Appcast Recruitment Media report reveals how to improve US job ads

Katherine Fanning

July 18, 2018

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Leading developer of programmatic job advertising tech, Appcast, has recently published their data regarding the yearly Recruitment Media Benchmark Report. Like the 2017 findings, online job advertising continues to take up around 30 percent of overall recruitment budgets – and most interestingly, the 2018 stats show that trends are “validating” the vicious talent competition.

As the leader in programmatic job advertising technology, Appcast was uniquely able to analyze over 50 million clicks and 3.7 million applications during 2017 from more than 400 companies who marketed their job ads on a pay-for-performance basis (cost-per-click or cost-per-applicant.)

For the first time, the research found a significant correlation between job seeker behavior and unemployment rates by state and function. Specifically, in states and functions with low unemployment rates, recruitment advertising drove fewer applies per ad impression than in population segments with higher unemployment rate—indicating job seekers are becoming more selective in their job searches as the labor market tightens. The impact of this behavior is that the cost and challenge of finding candidates in low unemployment segments – such as Minnesota where as of December 31, 2017, the unemployment rate was 0.6% percent below the national average and the apply rate on jobs was 5% below the national average as well – making it increasingly difficult for employers to generate enough applications to fill their requisitions. This data could prove to be helpful as a leading indicator for more macroeconomic models to determine when and where wage growth may be heading.

The research also validated the importance of employer branding and job content. Job titles, job descriptions and Glassdoor ratings helped drive higher apply rates.

  • Total Rewards: Listing non-cash employee benefits in job ads radically motivated candidates to apply; there was a direct relationship between the number of benefits – such as healthcare and dental insurance, employee discounts, paid time off and others – mentioned in the job ad and the apply rate. In fact, organizations that listed at least four non-cash benefits found a 20%+ improvement in the effectiveness of their online recruitment advertising.
  • Job Titles Matter: Shorter job titles had the highest apply results; the apply rate was twice as high for one- to three-word titles than for more than 12 words. Character symbols such as dollar signs and exclamation points were assessed; excluding such symbols increased the number of clicks-to-applies from 4.3 percent with symbols to 6.7 percent without.
  • Employer Brand: Organizations with a higher Glassdoor profile rating attracted more candidates on job ads than those with lower ratings.

Appcast Vice President of Marketing, Rob Green, commented, “Job advertising is one of the most significant parts of any talent acquisition team’s budget. Our research revealed once again that competition for talent varies by market, by device and even by job description. Understanding how these factors impact recruiting strategies is an important first step towards gaining access to the talent you need.”

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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.