Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Irish jobs search trends

Have you ever wondered what keywords do Irish job hunters use to find job sites in Ireland? Well our good old Google is here to tell us. You can query Google Trends for any given keyword, and even compare how keywords do against each other. By putting in enough keywords, you will clearly see what is ‘in’ and what is not as a keyword:

Have you ever wondered what keywords do Irish job hunters use to find job sites in Ireland? Well our good old Google is here to tell us. You can query Google Trends for any given keyword, and even compare how keywords do against each other. By putting in enough keywords, you will clearly see what is ‘in’ and what is not as a keyword.

It is also important to mention the word ‘Jobs’ as a part of the search phrase. The graph below shows the total volume of the word ‘jobs’ used compared to the other strongest keywords in the Irish recruitment industry.

Note also the locations listed below. You did not rally expect Sligo to be listed on the top position, did you? A huge disproportion of output of the education system and jobs available is the cause for this.

Dublin, the capital is not in the top ten locations by volume of the searches for jobs in Ireland? You did not expect that one either? Well, both number of new positions, in this vibrant city and the local presence of the Irish Recruitment Agencies in the city advertising everywhere, a job in Dublin will ‘lend’ on you really. You do not need Google to find one!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Site targeting + Image ads = WIN!!!

The best results achieved in the Irish recruitment industry in utilising Google AdWords so far have been accomplished by the combination of the two features of AdWords: Site Targeting and Image Ads.

Image ads
Now let’s look at the reasons why is that so. We all know that the image says a thousand words. Text ads are nice, but an image will always have a much higher click through. If you want serious traffic, get your images done and publish them as much as you can to replace your text ads. To increase the number of clicks even more, create animated images, to draw people’s attention to them. Where eyes go on the page, the cursor of the mouse is likely to follow.

Site targeting
You need to find sites where you want your ads to appear. You need to look at those sites and analyze them. What kind of traffic is expected (Alexa is a pointer), what sizes and shapes of AdSense are present on the site. What is the sites color scheme and where do the ads appear on the pages. All this will help you create the ads that will display on that chosen site and stand out (or blend in), and achieve a high click through. As with any animated image advertisement, an initial image that blends in with the background on the page, and than some animation that stands out, will achieve the most clicks. Again it depends on where the image is on the page, and what images load first and last. In general, if your ad is on top, blend it in, and make an animation a second or more after the full page loads. And repeat it, but not indefinitely – it gets seriously annoying.

By creating an animated image, or a set of animated images – at least one for each AdSense shape on a targeted site, and adjusting your maximum bid for cost per click, you can completely flood a targeted site. So make sure it does really look nice and non intrusive, since you might upset the site owner who can easily remove your ads from displaying on his site.

Also make sure your animated image has a story to tell. Your company logo should be completely in the background until the last screen. Here are a few ideas:
Jobs in Ireland (for sites with international traffic)
Irish Recruiters - looking for you!
There is always a better job on…
Whatever you want to be…

… use your imagination. Or get a good advertising agency.

The cost per click from a combination of site targeted ad and image ad displayed is most likely going to be your highest one. So track the conversion rate on your site, and notice that a visitor from such a campaign is far likely to subscribe to your service that a visitor from a text ad. People that click on the image ads are in large percentage people that would never click on a text ad. In general, female visitors are far more likely to click on an image ad than on a text ad. Looking for an Irish Office Secretary? Image ad is the way to go! :)

Google vs. Irish Job Boards (1:0)

All Irish recruiters are advertising their jobs in Ireland where? – On Irish job portals.

There is no serious recruitment agency that does not use the services of the Irish Jobs, Recruit Ireland, Employ Ireland, Monster, and a list of so called niche job sites.

In the same time there is only a dozen (literally!) recruitment agencies that use Google AdWords to attract Irish job hunters. And even worse there is no single agency working on the search engine optimization of their Irish recruitment web site.

In the same time all the Irish job boards are using Google AdWords to drive the traffic, and work really hard on the search engine optimization of their job sites.

So where we are is that the Irish recruitment agencies are in fact outsourcing all the traffic generation activities to the Irish job boards. If we look from a log distance the money flow actually starts with an Irish Employer, who pays for the employee hired to the Irish recruitment agency. The Irish Recruitment agency pays the Irish job board to advertise. Irish job board pays Google to get them the relevant traffic of the people looking fro the job in Ireland. Google then pays a portion of that to the web site owners who display Google AdSense ads on their pages.

In all of those steps each party ads a value added service. A service after service after service…

Depending from what perspective you look at it, you will find a different part of that fairly long food chain obsolete.

