Advertising – just because everyone else does. Surely they can’t all be wrong?
We have spent the last year advertising on a job board specialising in the legal sector. I don’t want to name them as that is not the purpose of this article, but they are totally immersed in the legal sector if that assists.
As a company we have a finite advertising budget, as you would probably expect. We aim to spend carefully and where we can see maximum return. For years I have been watching this particular jobs board and noticing that just about every single one of our competitors has advertised on it. For years I have been tempted but always held back as there is a nagging doubt in the back of my mind – but surely all our competitors can’t all be wrong?
So in 2015 we finally agreed a deal with the jobs board. We posted vacancies onto the site and sat back and waited for applicants.
None were forthcoming. In fact, over a 12 month period we only had one candidate register with us via the jobs board that resulted in a placement. All the other applicants were either utterly unsuitable – eg LPC graduates applying for solicitor jobs – or candidates already registered with us.
I have not renewed the contract.
The moral of this tale is a simple one. Firstly, just because all your competitors are doing something doesn’t mean you have to do the same. I know that some of the most expensive keywords on Google Adwords are from solicitors firms. In fact if you take out gambling the legal sector spend the most per keyword. I suspect this is because firms have jumped onto the bandwagon and noticed their competitors shelling out £40 a click and thinking this is normal.
Facebook advertising is another example. We regularly get blasted with offers of assistance for successful advertising on Facebook. As a company we have tried this out, but in 12 months of advertising I am not even sure we have successfully managed a click through to our site – people don’t, in my experience, go onto Facebook to look for business or jobs – they use Google or LinkedIn or similar.
So stick to your guns and go with your instinct backed by evidence. Be prepared to learn new things, but always be wary of the Emperor’s New Clothes…
Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment.