July 24, 2013

Being there: improving recruitment efforts through search engine marketing

A guy spills coffee on himself on the way to a job that has been slowly grating on his psyche, and boom — he starts looking for a new position.

A guy spills coffee on himself on the way to a job that has been slowly grating on his psyche, and boom — he starts looking for a new position.

When I tell people I’m in recruitment marketing, they ask, “So you recruit doctors?” Or they nod knowingly, assuming I’m in traditional marketing. The words “recruitment” and “marketing” together have that effect. People find the concept challenging.

Unlike most of our colleagues on the services or B2B side, we work in a fickle climate. Job changes can be instantaneous or carefully thought out. A guy spills coffee on himself on the way to a job that has been slowly grating on his psyche, and boom — he starts looking for a new position. Or an employee gradually realizes she wants to be closer to her family and moves back to her home state. That’s why it’s so important to have the right message at the right time in the right place. That’s where search engine marketing (SEM) comes into play.

SEM allows your opportunity to appear through relevant searches and even on relevant content pages. If you’re not using SEM in recruitment, you should be. Here’s why:

  • It’s immediate. SEM provides useful data to job seekers at the appropriate time and place to drive traffic to your career site or landing page. Also, from a management perspective, you can turn your ad on or off right away so you can control the flight of your ad.
  • It gives you online exposure for added branding. SEM is a great way to increase brand recognition with the possibility of millions of impressions that, depending on your buy, could be very low-cost or even free.
  • It gives you absolute targeting. Imagine learning that a health system similar to yours in a neighboring state, city or town is being bought or is closing. With SEM you focus on that particular zip code and choose the keywords that are relevant to your hiring initiatives. You have the right opportunity and the right audience with the right needs in real time.
  • It’s budget-friendly. With SEM, you always get what you pay for and you never have to worry about overspending once you’ve established your budget. Better still, you don’t have to commit to a budget upfront and you can close out at any time.
  • It’s flexible. Since SEM offers near real-time analytics, you can edit or optimize content on the fly. If an ad isn’t performing, you can pull it or edit it. If your needs change, you can edit your keywords. If you need to change geography or target audience, you can.
  • It’s measurable. Linking through existing analytics with Google lets you track the impact of your SEM campaign across days, weeks or months. You can customize your reports to show a definitive conversion rate from clicks through to your site and even test the effectiveness of different creative.

As for results, ab+c recently finalized an eight-month SEM flight for recruitment that resulted in a 544.85% increase in unique visitors and a 400.69% increase in page views on a recruitment portal. Adding SEM to our client’s marketing mix led to drastically improved web traffic, an increase in physician hires and greater brand awareness year over year. Better still, the client initiated the SEM program within the existing budget.

The position that nobody knows about usually goes unfilled. Take advantage of the online employee search with an SEM plan that puts your opportunity in the right place at the right time in front of the right audience.




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