Facebook offers the best demographic and niche targeting in existence on any ad network, anywhere. Is it any surprise, therefore, that it’s an extremely fertile grounds for recruiting? Here’s how a recruitment agency developed around Facebook ads could become a major player in the staff hiring game.
First, you have to ask what pain are businesses currently experiencing in the hiring process?
One of those I’ve identified is the high cost of traditional advertising on job boards, often running in the $400 range on the big boards like Monster.
Another problem is that those are just job postings – the recruitment equivalent to CPM advertising. That is, you’re paying for marketing, when you should be paying for results. (Because Leaders Demand Results …)
Finally, it’s a pain in the ass to run ads and handle the whole process when you just need to hire an entry-level position. This is even more so when the job you’re hiring for is a minimum-wage, cashier and grocery bagger type job.
Second, how can you frame these problems with the hiring process in terms that a business can deal with?
The main issue here, defined in business terms, is really that the job boards + postings system is not as efficient as it can be. If you’ve been out job hunting, you know how many of those postings look identical to one another.
“Company X is a world leader in ABC field, widely recognized for its ## years of outstanding achievements. Come join an exciting workplace yada yada yada…”
Why should all these world leading companies have their brilliant human resources folks create these repetitive job descriptions? Don’t these folks have better things to do than find-and-replace Company X with Company Y in the job description they just copied?
And from a job hunter’s perspective, why find-and-replace Company X with Company Y in those letters of intent talking about both companies’ “exciting workplaces”?
Do you see where this is going?
Simply put, a smart recruitment agency should be able to aggregate identical and very-similar job openings and recruit for all of the companies with said openings in one go. Well, with the right job description – read: landing page copy – you can recruit for several companies all at once!
Bingo, you’ve just saved the employer and potential employee a whole bunch of time. Guess who they’re coming back to next time they need some recruiting done or are looking for a job?
Third, you have to be able to reach the people you want to hire.
In comes Facebook advertising.
You need 3 cashiers for your supermarket? Great. How old’s your average cashier? Where’s your store located? Done. Your supermarket’s name goes on the list with 2 other supermarkets in the same area.
You need 2 interns for your accounting firm? What schools? How old? Name some interests that would help them to fit your corporate culture. Where is the job? Done. Your accounting firm’s in there with the 4 others in your area who need to recruit new accounting talent.
Fourth, your recruitment agency needs a pricing model. This is a for-profit business, isn’t it?
Since you’re selling results, why not work on a performance model? Cost-per-action, in this case pay-per-application, could be quite effective. If it costs you $10 in click costs to generate an application, and you’re selling it to 5 employers for $15 each, you’re making 650% profit and getting a 750% return-on-ad-spend.
Of course, some will complain that this inevitably means that they have to compete with other employers for the same pool of talent. And that’s quite true. It’s also true of the current system, though – the current system just hides that from you…
Because job boards don’t charge employers for performance, and instead charge for posting garbage descriptions to their online bulletin boards, you can’t tell whether or not people applied for other jobs too. But just ask yourself – if you were hunting for a job, would you restrict yourself to just applying to one company? Obviously not. It’s just more obvious to employers with a pay-per-application business model.
This model is better for the employers too, because at $15 a shot, hiring can get really cheap compared to the $400-per-posting job boards. Even if you go at it statistically, and say that with a 1/5 shot at succesfully recruiting any given applicant, that’s still $325 better off than going with a job posting.
Besides, you can set pricing up for employers along a spectrum – the fewer employers competing with you for the same talent, the more each application costs; the more employers competing with you for each application, the less each application costs.
This also has indirect benefits on the job market. It saves money for employers that can really attract and retain talent, while driving up the costs of having an unattractive, crummy work environment. The market gets more efficient.
Finally, for the win…
Take those applications and sort them by some pre-determined criteria given to you by employers. You’ve just generated additional time savings for their human resources people as well as made the applications that do get sent on more highly qualified, meaning that more of those applications will be succesful. This boosts your reputation both with employers and job hunters.
p.s. Speaking of job hunting – my friend Jonathan Villiard, of Optimisation V, has created a neat little PDF explaining what SEO is, in French. If you’re in need of a Francophone SEO expert, I’d get in touch with Jon!
What do you guys think of this business? Good idea? Bad idea? Ugly idea? What feels vulnerable about it to me is the potential ability of LinkedIn to create something similar using data-mining technology and sell that to employers. I’d love to hear alternative ideas, improvements, suggestions etc!
p.p.s. Check out this post on Facebook users’ nude activity (safe for work).Facebook, Ideas, ppc, Webmaster