BLOG: LET'S TALK TECH & TALENT

August 6, 2020 | Joveo | Blogs

Talent Talks ft. Adzuna | How Recruitment Advertising is Evolving in the COVID-19 Era











During a recent episode of Talent Talks, Jenn Terry (VP of Strategy at Joveo) was joined by Iain Moss (B2B Marketing Manager at Adzuna) and Dan Sapir (VP Partnerships and Business Development at Joveo), to discuss:

  • How the COVID-19 crisis has prompted talent acquisition leaders and recruitment marketers around the world to move their job advertising spend from traditional pay-per-post to pay-for-performance channels
  • How they can drive such transitions while mitigating risk
  • The benefits of programmatic job advertising

Watch the video or check out the highlights in the transcript below, to learn more!

The Post-COVID “Warm Reopening

Jenn: I want to start off the conversation with something that’s really timely – COVID-19. One of the things, Iain, that I recognized on the Adzuna blog was that you guys have some really, really good actionable information about trends related to COVID-19. Would you mind telling the viewers a little bit about that?

Iain: Sure! One of the things Adzuna prides itself on is having a huge array of data about vacancies. Some of the things we’re able to see in terms of vacancy numbers (and across categories) point out things like – the UK is probably doing the worst of all the countries in terms of the number of vacancies it’s lost, and as a percentage. The US is starting to begin its recovery though it’s had a slight stutter this week, and countries like France and Germany are coming back to normality, really. They’re very close to what they were pre-COVID. We’re then able to slice and dice that a little bit to see what it’s like by different categories. We’re able to see what’s going on in hospitality and catering, which is certainly, here in the UK, struggling a lot because no one’s hiring, and because the bars and pubs and restaurants were all shut, though they’re beginning to reopen now. 

Jenn: As some of the countries are starting to warm up, how are you seeing the post-COVID “warm reopening”? How are you seeing the cost per click, click to apply ratios, and – some of those things that are a little more core to your business – how are you seeing those impacted?

Iain: Well I think overall there’s been a bit of a decline. Because in the UK, we have the furlough scheme – we have what the government called the job retention scheme – which means that people don’t have to apply for jobs because their salaries are being paid. It means a lot of people are quite happy not to apply, whereas under normal circumstances if you saw a huge increase in unemployment, you’d expect the cost-per-clicks to go way down. We’re not seeing that quite so much, it’s a little bit down, but as we start to pull out of this, it’s still early to tell because, here in the UK, it’s July the 4th, which is the day when a lot of the economy is going to start opening. Pubs and restaurants and things like that will start to reopen. We’re not quite seeing these things creep up just yet, but it’s beginning.

Jenn: That’s really interesting. You would think that there would be a real deluge of candidates. 

The Evolving Role and Adoption of Recruitment Advertising Channels

Jenn: Now, Dan I’m going to flip that over to you for a further question. Employers rely on a variety of channels, right? Job boards, Google ads, those sorts of things – can you give an overview of how each of those are…what part each of those play in our, I guess, our architecture?

Dan: Sure, absolutely. We rely on a bunch of different channels and we distribute to traditional pay per post channels, pay-for-performance, and then, of course, social channels like Google and Facebook. We typically see that savvy companies, at least in the United States, (in international markets it’s a bit different), focus primarily on pay-for-performance sites. So we’ll help optimize across a network of hundreds of different pay-for-performance sites, and then when people don’t have enough reach, that’s when they start moving towards Google and Facebook. They have phenomenal targeting, but the reality is, it can be a little more expensive to get to those users. So those companies are starting with the pay-for-performance sites.

Jenn: That makes sense. Iain, you have an interesting perspective, more of a UK perspective. Do you see it the same, or is it a little bit different?

Iain: Yeah, I think employers are a bit less savvy than I think they are in the US. Certainly, the adoption of programmatic in the UK is well behind where it is in the US, but we’re starting to see things start to pick up a little bit, because people are starting to realize the benefits of programmatic solutions, and the fact that – the obvious things –you can bid on job level data, and you can start to actually measure and track things a lot more. I think employers generally have been a bit reluctant to get into the nitty-gritty of how they’re attracting people, but we’re seeing more people being employed – the big employers – that are recruitment advertising specialists.

Programmatic Job Advertising: The “Better Way”

Jenn: I think that your point is really poignant in that traditional HR folks may not have yet seen the value of programmatic advertising and ad networks like Adzuna. If you were to give your two-minutes “spiel” on why is this the better way to go, right? What would you say to an employer that maybe hasn’t gone down this path? Iain, I’ll start with you.

