Hi. I’m Peter Brasket, and I co-founded HotGigs with our fearless leader, Doug Berg. When I talk with our customers a few questions keep coming up, so for my piece of this blog, I’ll try to answer them.
For example, clients ask whether pay-per-click advertising campaigns can help them find better candidates. Yes, but since they can be expensive and time-consuming, you probably also want to consider alternatives. We think we’ve built a more effective tool that can complement or even replace PPC: Jobs2Web.
Pay-per-click (PPC), also called search engine marketing (SEM) or cost per click (CPC), is essentially placing ads on a major search engine like Google or Yahoo, that appear whenever someone searches on a certain word or phrase. You pay $X for every resulting click to your site.
It’s big business. On any given search page, “paid clicks” account for maybe 15 to 20 percent of the links clicked. “Organic” clicks, i.e., the natural, non-sponsored results make up the rest.
PPC is a useful tool and many on-line companies, including HotGigs, rely on it. But it’s also expensive. Before you rely on it, you need to understand whether or not it’s the most cost-effective choice.
Remember, 80 percent or more of the clicks from a search engine results page are “organic, i.e., NOT coming from PPC ads. Our JobsWeb tool focuses on capturing those organic clicks at a much lower cost per applicant, so it saves you a lot of money.
Generally speaking, a Jobs2Web cost per applicant is about 15 to 20 percent of the cost of an applicant sourced through PPC.
BTW, if you're considering or using recruitment PPC you need to know your cost per PPC hire. Or if you can't get to that level, at least try to measure your cost per PPC-sourced applicant.
- Find out how much you spent on PPC in a month (your PPC vendor reports this)
- Determine how many people clicked on your ads during that month (PPC visitors—also available from your PPC vendor)
- Of those visitors, how many uploaded resumes during this period? (PPC applicant conversion). You can obtain this using a tool such as Google Analytics or a tracking parameter in your ATS system. This tells you how many of the people that clicked through to your site actually uploaded a resume. Dividing applicant conversion into PPC visitors will give you a PPC applicant conversion rate.
- Now divide the amount you spent by the number of applicants, and you get cost per applicant.
That gives you a cost per applicant baseline. Once you have it, you can track the results of your experiments in attracting applicants cost-effectively. These methods might include improving your “pitch” or call to action, adding custom landing pages that provide more targeted information, and so on.
We also use this data to measure the effectiveness of Jobs2Web (Download PPCvsJ2Wchart.gif to see a line-by-line comparison of actual Jobs2Web organic results vs. PPC).
For example one of our clients spends about $5K/month on Jobs2Web, and their average cost per applicant is declining, now about $16.27. The same spend on PPC at a cost per click of 60 cents (Google's average PPC cost last year) would result in a cost per applicant of $48 – assuming they reached a 1.25% applicant conversion rate. J2W saves the client $31.73 per applicant, and because Jobs2Web is an organic search-engine applicant generator, their average cost per applicant will continue to drop with with time.
A second, smaller Jobs2Web client spends about $3500 monthly for Jobs2Web and is currently generating a $20.83 cost per applicant. Using more realistic PPC numbers – say $1 per click and a 1% applicant conversion rate- the client saves almost $80 per applicant against a PPC cost-per-applicant of $100.
Obviously you’ll always want to deploy a variety of tools to draw quality candidates. But pay attention to cost per applicant; that’ll tell you whether you’re getting good value.
Peter Brasket, HotGigs co-founder & senior vice president, business development, has extensive experience in e-commerce, staffing, advertising, and online promotion. He’s proficient in Japanese and the language of customer satisfaction, and has successfully built many customer-facing ventures.