Job Spend Strategy: Don’t Cut When You’re in a Rut


Job Spend Strategy: Don’t Cut When You’re in a Rut

I get it.

When revenue goes down and recession talk becomes more realistic, it’s time to evaluate expenses. That’s just smart business. Frivolous costs add up, and not being diligent affects the bottom line and could lead to even more difficult decisions in the future.

What I don’t get – when those expenses get evaluated, one of the first instincts in staffing and recruiting is to cut marketing expenses. (Yes, I know I work for a marketing company, but stay with me!)

It can be hard to justify marketing because it’s a challenge to get direct ROI. When decision-makers ask, “What did this marketing expense bring us?” that can be difficult to answer. That’s easy to do with direct job board spend but can be almost impossible to give with social media posts, email marketing, or video production. It’s easy to see why that’s a simple choice when deciding what’s on the chopping block.

But if your company will chop marketing at the first chance, does it really believe in marketing in the first place? Does it have the right plan in place to understand how recruitment marketing is leading to better candidates faster? (that’s an article for another day, but it is food for thought!)

And if you do cut marketing, your customers will think you went out of business. They aren’t going to know where you are. They are going to forget about you. When they have a decision to make, they are going to think of the company that didn’t cut its marketing.

So, if marketing is going to be evaluated closely, which tactics can help bring a better quality of candidate and also prove direct ROI? Let’s walk through different recruitment marketing tactics, how you can establish their ROI, and how they impact your quality of candidate:

Email Marketing

Still the lowest-cost tactic in marketing, a strong email marketing campaign targets active candidates but also targets passive candidates.

  • Active candidates – send emails of your Top Jobs to candidates in your database who are actively searching for jobs. To measure ROI, run a report that shows who opened the email, and better yet, who clicked on a link in the email. Follow up – don’t wait for them!
  • Passive candidates – continuously share value with contacts from your database who aren’t actively looking for jobs. Use the same ROI as the email above, but make a conscious effort to see which passive candidates become active candidates.

When someone asks, “Does email still work?” you can show them, “Yes, here are the number of candidates we placed who clicked on a job last week.”


If more candidates start applying for jobs, you’re going to have more unhappy candidates. What do people do when they are unhappy? Post negative reviews!

  • Collect Positive Testimonials – Now is the time to proactively collect more positive testimonials from your current employees and team members. What is your process now to reach out and ask for those five-star reviews? Make sure you have one!
  • Show How Your Star Rating Goes Up (and outnumber the Negative Ones) – Nothing makes a small business owner angrier than seeing a negative review about their company posted in a public forum. To combat that, show how your tactics to proactively collect positive reviews lead to an increase in star rating but also outnumber the negative reviews.


Why video? To start, video is cheap to produce at a very high-quality level. For a small investment – you can produce an HD video with great sound. It looks like it comes from a production studio, but you can do it from your smartphone.

  • Video Can Be Shared Everywhere – your website, social media, YouTube, and other platforms are all options for showcasing the video you produced. That’s a great way to distribute to a big audience by doing the original work once.
  • People Watch Video! – more people want to see videos, are using videos in their purchasing decisions, and have seen success from using video in their marketing tactics.

You can share video statistics with decision-makers, but you also can show how your video is everywhere. That will be just as impressive.

Don’t Cut When You’re in a Rut

Totally cutting marketing when times get tough will be the wrong decision in the long run. You might save some dollars and cents on the spreadsheet, but your customers will forget about you. Your candidates will become lower quality. And you’re letting others formulate their opinion about your company since you aren’t controlling any of the messaging.

If you need help evaluating your recruitment marketing and determining what will bring the best ROI for your investment during these unique economic times, the recruitment marketing team at Haley Marketing is ready to help. Contact us today to get that conversation started!

(For more tips – check out my LinkedIn Live on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. You can find them on my LinkedIn profile by clicking here.)

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