Recruitment Marketing

Job Boards Playing Performance Marketing Catch-Up

Recruitment Marketing

Job Boards Playing Performance Marketing Catch-Up

Recruitment Marketing

Job Boards Playing Performance Marketing Catch-Up

by Deb Stowe AIM Group | May 4, 2023 | HRTech , Recruitment PRO

Job boards still lag “light years” behind other e-commerce sectors in their use of performance marketing, according to recent research, threatening their success and in some cases their survival.

The U.S. leads Western Europe in the field, with Northern and Eastern Europe and the rest of the world trailing.

While larger companies typically take a more on-point approach to performance marketing, young tech-focused players often punch above their weight, stealing a march on local incumbents, whose position has spared them from having to focus their attention on the topic — something that is now changing.

The conclusions come from recruitment marketing tech company Aimwel, following extensive research into the sector.

Even the more advanced job boards still lack the sophistication seen in highly competitive online sectors like travel and e-commerce, argued Dennis Van Allemeersch, COO of Aimwel.

“The technological/data capabilities of the bigger ones lag behind their strategic and organizational capabilities (due to legacies), meaning they cannot fully execute their vision; they tend to use specialist external partners to bridge that gap,” he told the audience at the AIM Group’s RecBuzz conference in Berlin.

Van Allemeersch attributed the geographical hierarchy — topped by the U.S. followed by Western Europe — to the level of competition, presence of Indeed and aggregators, and rise of programmatic.

“Tracking is a big (market) concern across the board. Almost nobody (even not the biggest ones) are ready for a cookie-less world. Surprisingly few steer performance on finished applications, and this in a market which more and more demands true performance,” he added.

Aimwel found that while bigger job boards are usually more sophisticated, young tech- (rather than sales-) oriented boards are surprisingly savvy. Meanwhile dominant (local) market players usually trail behind as until now they have had no need for great performance marketing — something that is changing under the current market conditions.

Less well-prepared smaller players are likely to struggle to survive (unless they have a long history in a very specific niche with a loyal community), warned Van Allemeersch.

Performance marketing is an important tool for recruitment marketplaces, he said, which are coming under pressure from economic woes, a declining number of application per job due to demographics, increasing difficulty in finding passive job-seekers amid technology proliferation and growing challenges in tracking owing to changes to privacy regulations.

To gauge market readiness, Aimwel conducted in-depth interviews with 36 global job boards of varying sizes, both established and new players.

Based on its findings, it then categorized job boards according to their levels of maturity in terms of performance marketing. Companies characterized as “nascent” take an ad hoc approach, relying on organic or direct traffic, while those deemed “emerging” use traffic add-on, with single-channel budget management.

Further up the scale of preparedness, “professional” level job boards display ongoing, rule-based performance optimization per channel, while the “expert” players run automated, AI-driven future-proof campaigns per job as a competitive advantage, outlined Van Allemeersch.

The latter companies enjoy optimization improvements, a better distribution of job applications and lower bot traffic.

“Having great b-to-c performance marketing capabilities will give you a competitive edge, because, for example, you’ll be ready for the death of third-party cookies, and with first-party data be able to measure the true performance of your campaigns and hence optimize them way better,” he told RecBuzz attendees.

“You’ll be able to run way more granular job campaigns, with, for example, a significant increase in the number of jobs that get one application or more, and detect and combat fraudulent transactions on your site.”

He urged job boards need to consider such aspects as their organizational capability and the automation level of their campaigns.

Aimwel says it identified five key accelerators through its research:

  1. Accurate classification for jobs

  2. Cookie-less end-to-end tracking

  3. Dynamically allocating budget and optimizing across channels

  4. Automate performance campaigns on single job level

  5. Clear strategy and agile organization

Amsterdam-based Aimwel is a b-to-b software-as-a-service company, founded by publisher DPG Media.

Find original AIM Group press release here.