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The real cost of Advertising

by Heat Recruitment


Over the past year, I have observed a real decline in the quality and relevance of candidates applying to jobs via advertising. As a business, we aim to advertise all our roles to give us the best possible chance of finding the top talent in the marketplace.

It’s important we explore all avenues to find good candidates so we can provide the best service to clients who engage with us. I have spoken to other consultants I know in the recruitment industry who have also experienced the same trend.

This made me think about the cost of advertising to employers who advertise for vacancies themselves. The main reason companies will advertise themselves is to save money on using agencies to find their staff, but in many cases, this could be at an even greater cost if you factor in the time it takes to get the candidates through the door for interviews. If it is a critical role the cost of paying overtime to other employees is always increasing until you find someone.

Then there is the actual cost of placing the job advert, the cost in terms of the individuals who’s role it is to place the adverts, sift through the CV’s, call the candidates and short list for interviews.

Advertising a vacancy (whether it be through your own resources or an agency) while producing some winners, will in the main offer you the chance to select from only 10% of the response.

The 10% that fit the bill on paper are people looking for you. That in itself means that 90% of your advertising cost have been wasted. Human nature (and your profit and loss account) will ensure the likelihood of one of the 10% being offered the job. This is because your company has invested a lot of time, energy and money on the advert and subsequent interview.

Typical response to an advertised vacancy

  • 10% possible matches
  • 30% relevant to industry but not qualified enough for the vacancy
  • 60% irrelevant skill set for the opportunity

But what if 100% of the applicants not only fitted the bill on paper but matched your companies ethos as well and were presented to you fully briefed on the role and your company? What if you had no financial cost until you hired the right candidate? Instead of the applicant looking for you, would it not be better if the selected candidates that met you were the ones you were looking for?

It makes sense to try out more financially and timely viable options that will present you a select short list of candidates from which you can make your hiring decision. Also, if you are using a good recruitment consultant they will be out in the market place representing your brand which is free marketing as they will only be speaking to industry relevant candidates and speaking about your business in a positive light.  It’s also important to highlight that advertising will generally only provide you with access to candidates ‘actively’ seeking new opportunities, which only represents 20% of the market in total, with the other 80% being referred to as ‘passive’ job seekers.

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