Forecasting the future of recruiting operations with Jeremy Lyons


Job board bidding made simple: Learn advanced tricks and tools to succeed today!

The all-in-one toolkit for recruiters to win the job board game for hiring success

Want to boost the exposure to your job postings and attract exceptional talents? Job board bidding might be your answer! 

Why, you ask? Let’s start with a hypothetical case study:

You are a staffing firm hired to help a company (Let’s name them XYZ) fill specific job positions.

Now the case is: The internal HR team of this company, XYZ, a growing software startup, has been struggling to find the right candidates for several key positions. 

Despite posting jobs on popular job boards, promoting them on social media, and exhausting a huge recruitment budget on advertisements, they received a limited number of applications, most of which were from unqualified candidates.

That’s why they have planned to outsource their recruitment process this time. (To your firm!)

How can you help them?

By implementing a job board bidding strategy!

First, you will research to identify the most relevant job boards for their industry and target audience. (Remember: A popular job board doesn’t mean the ideal hiring platform for you.)

Then you’ll determine which keywords and job titles would attract the desired candidates. (Of course! Not all keywords can)

Next, you’ll talk to the hiring manager to set a proper budget for their job board bidding campaign, focusing on a cost-per-application (CPA) model. 

You will closely monitor the campaign performance, adjusting bids as needed to optimize results.

That’s it! It’s simple. (And don’t worry! You’ll learn how to plan, launch and track job board bidding campaigns in the details below.)

And why should you learn it? Because the company XYZ you just helped in this case study achieved the following results by implementing a well-planned job bidding strategy: 

  1. Increased visibility: The job postings gained higher visibility on targeted job boards, significantly increasing impressions and click-through rates (CTR).
  2. Attracting top talent: The targeted approach drew in more qualified candidates, allowing Company XYZ to find the perfect fit for each open position.
  3. Optimized budget: Company XYZ’s recruitment budget was used more effectively, yielding a lower cost-per-hire and improved return on investment (ROI).

Interesting, right? You can help all your clients achieve this result. Just read on to find out how. 

What is Job board bidding?

Job board bidding is a recruitment advertising strategy where employers or recruiters compete for ad placements on job boards by bidding on relevant keywords, job titles, or audience segments. 

The primary objectives of job board bidding include:

  1. Enhanced exposure: By winning ad placements through competitive bidding, job postings are more likely to be seen by more potential candidates.
  2. Targeted reach: It allows recruiters to focus on specific industries, job titles, or candidate segments, ensuring their job ads reach the most relevant audience.
  3. Higher-quality applicants: With better visibility and targeted reach, job board bidding can attract more qualified and suitable candidates for the open positions.
  4. Cost-effectiveness: By optimizing bidding strategies and monitoring the performance of job board campaigns, recruiters can achieve better results within their recruitment budget and improve the return on investment (ROI).
  5. Reduced time-to-fill: With increased visibility and higher-quality applicants, it can help shorten the hiring process by filling open positions more quickly.

In short, job board bidding allows recruiters to gain a competitive edge, enabling them to connect with top talent and achieve their hiring goals efficiently.

Understanding the different bidding models

Job board bidding models refer to the pricing structures that job boards use to charge employers for posting job advertisements. 

Remember: Each model has pros and cons, and the best option for an employer depends on their budget, hiring needs, and desired outcomes.

Below is the table to best depict each type of job board bidding model:

Job board bidding model Description Pros Cons
Pay-per-post Employers pay a flat fee for each job posting. Simple pricing structure; no performance tracking required. No guarantee of results; the cost may add up.
Pay-per-click Recruiters pay based on the number of clicks their job ads receive. Aligns cost with engagement; adjustable bids. Requires active management; may have variable costs.
Pay-per-application They pay for each application submitted through the job board. Aligns cost with the desired outcome; encourages high-quality ads. May be more expensive per application.
Pay-per-lead Employers pay for each lead (potential candidate) they receive through the job board. Focuses on candidate interest; may lead to higher-quality applicants. Requires lead qualification; may have variable costs.
Subscription-based They pay a recurring fee for an unlimited or specific number of job postings within the subscription period. Predictable costs; suits ongoing hiring needs. May be less cost-effective for one-time or limited hiring.
Auction-based Companies compete for ad placements or keywords by bidding against each other. Maximizes ad visibility for high bidders; encourages competition. Requires active management; the highest bidder may not always get the best results.

