Auditors use budget document calculators to find annual budget disbursement errors.

By Matt Lozar, Haley Marketing’s Director of Recruitment Marketing

It’s a constant moving target, but it’s really important to nail it correctly. How many jobs should you sponsor for your budget? And when market conditions change – should you increase or decrease sponsored jobs? Should you increase or decrease your budget? It can be confusing!

A key metric to understand and utilize to your best advantage is the jobs-to-budget ratio. When you master it, you’ll find that you’re getting more out of your job advertising spend and generating a greater ROI. At Haley Marketing, we are seeing the jobs-to-budget ratio become one of the most important factors in getting results from monthly budgets.

Here’s a snapshot of what it all means and how to make it work for you.

Don’t just default to a budget increase. Instead – increase jobs!

When you’re not seeing needed results from your job ads, your initial reaction is often: “We need to bump up our budget.” And maybe you do, but “just spend more” is not a recruiting strategy. Before you drive yourself too deeply into red ink, stop and consider how many jobs are included in your current spending plan.

  • Often, a better solution is to think more jobs, not more budget. Focus on putting more jobs into your campaigns. You can do so using several tactics, such as simply sponsoring more jobs or trying different job titles or geographic locations (either manually or through automation)Yes, it’s the opposite of what the job boards are saying, but we are seeing it work!

Here’s an analogy: More jobs means more lines in the water to catch candidates. With fewer candidates in the market, we need to maximize our chances of connecting with them! How can you get more jobs posted if your team is already stretched thin with its time and resources?

  • Put technology to work for you. The right software is critical. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to think about adding programmatic software to your recruitment marketing strategy. Software performs tasks in nanoseconds – faster than any human. 

How does programmatic software help? Here’s an example: if you have a warehouse worker job in Cleveland, Ohio, you can do two types of expansions:

  • Title expansions: Warehouse Worker, Production Worker, Warehouse Associate
  • City expansions: Cleveland, Solon, Lakewood, Euclid

Program the software to create alternate titles whenever it receives a “warehouse worker” job and to post in different cities whenever it receives a job in “Cleveland, Ohio.” Then combine the title expansions and city expansions. Now, we turned one job (warehouse worker in Cleveland) into 12 jobs by programming our strategy into the software.

2022 State of Staffing

Stay data-driven

Let’s look at an example for a staffing company where increasing jobs provided improved results. It is an industrial staffing company in Wisconsin that was really struggling to reach candidates. 

Month Job Count Monthly Apps Cost Per App
October 43 93 $21.51
November 117 217 $8.86
December 224 298 $6.60

By increasing their job count 5X through automation, this company spending $2,000/month was able to maintain the same budget and triple their monthly applications!

While the example above showcases a perfect case study in sponsoring more jobs, don’t just go flooding your campaigns with more jobs. Testing is really important, and it’s important to test gradually. That’s where staying data-driven comes into play.

Increase the job count by 10% or maybe 20% and see what happens. Most times, it works really well. Sometimes, increasing the job count leads to empty clicks and drives up cost per application. We’ve seen that before. 

On the flip side, the right strategy might be to keep your current job count and decrease your monthly budget. Maybe you are overpaying for candidates as there is a finite number of people looking for work in your geographic market. The last thing you want to do is to pay too much for a click or an application. 

Keep testing. Keep recording your data and analyzing results. It won’t stay the same throughout the entire month, quarter, or year. Companies have seen great results for two months and then all of a sudden during the first week of the next month, their costs increase. Knowing what to do when those metrics change due to market conditions is vital to getting the most ROI from your recruitment budget. 

The jobs-to-budget ratio has a huge impact on your success with active candidates on job boards. There isn’t a set formula that’s going to work for each company. Too many factors come into play – job types, geography, salary, candidates in the market, overall economic factors.

Please don’t just increase your budget blindly. “Spending more” isn’t the only recruiting strategy. Spending smarter is the strategy you want to focus on!

Matt is Director of Recruitment Marketing at Haley Marketing Group, the nation’s largest marketing firm dedicated to serving the staffing and recruiting industry. A self-defined data nerd, Matt loves to test strategies and tactics to scientifically help clients get the best ROI on the ad spend.