We’ve all heard it many many times, recruitment advertising is 10 years behind consumer advertising.

But no one ever seems to ask why?

Perhaps there is a reason.

I have been lucky in my career, I have run job boards and I have run a digital advertising agency, with clients like Nike, GM and American Express.

And from my experience I believe recruitment is genuinely harder.

For a start when was the last time that a consumer product refused to be bought?

In recruitment we deal constantly with people that say no.

So, we need to be even more compelling.

In consumer advertising, the product sits there until it is sold.

In recruitment, we have a small window of opportunity to attract a limited supply of the best applicants, before our competitors snap them up.

In recruitment the minute someone resigns the clock starts ticking; we often have only weeks, 30 days if you are lucky, to advertise the job, filter, carry out interviews, offer, and wait for any notice period before the new one comes on board. And the minute that desk is empty it costs our companies money. It affects the morale of those who have to pick up the slack and it reduces the efficiency of the organisation.

So we have to be super fast and efficient. We don’t have time to test and learn like our consumer friends, we have to get it right first time.

So yes, recruitment advertising is harder.

But we are going through a revolution right now, technology is finally catching us up.

Automation, predictive analytics, Machine learning. All of these things right now are empowering recruiters to deliver on all the above and not only will quickly catch our consumer advertising colleagues but we will overtake using much more sophisticated technology and techniques.

We still have some way to go.

  • Optimised landing pages (converting visitors to applicants).
  • Chatbots to reduce application friction
  • Passive targeting
  • Message sequencing, retargeting etc.
  • Automated CV searching and sourcing

Most of the technology is here, early days but it exists, and as more and more companies sign up it will be increasingly mainstream.