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How Online Job Advertising Works
(April 17, 2001) Again, there are four parts of an online ad:
  1. The ad (button, banner or other tool) itself (the ad);
  2. The media outlet that features the ad (the property)
  3. The page that the ad points to (the link); and
  4. The content of the page (the sell)
This most basic level, one ad all by itself, limits the view of an ad to the fundamentals. In later articles in this series, we'll describe techniques for distributing ads to a variety of properties; how standards assist in branding; use of back end software for managing results; and front end tools for ad development. For today, we want to take the simplest view of an ad. Getting these fundamentals correct is the critical detail work that makes all other things possible.

A Job ad, tucked into one of the massive employment databases, into a niche database, as a part of a banner advertising campaign or sent in email, shares these four basic characteristics. Careful attention to each of these components will result in dramatic increases in the effectiveness of a given job ad. For the umpteenth time, we want to suggest that the use of the word 'posting' (an easy slip of the tongue, even for us) leads to inattention and bad results. Like anything, results bear a direct correlation to the investment made in them.

The Ad
It's surprising how little attention is given to the crafting of a compelling message in a job ad. Like graphic ads on the web, the initial objective of a description of an employment opportunity is to engage the reader, to cause the reader to submit an application or resume. Buried in an avalanche of data, the prospective candidate is faced with an overwhelming chore. Clear, friendly language, a compelling tagline, even a joke will make the opportunity stand out from the mind numbing thousands of others competing for the attention of the candidate.

Microsoft Word offers a reading grade level score. One way to be sure that ads are immensely readable is to set a standard target of a 9th Grade Reading level. Like all challenges, it is very difficult to write consistently at a 9th Grade level. But, the short sentences and action oriented verbs of this level make for easy reading and solid comprehension.

Finally, a job ad is all about establishing an initial relationship with a candidate. What they want to know may not be what you want to tell them. The more an ad is focused on the benefit to the candidate, the more effective it will be. It's a simple case of good manners, really.

The Property
The peculiarities of each service allow for a variety of ways to influence the effectiveness of the ad. You can variously buy the position you achieve in the search results, supplementary banners, sponsorship positions, extra-special micro websites and so on. A fair thing to consider when advertising on a job database is how much influence you are able to purchase.

A bit more important, however, is the question of whether the property reaches the audience you are targeting. Although they are clearly more bother, small regional and professional sites deliver higher quality results. There are also services, like the advertising offered by Salary.com that will allow you to guarantee a precise flow of the exactly right traffic to your ad.

The Link
Although this is broadly understood, having the link (the submit your resume button) on a job ad point to a site that you control is a critical concern. Only when you own the destination of the data can you fully articulate your sell and capture the data you want in a database of your own.

The Sell
If the ad is designed to provoke a response, then each ad should have a tailored response page. Additional specifics about the job, links to the workplace, details about the commute, another presentation of company benefits are all wonderful additions to a decision being made carefully by a potential employee. A significant portion of the time a recruiter spends explaining the company and its culture can be included in the sell as well as assessments and other ways of getting to know the prospect.

Very few recruiters really harness the potential of this four part advertising strategy. By refining the target, polishing the sell, capturing the data in your own database and controlling the delivery, you can dramatically change the bang you get from your advertising buck.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 interbiznet.
All Rights Reserved.

Materials written
by John Sumser
© TwoColorHat.
All Rights Reserved.

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