One of the most interesting conversations that took place during this year’s TAtech Spring Congress was about web traffic. According to a report by software company DeviceAtlas, almost half of all web traffic (48 percent) is now generated by bots (aka web robots) and crawlers.
Bots and crawlers are software that’s designed to visit your site and perform a function. For example, there are Google bots that crawl HR Bartender. The bot is helpful because it indexes information. That way, when someone does a search on Google for the “difference between knowledge, skills, and abilities”, HR Bartender shows up in the search.
Unfortunately, there are also not-so-good bots. And this is where recruiters and human resources professionals need to pay attention.
Many organizations use pay-per-click (PPC) or pay-per-applicant (PPA) recruitment advertising. It totally makes sense, right? Organizations only pay for a recruiting source when it delivers results. In this case, when a job seeker clicks through to see the job posting or actually applies.
Here’s the problem. While today’s technology has become very sophisticated, it’s not good enough to distinguish humans from bots. Meaning, when a click happens on your recruitment ad, the computer that’s counting those clicks (the ones that you have to pay for) doesn’t know if a person or bot did it. This impacts you two ways:
- You could be paying for clicks made by bots.
- You could have more bots than humans applying for jobs.
Either way, it’s not good. And it keeps you from meeting your recruiting goals. But the answer isn’t to eliminate recruitment advertising.
Let’s face it. We need it.
In 2016, TAtech put together a work group to address this issue. During the Congress, they shared their “Declaration on Traffic Quality”. The document is designed to protect advertisers from fake applicants and help organizations better understand web traffic. The document is available FREE of charge in the TAtech bookstore.
The TAtech community has taken this one step further. Recruitment advertising publishers that are committed to bringing accuracy and transparency to this issue are being recognized for their efforts. Think of it like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
Recruiting advertising is a serious business. I think it’s awesome that the community is creating higher standards for itself. As human resources professionals, we need to stay current with what’s happening in this area. It can impact the success of our recruiting results and our budgets.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the Learning and Development League 2016 Annual Conference in Delhi, India1