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Job Slots vs. Pay-Per-Click vs. Programmatic – What Are the Benefits to Each One?

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Job Slots vs. Pay-Per-Click vs. Programmatic – What Are the Benefits to Each One?

One of the most common questions we get at Haley Marketing revolves around the different options for job advertisements – job slots vs. pay-per-click vs. programmatic.

Let’s dig into the strengths and weaknesses of each tactic, which should help your staffing agency determine which tactic to use to maximize the ROI on your job board spend.

Job Slots

This tactic can easily be thought of as the “parking spot” model where you are paying for the presence of job slots. It’s almost like the classified ads in newspapers. Every month, you are guaranteed a dedicated number of spots on the job board, regardless of results.

Strengths of Job Slots

  • Guaranteed Costs: Every month, you know what you are paying. That helps with budgeting.
  • Potential for High Applications at a Lower Cost: Let’s say for an industrial staffing agency paying $50/job slot. If that staffing agency can get 100 applications per job slot, that is a cost per application of $0.50, much lower than the market rate.

Weaknesses of Job Slots

  • Paying for Presence, not Performance: The flip side of a set cost each month is what if you don’t get a lot of applications. For the $50/job slot example above, what if you only get 5 applications. That’s much higher than the market rate, but you still paid the same as the company that received 100 applications.
  • Low Automation Potential: It’s a challenge to manage job slots. Usually, companies manually post jobs, analyze results, take down old jobs, and post new jobs. That’s a lot of work for a process that can easily be automated.
  • No Contract Flexibility: If you sign a 12-month contract for 50 slots at $50, that is your rate for the next 12 months. In an uncertain economy, losing that flexibility is a weakness.

Pay Per Click

This tactic is commonly referred to as “PPC” or pay-for-performance. Companies only pay for the traffic they receive, literally only paying for the clicks or applications that your advertisements get.

Strengths of Pay Per Click

  • Pay for Performance: If you are paying $0.50/click, you pay $1,000 if you get 2,000 clicks and $500 if you get 1,000 clicks. There isn’t a fixed cost each month. Costs result from the actual performance of your job advertisements, not just for the presence of job advertisements.
  • Flexibility of Budgets: With most PPC campaigns, staffing agencies have the control on their end. In October, if you want to set a budget cap of $5,000 and in December you want a spend cap of $3,000, it’s very simple.

Weaknesses of Pay Per Click

  • No Set Budget: While it can be a positive to have a flexible monthly budget, it’s challenging to set your annual budget around a number that can fluctuate. In one month, if you’re spending $5,000 and the next month you are spending $3,000, that can be a challenge to manage.
  • Posting and Praying: Yes, it’s a pay-for-performance tactic, but a lot of the performance is out of your control. You’re praying that people find your advertisements. You’re praying that people click on them. You’re praying that people apply. Yes, you can set the Cost-Per-Click bid on your job advertisements, but that’s about it.

Programmatic Job Advertising

With programmatic advertising, think of it in this fashion: automation and pay-per-click elevated to the next level. When we think programmatic job advertising, we want to think of one word: automated. That will come through in the strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths of Programmatic Job Advertising

  • Automated Posting and Distribution: Tired of posting jobs to multiple job boards? Using programmatic software to manage your campaigns will distribute the jobs to multiple job boards instantly.
  • Centralized Reporting: Are you also tired of logging in to multiple platforms to track performance? Programmatic software centralizes all the data down to the job level and enables data-driven decisions to be made faster than any human can.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Sick of wasted spend? Don’t need 500 applications for one job and 0 applications for 20 other jobs? Ready to make spend-related decisions based on which job boards are leading to placements? A programmatic approach is perfect.

Weaknesses of Programmatic Job Advertising

  • Understanding Programmatic: It’s a big word, and it’s a challenge to try something new. At Haley Marketing, it took us one year to just figure out the different players in the industry and develop an ongoing service before even going to a beta phase. (That’s where our team can help!)
  • Doesn’t Work Well with Job Slots: The optimization benefits decrease greatly when trying to use job slots in a programmatic campaign. They can work, but it wouldn’t be the first recommendation to move your job slots into programmatic software.

Job Advertising – How to Make the Right Decision for Your Company

Job advertising is one of the four pillars of recruitment marketing at Haley Marketing, along with career sites, social recruiting, and employer branding. It’s vital to get better control over your recruiting spend. We help you get more ROI from your ad budget.

Contact the Recruitment Marketing team at Haley Marketing to learn how we can use technology, experience, and testing to get more candidates applying to your jobs.

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