Let’s look for view of the Irish recruitment agency. The money flows in for every placement they make. The money flows out to the Irish job sites. The difference of those two figures, minus the running costs and taxes are the profits of the Irish recruitment agency. Any decrease of the costs, especially external costs where the largest are the subscriptions to the job boards, will ultimately increase the profit. The obvious step is to cut the Irish job sites. Irish recruitment agency has an option that Google makes possible with their AdSense programme, to purchase web traffic, and relevant web traffic – people looking for a job in Ireland. By doing so the Irish recruitment agency bypasses the Irish job boards. Knowing that the owners of the job boards are fairly well off people (O’Brian, Crosbie, etc), it is obvious,… well take a guess yourself what the savings are.

Or even better! Let us no guess it! Let us do the comparison. Imagine that you the same amount of money every month into your Google AdWords account as much you pay your monthly subscription fee to the Irish job board. Do if for a month. Monitor where is each CV coming from to your CV database. Monitor the quality of CVs by identifying the source of the CV of each placement you make that month. One thing is for sure. There is no way any Irish job site can give you as much CVs as Google AdWors can. Even more you can target your visitors Geographically in your AdWords campaign, that will result in a far better quality of CVs, and higher CV/placement ratio.


No Irish job board stand a chance against Google AdWords in helping the Irish recruitment agency to make more placements.

…and only a dozen, at the time of writing this are advertising with Google AdWords, where all are publishing to Irish job boards, and in most cases (90%) to multiple Irish job boards.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A little Google AdWords Secret

If you are at all serious about recruiting in Ireland you are probably using Google AdWords to drive traffic to your job posts on your web site.

No you do not?... Well you should! But that is another story, let us concentrate now on the lithe Google AdWords secret I have for you. If is plain simple, and anyone would have guessed it, if one would just think outside of the box, or in this case outside out the Google AdWords interface.

One thing you always wondered is where will my ads appear, especially when you are publishing them outside of the Google SERP pages. There are web sites that show Google AdWords ads on themselves, and your ads will appear on those pages if the content of each page that displays ads is relevant to the keywords you are bidding for.

The fact is that you do not really have any control on where will your ads end up. So let us be smart and find out!

Step one – find the pages you want your ads to display at

Let us use Google to find what pages are relevant to ‘Ireland’ and ‘Jobs’, so put a phrase like ‘Ireland Jobs’ in Google search box, or just click here on Ireland Jobs.

Now let us look what of those ages display Google ads. Start from the top, and find the first one opening them one by one. When you find the first one from the top, that one obviously has the most visitors, since it is the highest one from the top – where people click the most. If the site is not related to the jobs in Ireland and you do not feel confident advertising there – skip that one and go to the next.

Step one – place your ad on that best web site – most relevant to your Irish jobs

To make sure your ads display on the web site you have chosen you can use the Google AdWords feature Site Targeting. This enables you to place your ads exactly on that web site, and not on the others, and you will be able to manage the cost of clicks on that site separately to all other clicks on any other site.
Step three – test your ads and see what text phrases bring you the desired traffic – and job applications

We all know that Google AdWords will give you as much back as much you spend working on it. So do not create an ad and leave it like that forever. Change the phrases, change your keywords, and you will soon find out what works best for you.

Step four – The Little Google AdWords Secret

You have found the ad text and keywords that work the best for you, and now the only thing is making sure you are outbidding the other advertisers. Well at some stage it will start costing you money. You will also start thinking how high will the price go?! Well there is the way of keeping the price per click down, and that is by making the most attractive ad so that visitors continue clicking on your ad more than on anyone else’s. Google will keep on displaying your ad higher even if someone offers more per click but has a lower click through ratio. And how do you achieve that people click on your ad more than on any one elses???


And do not put your stupid (oops…) company logo! Put an animated image that nicely blends in with the background of the web site your are targeting. We all know that a nice image has at least double click through rate than any text. If you make a nice image, making sure it does not only look good standalone, but on the site where you are publishing it, it will achieve far higher number of clicks than any other ad.

Think about the additional benefits. Visitors will not see a a list of boring text adverts on that site, but will see a nice and animated (just slightly please!!!) image that loks as the part of the site where it is displayed. With your logo somewhere in the animation of course. If you make the image really nice, you have a chance to make you image a nicest part of the site that the image is on. Just imagine where will people click then?

So get busy, find the job sites in Ireland that display Google ads, and get your marketing and graphic people together to start placing Site Targeted Google AdWords today!

The Electronic Recruiting News

This is what John says about himself and ERNIE:

The Electronic Recruiting NewsDeveloped by John Sumser for Human Resource Professionals, Headhunters, Placement Firms and Recruiting Agencies on the Net. The Electronic Recruiting News includes tips, trends and analysis of players, events and occurrences in the Recruiting Industry. Updated daily.

