Today’s job seekers have countless options at the tips of their fingers when it comes to researching and applying to new roles. Between job boards, social media sites, referrals and reading job descriptions on individual company career sites, it can be difficult for employers to break through the noise and reach top job seekers where they’re searching in today’s competitive market.
Employers face added hiring challenges keeping up with ever-changing search and job board algorithms. As search algorithms and job board posting policies continue to evolve, your team needs to take a strategic, proactive approach to recruitment marketing – or risk losing prospective applicants to other opportunities.
How Changes to Search and Job Board Algorithms Impact Your Hiring Strategy
Below, we’ve outlined several examples of how search and job board algorithms have changed in recent years, along with tips for your team to ensure you’re making the most of your recruitment marketing efforts.
Facebook Feed Algorithms Constantly Evolve
Whether you’re tapping into Facebook to share your open roles or engage with prospective customers, the social media platform changes the algorithms that power its feed every so often. For example, in 2018, Facebook overhauled its News Feed, changing the content users see first and most often – with the intention of driving more interactions among friends and family.
This update was implemented in early 2018 and by August, the algorithm change caused engagement with business pages to take a hit – by up to 50 percent for some. While some of this traffic has bounced back in 2019, data still shows that users are engaging more with links shared by family and friends than business pages. As an employer, this can make it more challenging for you to get your open roles in front of relevant job seekers via Facebook.
LinkedIn Algorithms Aim to Boost Engagement for Average Users
In October 2018, LinkedIn changed its feed algorithm to help individual users see increased engagement, while slightly decreasing the reach of “super users.” Prior to the change, most LinkedIn interactions were among the top one percent of users, while the other 99 percent saw significantly lower interactions and engagement.
Since the change, rather than LinkedIn users mostly seeing content from top influencers, the LinkedIn algorithm prioritizes content users are most likely to find relevant and engage with. And for businesses or individuals looking to reach their target audiences on LinkedIn, it’s no longer exclusively a matter of reach or network size. Rather, to be seen in users’ feeds, individuals and company pages need to be regularly share compelling content that followers reliably engage with.
Google Entered the Job Board Market
Google joined the job board landscape in 2017 with Google for Jobs, which helps job seekers easily find their next opportunity. Up to 70 percent of job searches begin on Google, meaning it’s critical for any employer to ensure open roles are reaching candidates on both Google for Jobs and in general Google search results.
Google for Jobs pulls in job postings from a variety of sources – including job boards such as LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter, along with listings on company career pages. And Google for Jobs is powered largely by search algorithms. Google for Jobs uses machine learning and is programmed to read and understand jobs based on keywords that appear in job descriptions. Jobs are then categorized and grouped to match job seekers with more relevant open roles.
Indeed Recently Changed its Posting Policy
While not an algorithm update, one recent change to the job board landscape is that Indeed changed its posting policy. With the change, Indeed formally blocked all staffing and staffing-like agencies from their organic feed effective January 7, 2019. Employers impacted by this policy change must pay Indeed for sponsored postings rather than appearing in the organic feed.
What Your Team Can Do to Attract Top Talent
To stay competitive and staff up with quality employees no matter how the job board landscape and search algorithms evolve, we’ve outlined several strategic steps your team can take to reach top talent.
Optimize Your Job Descriptions
Given the fact that 70 percent of job searches begin on Google, your team should make it a top priority to ensure job descriptions are optimized for Google for Jobs and general Google search results. Start by keeping your job titles short and sweet – avoid including anything about sign-on bonuses or other added details in the job title. On Google for Jobs, standard job titles that are most likely to match what job seekers are searching rank higher in search results.
Also keep your job descriptions short – ideally between 300 and 800 words. In your job description, share what makes your team stand out – including a strong company overview, list of responsibilities and requirements, an overview of your benefits and opportunities for career growth. Also state the exact location of your open role(s) – including the zip code – as jobs with specific locations outlined are more likely to rank higher in Google for Jobs results. Finally, make sure to include an Equal Opportunity Statement. Simply including this statement at the bottom of your job descriptions and on your career site can help you improve search results and stand out as a top employer.
Maintain a Strong Employment Brand
Google for Jobs pulls in job openings directly from company career sites. And the most engaged job seekers research and apply to jobs on company career sites, as they’re invested in learning more about opportunities rather than simply clicking “apply” on a job board. To reach top talent, it’s critical to maintain a strong employment brand and career site.
Your employment brand offers your team the opportunity to answer the “What’s in it for me?” question for job seekers. On your career site, showcase your employment brand by sharing an overview of your company’s workplace culture, career progression, employee testimonials and overall benefits to help top candidates see the opportunity your team offers.
Share Engaging Content
On your career site any anywhere else you engage with job seekers, it’s important to regularly share compelling content. Embrace your career site as an opportunity to highlight employee testimonials and success stories – such as examples of employees who have risen through the ranks on your team. Also consider creating an employment brand video that outlines your culture and a day in the life on your team.
Outside your career site, you likely share open roles across social media and other channels. Given algorithm changes on Facebook and LinkedIn, the only way to reach job seekers and other members of your target audience is by sharing top-notch content your followers will engage with.
On social media sites and elsewhere, experiment with different types of content to test how job seekers engage with your brand. For example, share a mix of not only job openings but also helpful articles, videos, images, quotes, and more. Over time, measure the engagement on your social posts to see what’s working and what’s not – and continue to share content similar to your most successful posts.
The unemployment rate has held steady at a 50-year low in recent months, making hiring highly competitive across industries. By having a strategic approach to your recruitment marketing, you can stay ahead of any changes to the job board landscape and get qualified job seekers excited about joining your team. For more tips on engaging top talent, read our resource, “The Hireology Employment Brand Playbook.”