Glossary of Recruitment Terms & Frequently Asked Questions | Appcast

Definition of Terms and FAQ’s

Recruitment Advertising Definitions & Terms 

Active Job Seeker: Job seekers that are actively looking for new employment opportunities, sending out applications, and accepting interviews.


Application Time: How long it takes a candidate to fully apply for a job.


Applicant Tracking System (ATS): A critical tool for recruiters, staffing firms, and agencies of all sizes that need to manage candidates. While traditionally tailored to enterprise customers, ATSs now serve the entire market with industry and business specific functionality.


Candidate: Contrary to popular belief, “job seeker” and “candidate” are not interchangeable. Rather, they are linearly connected; a job seeker becomes a candidate once they have submitted their job application on one of your open roles. It’s the job of recruitment marketing professionals to turn those job seekers into candidates. But like job seekers, there are also various types of candidates (like qualified and unqualified candidates) that your recruitment organization will have to bucket based on the predefined qualifications for each individual job role.


Candidate Relationship Management (CRM): A tool that helps organizations build a pipeline and solve the recruiting needs of tomorrow. With a CRM, recruiting teams may not even be managing people who are candidates yet. Many CRM’s are used to capture a name and an email of a candidate. Overtime, recruiter’s can gradually build profiles to see where candidates fit in their talent pool.


Click-to-Apply Rate: The number of candidates who click on a job ad that end up completing a full application. A high click-to-apply rate paired with a high click rate indicates strong applicant flow (due to a simple, barrier-free apply process), whereas a low click-to-apply rate could indicate a lengthy, complicated process, (i.e not mobile-friendly, not browser-compatible or potentially just too long in terms of time and number of questions asked).


Conversion Rate: The number of candidates who click on a job ad that end up converting and taking any sort of “performance-driven” action. Oftentimes, with performance job ad units, conversion rates are calculated upon application completion (click-to-apply rate).


Corporate Career Site: A multimedia digital information portal about an organization’s employment opportunities and a driver of candidate engagement on social media, and more. Career sites enable organizations to showcase their company culture and values, organization accomplishments, and – of course – open job opportunities.


Cost-Per-Applicant (CPA): A payment model in which recruitment advertisers pay each time a candidate fully applies to their job ad.


Cost-Per-Apply-Click (CPAC): A payment model in which recruitment advertisers pay each time a candidate clicks on the ‘apply’ or ‘start apply’ button to begin a job application.


Cost-Per-Click (CPC): A payment model in which recruitment advertisers pay each time a candidate clicks on their job ad.


Cost-Per-Quality-Applicant (CPQA): The definition of ‘quality’ is up to the discretion of each hiring organization. Whether that definition of quality is a candidate who receives a phone screen or hiring manager review, it’s important to accurately evaluate all jobs from every source against the same benchmark.


Duration-Based Postings: A job ad model in which advertisers pay for an ad at a fixed rate, that runs for a fixed amount of time. Most duration-based ads can be purchased monthly.


Job Slots: A job ad model in which advertisers pay for a set amount of spaces purchased from a publisher, for a set price.


Lead Registration: A job ad model in which advertisers pay for someone to sign up for job alerts, or to register within the job site network, and gains access to that lead. Oftentimes, all that’s required for a lead registration is an email address capture.


Passive Job Seeker: Individuals who are currently employed and not actively looking to make a career change, or people who are thinking about making a change and skimming job boards, but not actually seeking out applying to jobs.


Retargeting: A form of digital advertising that helps convert people on the web who’ve expressed initial interest in your product or service. Retargeting ads appear via cookie tracking to remind users of their initial interest and encourage them to revisit your website or product.


ROI: Return on investment. Taken literally, how much return (in the form of whichever performance media is chosen) is made when money is invested in recruitment advertising.


Recruitment Advertising Sources

Ad Exchanges: An online publisher network comprised of different types of job sites, consumer sites, and social sites, where recruitment advertisers can buy recruitment media and advertise their own positions (candidates are delivered regardless of the source that drove the completed application).


Aggregators: A website that collects and aggregates related items – in this case, job postings from throughout the web – and displays them via direct links on their job site.


Job Boards: A website for a hiring company to post their open roles. This is an often sought-out destination for job seekers that are actively looking for employment.


Job Distribution Tools: Software that allows recruitment advertisers to post their jobs to multiple job boards.


Niche Job Sites: A job board that specializes in posting jobs in a certain industry, job type, or for a specific type of job seeker.


Social Networks: Many social networks have some sort of job posting capability. Job seekers can interact with job ads from within their social platform.


Talent Pools: An online compilation of potential candidates sourced from a platform, for an employer, recruitment agency, or hiring organization to utilize and look to at a later date.


Get the Definitive Guide to Recruitment Advertising

Metrics to Track

Cost-Per-Click (CPC): The amount paid out when a job seeker clicks on an advertisement to view it from the job listings page. This is similar to a lot of other advertising offerings in the consumer space, such as Google’s Doubleclick platform. Many recruitment media publishers make use of cost-per-click models. The reasoning behind this option is that interest in the ad is what drives the value of each one. Keeping track of this metric is essential to navigating the majority of job sites, as most offer a CPC consumption model.


Effective Cost-Per-Click (eCPC): Many job sites offer pay-per-click media but even if they don’t, measuring effective cost-per-click (eCPC) will give you a baseline to optimize spend, regardless of how you actually pay for media. To calculate eCPC, divide the total amount of money spent on the job ad (post, slot, or any type of other duration-based media), by the total number of paid clicks.


Cost-Per-Applicant (CPA): How much it costs to get a candidate through your online apply process. Only completed applications are considered against the cost of advertising spend.


Cost-Per-Hire (CPH): Some studies have shown that cost-per-hire is a falsified, inaccurate metric. It fails to capture all the factors of a position long unfilled. In reality, it’s only part of the overall cost of having an open position. Cost-per-hire forgets the various levers available to recruiters – the days of posting an ad in the newspaper are long gone, and now recruitment is a far more interactive process. Instead, consider the impact on your overall spend. How much money have you spent on your openings? CPH allows you to measure job openings by their direct impact on the organization, rather than simply the hiring plan. A lot of factors may contribute to cost-per-hire, such as the cost of recruitment media and the cost of covering the opening until it’s filled, thus providing a more accurate benchmark.


Time-to-Interview: The total number of days an open job is available and unfilled before interviews commence. The longer time-to-interview, the greater cost associated with advertising and promoting the open job.


Interview-to-Hire: An effective measure of candidate qualification, as it typically validates the ability to identify, qualify, and prep a candidate from interview to hire. However, interview-to-hire can fluctuate due to various factors, so it is best to look at a large data set before conclusions can be made about overall interview-to-hire time.


Time-to-Fill: Calculated by adding up the total number of days the open job is available and unfilled. Time-to-fill is a metric that not only speaks to the quality of the applicants you are receiving and screening, but also the cost associated with obtaining that talent. Longer time-to-fill may result in a more expensive cost-per-hire as the time and effort associated with filling the role extends. While it’s a harder metric to track, and will vary across different job types, it’s helpful in quantifying the greater impact of having unfilled positions at your organization. Talent acquisition teams that track and analyze their time-to-fill (alongside other recruiting metrics) can help to improve and eliminate any strains that may be present in the organization due to an unfilled position.


Applicant Volume by Hires: Describes the number of applicants, per each open requisition, that are needed to make a hire. This is calculated by tracking how many applications are needed to make one hire, across each job or job group. Tracking and understanding this metric is impactful because it can be used as a benchmark to properly advertise your open jobs and drive the appropriate number of applicants to screen. With some backwards math, knowing how many applicants you need to make one hire will help make your recruitment advertising spend across all your candidate sources more effective.


Quality Applications by Source (QA/S): The number of applications received from each of your sources that are defined as “qualified.” The ability to understand where quality applicants are coming from is pivotal for managing and allocating job ad spend but perhaps most pivotal, is defining what ‘quality’ means. Establishing and applying a specific event consistently creates a standardized approach to determine if each job site produces candidate quantity, candidate quality, or both.


FAQ’s – Recruitment Advertising

Q: What is programmatic ad buying?

Programmatic advertising is the use of software to purchase advertising, in real-time. All parties (buyer, publisher & software) participating in programmatic purchasing understand and agree to a defined way of doing business that involves little to no upfront commitments.

The effects of programmatic ad buying include the elimination of RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders on a publisher by publisher basis.


Q: What is programmatic ad buying for jobs?

Programmatic job advertising combines the use of data, rules and a clear set of delivery targets to automate the distribution of jobs in a scalable and repeatable process. This, in turn, optimizes advertising spend against measurable and impactful outcomes.


Programmatic for job ads adapts the current rules for digital marketing to account for candidate-based behaviors.


Q: What is “Pay-for-Performance” (PFP) or Performance Recruitment Media?

Pay-for-performance media allows organizations to invest in and manage their recruitment advertising budgets on a model that generates results in the form of candidate conversions on their ads, such as clicks on a job or completed applications.


Q: What is a conversion window?

A conversion window is the time between a candidate visiting your job and completing the application. Why does the conversion window matter?

  • Once a candidate interacts with your job, the conversion window ‘opens’ – which means if the candidate completes the application within that window the source that candidate originated from gets ‘source attribution’.
  • Conversion windows let programmatic systems choose the original source ‘winner’ when a candidate starts an application, stops and then reengages. Without a conversion window, organic traffic would falsely get attributed as the source of the candidate.


Q: Why can a higher cost-per-click (CPC) bid lower an overall cost-per-applicant (CPA)?

These factors are considered when a job site decides which job to show a candidate:

1)    Location of the candidates’ search vs location of the job

2)    Relevancy of the candidates’ search to the job title

3)    The price per action (impression/click/apply click)

4)    The remaining budget on that job/group of jobs


There are three other relevant factors:

1)    Relevancy of the job sites’ audience

2)    Size of the job sites’ audience

3)    Email distribution vs real-time search results


When combining all these factors, a high CPC on a highly relevant audience in real-time can generate applies at a lower eCPA (effective cost-per-applicant) because of a higher than expected conversion rate. Learn more →


FAQ’s – Recruitment Advertising Technology

Q: What is XML – Extensible Markup Language?

It is a file format used by systems to quickly transmit and display jobs. XML is the standard in the jobs space; expected and standard data format.


Q: What is an API – Application Programming Interface?

This is the most common method for computer systems to talk to each other. It provides a system of rules for computers to exchange data, particularly key to enabling real-time data exchange.


Q: What is Site Scraping?

An automated script that reads data directly from web pages, like job listings, it allows any system to read job listings, regardless of ATS capabilities. This is an option when more sophisticated options like XML or an API are not available. It can be problematic on occasion due to the scrape failing due to changes to the site or other technical errors.


Q: What do Pixels do?

Pixels are ‘web beacons’ used to track some set of activities. Pixels ‘fire’ to tell a computer something has occurred on that webpage.


Q: What are the different types of Pixels?

JavaScript PixelSophisticated tracking allows for detailed tracking on pages, enables tracking of key information such as job ID and candidate ID.


Image PixelsThe simplest form of a tracking pixel, records events as the tiny image is rendered on the page.


It’s important to note that pixels do not track any personally identifiable information, they only record that a conversion event has occurred and if needed they can associate those activities with a particular anonymous record in your systems (ATS).


Looking for more? Visit Appcast’s Recruitment Marketing Resource Hub! →