And you would think,… just another marketing gimp! Well the truth is that ERNIE is the BEST online resource about online recruitment that there is. As simple as that. If you are serious about online recruitment you should read ERNIE! Daily! Not only that John is a person who knows the business inside out, but is also funny! In today’s post John speaks about niche job boards, that we mentioned in the Irish job applications – Quality vs. Quantity yesterday. Here is from the today’s article article:

Niche Boards: The Problem (September 13, 2006) "Hey, what if we had a job board? The ads would sell themselves. It would be like free money. Uh, yes, uh, could you pass that bong back this way?" - overheard at a recent blog company strategic planning session.

Craig has a good thing going. Without much in the way of a sales crew, Craigslist manages to print money with its employment ads. Ask anyone else with a job board, however, and you'll learn one thing fast: Revenue is a function of the number of salespeople. In any organization with more than 100 people, the budget for Recruitment Advertising spending is owned by someone in the HR Department. The key to earning their business is to identify them and to satisfy their wants, desires and needs. This is what companies in the job board business do.

If you were wondering how Monster beat the newspapers while automating the business that the newspapers owned lock, stock and barrel, there's only one answer: a strong outbound sales force. The newspapers have never been willing to muster an aggressive sales team, they hire minimum wage order takers. They lost the classified advertising game to Monster and Craigslist because they refused to invest in sales people.

Perhaps you were wondering what Monster's current market advantage is. It's that same sales force. Duplicating it and its web of relationships would cost as much as a Billion dollars. Without an investment in sales and marketing and a commitment to serve a specific niche of HR specialists, job board operations have severely limited horizons. It's simple. No sales force, no money...

Oh, there's another teensy weensy little problem. Job boards don't deliver what they advertise. The real product at the big players is resume database access. The new niche boards are asserting that the quality of their audience is an adequate alternative. We'd bet that most of that audience is already on file at Monster.

A job board should be a conversation in which expectations are examined and leveled. One of the saddest things about the emergence of a new flock of niche job boards is how slavishly they adhere to the very flawed classified advertising model...

It's about to be a really exciting time in the job board business. We're seeing things, just over the horizon, that promise expanded interactivity and real movement towards solving actual recruiting problems.

Although most of the samples are related to the American recruitment market, you will be able to recognize parallels with the Irish Online Jobs sites or portals. Just a few questions to stimulate a mind process of any Irish recruiter:
1. What Irish job site has the best sales team?
2. What job board am I paying the most?
3. Do the answers to the first two questions mach?
And some more:
4. Do I get CVs from Irish Niche job sites that I do not get from the market leaders – large generalist job sites? Or just duplicates?
5. Does my job board provide me with a useful CV search functionality?

Running a job site in Ireland today is not an easy thing to do. This is where Ireland is completely in sync with the States. Problems of Irish recruiters are quite similar to the ones in the States, while the difference of the size of the market brings in it’s own disadvantages to the Irish recruiters.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A FREE web site for every Irish Recruiter!

You do know that there is no recruitment business in Ireland if you do not have a web site. If you are still not sure here is a reminder for you: Recruitment Agency Web site – “Do I need one?”

OK, so that means investment? Right?

Well not necessary. Let’s look at the possible routes:

1. Purchase
2. Lease

1. You can go to any of the web design companies in Ireland and get a good Irish job site. Or option B is get a niece or a nephew to just do you up one. Come on these kids today do all this internet stuff… So cost can vary from a few candy bars, cinema tickets, tricycle,… to a six figure sum if you go to one of the market leaders. The product does not differ that much, and looks almost identical in the browser. The candy bar site will probably have less features, so you will learn how to use it quicker. The six figure site will never work as you would like it to work. There is simply to many Account Managers, Development Leads, Release Engineers, and so on in between you and the actual developer who is writing the code. In some cases it might be someone else’s niece anyway.

What you will do if you are a start up, you will go for a candy bar solution, and if you are well established with 10 staff already, you will go for 50k ‘Solution’, and if you are a market leader you will sign a 150k a year ‘Partnership’ deal with another ‘Market Leader’. The higher you pay, the longer will it take to get anything, and it will take NEVER to get what you want.

2. Leasing a web site is still a new thing in the Irish Recruitment market. The benefits are that you can usually ‘Test Drive’ it, since it is a finished product ready for you to use. You know exactly what you are getting, so if that is for you – get it. If not, ask for custom changes. It usually works out so that you pay only for a portion of a real cost of the changes or upgrades ordered, since the same new feature will be resold to other new (and old) customers of a company that is leasing a solution. Products that are for lease are tailored for the industry, so if there is an existing client base in Ireland and in your industry of recruitment, it is most likely that the product is well tested by the current users and you will get a usable product.

Remember that a Lease is a magic word for any company accountant. Your cash flow will not be hit by a up front six figure sum, but a small monthly lease term fee. Negotiate a longer term, to waive the setup costs. Ask for something on top for free!

The most comprehensive and complete lease package for the recruiters in Ireland is for sure the eRecruit package from Portal.ie, the same Irish company that runs Employ Ireland.

3. Yes there are a free web sites there, you just need to grab one! Hey a Blog is a web site! Yes a blog like this is for free. 100% free. For life. IT is super easy to manage and update. In fact a bit too easy really. You can even send your blog posts in email and they get automatically published. What does that mean for you as and Irish recruiter? Remember what did it take to publish a job on your Irish recruitment web site, or any other job site in Ireland? Login here, username and password, fill this form here, approve, save, publish, and 15 minutes later you got it online. With a blog, you just email it and it is there!

A few recruiters in Ireland use blogs as their primary job web sites. They advertise their jobs in Ireland on their blog, and send applicants there to find a job for themselves and apply directly via email. It works, and it’s free. The drawback is that a blog does not do much for your branding really. Hosting your site under someone else’s domain does not really encourage any visitor to leave their personal data. A solution is a hosted blog where you host a blog under your domain. But a blog is still just a blog, anyone who wrote one and used a blogging software knows the limitations.

So if blog is not the best free solution, what is?

One of the solutions that is completely free is Microsoft Office Live. What you can get from Microsoft today is a free domain name, web hosting and a simple Content Management System (CMS) for the site. They will also give you a number of BIG web email accounts included. That is the most complete and the most generous offer I have seen so far. Check one of the samples: Irish Jobs Ireland.

Google of course is following the Microsoft steps and offering Google Domain Pages, that is a similar solution, but you still have to register your own domain name. Since that is about 5 Euro a year cost, that (almost) also qualifies as a free web site. Google s still struggling to write the decent instructions on how to actually activate the service and get your domain name settings right. The service is only a couple of months old now, and as well as Office Live offering no Irish recruiter went that route to get a free web site from neither of those providers.

Irish job applications – Quality vs. Quantity

When a sales person from any Irish job site approaches you, you will hear one of the two approaches:


Our Irish Job site has the largest number of job hunters in Ireland visiting the job listings every day. We provide comprehensive guidelines to Irish job hunters in various fields like CV preparation, Cover Letter writing, interview preparation, interview dressing code, etc, etc.

We have largest number of jobs in Ireland advertised on a single job site in Ireland. Largest Irish recruiters use our Irish Job site to quickly fill Irish job openings.


Our Irish niche job site has the largest number of relevant job hunters for your industry (sales, IT, HR, construction, medical, etc). Irish specialist recruiters use our site successfully to cover the niche requirements to fill their jobs in Ireland.

When you have used both of those types of sites you will start understanding what really differs them. What differs them is their position in the Google (or any other search engine) results page for the relevant phrases.

The Quantity site will be in the top 5 search results for any relevant search phrase. That means you will get a lot or responses on your job advertisements. If any of those applications will be even slightly relevant to your advertised jobs is a question you will have to find out for yourself. The more prepared you are for the volume of the applications, the better will you cope with the Quantity, and easier will filter through to the right candidate – that will result in a placement made.

The Quality web site does not have visitors or has very little visitors. Irish job hunter can not find it in Google, or can not find it easily. Their unique selling point is that they will send you relevant applicants, and only relevant applicants. What you are going to learn is that the overall Quality in the most cases is going to be the same as of the high volume Quantity job site. The niche Quality site will do it’s best to advertise strongly in its niche. Specialist magazines and organizations are the best (and only?!) ways to actually advertise. Ireland being the size it is, has a problem with that simply because the niches are very, very small. It requires very special skill-set and patience to do marketing to such small groups. The budgets required are disproportionate to the sizes of the niches. The end result is that a so called Quality web site will give you actually the same Quality as a Quantity web site, but in the much smaller volume. Quantity site plays on the big numbers card, and will send you lots of applicants. It is your responsibility as a recruiter to filter through and find the best that you can.

Tracking visitors of an Irish job site

Having traffic on any Irish job site is one thing, but having relevant traffic is something completely different. Any visitor tracking software or a service will give you a lot of numbers. It is reading those numbers that is a science, and reading those numbers well does make a huge difference in understanding your visitors. The reason you need to understand who is on your site, why, when and where from will give a you a user feedback on your site, that will help you understand what works well, and what doesn't on your web site.

Goal: Relevant CVs for your jobs advertised!

Your industry is the recruitment in Ireland. The job of a Irish recruitment web site is to display job specifications (job ads) to job hunters, and guide them to apply for your positions. Everything else does not have a direct impact on your business, and therefore has a secondary importance. Your goal is to get relevant job applications to your advertised jobs.

