The world of recruitment advertising has evolved dramatically over time. Traditionally, a company would put up a job advert on a noticeboard in the job centre, or in the local newspaper, and people would mail their applications over to the hiring manager.
Fast forward to the birth of the internet which turned recruitment on its head, and businesses and recruiters were able to post their jobs on generic jobs board websites, increasing their reach to potential candidates and therefore the number of applications they received.
However, competition was fierce on these one-size-fits-all jobs boards, so along came niche jobs boards to try and separate the competition and give recruiters the option of promoting their roles to a more relevant and appropriately-skilled pool of candidates.
But as digital technology grows and becomes more sophisticated, there are now much more creative and effective ways of advertising job vacancies that simply weren't on offer a few years ago - and these are gaining popularity at a rapid rate.
With the emergence of social media and the ability to promote your business to anyone who has access to the internet, it's no surprise that jobs boards (especially the niche ones) have broadened their advertising package offerings to include options that go far and beyond simply posting your job advert on the site and hoping for the best.
One of the most in-demand extra features is social media advertising - taking your job vacancy to the people, rather than waiting for them to come to you. The most appealing aspect of social media advertising to recruiters is that there are billions of people using social media, and there's a good chance that some of them will be relevant for the role you're advertising - so what better way to attract them to apply than to promote your vacancy on the very sites they frequent?
Jobs boards have realised this and some of the better boards offer enhanced social media promotion as part of their advertising packages. This could be a Twitter hashtag campaign, brand building on LinkedIn or Google+ or making the most of any other platform - but it goes without saying that this sort of recruitment advertising is really effective and has revolutionised the way recruiters advertise their roles or approach candidates.
Other forms of recruitment advertising that have become much more popular in recent years thanks to the digital boom include blog advertorials which are basically articles that promote the job vacancies in a much less obvious fashion than a straight-down-the-line job advert. These sort of blog posts are normally articles about the company that are hiring, its growth and vision, and these tend to subtly allude to the jobs available rather than going in with a hard sell which can sometimes put the digital generation off.
Despite blogs being one of the most popular ways that internet users digest information - hence its popularity in recruitment advertising - at times something a little more hard-hitting and direct is needed, and this is where promotional e-shots come in. Now, e-shots aren't exactly new, but they still have their place in recruitment advertising alongside more modern approaches like the two aforementioned options. E-shots are popular because they give the recruiter the chance to immediately approach relevant candidates from a sea of subscribers that the jobs board they're advertising with has accumulated over time. It's more direct than social media advertising, more obvious than blog advertorials and does what it says on the tin.
However, it's not just targeted marketing options that recruiters go for, as banner advertising is a hugely popular way of building up yours or your client's brand in front of a more generic job seeker audience. A lot of recruiters make the most of their in-house design teams and come up with eye-catching and engaging banners to place on jobs boards to attract a larger amount of candidates to their vacancies. This doesn't have to be so generic though, as recruiters can decide to advertise on niche jobs boards rather than generalist ones, or even choose to display their banner on particular pages on a site so that they only attract truly relevant candidates to their vacancies.
If this all sounds a little bit overwhelming in terms of time, then it's not uncommon these days for brands to hire third party media buyers to purchase their job advertising packages for them, within a particular budget. This is more and more popular nowadays due to - as we've mentioned - the huge range of options available. This is a fairly modern method of recruitment advertising but it really does have its benefits, especially for large brands with a hefty recruitment budget but not necessarily the knowledge of modern recruitment advertising.
In conclusion, the digital revolution has turned recruitment advertising on its head. With hundreds of options to choose from, and a seemingly endless list of additional bolt-ons available for any recruitment advertising package, it can be overwhelming to start with, but this advancement for the recruitment industry can only be beneficial when it comes to targeting exactly the right kind of candidates.
From printing a vacancy in newspaper job listings to social media promotion and much more, it's clear that recruitment advertising is getting more complex, sophisticated and smarter as the digital industry grows and grows - and this will continue for years to come.
Do you think the digital industry revolutionising recruitment is a good thing?
Let me know in the comments below!