Over the years, there’s a mistake that we see recruiters repeatedly making online. It might not seem like such a serious issue, but the reality is that it can undermine virtually all other online activities and reduce the return on investment for your digital marketing.

The biggest mistake recruiters make onlineThis is the biggest mistake recruiters make online

The mistake involves recruiters not advertising ALL of the roles they’re recruiting for, on their own website(s). It sounds so simple really and for some, reading this it’ll seem like an obvious thing for recruiters to do – but trust us, we’ve seen excellent recruiters effectively crippling their own online marketing efforts by not doing this. These recruiters will be spending hundreds or even thousands of pounds per month on job boards and other advertising, yet typically neglecting their own websites.

Owned vs rented media

There are a number of reasons why this is so important. There’s a concept of owned versus rented (paid) media, where rented media are all the external job boards, trade magazines and other media types that you’ll typically pay to advertise in/on. They’ll have impressive circulation figures, incredible reach and are usually very well populated with tonnes of jobs and content, and are high traffic websites too. But they’re also owned by someone else. You’re paying to help consolidate or build another’s brand. Yes, you’ll get some form of branding on the advert, but almost everything you get, you have to pay for. And when you stop paying, all the benefits will immediately disappear. This is rented media.

With owned media, the platform – like your website – is something you’ve created (and paid for), where you own and control everything that goes on to that platform. Every job you publish or share helps build your brand. It can positively impact your SEO and ensure you start ranking for relevant search terms and keywords. As you might imagine, building your brand will involve both owned and rented media (and earned media, but we’ll cover that in another article) – but over the long term, it’s imperative that you don’t neglect your owned media options.

Startups vs established businesses

Some owners might be reading this and thinking it doesn’t apply to them. That this only applies to recruitment start-ups and not established businesses. But they’d be completely wrong. Whether you’re building a brand or growing an established company, making the most of your own website should be an integral part of any digital marketing plans. You’ve gone to the hard work of creating your website, defining your brand and then building a network around it. You want to rank well in search engine results. But you need to keep ‘feeding the machine’ and supplying new content to the site… whether it’s news or blog posts or jobs. Jobs will likely be easiest for recruiters because this is the bread and butter of what they trade in.

Reference checking

Ensuring your website has lots of jobs on it is important for so many reasons. When a client reference checks you, they’ll inevitably look at your website to find out more about your business. You don’t want to have a ‘tumbleweed’ website where it’s not been updated for weeks or months. Or have a poor representation of the sectors you work in by only having a handful of jobs in one sector/location.

The same goes for candidates too. The agency market is competitive and in a candidate-driven market, an agency has to be able to appeal to good candidates and make them want to register with them. If a candidate views your empty website, there’s little to tempt them to register with you. But if they visit and find roles that are interesting and relevant to them, they’ll be much more likely to register. You don’t need a marketing degree to understand that… it’s just common sense.

Making life easier with automation

Getting your jobs onto your website doesn’t need to be an onerous task either. Many recruiters these days will use auto-job posting tools like idibu, Broadbean or Logic Melon – or will have some facility built into their Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – where the process of publishing job adverts to your own website can be simplified to just the click of a button and a checkbox being ticked. So there really shouldn’t be an excuse for not publishing all jobs on your own website.

But even without an auto-job posting tool, in many cases, we’re talking about a handful of minutes to publish a job to your website. And maybe a handful more to then share that across your social media platforms. You don’t need to write everything from scratch each time either. Certain content will be the same, or similar, from job to job – especially if you’re repeatedly recruiting for a single client… so you can re-use content. But do this sparingly. Replica jobs on your website can be detrimental to what we’re trying to achieve here. No one wants to browse a job board or recruiter website and see the same job over and over again.

Simple steps to improve

Outside of automation, simply adding your own website into the workflow for vacancy management should be enough, but don’t just stop there. Think about your potential audience. Could you (or should you) rewrite your jobs to appeal to different audiences (the answer is yes, of course)? For instance, the same job could be rewritten to focus on career progression opportunities, whereas another iteration could focus on the flexible working options of the role, or another version on the perks and benefits of working for a specific employer. Each of these adverts might be for the same job but will appeal to different people for different reasons. And each of these roles advertised on your own website, won’t cost you anything extra to advertise there, but may help you reach a wider audience, will impact positively on your SEO (over time) and will grow your online presence so that each time you share content or publish jobs you’re reaching a wider audience, your cost of candidate acquisition will reduce and your return on investment will improve.

Being consistent is the key here. Regularly advertising roles on your own website and sharing them across your social media platforms may not result in an immediate torrent of candidate applications, but over time, it will become an important element of your lead generation, candidate pipeline and digital marketing activities.


If you want to discuss your digital marketing strategy with us here at APEX then please contact us today, to see how we can help.

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