« Now this is an apolitical US election video - and it's good! | Main | Obama may digitise but did he monetise online? »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Alex Hens

fairynough point well put.

Also don't forget - majority of online adverts you'll see for recruitment campaigns (with some notable exceptions) are pretty rubbish and hardly what you'd call "engaging" or "stand out".

yeh sure - the studios can bang out an adequate banner for a job site where you're talking to active job seekers (although trust me, even then that can often be a struggle), but when you're reaching outside of that "I'm here because I'm looking for a job - oh look, there's a banner that's got a job title that's kinda like mine" audience, the creative has to work many many times harder.

But hey - fact is it's just easier to say "crap medium".

Well - you're wrong. Matt says so. And in this (not always) he's certainly right.

People just need to wake up to the fact that "doing a banner ad or two" is not good enough in a mixed online media campaign. That's just like playing the lottery, hoping your numbers (or in this case "active candidates") come up. If you're getting your clients to step outside of the job board norm then you've also got to ensure they have the mixed creative backed up by tracking and reporting underpinning it all that then shows which is hitting the mark and which missing - then acting dynamically to correct / work with that.

If you're not - then stop flogging social network advertising because you think it's what the client wants to hear / you need to be talking about. BECAUSE IT WILL FAIL. You'd be better off taking that extra budget and roadblocking an appropriate niche jobboard or generalist jobboard section. Sure you won't look so "now" and "with it" or "Recruitment 2.0"when talking through the schedule - but at least that way you're less likely to have to be standing there 4-6weeks later explaining how "social media just doesn't seem to work" and then having them thrust a Matt Alder (or someone else's) blog post under your nose telling you that they beg to differ.

It's just a suggestion :)

Mark Beavan

Excellent post, and one that is going to open up a lot of conversation. I am totally with you on this one, which is why this warrants my first contribution to you boys' (and girl) blog.

Whilst previous research has absolutely positioned advertising as invasive and unpopular, my experience suggests the opposite. Facebook's advertising for example is not dominating or excessive. One advert on the homepage and two adverts down the right hand side of content/photo pages is far from excessive.

But it is the ability to target a specific audience that I really like. True the creativity isn't fantastic, but the creative use of an image and copy is what advertising agencies are for. And by tracking the performance of these adverts we are getting a better idea of what works and what doesn't.

What gives me even more confidence in this approach are the users views on advertising on Facebook. Many have accepted advertising as a necessary evil. In fact many welcome it, particularly as it is often relevant to them. After all the alternative to advertising is paying for access to Facebook - which would be even more unpopular.

Creative advertising delivering an appropriate message to a highly targeted and receptive audience. That's what we do isn't it? The social networks offer us access to all these. It's funny how people's opinions can change once confronted by facts.

John Whitehurst

One of the issues that we always face is that 'everyone had an opinion about advertising' ... This is because everyone consumes advertising ...

So people make very generalised statements ... because it is quicker than thinking about what they are doing.

For any campaign to work everyone needs to be involved in the decision to place the advertising in that specific media - so frame the conversation to make sense to all the decision makers.

Don't hide behind jargon, or scream out 'we are the experts' ... explain the media decision in plain English and justify the reasons for the selection ... because it does is not a great response :-)

Dom Sumners

Good posts and comments - I agree with most of the above but i did write on my blog recently about Innovation vs Effectiveness so i just want to elaborate a little on my concern with the promotion of social media for recruitment advertising and i know that this possibly says more about the OME approach rather the industry as a whole.

Important to note - we track and monitor all our clients activity cost per click cost per application and cost per hire so this comes from a statistical base.

Our approach is that a clients online recruitment strategy is about building blocks on a solid foundation - those building blocks have to be (in 2008)
- response mgmt/process (where is it going - how is it dealt with - how is it tracked) this can cover careers sites/ATS etc. If this is wrong - you are really whistling in the dark
- Job Board Strategy
- Email Marketing Strategy

Most of the organisations we deal with (maybe its just us...have not cracked all of the list above) - once built we then complement with Behavioural Targeting. Business Networks, Social Networks etc.
My concern comes from the promotion of innovative social programmes before some of the building blocks have been laid down(known as running before you can walk).
I would feel confident that the major orgs represented above would execute on that basis but many many dont and one encounters inappropriate solutions proposed to clients keen to get involved in social networks. and that can lead to the exact opposite for what we all wish to achieve (ie disillusionment or cynicism with Facebook etc as a viable medium)

John Whitehurst

Dom, I am not sure I agree with you that promotion of innovation is the issue.