Tracking your visitors will not tell you much about the quality of the applications and the CVs in general. One thing it will tell you about is the geographical locations of your applicants. You can use that knowledge to target your advertising more to the locations you need applicants from. All online marketing tools like Overture, Google AdWords and MSN AdCentre will let you specify the locations you want your ads to appear in. You can also filter based on the time of the day or a week, when do you want those ads to appear, if you find out that either a certain part of a day or a certain part of a week does not bring you a desired quality of applicants from a certain location.

Conventional media ads like newspapers, radio, printed brochures let you choose a location of the readership, and work well in attracting the exact location targeted.

Search engines bring you traffic that is not really relevant to the location of your visitors. Major search engines do have the option where a surfer can choose the country he wants the results from, but the results that such searches display in most cases do not show the desired results, and in most cases are plainly wrong, so that makes the users avoid such options. Therefore search engines will bring you just traffic, and the higher your Irish job site displays in a search phrase job hunters will use, the more traffic you will get. Irrelevant of the 'quality' of that traffic. The result is that if you get high in the search engine results, you will also get a lot of applications and CVs via your Irish job web site. By increasing the number of the applications you are increasing the number of the non relevant applications as well, and the sheer volume of those can start 'choking' you business process, and tools you use to run your Irish recruitment business. In the same time, if you can handle that volume, you can think of reducing the number of subscriptions to Irish job portals, and save tons of money on that end, while investing in your business instead as opposed to someone else's.

There are to ways to analyze your traffic, and each will suite a different type of web site or web site owner (manager):
1. Web site tracking – based on the web tracking code in the code of your site
2. Web log analyzers – software packages that analyze the log files your web servers create about the traffic.

It is not really that easy to tell what is a better approach. The most important is that your solution gives you the capability to see in the reports generated what you are looking for. In the case of the Irish recruitment industry, you are most likely looking at the:
1. numbers – hits, visitors, applications
2. geographical information
3. conversion rates - % of the new visitors who applied to a job
4. where are your visitors from
5. where do they go in your site
6. when do they visit your site
7. when do they make applications
8. those that made an application, where did they came from?
9. …

This is just the beginning of your understanding your visitors. The more your use your visitor statistics, the more refined questions you will ask of it. The more you as of it, and the more you get answered, the more precise and effective will be your decisions on your marketing strategy. Marketing manager of any Irish job or recruitment site should get a good course in web site statistics analysis if he does not already base almost most of his decisions based o the web statistics reports.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) importance

Why is it important for your Irish Recruitment web site to appear high in the search results in Google? Simply because the higher it gets the more likely it is going to be seen. The more the people see your Irish recruitment web site listed in the Google SERP, the more they are going to click on it. The more they click on your job site listed the more relevant Irish job hunters you are going to get!

Eyetools, Enquiro, and Did-it uncover Search's Golden Triangle

New EyeTracking Study verifies the importance of page position and rank in both Organic and PPC search results for visibility and click through.

A joint eye tracking study conducted by search marketing firms Enquiro and Did-it and eye tracking firm Eyetools has shown that the vast majority of eye tracking activity during a search happens in a triangle at the top of the search results page indicating that the areas of maximum interest create a "golden triangle."

The first phase of the study was conducted with 50 people in Eyetools' eye tracking lab in San Francisco, California and presented panel participants with 5 distinct scenarios that would require the use of a search engine. Google was used as the search engine in all of the instances.

Key Preliminary Findings of the Study included

The key location on Google for visibility as determined by the eye activity in the study is a triangle that extends from the top of the results over to the top of the first result, then down to a point on the left side at the bottom of the "above the fold" visible results. This key area was looked at by 100 percent of the participants. In the study, this was referred to as the "Golden Triangle". Generally, this area appears to include top sponsored, top organic results and Google's alternative results, including shopping, news or local suggestions.

Visibility dropped quickly with organic rankings, starting at a high of 100% for the top listing, dropping to 85% at the bottom of the "above the fold" listings, and then dropping dramatically below the fold from 50% at the top to 20% at the bottom.

Organic Ranking Visibility
(shown in a percentage of participants looking at a listing in this location)

Rank 1 – 100%
Rank 2 – 100%
Rank 3 – 100%
Rank 4 – 85%
Rank 5 – 60%
Rank 6 – 50%
Rank 7 – 50%
Rank 8 – 30%
Rank 9 – 30%
Rank 10 – 20%

Eye scan and click through behavior changes dramatically as users moved "below the fold" to the section of results that required scrolling down. At the top of the page, the amount of eye movement declined rapidly through the top 4 or 5 results, and then at the bottom of the screen, tends to become more consistent through to the end of the page.

In searches where top sponsored results are returned in addition to right sponsored ads, the top ads received much higher visibility, being seen by 80 to 100% of participants, as opposed to 10 to 50% of participants who looked at the side sponsored ads.
On side sponsored ads, the top ranked results received much more in the way of both eye activity and click through. About 50% of participants looked at the top ad, compared to only 10% who looked at ads in the 6, 7 or 8th location on the page.

Side sponsored ad visibility
(shown in percentage of participants looking at an ad in this location)
1 – 50%
2 – 40%
3 – 30%
4 – 20%
5 – 10%
6 – 10%
7 – 10%
8 – 10%

There seems to be a "F" shaped scan pattern, where the eye tends to travel vertically along the far left side of the results looking for visual cues (relevant words, brands, etc) and then scanning to the right if something caught the participant's attention.

These results come from an initial analysis of the results and were presented during sessions at the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York. While interesting, the study's main findings are still to come and will required detailed analysis of individual behavior patterns.

Did It's Kevin Lee said, "At this point, we weren't too surprised at what we've seen in the study. We suspected much of this to be true prior to conducting it. However, there is tremendous value in confirming these suspicions, especially in a way that's so visually compelling. It also proves that our methodology will hold up for phase 2 of the research. On the sponsored search side, data indicates that it is the clear branding and visibility advantage offered by gaining top positions, especially Google's top sponsored links. Unfortunately, these aren't always presented with a search. Google is a little fickle in this regard."

Enquiro's Gord Hotchkiss added, "We see a marked difference in how people say they search and what they actually do. Previous research had indicated that people were considered searchers and spent some time before choosing a link. The past few studies we've done, this one included, shows that there's a huge importance placed on where the eyeballs end up on the page. Clicks happen pretty quickly. It just shows that search marketing is a real estate game. It's all about location, location, location."

Eyetools' CTO Greg Edwards also commented, "Eyetracking is the enabling tool that fills in the gaps to understand why people click or don't click — by quantifying what people consider before the decision to click or leave is made, companies can start to better anticipate and design to satisfy people's needs. Applying this in the search results arena enables companies to better plan their marketing communication and increase conversions."

This research is ongoing and the phase 1 results are highly encouraging. After further analysis is done, the results will be made available to the public through white papers. Further findings will be announced as they become available.

For more information about Eye Tracking or the study, see:

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How do I get first in Google?

That is a million dollar question!

Actually it is not a million dollar question but 3.5 million euro question! Remember the summer 2005? Well it that hot summer of the year 2005, the job site Jobs.ie took the No. 1 position in Goole for the most used search phrase in Ireland:

Jobs in Ireland

from IrishJobs.ie.

3.5 million euro in cash changed hands straight away. IrishJobs.ie who occupied that spot No. 1 for years, bought Jobs.ie. They simply could not afford to loose the No. 1 spot in Goolge search results, they simply could not loose all the traffic (job hunters) related to the first spot of the most used search phrase to find a job in Ireland. Note one word those two web sites have in common – jobs. Remember now that that work is the part of the search phrase most used for finding the jobs in Ireland, or in fact several most important ones! That is what makes those to sites stand out above the rest of the market, since only those two sites choose a good domain name to run their business. Click here to read the full article: Why does a development of a recruitment web site begin with choosing a domain name?

Recruiters so often make a mistake about the search phrases job hunters use to look for a job. I have seen so many recruiters showing proudly how their web site shows on the first page in Google for the phrases like:

Irish recruitment
Recruitment in IT Ireland
Irish recruitment agency

All of them would fail to understand that their most important visitors – job hunters are not looking for the ‘recruitment’, but simply for a ‘job’! So get that work ‘job’ in your domain name if you are serious, if you mean business!

If you do that first step right, you are on the right track to get high in the Google search results, in the eyes of Irish job seekers. Get it wrong and do not include a word ‘job’ and you’ve made one step back!

Lets get back to that first place in the Google results. After choosing the good domain name, and the best domain name is exactly the most used search phrase for searching jobs in Ireland: ‘Jobs in Ireland’, so your best choice should be a name like jobsinireland.ie or jobsinireland.com. Unfortunately both of them are taken and the owners looking for crazy money for them. So get your grey brain cells together and think of something else.

The rest is simple. Get a web site that has the phrases you want to be found for all over your site (within Google guidelines), get listed in all directories that you can find (using Google again), and get as many links from as many web sites as you can. If you just do that in a given time you will be in the first place in Google. Yes that is the place for the search phrase jobs in Ireland that is worth 3.5 million euro!

Where do I get more Clients?

The other way to ask that same question is: “How do I grow my business?”

Ask yourself first: Who is my client? Who is a client of a recruitment agency in Ireland (today – forget the year 2000 and before, we are in the 21st century!).

Is your client a company you recruit for?

Is your client an Irish job seeker?

Find the true answer yourself. We know where the money is coming from, but is it the same source as where “The Business” is coming from?

