Is the Recruitment Sector Underutilising Digital as a Marketing Channel?

Consumer trends within the recruitment sector shows that 43% of job seekers are now searching via mobile devices heavily suggesting a strong user journey is increasingly important for agencies. This not only relates to creating a responsive website but also the execution of online navigation, both of which are driving factors in building a clear, stable platform for brand engagement.

In fact, recruiters who invest in mobile platforms will witness great improvements to their business, there is evidence of this with some quoting a 14% improvement in time to hire, 19% increase in the quality of hire, and a 10% uplift in the quality of referrals according to industry research.

Encendo undertook a study to drill down further into the attitudes towards digital expenditure and investment among recruitment agencies in Ireland to determine whether the marketing services being offered align with consumer demand.

Marketing budgets

Generally speaking, 10-20% of marketing budgets are allocated to the digital marketing channel, although the study uncovered that 11% of respondents did not know what their financial investment in digital marketing was.

When considering that the expended amount is a 20% or less spend on marketing overall against revenue, and digital spend takes up a 10-20% portion of that, then overall digital can be said to equate to 1-2% against revenue, which can be argues to be a low investment for such a highly effective measurable and actionable marketing channel.

When taking a look at monthly digital marketing spend across the spectrum the survey found that 27% of respondents claim they spend less than €500 against to 35% saying they spend more than €1,000.

Data also highlighted that a significant 41% could knowingly confirm how much of their revenue could be attributed to digital marketing.

It may seem obvious to hear that that 96% of respondents are expecting to increase or stabilise their digital marketing budgets over the course of the next twelve months, an indicator of buoyancy in the industry and a desire to evolve with more efficient marketing behaviour.

Lead generation

Further prompting explored lead generation as one of the biggest areas of marketing focus for recruitment organisations within Ireland, with a large proportion of participants in the survey considering both clients and candidates as key target audiences (81%).

Not surprisingly, all organisations have a website, however there is an inconsistency between the perception of what it means to own a truly responsive website. Our results came back with 77% of webmasters believing that their website is responsive although Encendo’s manual research found as few as 64% of websites to not have a truly responsive website.

Further investigation into the functionality of said websites raised another red flag - regardless of their responsive nature, Encendo found that over half (59%) of them had poor design features, with less than satisfactory user journeys and limited use of social to increase reach and amplify the message. To this end, only 33% of sites dame the decision to display clear Social Media Share buttons.

From the research undertaken we can deduce that the findings are in tandem with the initial recruitment agency marketing survey. It appears the recruitment industry is still reliant on traditional methods, such as word of mouth and referrals as the top way of landing new clients and candidates.

Poor return on investment

In stark contrast, digital marketing is perceived as a bigger obstacle for recruiters for a number of reasons, and many having witnessed their digital marketing campaigns as producing poor return on investment. However, as industry experts on the recruitment sector Encendo can state with confidence that digital can unearth positive results both short and long-term as it has ability to measure bang-for-buck and have a transparent vision of how you are activity is influencing your business.

Webmasters should bear in mind that the application of digital monitoring is very much dependent on clear attribution and tracking. It also stands or falls on the quality of landing pages, user navigation throughout the website and such likes to optimise conversion opportunities during the onsite experience. The key take-home message here is no matter how strong the strategies and investments might be in digital marketing activity, your returns will always come up short if your conversion funnels do not cater for today’s users.

Francis Mac Aonghus

Head of Digital for Encendo, a leading online marketing agency based in Ireland. Francis’ area of expertise lies in formulating marketing strategy and activities including search engine optimisation, campaign performance, pay per performance advertising, email marketing and other digital activities and online marketing campaigns.



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Tuesday, 23 July 2019
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Member Login

Business Insights & Tips


Jill Holtz
1900 Points
Tena Glaser
1387 Points
Michael Lane
802 Points
Ron Immink
732 Points
Fionan Murray
719 Points
View Leaderboard