I have tended to find the examples of inappropriate solutions come from a poor understanding of the client, a poor brief and poor account management. Not really a desire by the agency to run before they can walk.

The promotion of innovation is not the problem ... more the promotion of people without the skills to do their job.


Interesting comments Dom but surely if you track every click then you'd just recommend what worked to a client rather that doing things in a set order, wouldn't you?

After all it's already a fact that job boards don't work for everyone and as new channels gain traction then their effectiveness is likely to take another hammering



Interesting comments Dom but surely if you track every click then you'd just recommend what worked to a client rather that doing things in a set order, wouldn't you?

After all it's already a fact that job boards don't work for everyone and as new channels gain traction then their effectiveness is likely to take another hammering


dom sumners

Cheers Matt - it is the fact that we track the clicks that put the building blocks in that order. Our figures tell us the best return on investment for your advertising $$ comes from a very dull very beautiful well written optimised job posting (not always of course)and goes on from there. It seems our stats differ and that could be down to many different factors (optimised job postings vs jobs posted via a multi posting tool for instance - and yes you can do both things - ie post-optimise multi posted adverts)
The problem as John points out is that we are talking generalities and all clients are specific - and the solution needs to fit the clients objectives. I am sure we all do this.

One size doesnt fit all - and as i say it is my/our view that adopton of online recruiting techniques for a client is a journey hopefully managed by a trusted experienced partner - with pilot schemes - measured and tracked - and further investment based on solid cost per hire results.
Great debate!

Just to kick debate on further
Are job boards working less well?
Are they going to take a further hammering?
Our stats dont indicate this but i would be interested to have any comments from the media?

Sinead Bunting

Mmn....the building block approach outlined above, does worry me a bit, as whilst it seems a sound and sensible approach - it may have had more relevancy two/three years ago when social media was in its infancy.

It puts me in mind of a conversation I had a number of years ago at my previous agency with one of the regional Account Directors. I was trying to convince him to use online media in the graduate recruitment for an engineering company.

'Sinead', he said, 'how can we use online media? we have never gotten any response from it in any of our previous campaigns?

'Mr X', I said, 'you have never used it before, so how could you have possibly have gotten any response from it'?

(of course this didn't mean that the Internet didn't provide significant reach to the target audience at the time).

Whilst I completely agree that SEM/SEO, a sound response mechanism and to some degree a decent job board presence is key, I don't believe that this should be done in isolation to or prior to using any platforms that can achieve a targeted dialogue that social media can offer (if done properly).

Otherwise, you may run the risk of your client being left behind, with the comfort of stats that are gleaned within limited confines of the Interent medium and all that it offers.

Peter Gold

IMHO I think a mix is good but you need some tracking in place to assess on a client by client basis. I would have to say though Matt, volume of applications is not necessarily a great rule of measure but I'm sure you are not selling just on that stat!!

Looks like there are some useful activities going on; looks like the similar myth 'agencies know sh*t about online' may not be quite as current anymore - or do we have the only few leaders on this blog :)

The discussions you lot must have when you meet up........

Alex Hens

oh yeh - it's definitely a 2 or 3 pants event when we get together, because we'll bore the 1st set off without even trying!


Alex Hens

Just have to add to this off the back of the MLL (www.mylonglunch.com) event on Wednesday where (amongst many others) Facebook were there showing off their new (at least to me) advertising facility.

All I can say is "about bloody time" and "wow". I understand that the best businesses (in my humble) put the user and traffic first with monetising that audience 2nd, but knowing that with the first the 2nd will come (the other way round and you're fighting an uphill battle all the way). Face book has not only mass market but, of course, incredible profile detail for ad targeting - add the two things and you've got yourself one hell of a powerful tool.

They freely admit there's still work to do, but flippin heck it looks good. Very good.


See....if you don't use it (or you do and don't measure objectively) then you just don't know what you don't know. I completely agree with you Alex, I think the targeting is amazing. If it's done right then the user is not even going to think of the advert as an advert but instead as a useful and timely link (our campaign stats back this up). That is something that is key to our industry in the future

dom sumners

love the Facebook advertising targeting product! I am confident results will continue to improve for clients (to be fair - as they have through 2008)
Now our job is to make sure the solution always fits the clients needs.

The comments to this entry are closed.