Advertising Effectiveness Study Points To More Online Recruitment Spending

Corporate recruiters and human resources professionals plan to spend more on online talent channels and less on print classifieds while they begin to explore the impact of attracting job candidates from social networking sites.

That’s according to the results of the first comprehensive national study of recruitment advertising effectiveness, which reveals that most corporate recruiters find online job sites effective in filling job openings, despite complaints that they generate too many unqualified applicants.

The joint study by ERE Media, Inc., and Classified Intelligence, LLC, found that only employee referral programs got higher recruitment effectiveness marks that online recruiting. Print advertising trailed the pack.

It asked corporate recruiters to rank the value of job sites, print advertisements, social networks, employee referrals, and career fairs. Most important in making that judgment, the survey showed, was recruiters’ assessments of number of hires compared to cost.

“The big news is that recruitment sites are identified as an effective way to find and hire employees,” says Peter M. Zollman, founding principal of Classified Intelligence. “Especially among large companies, recruiters are increasing their spending. This should mean real growth for the online job segment — most likely at the expense of newspapers.”

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Nearly half of the 353 recruiters who participated (45 percent) expect to increase spending with job sites this year over 2005; more hires for more companies come from job sites than anyplace else.

More than half the recruiters expect to spend more on employee referral programs, although fewer than one-third of hires come from these. Social networking sites are used by 43 percent of the responding recruiters and HR managers, but a common sentiment revealed by the study is that the jury is out on their overall effectiveness as a recruiting channel.

All forms of advertising have a place in the spending mix, recruiters emphasized.

“This is extremely valuable information for recruiters who want to know what approaches their colleagues are finding successful, and consider how best to allocate their budgets” says David Manaster, CEO of ERE Media. “The report reflects HR professionals from a great cross-section of industries and company sizes talking about how to get the most for their money.”