Would you rather have a contract to fill 100 good (well paid) positions, or would you rather have 100 good CVs and applicants behind them who are available for the interview this afternoon, ready to start working tomorrow and do not ask for unreasonable remuneration?

Job seekers are the asset of the recruitment agency in Ireland today. That is what you need to build. Good, quickly employable job seekers. This is where the value really is. If you manage to source that, your other ‘Clients’ will come quickly!
Regardless of your opinion who your real client is, you will still need a job seeker. Can’t do much without them! :)

Advertise, your jobs in Ireland in newspapers, jobs boards, radio,… just do it as everybody else does it. It must work, it works for them! In fact it seams to work for every single one of them! Yet if you talk to any one of them, no one will tell you they are happy with the responses they got from neither of those traditional advertising models. A half page ad in national newspaper that does not generate a single response is nothing strange in this industry. The recruitment section is the second most thick section (and source of revenue) of any newspaper in Ireland, so who is going to find your quarter page ad between a hundred of others quickly flicking through with a pen circling the interesting ones to call?

Instead,… how about if those people interested for a job in Ireland would come to you. Come to you via your web site. How about if your web site could attract ‘a readership’ (as newspapers and circulars like to call the number of printed copies) of 10 000 people looking for a job in Ireland each month?

Now let’s step back a little. We know people find web sites using Google. We also know what search phrases they are going to use. The only thing we need to do is to make a web site that will show high on the first page in the results of the Google search. We also know what is the first step to make such a site. If not read the: Why does a development of a recruitment web site begin with choosing a domain name?

In Google all my clients are.

Why does development of a recruitment web site begin with choosing a domain name?

We already have a name! A company name or the abbreviation of it is the most used domain name for the recruitment web site in Ireland today. That itself is the first mistake, and that one will haunt you ‘for life’!

The reason for that is that you will want people to be able to find your web site. How do people look for service providers like you? They use search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo. Google as we all know has the most number of users, and therefore delivers far more visitors than all other search engines together.
A recruitment agency web site has 2 separate and different audiences. Employers and job seekers. You will want employers to be able to find you using Google to be able to order services from you (don’t we all know that this is NOT the way it happens?!). You will also want job seekers to find you and apply to your jobs in Ireland.

The domain name is the first little bit of text Google finds about the site when it makes its crawl. In that first ‘handshake’ with your site, you need to tell Google who you are and what kind of traffic you want! If you do not, it is a missed opportunity. In the Irish recruitment industry today, you can not afford to miss oportunities. There simple is far to many far to good online recruiters in Ireland, so making your first step ‘backwards’ will not do you any good in the race against the competition.

Put yourself in shoes of a job hunter and an employer looking for an recruitment agency (you!). What search phrase will he/she put in the Google to look for someone like you? My guess is something like:
Recruitment agency Ireland
Do not trust me here, use your own judgement. Ask your friends!

Same goes for the job hunters. What search phrase will they put in Google? They will most likely start with a:
Then they usually find that the results are completely irrelevant since they get 100% of the web sites about jobs in US. So they will usually ad the word Ireland to get:
Job Ireland
The other variations are:
Jobs in Ireland
Ireland Jobs
And so on, and on.

Again your domain name is what you tell Google (and your visitors BTW!) about you FIRST. So if you want more job hunters to visit your site, choose something that has jobs and Ireland, and to get a employer as well, use words like recruitment and perhaps agency in your domain name as well.

OK, by now we know what your domain name should be like.

Now take a look at top 10 recruitment agencies in Ireland today. Make your own list what you consider top 10. Look at their domain names. Did any one of them get their domain name right?

To make sure you are right, just be a job hunter in Ireland (or looking for a job in Ireland from abroad) and try to find your self a job in Ireland on the internet. Use the search engine of your choice. It will be Google for the most of the web surfers, and that is even more the case here in Ireland since Google’s strong presence and peoples awareness of Goole in Ireland. So put a phrase like:
Job Ireland
Jobs in Ireland
Ireland jobs

… or any other phrase you think you would use when looking for a job in Ireland.

Did you find a single recruitment agency on the first page? If not – Good! It means there is a space for you!

Recruitment Agency Web site – “Do I need one?”

The fact that a recruitment agency needs a web site is known by this day and age, so I will not write about that. Most of your communication is going to be made over the email and a web site is just a nice ‘extension’ to the email communication itself. Branding, marketing status, and so on are just number of other reasons.

A good recruitment web site can also be a tool that you can use to help you run your business. It is fairly simple; you advertise the jobs on your own web site and invite job hunters to look at your job listings. The recruitment web site should also contain some functionality to apply to you directly online to the advertised jobs.

This streamlines the communication between you and job hunters, saves you time in the communication over the phone and in person, and money in the telecom costs.