Job board bidding vs. Job posting

Imagine you want  to sell a product offline (in this case, job opportunities). Now, you can do two things:

  1. Put up a stall in a marketplace where you showcase your product, hoping that customers (here job seekers) will notice and buy it. You must pay a fee to rent the space, and your visibility depends on your stall’s location and presentation. However, there is no guarantee that candidates will be drawn to you or buy your service. – This is how job posting works! 
  2. Another way is to set up a stall and compete with other sellers (employers) to secure the best spot to display your product. In this case, you must bid against other sellers for prime locations, keywords, or audience segments. The highest bidder gets the most visibility, increasing the chances of attracting candidates. – This is the working of job board bidding!

In short, job posting means advertising your job opportunities, while job board bidding is the strategic approach to enhance the visibility and performance of your job ads through competition. 

Here is a quick overview to understand the difference better:

Aspect Job posting Job board bidding
Purpose Advertising job openings Enhancing visibility and performance
Competition Limited High (bidding against other employers)
Pricing model Fixed fee (Pay-per-post, subscription-based) Variable (Pay-per-click, auction-based)
Visibility Depends on the job board and listing Higher visibility for winning bidders
Targeting Basic targeting options Advanced targeting (keywords, audience)
Campaign management Minimal Active (bidding, monitoring, optimization)

Launching an effective job board bidding campaign

This can be bifurcated into four key stages: Planning, Launching, Tracking, and Enhancing. 

Let’s learn about each stage in detail! 

Stage 1: Planning the job board bidding campaign

a. Define your recruitment goals

Clearly outline the positions you want to fill, the number of candidates needed, the desired candidate quality, and the timeframe for filling the positions. 

Consider factors such as the level of experience, qualifications, and skills required. 

💡 Don’t forget: Align your goals with your company’s overall hiring objectives and consider the potential impact on your business.

b. Research relevant job boards

Identify the job boards that cater to your industry, location, or target candidates. It must include the platforms you currently use and are planning to use.  

Investigate each job board’s audience, reach, and reputation to determine their suitability for your recruitment goals. 

💡 To do: Consider using a mix of general and niche job boards to maximize exposure and targeting.

c. Choose a bidding model

Select the pricing model that best suits your budget, recruitment goals, and desired level of control, such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Pay-Per-Application (PPA), or Auction-based bidding. (Already discussed this above!)

💡 Quick tip: Start with a small budget to test different models and optimize your strategy based on performance and insights gained.

d. Develop your job ads

Write compelling and informative job descriptions accurately representing the position and company. 

Highlight essential requirements, responsibilities, benefits, and company culture to attract suitable candidates. 

💡 Remember: Use clear and specific job titles and industry-relevant keywords to improve visibility and attract relevant candidates.

Stage 2: Launching the job board bidding campaign

a. Set up your bidding strategy

Determine your maximum bid, daily budget, and targeting options based on your research, recruitment goals, and available budget. 

Consider factors such as the level of competition, desired ad visibility, and audience reach. 

💡 Quick tip: Start with a conservative bid and gradually increase it based on ad performance and market conditions.

b. Create your job postings

Upload your job ads to the chosen job boards, ensuring they are correctly formatted and include relevant keywords, engaging visuals, and a clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages candidates to apply. 

💡 Don’t forget: Test different ad variations and formats to determine the ideal approach for your target audience.

c. Monitor the initial performance

Keep a close eye on the performance of your job ads during the first few days of the campaign, noting the impressions, clicks, and applications received. 

Use this data to identify potential areas for improvement and optimization.

💡 To do: Use the job board’s analytics tools and your ATS to track the performance of your ads and gather valuable insights.

Stage 3: Tracking the success

a. Measure key metrics

Regularly track important performance indicators, such as Click-Through Rate (CTR), Cost-Per-Click (CPC), Cost-Per-Application (CPA), and conversion rates (applications per click). 