Iain: What I would say is that by going down this cost-per-click, cost-per-application methodology, however you do it, whether it’s programmatic or whether you do it manually, or on your own back through advertising channels, the advantage is that you’re able to track and attract candidates well, and test things out. What we used to find in a lot of spray and pray, and long-term contracts is that it doesn’t suit every type of business, it doesn’t allow you to be flexible – to flex up and down based on your business requirements. I’m sure there’s a lot of businesses out there, that when COVID hits, some people look at their cost base, and things that they’d already spent money on, and go, “Was this the right thing to do?”. For example, how you attract an accountant is going to be completely different to how you attract a salesperson, to how you attract someone who works in warehousing. They’re not all living in the same place. So being able to work those things out for yourselves through the kind of the suppliers that you use, it makes a lot more sense overall. And you can probably drive your cost down, and also drive your time to hire down as well.

Jenn: AND your quality up, right? It’s no secret, and Iain, you may not know this, but one of the reasons that I decided to consult and act as a brand evangelist for Joveo is that I am super bullish on programmatic. I worked in AT&T, and I purchased outrageously large duration-based hosting packages for a significant part of my career, and then it shifted. Things started to be more over the top, and we didn’t need to hire guys to climb poles anymore, and so it really made sense to shift to more of an on-demand advertising platform and to shift my money out of those duration-based boards into more programmatic. 

Pay per Post vs Pay per Click vs Programmatic Job Advertising: Mitigating Risk

Jenn: So Dan, I’m going to throw it to you, are there other reasons that you see employers in the US or other places – what are the catalysts that are getting them away from the traditional job postings, or solely traditional job postings? Let’s be real, I still bought some job postings, okay! But what are we doing to pivot that?

Dan: And to be clear, it’s not like every single pay per post is a flop, right? There’s plenty of pay per posts out there – certain verticals that just still crush it for employers. So, it’s not one or the other, it’s just important to measure everything. I actually think back to before I got into this space. I know you’re an AT&T person, I worked for Verizon in advertising. When I talked to the recruiter at Indeed, which was my first job in the space, he was like, “Oh everyone else sells pay per post, and we sell pay-per-click.” I jumped at that knowing it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. But when I first started talking to HR professionals, they seemed a bit terrified of it – “What if I woke up in the morning and spent a million dollars?”  – some questions around something that’s just a new technology. I think that the market has just started to really adopt pay per performance. I know it’s been around for a while, but I think at this point, Indeed has done such a good job of evangelizing it that people are like, “Okay, well, Indeed works really well.” But when you start thinking about pay per performance overall, there are thousands of different sites you could post on, and that becomes a little terrifying. So what I love about programmatic and what I think is the catalyst here is that with today’s uncertain budgets, recruiters can say, “You know what, just give all your budget here, and let some manual oversight to an automated process decide what’s going to be the best ROI for you.” 

Jen: Yeah it feels like jumping into the deep end with a life vest, right? You can’t really screw it up too much if you set your parameters in the right way. 

Adzuna: The Straight-Shooting Job Search Engine that Helps Candidates Zero in on the Right Role

Jenn: So, Iain, I’m a blog reader and a blog writer, and I have to tell you – you got TWO thumbs up from me on the Adzuna blog. If I were to sit back and look at what Adzuna does that’s differentiated, besides all of the awesome information and great insights you have, is there anything that you would like for our viewers to know about your industry and Adzuna, particularly, and how you stack up in your space?

Iain: Sure. First of all, thank you very much for the kind words. You’ve already alluded to one of our main selling points, which is our breadth of data and our breadth of information. We pride ourselves on giving a clear view on the markets and allowing people to zero in on the right candidate by providing them with the right data and insights. We’ve tried to do that for the job seekers, and we’ve tried to do that for the candidates. So we’ve come up with all these different tools and techniques including what we call in the UK as “Value my CV” and in the US as “Value my Resume”, which are these interesting and cool tools, where candidates can upload their CV or resume and then our AI tool matches them to different jobs, and tells them what they’re worth, and what their career path could look like. The idea there, is that we’re really trying to improve the quality of the candidate experience, and ultimately improve the quality of the employer experience. 

Jenn: I love that. The Talent Board is an organization worldwide that benchmarks candidate experience, and I sit on their candy bar, and one of the things that is always talked about is, helping people find jobs. And again, I think that that’s another reason why Joveo and Adzuna make a perfect partnership, right? Dan, same question to you, is there anything that we haven’t talked about, that you think the viewers would really want to know about this space and what’s going on here?

Dan: Sure, I’d like to talk about our relationship with Adzuna here. I think that the bells and whistles are cool, but as the person that’s tasked with fulfilling budgets, what I like about Adzuna is, they’ve been around for a long time, so they have a lot of data. Which means that they can make smart decisions on their side on who they serve, what jobs to what job seekers, and so we’ve seen them become a very strong source for us in the US, and in the UK, and across Europe. It’s a less concentrated space, there are (only a) few strong players that have good results, but also have good scale. 

–For more information on how programmatic job advertising can you help you “do more with less” as a talent acquisition / recruitment marketing leader, schedule a conversation with us today!