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What’s the best way to find and hire staff in 2018?

Experienced marketer and Big Splash General Manager for Australia and NZ Joanna Baker shares her thoughts.

Is there a single ‘must have’ job board to advertise on in Australia?

"I’m not a fan of the ‘all eggs, 1 basket’ approach to advertising anything.  You don’t see politicians only canvassing votes on one media and there’s a reason for that.  If the budget’s tight, I suggest 1 ad on a mainstream job board to reach active job seekers; either Trade Me or Indeed. Then a more targeted ad that’s directed specifically at people you want to present your opportunity to, like  Linkedin, Facebook or an industry specific media like CareCareers."

Should I be using Twitter or other forms of social media to find staff?

"Yes absolutely. At Big Splash, we’ve seen a 150% increase in clients directing a portion of their ad spend to social media. Facebook is strong for roles where candidates are not in front of a computer, like drivers and hospitality workers - which makes sense. Reaching great people who aren’t actively job hunting is a challenge and newsfeeds provide a great way to do this in a relaxed context."

How many applicants do you think I’ll get in a ‘successful’ campaign?

"It really depends on industry and your location.  We say it should be about quality rather than quantity, as it’s better to have half a dozen good candidates than 3 dozen not.  Typically our customers with a really well written and placed advert will get between 10-80 applications, with skill short areas like nursing and trades at the lower end, and easier to fill roles like admin and IT support at the top."

Do print situations vacant ads still work?

"The answer is yes, but it depends where the role is located and what sort of job you’re advertising. In regional areas of Northern Territory, the local paper still plays a vital role in connecting local employers as well as driving company awareness. Even in metro centres, you’ll still see plenty of executive, local government and education roles in the weekend papers.

If you are after a high quality passive candidate (that is, someone in a job already who might just be tempted to investigate your offer), then consider newspapers. 

Don’t forget specialist industry publications as this can be an excellent way of reaching specific candidates whilst promoting your company growth; for example Ethical Jobs

How long will it take to recruit someone new?

"General rule of thumb is 30 days not counting a 4 week notice period, which coincidentally, is the time most online job ads run for.  Most of the action will happen in the first week, when your ad is top of the list and active job seekers who have registered for job alerts will get pinged.  Depending how good your search words are, you may still continue to receive a steady stream for the life of the advert."   

What do you mean ‘how good your search words are?’ Isn’t it enough just to have a job in the relevant category?

"The ‘newest ads first’ model still operates on some sites like Seek and you can pay a premium to stay at the top of the list.  However more sophisticated media like Indeed will track candidate search behaviour and deliver ads to them based on key words and relevancy. So it’s critical you think like your job seeker and use the words they do.

For example, one of my clients first listed a role as a ‘Trade Consultant’, generating a mediocre response. We changed it to ‘Retail/Customer Service’  and the quality of applications doubled."

I am having trouble finding local staff. Should I be looking offshore?

"65% of AU employers are already looking off shore this year and it’s easy if you know which media to use, don’t have language issues and can deal with time zones when liaising to book your ad.  Sites like Indeed and LinkedIn make it easy to post internationally from your desk, more specific media such as specialist medical and dental magazines or those reaching Chinese speakers will require liaison with a rep. Alternatively booking with Big Splash means we can take care of translations and other placement issues!"

Where can I go if I just can’t find the right person? Recruitment agencies are too expensive.

"Get creative with your advertising!  We’ve done bus shelter and train station transit adverts to attract summer student workers, radio to reach tradies and utilised the noticeboard at a local gym/café where we knew that competitor’s sales reps frequented. We’ve also used ‘on bus’ ads for a recruitment campaign targeting bus drivers."

Big Splash are the experts in effective recruitment advertising and have been since 2002. We work with businesses of all sizes, who advertise anything from one role a year to 100. Whether you have your own ATS system or prefer emailed applications, we know how to design, write and place adverts that get attention. Call us for an obligation free discussion.

If you would like advice on effective recruitment advertising, contact Big Splash here 


What’s the best way to find and hire staff in 2018?