We’ve come a long way since the mainstream introduction of paying for clicks to get candidate traffic. I can remember a presentation by Indeed‘s Paul Forster back in 2006, educating employers on the advertising practice that had already become commonplace for digital marketers leveraging search marketing strategies: Don’t pay a flat fee, instead, only pay for the traffic you want.

I can also remember asking roomfuls of conference goers, “How does Google make its buckets of dollars? Those text ads on the side of its search results, that’s how.” Of course, at the time, paying a flat fee for postings ruled the day, and some never thought we’d get to a pay-for-performance model.

Fortunately for the advertisers (and users), popular sentiment was wrong. Sites like Indeed and Simply Hired blazed the trail early on, and now stalwarts like Monster now offer performance pricing. Turn the spout off and on as needed, pay only for what you want. Just makes sense.

Jobs2Career Predictive AnalyticsThat success, however, has also given birth to added layers of complexity. Which sites are the cheapest? Which time of day is best? What keywords perform the best? What’s my return on investment?

Solutions like Recruitics have prospered by being an agent for recruitment marketers, taking out the manual labor from much of the equation. The downside is such solutions are reactive in nature, instead of trying to predict what the cost of filling certain openings might be.

Jobs2Careers is taking a step in that direction by unveiling predictive job analytics at last week’s HR Technology Conference. “We’re essentially treating job ads like real ads and allowing clients to buy more efficiently than ever before,” said Thad Price, Jobs2Careers’ vice president of product and engineering. “We’ve learned a lot from the digital ad world, and we want to see those successes for our clients in the recruitment industry.”

Jobs2Careers Predictive Analytics
Screenshot of Jobs2Careers Predictive Analytics Dashboard

How’s it work? Using data across Jobs2Careers’ network, encompassing 1.4 billion searches each month, users can filter their searches to determine how much they can expect to pay for applicants to their job postings.  Results can be delivered as “Good,” “Better” or  “Best,” as well as whether you want to see cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-acquisition (CPA). In the example above, Jobs2Careers recommends spending $598 in order to generate 13 applicants for a registered nurse position in Chicago. This translates to $46-per-applicant.

The tool serves as a way to keep the other pay-for-performance players in check. Are you paying too much to Indeed? This will help answer that question. It also puts you in a better position to negotiate price for consumers. To date, this tool is not open to the public, but Price says it will be accessible in a matter of months. Currently, you have to contact the company directly to access the information.

“So many people see Jobs2Careers as a destination site, but we also have this great set of tools to maximize efficiency of ad spend across several channels,” says Shelly Mudd, Jobs2Careers’ chief revenue officer. “For the first time, recruiters and hiring managers can understand the true value of an applicant. From there, they can make informed budget decisions and set realistic goals.”

What’s next? Price tells me they’ll take on the applicant tracking systems. That is, they’ll be scoring applicant tracking solutions based on the usability of each. How long do job seekers stay on your ATS? What is the bounce rate vs. other players? Jobs2Careers is hoping to answer those questions.

Transparency in the applicant tracking space, especially in regards to usability, is something a lot of people, including me, will welcome. Who has the best mobile application process? I certainly want to know.

About the Author

joel-cheesman-headshotJoel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead.

He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an iOS app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is the father of two children and lives in Indianapolis. Yes, he’s on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can hire me too.