Multiple postings are the sign of times

Multiple postings are the sign of times

March 22, 2007 News

With more than 500 to choose from in the UK alone, recruiters might be forgiven for thinking that job boards provide the solution for most sourcing problems. Certainly, recent research suggests burgeoning web postings.

Last September’s Recruitment Confidence Index, produced by Cranfield School of Management, for example, found that 44% of employers expected to use jobs boards more this year. And the recent National Online Recruitment Audience Survey supports this.

However, the growing popularity of job boards doesn’t necessarily make life easier for recruiters. For though many recruiters now use boards as a matter of course, simply posting more vacancies to more jobs boards can bring its own problems.

As Darren Warmington, managing director of BSV, a Woking-based building industry recruiter explains: “Time is what most business is all about. To post a vacancy on six different jobs boards would take between 20 minutes and half an hour.”

For ‘time poor’ recruiters such as Warmington, help is now at hand, however. The growth of a whole industry addressed to solving this one problem means that recruiters can now multi-post vacancies to an almost unlimited number of jobs boards.

Dan McGuire, managing director of Broadbean Technology, a supplier of multi-posting software to over 450 recruiters explains how it works. “Users create one job advert and choose the sites they wish for it to be distributed to. Our technology sends the ad over the web to the chosen job board interfaces simultaneously in real time.”

McGuire continues: “Literally, creating the advert is the extent of their experience. All the posting to the job boards is done ‘behind the scenes‘, as is the candidate processing. After they have sent their advert the next thing they hear from us is when a candidate is delivered back to their inbox.”

Though only a recent convert, Warmington is already a keen advocate. “Before I would have had to visit each job board, and write the same advert half a dozen times. This way you only post it once,” he says. Thanks to multi-posting, “I can do it in [a fraction of] the time.”

Rosie Cade, account manager at idibu, a recent entrant to the recruitment industry, who supplied the software to BSV, comments: “This is [recruiter] time that could be spent with potential clients and candidates, and in growing the business.”

However, saving valuable time is not the only advantage of multi-posting, according to John Cassidy, operational director of Conkers, another supplier, whose clients include Adecco and SThree. “Customers want more and more in-depth information,” he says. And in particular, he says, they want to know whether a particular job board gives them the quality of response they are looking for.

Conkers has created a range of ‘reporting tools’ to provide this information, he says. These can produce daily or weekly figures on the number of jobs posted on each site and the number of CVs received, and allow recruiters to map candidate activity by demographics, or geographical area. Another feature notifies recruiters whenever there has been a candidate response. These features come under the broad heading of ‘candidate tracking’.

However, according to McGuire, the benefits don’t end there. By knowing the source of each candidate, and combining it with the number of placements made and the cost of the advertising, recruiters are then able to calculate the return on investment for each job board. “If you can do this, then inevitably it is easier to see which boards perform and provide good value, and which don’t,” he says. This in turn “allows recruiters to make well-informed decisions on where to spend their advertising budget”.

Some multi-posting systems also allow recruiters control over spending, even down to individual office level. Somebody can administer the system so that say, the office in [Edinburgh] can only send so many jobs to Monster, perhaps because it’s very expensive,” explains Derek Alexander, managing director of PostingPal, a multi-poster that provides access to 200 job boards.

The system can also notify the customer when a vacancy fails to reach a particular job board, for example, when they have reached the limit of their job credits. According to McGuire, most vacancies are suitable for multi-posting — the only proviso being there is a captive audience online. This audience has expanded as home access to the web has grown, he believes. “Even jobs in construction and driving attract a decent online response,” he says.

Though Broadbean can provide access to over 400 job boards, each vacancy currently ends up on six [sites], says McGuire. “At the moment it’s on the up, and we expect the average to be closer to eight by the end of the year,” he adds.

However, this doesn’t tell the whole story. “Lower level jobs are distributed to more boards, whereas senior roles have fewer possible destinations,” says McGuire. There are also differences between industries, he says, with IT jobs tending to get sent to most boards.

Multi-posting: the nuts and bolts

Before being able to multi-post to a particular job board, recruiters must open an account with that board.

Recruiters should then approach their chosen multi-poster, who will either give them immediate access (this takes about a day), or will consider adding it to the list of boards available to their customers.

Once granted access, recruiters can add, re-post, or delete vacancies. They can also schedule them for a certain time. For example, ads posted on a Monday generally attract a better response than those posted on other days of the week.

The cost of a multi-posting service can vary from less than £100 a month to several hundred thousand pounds, depending on requirements. Sometimes the cost is based on the number of consultants using the software.

Multi-posting software can work independently of other office technology systems. However, it works best when integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) technology (such as Bond Adapt) and a CV processing and updating service (such as SkillsMarket).

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