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Getting More From Your Recruitment Advertising Budget

Whether you are a recruiter, a business owner, a divisional head or you work in HR, you will be tasked with reducing the ‘cost per hire’ for your business. Most businesses in the UK with 50+ employees now have an established direct sourcing model. They will have a designated recruiter or recruitment team to attract the best talent for the business whilst reducing overall recruitment costs. Sounds easy enough!

Job Boards UK

Most employees with recruitment responsibility for an organisation will have a budget for advertising positions, but with so many job boards to choose from, it is often a hard choice to make. Each job board has its own T&C’s, and charges can vary dramatically and agreements run for different periods, all of which make it incredibly hard to manage. On top of this, that person will also have to work out whether the job boards they ultimately selected were the right ones and establish whether they got the desired return on investment (ROI).

Flat Fee Recruitment

Whilst many direct sourcing models are very effective in achieving this objective, they could be more efficient and make significant further cost savings by taking advantage of bespoke media planning and buying solutions to advertise their jobs. Companies have the ability to customise a media planning and buying solution to meet their business needs and improve its ROI through partnering with media buying specialists or by choosing flat fee recruitment.

Read our Small Business Guide For Cost Effective Recruitment.

How Does It Work?

Companies will identify a media agency to work with and will discuss which job boards they wish to work with and on what terms. The media agency will use analytics to determine whether the job boards the companies work with are the best performing sites and then customise a solution based on these results.


  • Reduce costs per job credit through agency buying power
  • More flexibility to work with more job boards
  • Not managing relationships and contracts with individual job boards
  • Time management
  • Reporting and analytics with ATS

Read about Applicant Tracking Systems in our article Centralising Recruitment With ATS.


Media buying agencies have their own cost models but can also customise for individual companies. Typically an agency may use one, or a combination of, the following:

  • Margin – make a margin on cost per job credit
  • Retainer – companies pay an agreed monthly retainer to the agency
  • Fee – agencies charge an agreed % on what has been bought
  • Cost-saving fee – agencies will charge an agreed % on what cost-saving it makes for the company

In my opinion, I believe all organisations should explore whether a media planning and buying solution can work for them. It won’t work for every company but I think those companies buying 50+ job board credits per year could see some significant savings that stretch their recruitment budget further. At the end of the day, it’s a case of ’nothing ventured, nothing gained’.

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