This is the reason no serious recruitment agency in Ireland operates without a web site.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Recruitment Agency: Where should I advertise? Part 3

The online marketing strategy for a recruitment agency in Ireland is something one could write a whole book about, not just a blog. Let me not bore you too much, but get straight to the point: ROI. How do you measure your Return On Investment (ROI) in recruitment advertising to be able to manage your budgets successfully?

Step No 1. – Track where every single application and CV came from.
Step No 2. – Track where every single CV originally came from and where the duplicates later on.
Step No 3. – Track where every single good application and CV came from.
Step No 4. – Track where every single application and CV came from, from the applicants you have placed and note the type of the job, industry and the location.
Step No 5. – Compare the numbers above with the budgets spent in the various advertising channels.

Be careful in drawing conclusions. If a radio gave you more placements than a job site for the same money in the same period of time, it might not necessary mean that a job board is a better media. Ask yourself a question – was my advertisement on the radio good enough? Was it broadcasted in the right time of a day or a year? The larger the sample the better conclusions.

Recruitment Agency: Where should I advertise? Part 2

How do I stand out? I do not want to advertise where all my competition does!!!

The key to success of the job advertisement in Ireland today is to advertise where no one else does, and where your money is well spent. It is as simple as that. Advertising on 10 Irish job sites will not bring you more CVs than advertising on the top 5. In fact you will get more work managing duplications.

Here are the obvious choices that will not cost you as much as any of the traditional methods of advertising, and will deliver much better results:

Google AdWords and MSN AdCentre

Although fairly different to set up, manage and achieve results, both will if used properly deliver at least double the amount of the responses to your ads. Irish Recruitment agencies coped on and in 2006 almost all major Irish recruiters started running their Google AdWords account and in summer MSN AdCentre accounts are popping up as well.

So what will I get, and how much will it cost?

Capability of controlling and managing your spending is the major advantage of online advertisement. On average the beginner (your first Google AdWords campaign) will achieve the similar results as with a job board. Meaning if the same budget is spent in both media, the results will be similar in both the quantity and the quality of the responses. Depending on a time spent reading the instructions Google provides you with and your own creativity, results will improve. After a few working days configuring your advertisements and one calendar month testing it and average recruiter will get double the amount of application for the same budget spent on a job board fees. And it does not stop there. As time goes by, a Google AdWords advertiser will learn how to tweak it to achieve results that can generate 4 to 5 times the amount of the applications that Irish job site would send for the same budget and same timeframe.

Recruitment Agency: Where should I advertise? Part 1

Traditional approach

Job boards
Advertising jobs on job boards in Ireland is the first step. The benefits are that your job adverts instantly seen by thousands of job hunters. Applications are straight forward and simple for the job hunters as well; they just attach a CV, register if needed to the job board itself and off you go. Results are instant, and a recruiter should start receiving the applications the same day, presuming the right job boards are chosen for the right industry and the location the job is based in. Irish Job boards (sites) also provide access to their CV databases, and that is a good place to look for already registered job hunters. If you know how to write a job ad and know how to choose a job board for it, the results are imminent. Prices are the main problem. An Irish job site will try to tie you in some annual publishing contract, which will usually be far above your budget.

Local radio is the usual place – where to go next after you have subscribed to the job boards, and dissatisfied with the result. Low cost entry price sounds good, but your campaigns will run out quick, and the results can vary. The advantage can be the quality of the applications, since the ad will attract only the local job hunters. In the same time the local reach is a disadvantage since it attracts much smaller audience than an internet based ad.

It is no secret that any company in financial trouble buys a half page job advertisement in the national newspaper. The size of the ad usually clearly reflects the sum needed from the venture capitalists to stay afloat. Does the newspaper ad bring job applications? Yes it may, but the quantity of applications is surely the lowest out of all other media.

Outdoor and Guerrilla
LUAS, DART, bus, rail, taxi, bus shelters,… Opportunities are endless. Results are the worst for the recruitment industry.

Find a job in Ireland

First things first. How do you find a job in Ireland? Where are those listed and advertised?

Employers (companies)
Radio, and TV are to expensive for direct employers, so they use newspapers and job boards. Newspapers are actually used more for branding where the real results (applications) actually come from job boards.

Recruitment Agencies
TV is again to expensive so the radio, newspapers, job boards and their own web sites is where one will find jobs they advertise.

Job Boards
Nothing is to expensive for them, and their ads can be frequently seen everywhere, and even in the 'Prime Time' TV slots.

Jobs in Ireland Blog

Jobs in Ireland - a funny blog about how to find a job in Ireland, has a few good articles.

Job Ireland - A Blog

If you are serious about job hunting, this will be the Blog to read.
If you are serious about recruiting, this will be the Blog to read!
If you are serious about managing recruiters, this will be the Blog to read!!!