Optimize Your Job Ad Messaging: A Recruitment Metrics Case Study

Originally posted on the SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Blog.


I just came across a recruitment marketing case study we produced a few years ago and I wanted to share it as I think it has some great insights into how you can most effectively use recruitment metrics to make discernible changes to your recruiting process that have greatly positive effects.


A few years ago, we were asked by a client, “What is the best format to optimize our job ad descriptions?” Basically, what they were getting at was how could they optimize their job descriptions to encourage more candidates to apply for a given position. To be honest we weren’t sure, but we did what we always do when we come to a question we can’t answer, we tested it with recruitment metrics and a modified version of A-B testing.


Here was the experiment we conducted as well as the key results we found from it:


The Experiment


The Case study consisted of taking a baseline job advertisement (which they had been using) for two different job positions, a Research Nurse and a Medical Technologist. For each position, we then created three additional variations of the same job ad to try and highlight different points of interest . All four ads were then run simultaneously with 4 different job titles on 2 different job boards (Monster and CareerBuilder) in the same location. Here is a summary of the job ads we included:


Research Nurse (Job Title, Job Description Format)

  1. Research Nurse – RN
    • Job Description: Baseline Ad (ad they were already using)
  2. Are You A Registered Nurse?
    • Job Description: FAQ Style
  3. Immediate Opening for Registered Nurse
    • Job Description: Department / Role / Company format
  4. Registered Nurse: Immediate Opening
    • Job Description: ASAP ad (Nurse needed immediately)

Medical Technologist (Job Title, Job Description)

  1. Technologist
    • Job Description: Baseline Ad
  2. Are you a Medical Technologist?
    • Job Description: FAQ style
  3. Medical Technologist: Unique Opportunity
    • Job Description: Testimonial
  4. Medical Technologist
    • Job Description: ASAP (Technologist needed immediately)


So which job title and which job description do you think performed the most effectively? After measuring the job ad views and apply clicks, we came up with some rich results which may surprise you!


The Results


Through the recruitment metrics we collected, we were able to make key insights into the process. Here are our key results:

  1. The job titles that performed the best were for Registered Nurse (Registered Nurse: Immediate Opening) and Medical Technologist (Medical Technologist: Unique Opportunity). While there was an increase from the Baseline Job Titles that they were already using, the increase was less than expected at 9% and 5% respectively.
  2. The job description that performed the best for both Registered Nurse and Medical Technologist was the FAQ. The impact of this change as compared to the Baseline Job description was significant as it showed nearly a 100% increase in the # of apply clicks for both positions.
  3. When we took a look at the overall ROI benefit that could be gained from using the most optimal job titles and descriptions, this combination would lead to an increase of 60% more applicants per recruiting dollar.
  4. An unexpected result was looking at the time to hire. By sending out the ads above simultaneously we were able to cut the time to hire by collecting more applicants more quickly. Most surprisingly, launching multiple ads did not reduce overall performance of each ad.


Overall, there are some great insights collected that can be utilized today to improve your recruitment marketing. And all this came from a quick 2 week long experiment!


Make sure to collect the data necessary to make these connections and provide insights into how effectively your recruitment processes and messaging are working. While the results above might not be true for your company and industry, the process is something you can do right now to test out what messaging works best for the candidates you are trying to reach.




About the Author: Chris is the Marketing Analyst at SmashFly Technologies. SmashFly provides a Recruitment Marketing Platform called WildFire that enables companies to easily launch and more importantly measure all their recruiting efforts online.

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