HR Mavericks

Eddy’s HR Mavericks Encyclopedia

Ten-plus years ago, recruiting was regularly managed by word-of-mouth, with candidates stopping into organizations to get handshake offers, and paper applications. Methods of recruiting have changed with the introduction and advancement of the Internet. Today’s digital recruiting technology and techniques have changed the recruiting and job advertising game forever. Read on to read about pay-per-applicant and how this digital marketing tool works.

What Is Pay-per-Applicant?

Pay-per-applicant (PPA) allows the recruiter to post a job opening for free and only pay for the qualified application. Pay-per-applicant is a recruiting tool that aids HR with cutting down time spent on reviewing applicants to find a qualified candidate to fill a role.

Pay-per-Applicant vs Pay-per-Click

The difference between pay-per-applicant and pay-per-click is the impact on your recruitment budget. For example, if you have a $900 budget to hire a manager through a social medical job application, a pay-per-applicant application system ensures 90 applicants at $10 an application. The ad attracts the applicant flow to make informed decisions and move through the hiring process while only paying $1 for 900 clicks. A click on the job advertisement does not guarantee a completed application. Pay-per-click allows the job advertisement to be viewed but does not provide the applicant flow needed in recruitment. This means that the organization is paying every time the job advertisement is viewed. For example, the same person could view the job posting two or three times. Each time the individual clicks to view the posting, the organization is paying a cost with that click to view. Viewing a job posting does not yield a positive return on the organization's advertising budget, nor does the click to view the job posting provide any applicant flow for the recruiter.

Why Is Pay-per-Applicant Helpful When Hiring?

Pay-per-applicant is a critical recruitment tool to understand. Pay-per-applicant lets HR identify how much was spent on the job, from posting and sourcing to producing applicants to fill the vacant position.
  • Time to fill. By interpreting and applying recruitment strategies, a pay-per-applicant process identifies gaps to help eliminate flaws in your hiring strategy.
  • Social media outlets. A pay-per applicant system helps you determine which social media outlets produce the best and strongest applicant flow with the highest quality applicant for the role you need to fill.
  • Costs. Using a pay-per applicant system gives a clear understanding of the recruitment budget to ensure there is no waste based on applicant data. It also reveals accurate costs based on job type and location/industry and produces a higher rate of return on the advertising investment.

Tips for Using Pay-Per-Applicant

To see a great return when utilizing the pay-per-applicant model, you need rules and guidelines to establish strong analytics. Here are some suggested tips and rules.

Tip 1: Tracking

Work with your vendor and applicant tracking system to install a tracker on your application page. The use and design on the tracker allows real time data to populate so your organization knows that the marketing strategy worked and that a qualified applicant completed the job application.

Tip 2: Rules

Organizations can ensure the recruitment advertising budget is utilized fully and appropriately by establishing advertising rules. These rules allow the budget on the pay-per-applicant platform to focus on key roles that need to be filled. This helps the organization maximize the use of the budget.

Tip 3: Pay

Pay-per-applicant means that payment is only made to the platform once a qualified applicant has applied. This eliminates the risk of paying for everyone who reviews the job posting. Before this type of system, this meant paying an exorbitant amount of money for the advertisement alone.

Pay-per-Applicant Platforms

When researching platforms or vendors to request a demo, the terminology used to explain pay-per-applicant will vary by one word or two on vendors' websites. The terminology will appear and vary in the form of PPA, pay-per-applicant, and even pay-for-performance advertising. It will take research to navigate vendors and platforms that will provide you what you are looking for that can also be integrated with your current HRIS system. It is always best practice to first speak with your current HRIS vendor for a recommendation of models and platforms they are compatible with. Below are a few pay-per-application platforms for reference.

Greenhouse — Appcast

Appcast will help your organization maximize the recruiting budget. Appcast focuses on greater ROI with each job posting and completed application.

Talent nexus

Talent nexus focus is reaching more job boards. Talen nexus is aimed at advertising and states that you only pay if the advertising works.

How to Get Started With Pay-per-Applicant

Let’s take a look into the steps needed to build a campaign for using a pay-per-applicant system for your organization.

Step 1: Estimate Applicant Cost

A great starting point is to evaluate and review how many applicants you typically receive for the position you are advertising for. From that total number, identify the number of qualified applicants who move through the hiring process. This information will determine the budget needed for cost per application.

Step 2: Define Qualified Applicants

Establish qualifying questions to narrow down the field of applicants. Examine job descriptions, certifications, essential skills, training and requirements needed to complete the job. When creating qualifying questions, be straightforward and have non-negotiables. For example, if you are recruiting a new chief financial officer, non-negotiable qualifying questions might include “Are you a certified CPA?” or “Do you have 10 years of accounting or finance experience and experience with SEC reporting?”

Step 3: See the Results!

The vendor you utilize will take the time to review applicants and ensure qualifying applicants are forwarded. A quick turnaround time between an application and the next step can retain qualified applicants' interest in the organization. This in turn can accelerate the time to fill for the open position by one to three weeks.
Nicole Little, PHR

Nicole Little, PHR

Nicole Little is a Senior HR Business Partner with over 7 years of experience in the Human Resource field. Nicole has worked for the largest e-commerce company and the leading LTL carrier. Nicole Little's love for human resources comes through as she advocates and builds relationships within all levels of an organization. When Nicole is not working, she is enjoying the outdoors with her husband, two sons, and their dog.
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