing for a better distribution of applicants.
Why Pay-for-Performance is an example of Targeted Recruitment
Pay-for-performance recruitment media allows advertisers to better target their future employees. Rather than paying for a duration-based posting or slot, advertisers can pay for clicks or applications, thus ensuring that their advertising spend is going toward meaningful interactions with job seekers.
In traditional recruitment advertising, the cost-per-click (CPC) model is dominant. But this model is not without its flaws.
In fact, our studies show that there’s a disconnect between the results a CPC publisher can offer, and the results that employers wish to receive from that offer. In a pricing model based entirely on clicks, a lack of follow-through from clicks to applies means that employers must spend a lot more money on clicks to get an acceptable number of applies.
Even worse, a high volume of clicks from unqualified candidates, or job seekers who don’t meet the criteria laid out in the description, costs you money that could have been spent on better targeting more qualified candidates.
Pay-for-performance advertising, on the other hand, is rooted in the ideology that your dollars should be spent on the results generated from your advertising efforts. For many recruiters, those results are quality applicants (you can’t hire clicks!).
When using data to make decisions, pay-for-performance advertising is the final step in rounding out an effective targeted recruitment plan. Why? Because it allows you to take the goals you set – like number of applies, or requisitions filled – and build a strategy around delivering on those goals. When you only put spend toward meeting your goals, you can more effectively measure the results of your advertising, make real-time adjustments, and measure ROI.
In the same way that a targeted recruitment strategy allows employers to be specific about when, where, and to whom their job ads should be shown, pay-for-performance allows employers to save their spend, and only pay when a qualified candidate submits their application.
Pay-for-performance and targeted recruitment go hand-in-hand in helping businesses decrease their cost-per-hire, and find more quality candidates for the same budget.
Targeted recruitment starts with knowing who you need to reach, and the results you need to achieve from your advertising. If you’d like to explore understand more about paying for performance from the perspective of generating applicants, check out this whitepaper!
This blog was originally published on March 3, 2016, and has since been updated.