Recruiters should start thinking more like search marketers in order to get more traffic to (and quality leads from) their job listings.

In the last few weeks I’ve been fairly active on job sites looking for my next career move. There is a particular type of role I gravitate towards, which means I already know what I want... This should make it a simple and easy process, but it it isn’t and I think I’ve uncovered one of the reasons why.

The problem in question

Say I was looking for a role with some focus on paid search… Depending on my experience, my background, how I have been mentored and a host of other factors I may search different things. Here are just a few things that spring to mind:

  • Search Engine Marketing
  • SEM
  • Paid search
  • PPC
  • AdWords
  • Biddable media
  • Performance marketing

To a search marketer these are all variations of a topic which is fairly similar. You are unlikely to be a search engine marketer if you haven’t used AdWords, and PPC is definitely considered performance marketing. 

Look at the example below of comparable search terms, I get completely different results, and more importantly, many listings which will appear in one results page and not in another (lost search traffic).

Job Search Results

How recruiters can increase the number of (quality) leads

As mentioned in the title, this is about doing what digital marketers preach to clients day-in day-out. A job board or application in its simplest terms is a search engine, a search engine for employment. Therefore, it should be utilised with the same methodologies and strategies as search marketing to drive the best possible results.

Here are two techniques that search marketers have been implementing for years which may improve the effectiveness of your listings: 

Understanding the searcher

People search for different things, but they are often looking for the same thing. As a recruiter (or job poster) you have to understand this and increase your chances of finding the person who is looking for what you offer. 

This doesn’t mean cover every search term under the sun (please don’t do this!!), but it means thinking about related and associated terminology to ensure that you are findable for people who don’t necessarily use the same technical language and phrases.

Persuasive copywriting

Once you understand what people might be looking for, it is a case of packaging it up in some great, effective copy written.

Hundreds of people will be looking at your job listings, but only a small percentage will go on to enquire – this is your lead conversion rate. Think about how you can not only incorporate the new terminology into your listing, but how that listing can be more persuasive. 

You don’t have to lie about the job to do this, but there are certain things that people look for in a profession, understand what makes that type of professional tick and talk about it.

Final thoughts

It is fair to say that perhaps clients (particularly marketing agencies) should be driving this process of understanding the job seeker, after all, it is their future employee. However, would they been engaging a recruiter in the first place if they had spare time to be doing the background research and writing effective copy?

If this still doesn’t fully make sense to you as a recruiter, I wouldn’t fret, but I do think search marketing is worth understanding. I would recommend you do some further research on the topic or even look for some consultancy from your clients to fully understand it and its potential.

Edwyn Raine

Published 29 October, 2015 by Edwyn Raine

Edwyn Raine is Digital Strategist at Evolution 7 and a guest blogger on Econsultancy. You can follow Edwyn on Twitter

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