Compare your results with industry benchmarks to gauge your success. 

💡 Quick tip: Set up custom reporting and alerts in your analytics tools to monitor key metrics and stay informed.

b. Optimize your bidding strategy

Analyze the performance data and adjust your bids, targeting, and budget accordingly to improve your campaign results. 

Experiment with different bidding strategies, ad variations, and targeting options to find the best combination. 

💡 Don’t forget: Regularly review your campaign’s performance and make data-driven decisions to optimize your strategy.

c. Analyze the quality of candidates

Evaluate the candidates applying to your job ads, determining if they meet your expectations and requirements. 

Assess factors such as the relevance of their skills, experience, and cultural fit for the organization. 

💡 Quick tip: Use your ATS to efficiently review and manage applicants and collaborate with your hiring team to ensure a smooth process.

d. Calculate ROI

Measure the success of your job board bidding campaign by comparing the cost with the quality and quantity of candidates acquired. 

💡 To do: Continuously track your ROI to inform future campaign decisions and refine your bidding strategy.

Stage 4: Enhancing the efforts and ROI

a. Mobile optimization

With an increasing number of job seekers using mobile devices for job searches, optimizing your job ads and application process for mobile platforms is essential.

💡 Quick tip: Use responsive design and simple forms to ensure a seamless experience for mobile users.

b. Retargeting strategies

Retargeting allows you to reconnect with candidates who previously engaged with your job ads but didn’t apply. 

By displaying your ads to these candidates again, you can increase the chances of converting them into applicants. 

💡 To do: Use job board retargeting options and other advertising platforms like social media to re-engage with potential candidates.

c. Integration with other recruitment channels

Combining job board bidding with other recruitment channels, such as social media, employee referrals, or recruitment events, can help you maximize your reach and diversify your candidate pool. 

💡 Remember: Coordinate your job board bidding campaign with other recruitment initiatives to amplify your hiring strategy.

d. Collaboration with your hiring team

A successful job board bidding campaign requires effective communication and collaboration with your hiring team to evaluate the quality of candidates and provide feedback on the campaign’s performance. 

💡 Don’t forget: Regularly review the campaign with your team and use their insights to make data-driven decisions for optimization.

e. A/B testing and experimentation

Continuously test different ad formats, visuals, copy, and targeting options to identify the most effective strategies for your job board bidding campaign. 

💡 To do: Run A/B tests to compare ad variations and apply the learnings to improve your overall campaign.

f. Staying updated with industry trends

Stay informed of the latest developments, trends, and best practices in job board bidding and recruitment advertising to stay ahead of the competition and adapt your strategies accordingly. 

💡 Quick tip: Attend industry events and webinars, and read relevant publications to stay informed and inspired.

By implementing each stage meticulously, you can make the most of your job board bidding campaign. 

Bonus: Advanced job board bidding techniques you can use today

Liked the content till now? Below are even more exciting pointers covering advanced AI tools and techniques to double up your job board bidding outcomes: 

  1. Automate bid management: Use automated bidding tools, like Appcast’s Clickcast or PandoLogic’s pandoIQ, to streamline and optimize your bidding process. These tools can help you manage multiple job boards, adjust bids based on performance, and allocate your budget more effectively.
  2. Leverage programmatic job advertising: Programmatic advertising platforms use AI algorithms to optimize your job ads’ distribution across various job boards. Tools like PandoLogic, JobAdX, etc., can help you improve ad performance, target the right candidates, and save time.
  3. Implement geo-targeting: Target your job ads to specific locations or regions to attract candidates from desired areas. This technique can be beneficial if you’re looking for local talent or require candidates with specific regional knowledge.
  4. Use day-parting strategies: Adjust your bids and ad visibility based on the time of day or day of the week to target candidates when they’re most likely to be active on job boards. Analyze your ad performance data to identify peak times for candidate engagement and adjust your bidding accordingly.
  5. Employ competitor analysis: Monitor your competitors’ job ads to understand their bidding strategies, targeting, and messaging. Use tools like SEMrush, SpyFu, or SimilarWeb to gather insights and identify areas where you can outperform them.
  6. Optimize ad creative: Test various ad elements, such as headlines, images, and descriptions, to identify the most effective combination for attracting candidates. Use tools like VWO or Google Optimize to conduct A/B testing and gather data for optimization.
  7. Experiment with dynamic bidding: Dynamic bidding allows you to adjust your bids in real time based on your ad’s performance and the competitive landscape. This approach can help you allocate your budget more efficiently and improve your overall campaign ROI.
  8. Integrate with applicant tracking systems (ATS): Ensure seamless data flow between your job board bidding platform and ATS. This integration can help you track candidate sources, monitor ad performance, and measure your campaign’s success.
  9. Utilize data-driven insights: Use analytics and reporting tools to monitor your job board bidding campaign’s performance and make data-driven decisions. Tools like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, or Tableau can help you visualize and analyze your data for better decision-making.
  10. Engage in continuous learning: Stay up-to-date with the latest job board bidding techniques, industry trends, and best practices by attending webinars, workshops, or conferences. Continuous learning will help you adapt your strategies and stay ahead of the competition.

