Tens of millions of searches are conducted on the job boards every month. These are the active job seekers, drawn to one or another or, as is usually the case, more than one job board because, as Willie Sutton never said, that’s where the jobs are.
But for every active seeker, there are many more who, if they learned of the right opportunity, might just be convinced to kick the tires. Reaching those millions of others in order to find just that one, perfect candidate, is a recruiting goal best described as a quest.
For years, now, the job boards have been in hot pursuit. They’ve partnered with newspapers — CareerBuilder is mostly owned by newspaper publishers and Yahoo’s network is hundreds of newspapers deep — they power niche sites, buy keywords on search engines and traffic from social media, and have built networks of hundreds, even thousands of blogs, content providers, hobby sites, professional associations, and others.
In most cases, the networks and traffic deals simply broaden the distribution of job postings. Some, like the programs run by SimplyHired and Indeed, offer publishers the ability to choose what types of job ads to display. It’s a rudimentary type of targeting based on the content and nature of the site.
Monster’s Career Advertising Network is more sophisticated in that it targets ads to the user based on their browsing and job search behavior. Come across an ad that catches your attention and you click into the posting on Monster.com.
But recruiters are looking for more; instead of simply collecting apps, recruiters, influenced by social media, want to build relationships with candidates and bring them to the corporate career site.
Now Monster is leveraging its ad network to drive candidates to where recruiters want them and to deliver an advanced set of analytical tools to help them more accurately tally up the results of a CAN ad.
I got an overview of the changes Monster has tested with some of its bigger customers. The change in the business model will undoubtedly appeal to recruiters and employers who might have balked at the old program’s double-dipping. Previously, you bought a job posting on Monster, then bought a CAN ad that linked to that job posting.
However, Monster is clearly putting the emphasis on building traffic to corporate career sites. Customers want to go from their ATS to the ad network and drive traffic back to the corporate career site via the ATS, Monster’s PR chief Matt Henson said, explaining the rationale behind the first of the enhancements to CAN.
Previously, employers who bought into CAN converted a job posting to a text ad (with logo) to get broader exposure: active job seekers via the Monster posting, and passive seekers (or at least less active seekers) via the CAN ad. CAN, being a period buy, meaning the ad would be served up over 14 or 30 days, didn’t guarantee a certain number of impressions, but company officials said an ad would typically get at least 40,000 and as many as 200,000.
Now, employers who have a Monster account can skip the job board posting and go right to CAN, bringing potential candidates directly to the corporate career site where the company can tell its story and begin a relationship.
The second development that Monster introduced is every bit as valuable and, if you are data-driven (as Dr. John Sullivan has been evangelizing for years), it may even be more useful. This is a set of enhanced analytics that can tell you where a candidate saw your CAN ad, how they came to your career site, and what they did when they got there.
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So even if a candidate came across the ad last week, didn’t click on it, but today remembered it and Googled the company to find the job, the new analytics will tell you that. Did the candidate check out the job, leave, and then come back a few days later to apply? The metrics will tell you that.
“It let’s us go beyond the click,” says Chris Snow, analytics product manager at Monster. His comment that these analytics are “a powerful tool for recruiters” is understatement. Besides offering insight to the targeting and effectiveness of a specific ad, the data can help assess the ad’s branding value.
The first release of the analytics are already in place. They provide data on landing page visits (for the ads), candidate source information, application starts and completes, and basic ad click and impression information. More data points are coming in the future.
The analytics use a cookie with a 14-day duration, so anyone refusing cookies or who cleans them out at the end of a browsing session or acts after two weeks doesn’t get counted. That’s an issue everyone faces with cookies.
Still, that’s likely only a small number of job seekers. For everyone else, recruiters can get a much clearer picture of candidate interest and ad yield.
It’s also a plus for Monster, since source of hire statistics have always been problematic. Most sourcing data is gathered by candidate self-reporting or automatic capture by the ATS. So that candidate who Googled the company in the example above would be counted as coming from a search engine, when, in reality, they were acting on an ad.
Making all this work requires a tight integration with a corporate ATS, which means the CAN ad tracking isn’t going to work for every employer. You need to have a way to create and submit a requisition through Monster’s Business Gateway.
Monster says there’s also a certain amount of customization a vendor is going to need to do for the system to work. It’s working with a few of the major ATS vendors now, though the customers will be driving the integration.