How jobs boards reward loyalty

3 Jan

Providing added value offerings to reward your clients’ loyalty can be a highly effective strategy in a down turn and put you in a strong position when the market recovers. The concept of rewarding someone to give them something extra, in this case advertising (real estate), that they didn’t expect is legendary and extremely effective. Seth Godin would call this the ‘Free Prize Inside’.

While the competition is considering how best to adapt a challenging market, many firms will seek to ensure survival in the short-term and will look to the post recession period for long-term salvation. However, it can often be too late; savvy businesses seek to build market share in all cycles in the economy. Not only does gaining market share mean winning more new business, but it also means developing strategies in order to reduce churn, keep and reward loyal clients. Focusing on 80/20 of 80% farming and 20% hunting is a good focus for existing to new business ratio.

Increasing the real estate on your website

In this example, we look at creating a wider offering of advertising packages on online jobs boards. This enables them to; 1) reward loyal clients proving additional banners and features within their existing packages (short/medium term), 2) gives sales staff more flexibility when up-selling and cross-selling packages to new clients (short/medium/long term), 3) drive additional revenue from existing resources (medium/long term), 4) and clearly demonstrates to job seekers the brand names that you are working with and, most importantly, that premium/leading brands are still recruiting (short term). This is not ‘de-valuing’ your product, it is rewarding valued clients. The difference is fundamental, and often needs some explaining to your sales team.

Organisations are still recruiting, all be it in lower volumes than when the market was booming. And we know that job seekers are going to greater lengths to find a new job. Some are seeking innovative strategies to find a new role. Others are scouring higher numbers of jobs boards to find a role that is right for them. It is vital that your website demonstrates your expertise, highlight the brands that you are working with and entice the best talent in the market to it on a regular basis.

Focusing on direct employers

We know from conversations with HR and hiring managers in the market, that they are under increased pressure to reduce their vacancy advertising budget and increase the results while using fewer resources. Interview processes are taking longer as hiring managers are undertaking more rigorous processes to identify and attract the best candidates in the market place. The downturn landscape for the recruitment sector could be significantly different to what it is today. Many recruiters will go out of business, candidates have lower bargaining power and, in the short term, recruitment fees will continue to be under pressure.

Providing an end-to-end recruitment solution for HR teams and integrating your recruitment website with their recruitment process could help you to create vital barriers to entry for competitors. The attractive part about a jobs board this that you can cater for all kinds of organisation large or small, within your niche. Taking a step closer towards your direct clients (employer organisations) will aid to cement your relationship and make it easier for you to engage them in your activity going forward.

Ensuring it works

Outline steps to ensure the packages are designed, developed and rolled out effectively:

  1. Agree project scope – develop full project plan and agree timeline – breadth, budget and resource required
  2. Research the market – what’s on offer and what’s in demand
    1. Competitors – understand what the next best competitor is offering and how can we improve on it
    2. Direct clients (employers) – find out exactly what they want – “What can we do to make your life easier?” – “How can we improve your results?” – Doing your research helps to build engagement in your brand / shows you care / work clients to develop the solution
  3. Review findings – develop an understanding of how you can differentiate your website from the competition – not only providing a comparable service to the competitors, but also exceed clients’ expectations and helps build loyalty
  4. Develop unique proposition – differentiate your site from the rest of the market place and cater for all employers’ recruitment needs within one back end recruitment database
  5. Create barriers to entry – your clients are tied into using your systems and advertising with you – (similar to broadband providers offering free email addresses – you can switch providers, but you will lose your email address and have to update all your friends with your new address.)
  6. Test and verify understanding – develop mock ups or wireframe solution – test with handful of clients – adapt and change as necessary
  7. Roll out – go live with changes to site – train internal stakeholders
  8. Continuous Improvement – take on feed back, review and refine


Identifying what you can do that is ‘different or better’ than the competition will aid you to create a stand out brand. Taking a step closer to your clients will demonstrate your commitment to help them weather the storm. In return they are more likely to re-pay you with long-term loyalty. Many providers are product focused – why not differentiate from the rest of the market and become client focused and seek to reward your existing direct clients? Ask your clients “What can I do to make you more successful?” Answer – “Make my life easier and deliver more results for the same or lower cost”.

Increasing the Real Estate on the site will help to:

  • Visibly highlight the fact that the market is still recruiting and showcase major brands on the site
  • Demonstrate your commitment to your advertisers when promoting their brand (Seth Godin ‘Free prize inside’ concept)
  • Enable you to move to clients over from ‘included in the package’ to ‘fully paid for’ when the market returns to a candidate driven model (provided you’ve delivered)
  • Use AdSence to cover your surplus, like so many sites

Focusing on direct employers will help to:

  • Cement relationships and build (and not lose) market share
  • Create barriers to entry (increase switching costs)
  • Build a pipeline of hungry and satisfied clients who are loyal to you – in preparation for when the market turns

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