Disclaimer: None of the tools mentioned above are affiliated with us. You must do your research before using any tool. 

Did this help? If yes, let us know! And, of course, wait for more such interesting topics. 

Frequently asked questions

Q1- Is job board bidding the same as pay-per-click advertising?

It’s similar, but not the same. Job board bidding is a form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

While both involve advertisers paying a fee each time their ad is clicked, job board bidding focuses on promoting job openings on multiple job boards.

In contrast, PPC advertising covers a broader range of online advertisements, including search engine ads, display ads, and social media ads.

The main difference is the context and intent; job board bidding is used for recruitment purposes, while PPC advertising is typically used for promoting products, services, or brand awareness.

Q2- How do I choose the right job board for my job postings?

Follow these pointers: 

  • Research your target audience to understand where they are most active.
  • Choose niche job boards for specific industries or roles.
  • Evaluate job board features, such as resume databases or analytics.
  • Consider the job board’s pricing model.
  • Look for reviews and testimonials from other recruiters.

Q3- Can job board bidding be effective for niche industries or hard-to-fill positions?

Yes, job board bidding can be effective for niche industries and hard-to-fill positions. Focusing on industry-specific or niche job boards can attract qualified candidates and reduce competition.

Q4- How much should I budget for job board bidding?

Budget depends on factors like the number of open positions, industry, competition, and desired reach. Therefore, start with a moderate budget and adjust based on performance and return on investment.

Q5- What metrics should I track to measure the success of my job board bidding campaigns?

Though you can choose as many metrics to track, below are the most important ones:

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Cost per application (CPA)
  • Application conversion rate
  • Time to fill
  • Quality of applicants

Q6- Is it possible to bid too high or too low on job boards?

Yes, bidding too high may result in overpaying for clicks, while bidding too low may result in poor ad placement and fewer clicks. Analyze the competition and industry benchmarks to find the optimal bid.

Q7- How do I optimize my job board bidding campaigns for mobile devices?

It’s easy! Just follow these three tips: 

  • Ensure your job postings are mobile-friendly and easy to read.
  • Optimize application processes for mobile users.
  • If available, use mobile-specific targeting options, such as device type or location.

Q8- What mistakes should I avoid when using job board bidding for recruitment?

Below are the mistakes you must avoid when leveraging job board bidding:

  • Failing to research and target the right audience.
  • Using generic or irrelevant keywords.
  • Not monitoring campaign performance and adjusting bids.
  • Ignoring mobile optimization.
  • Focusing solely on cost rather than the quality of applicants.

Q9- How can I use job board bidding with other recruitment channels, such as social media or employee referrals?

  • Integrate job board bidding with your overall recruitment marketing strategy.
  • Share job postings on social media platforms and encourage employee referrals.
  • Use data from job board campaigns to inform targeting on other channels.

Q10- Is job board bidding suitable for small businesses and startups with limited recruitment budgets?

Yes, job board bidding suits small businesses and startups with limited budgets. 

By starting with a modest budget and focusing on niche job boards or local targeting, you can maximize the ROI of your small business. 

Also, monitor the performance regularly and adjust your bidding strategy accordingly.


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