Traditional Recruitment Advertising just doesn’t work anymore.

Mail Chimp road

It’s true. The way recruitment advertising used to work and the results it used to produce for employers will likely never be seen again.

First there was print advertising. With little or no competition for years this machine used to be the Mecca for recruitment advertising; The application numbers were phenomenal. Two issues knocked this train off the track. The heightened advertising cost Vs the decreasing distribution numbers and the lack of employed expertise to juggle the transition of a life in print to online.

Then the age of the internet took over. National Job boards could produce double or triple the number of applications and at half the cost. Initially the employer market was cheering; Money saved in the budget and so much choice in applications they didn’t know what to do with themselves. However National Job Boards have their own problems. A decline in application numbers due to job seeker audiences being spread between too many job boards along with employers put off by the number of irrelevant (mainly out of area) candidates. I feel it’s only a matter of time before we see the collapse or folding of some of the biggest household Job Board names.

I originally set my Recruitment Advertising company up, as a job board ‘PRODUCT’. My aim was to bridge the gap between the demand for good local coverage and affordability. I accepted that application numbers would be lower than the national offering but continued to believe that the quality would be found within the local applications. To survive the changes I’m going to talk about in this article I had to tweak the way we operated and the product we offered; From a standard reactive advertising product to a proactive recruitment ‘marketing led’ SERVICE.

We battle on two fronts when pitching our advertising services to employers. The first battle is with the old school print ‘faithful’ who just hate change! These employers (a high percentage of which I find are schools) are just happy to waste money on expensive repeat adverts week in and week; holding on to the fact the paper ‘used’ to produce the applications they now crave for. The worst thing…most of these employers aren’t open to entertain a conversation on trying something different; even when what they’re doing isn’t working. That’s their words, not mine!

The 2nd battle and just as tough as the first, but for different reasons, are the employers who have used job boards (this service replaced the old lamp post marketing solution). Employers who use/used this service, with very little success, frustratingly group any online recruitment based service in with ‘JOB BOARDS’. These employers moan constantly about the lack of talent out there and/or the high cost of agencies. Waiting for someone to find you will often make you feel like there’s no one out there.

I feel we’ve been in a new age of recruitment advertising for a little while now. It’s a cross breed of online advertising with an agency feel. Low cost, pay on success advertising.

There’s a small selection of like minded companies (I’m certainly not the first) to create this hybrid solution where, through proactive job advertising formulas, given to us by great technological advances, job advertising has gone from ‘lamp post marketing’ to a ‘recorded delivery mailing service’ ensuring the right people get the information. This service isn’t as cheap as a standard job board listing but, like with that special parcel, if you want to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the post, it’s always worth paying the extra.

If you found this article useful and would like to hear more about how we work and our plans to help your recruitment strategy, you can email us at

Thanks for reading,



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Filed under Employers, Online Recruitment Advertising, Recruitment, recruitment stories

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